In Revelation 12, in the war that breaks out in heaven, there's no mention of a weapon which actually overcomes the devil so as to be cast out of heaven and onto the earth, other than the ''blood of the lamb'' mentioned in verse 11.
Neither are there any other warrying parties mentioned in between verses 9 and 11 besides Michael's and his host against the Devil and his, and in which verses the defeated is the same Devil by the war which he fought against Michael to his defeat.

Revelation 12:
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 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.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Moreover, the rejoicing is urged upon those that dwell in heaven, the place from which the devil is cast out.
But put the case that the pronoun they in verse 11 refer to saints, then it would be an assumption which places them in heaven and not on earth, because rejoicing is in heaven and it's because of the casting out of the devil one, While woes are for the earth dwellers.
In addition experts say the conquering/overcoming is because of that blood, which differs from conquering/overcoming by that blood as many versions have it.

So, how is the devil defeated by Michael and His messengers because the ''blood of the Lamb,'' or by it, if you insist?

  • 2
    Nothing in the passage warrants such interpretation. "... for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Simply follow the pronouns. Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 6:10
  • 2
    I have followed them, CLOSELY. Who does the ''casting down''? Is it anything to 'rejoice' about if the devil is 'cast out'? If so, where are those that are told to ''rejoice''? In heaven from where the devil was cast out. Apart from the devil's defeat in btn those verses, what other ''overcoming'' can should we look, even as an implication? And why do so if it's the devil who is the referent of the defeat mentioned here? Where are saints? What is said to those that dwell on earth? See where this leaves you?
    – Ted O
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 7:50

4 Answers 4


The operative phrase in Rev 12:11 is "they conquered him". The "him" is clearly the Accuser/Devil/Satan/Dragon.

However, the antecedent of "they" is clearly the same as "them" (v10) who are accused, namely, the "brothers". The rather simple grammar demands this. Meyer's NT commentary offers the following:

Καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐνίκησαν αὐτὸν. That the αὐτοι refers to τ. ἀδελφῶν ἡμ., and, therefore, those accused by the dragon (ὁ κατηγ. αὐτούς, Revelation 12:10), but not the angel Michael (Revelation 12:7), are here represented as those who have conquered.

Now to the second part of the question about the mechanism of conquering. The "bothers" or saints conquer by the blood of the lamb. Think about what this actually saying - sinners (who become saints by being forgiven) conquer their enemy (the dragon/serpent) by Jesus blood; Something that Jesus did is imputed to saints as their invincible weapon. Rev 13:8 also informs us that this sacrifice of Jesus was decided upon before the creation of the world (see also Matt 25:34, Heb 4:3.)

The NT has much to say on this that this site should not need to elaborate. Conversion, commitment, deciding to be a disciple of Christ, sanctification, washing (1 Cor 6:11) are all terms that describe what happens to a sinner at the point in the life when they realise their great need of God. That is, the sinners life is “turned” in a different direction – toward God (Isa 45:22, Acts 2:38, 3:19, Rom 6:13, Luke 15:7, Isa 55:7, Eze 18:21, 33:11, Ps 51:13, Eph 4:22, etc).

This paints a simple (symbolic) scene of Rev 12:10-12 - heaven appears to be watching the events on earth and rejoice at the saints conquering by the blood of the Lamb. This passage employs a simple "war" metaphor for the process of salvation/atonement that is common in the Bible and is used elsewhere (Eph 6:10-17, 1 Thess 5:8, 2 Cor 10:3-5, Isa 59:17, Col 2:15, etc)

  • You're a ball of fire! + 1
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 21:25

Do Michael and His angels "overcome" the Devil and his angels by the "blood of the Lamb?"

Answer: Yes. But first, some major caveats.

On the surface, most (understandably) construe Revelation 12:4 as demonstrating that God cast Satan and one-third of the angels from heaven, just as the verse reads:

Revelation 12:4: "And [the great red dragon with 7 heads, 10 horns, 7 diadems]'s tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child."

Let us understand what is being conveyed here. The "third of the stars of heaven" being cast out likely represent the struggle taking place among the principalities and powers of Roman civil government instigated by Satan, something that would be witnessed worldwide.

