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Angelic Warfare! (Revelation 12:7-12) St. Michael & All Angels

September 30, 2012

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St. Michael & All Angels (Transferred)                                       Trinity Lutheran Church

30 September 2012                                                                Murdock, NE

Revelation 12:7-12

Angels are always the hot topic! Mention angels and you’ve got everyone’s ear!

Angels, all of them, were created by God’s mighty Word in the beginning.  They are part of God’s invisible creation as the Nicene Creed confesses it!  From the beginning to the end of the world angels serve God’s Word and will!  They do and say only what the Lord wants done and said!  Nothing more.  Nothing less. 

In the Old Testament the angels direct, guide, protect and fight for God’s people.  Right away in Genesis an angel with a flaming sword guards the way back to the Garden of Eden!  Adam and Eve can’t go back!  Expelled!  Elijah, you remember, is fed by an angel.  Water and hot baked loaves of bread!  It was an angel that muzzled the lion’s mouth in order to save Daniel from certain death!  An angel saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from death in the fiery furnace.

In the New Testament Gabriel brings a sermon – a Word of the Lord – to Mary!  A remarkable sermon!  The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son!  The Savior of the world!  And the sermon proclaimed by Gabriel does what it says!  Because the Word preached in Mary’s ears is precisely how the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb conceives Jesus!

Angels galore belt out the Gloria in excelsis (God to God in the highest) when heaven cracks wide open at Jesus’ birth!  The angels longed to see just how God would redeem the world and all rebellious sinners!  Behold!  The Second Person of the Holy Trinity takes on flesh and dwells among them!  He justifies the ungodly by taking all sin and all its hellish punishment in His flesh!  Yours!  Mine!  The world’s!  The angels witness His death on the cross as the only atoning bloody sacrifice for sin and all sinners!

Why is this Man’s Good Friday death so important?  Why are all the angels rejoicing!  Because there is no other God than that Man Jesus!  Immanuel – God with us!  His shed and sacrificed blood is divine blood.  His death is the death of God!  And so the choir of angels sings as only angels can at His birth:    “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!”  Peace!  Favor!  All because of the Baby Jesus conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary!  All because of the God-Man Jesus who gives His life into death!  For you, sinner! 

After His bitter 40-day desert fast and after He endured and overcame the enticing temptations of the devil in the wilderness, angels came and ministered to Jesus.  That was only the beginning of the battle!  More satanic temptations to come!  One through an apostle:  “Oh, we’ll never let you go to the cross Jesus!  Messiahs don’t die!  So get all that nonsense of your head!” Peter pontificated.  “Get behind me, Satan!” 

Then another seductive satanic temptation for Jesus to hop right off from the cross!  This time from the crowds watching:  “You’re the Messiah?  Really?  You’re God’s Son?  OK!  Then jump down!  Climb down from the cross!  THEN WE WILL BELIEVE IN YOU!  You want people to believe in you, don’t you?  All right then!  Get down!”  But He stays put! 

Angels proclaim His resurrection from the dead!  “We know you came to the cemetery to pay your respects to the dead!  But we have good news for you!  He is not here!  He’s risen!  Just like He promised!” 

And then at His ascension the angels promise that Jesus will return visibly on the Last Day. 

Psalm 91 promises that the Lord gives “His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.  They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”  This is why we pray from the Small Catechism in the morning and evening:  “Let your holy angel be with me that the evil foe may have no power over me.”

Angels worship the holy Trinity 24/7/365!  They continuously praise their King and our brother and Savior in the flesh, Jesus.

In addition, angels are ministering spirits to serve you who will inherit salvation.

Revelation 12 tells us how Michael the archangel and all the Lord’s angels are ministering spirits for you!  It’s incredible!  A huge battle in heaven!  In God’s heavenly courtroom!  An all out brawl!  Between the Lord’s angels and Satan his demonic cronies!

How does the battle take place?  With light sabers?  With bombs?  Rocket propelled grenades?  Hand to hand combat?  No.  With words!  Yes, that’s right … words!  Accusations!  Slanders!  Lies!  Smears!  From Satan – against you!  Trying to build a case in God’s heavenly court to take you down!  To prosecute you right into hell!  Using your sin against you!  Contending that you should get the hellacious punishment you that your sin deserves!

He brings quite a compelling case AGAINST YOU!  He parades all your dirty laundry out in the open!  Pulls all the skeletons from your closet!  All those dirty little secrets!  Brings in a truckload of witnesses who have seen you sin and who have been hurt by your sin! 

It’s not pretty!  Much of your sin is quite shocking!  Even to you!  Little did you know how bad the sin is with you!  Mind bogglingly gruesome!    

“See here!”  Satan cackles in God’s heavenly court!  “I’ve presented my case!  The hard data does not lie!  These sinners should get what they deserve!  They are worthy of hell!” he screams!  Then he lobs the clincher!  The verbal bombshell!  “God, your own Word is very clear about what these sinners have earned!  Their sin has earned a debt!  And I