Fiery red symbolizes ravenous death; seven heads (Rome was the "City on seven hills") show great reasoning among the political echelon; ten horns demonstrate a shared monopoly among the ten Roman kings at the time -- all in turmoil. Diadems are often representative of temporary authority.

Satan's tail casting down these stars is a figure of his purging any rulers that stood in his way. Lastly, "the woman" is first, the nation of Israel who would give birth to the Messiah, and later the Church. Whether physical or spiritual, "Israel" is the chosen of God.

Now, Michael was the “Great Prince who [stood] guard over the sons of [Daniel’s] people” (Dan. 10:13, 10:21, 12:1). It is a fact that Daniel’s people were the Israelites, those protected by Michael. Further, we also know that it was Christ Who was the rock that followed and protected [stood guard over] them in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:4). Michael is the key that binds everything together here.

Jude vs. 9: “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’”

Many understand that the Angel of the Lord -- and in this case, simply "the LORD" is, in fact, the "Preincarnate Christ." Therefore, "Michael" is the One "arguing" with Satan. What are they arguing over? "The body of Moses." How so? Well, just as Christians under the New Testament are the "body of Christ," so too was ancient Israel under the Old Testament, or "body of Moses" (cf. Heb. 3:5-6).

Joshua, the high priest (Zech. 3:4) was standing in filthy garments (sin), representative of the body of Moses: Israel. "Michael" and Satan were disputing Israel's salvation (Zech. 3:2c):

Zechariah 3:2: The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”

Since we know from Jude vs. 9 that Michael argued with Satan, and we know from Zech. 3:2 that the LORD proclaimed exactly the same (we find this nowhere else in Scripture), we can safely presume that both the LORD of Zech. 3 and the "Michael" of Jude vs. 9 are one and the same: Christ, the LORD.

Thus, the “battle in heaven” was the spiritual battle waged on Earth between Christ and Satan during Jesus’ 3 ½-year ministry. As part of that battle, Jesus exorcised those possessed by demons, preached the Word to the lost, and cured many afflictions (including death). Satan tried (and failed) to murder the baby Jesus in Bethlehem:

Matthew 2:16: "[When] Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under..."

He also unsuccessfully attempted to undermine Christ's mission throughout. This was a spiritual battle to determine the destiny of the human race. Christ’s “angels” were likely the disciples (and perhaps certain real angels) endowed with casting out demons as in Luke's Gospel (10:17).

One verse later in Luke (10:18), Christ tells us He could (fore-)see “Satan being cast from heaven like lightning.” This would occur at the moment of His sacrificial death where He secured victory over the Devil:

John 12:31-32: “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

The symbolic imagery of Revelation 12 is describing Christ’s earthly battle against the forces of darkness, all of which deprived Satan of his authority over death to those who would be drawn together to Him. The symbolism in the Book of Revelation is awe-inspiring!

  • I may have misunderstood you but are you suggesting that Michael the Archangel and Christ Jesus, the Son of God, are one and the same being?
    – Lesley
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 17:07
  • @Lesley Based on Scripture, the parallels between the two are striking indeed. Read Dan. 10:13 and 12:1 and ask yourself who else might be the Prince of Israel. Then, read Zech. 3:2 and decide if the words related by Jude v. 9 are not near identical as well. Yes, I believe Michael and Christ are one and the same Person. It's very important to recognize that Christ appears all throughout the Old Testament as "the Lord" and the "Angel of the Lord." These are what's known as "theophanies" or, specifically, "Christophanies": appearances of the "pre-incarnate" Christ. X.
    – Xeno
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 19:17
  • Michael cannot be Jesus for example: in Jude Michael tells satan, the Lord rebuke you, calling on the Lord to rebuke satan but Jesus has no problem rebuking satan directly even though He was incarnate. Commented May 12, 2021 at 2:31
  • @Nihil Let's review Zech. 3 for a minute: 1-7: "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right to accuse [Joshua]. The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!" Note that Joshua represented Israel, the body of Moses. "[He stood in] filthy garments [sin] before the angel. Verses 5-6: [T]he angel of the LORD was standing by. And the angel of the LORD admonished Joshua." Christ, the LORD, rebuked Satan just as Michael rebuked Satan. They're the same.
    – Xeno
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 3:19
  • 1
    @Nihil Good day! No, I my view has nothing to do with Latter Day Saints. I arrived at my conclusion when I tried to imagine how, in the Presence of a Being (God) with absolute power and omniscience, any angel in such a perfect, holy glorified, and majestic realm could ever fall. I eventually concluded, after much study, that they simply could not. That's my position on the idea of "fallen angels." I was also struck by the words of Daniel 10:21 -- the Prince of Israel could only be one Being.
    – Xeno
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 17:54

As a rule in order to understand any NT passage with any true fidelity to the scriptures one must find the OT background to the passage. I believe that Michael "standing up" in Revelation is alluding to and fulfilling Zechariah 12:

ISV Zechariah 12:

2‘Look, I am making Jerusalem an unstable cupa toward all of its surrounding armies when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3It will come about at that timeb that I will make Jerusalem a heavy weight; so everyone who burdens themselves with it will be crushed,c even though all of the nations of the earth gather themselves against it. 4 At that time,’d declares the LORD, ‘I will strike every horse with panic and every rider with insanity. I will keep my eyes on the house of Judah, but I will blind every horse of the invadinge armies. 5The leaders of Judah will say to themselves, “Those who live in Jerusalem are my strength through the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, their God.” 6‘At that time,f I will make the leaders of Judah like a brazier filled with blazing wood, or like a torch setting fire to harvested grain. They will devour all the invadingg armies, both on the right hand and on the left. As a result, Jerusalem will again be inhabited in its rightful place—as the realh Jerusalem.’”

7The LORD will deliver the tents of Judah first, so that neither the glory of the housei of David nor the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem overshadows Judah. 8 At that time,j the LORD will defend those who live in Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them at that time will be like David. The entire house of David will be like God—indeed, like the angel of the LORD in their midst!

9“‘At that time,k I will search out and destroy all of the nations who have come against Jerusalem. 10 I will pour out on the house of David and on the residents of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and of supplications, and they will look to me—the one whom they pierced.’”l

Verse 8 bears repeating because it is the precise link between this prophecy of the First Jewish-Roman War and its fulfillment in 70ad:

8 At that time,j the LORD will defend those who live in Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them at that time will be like David. The entire house of David will be like God—indeed, like the angel of the LORD in their midst!

[Jer 21:5 KJV] 5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.

So the armies of heaven (the Roman army, which God is using to judge Israel) shall prevail against "spiritual Sodom and Egypt" as if they were like God, like Michael, like the angel of the LORD fighting against the Jewish nation.

This has nothing to do with modern day wars or organizations.

  • If I have your comment right you say the God defended Jerusalem in 70 C.E, but that city was destroyed in 70 C.E. so I do not understand your thoughts here & the Jewish priesthood was lost??
    – user26950
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 13:12
  • There are two Jerusalems simultaneously in the scriptures that represent two covenants (Gal 4:24-26). Zechariah is describing the end of the earthly Jerusalem Sinai covenant and the arrival of the new Jerusalem, which is victorious and which is the new covenant Jews. They emerge like Israel being born out of Egypt.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 13:17
  • [Rev 11:8 KJV] 8 And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 13:20
  • Where is it so the nations can stream to it.-Isa. 2:2
    – user26950
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 13:20
  • Glorified new covenant Jerusalem began on Pentecost circa 33AD. It ended when Israel and the temple as the locus of God's work in the earth in 70ad. [1Co 10:11 ESV] 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. [Heb 9:26 ESV] 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 13:24

We humans are the angels and demons one third follow Lucifer two thirds follow Christ all is already said and done we are just going through the motions like a rehearsal of sorts

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    Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 2:48
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    – agarza
    Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 2:48
  • @user58863-It is best to substantiate your Answer with biblical and scholarly Reasons, not just opinions. For example, to answer this post you might have referred to the last half of verse 11: ...they loved not their lives unto the death. So whoever were the ones that" overcame" were beings that could be martyred. Keep studying the Bible; it's great for the soul!
    – ray grant
    Commented Sep 8, 2023 at 20:41

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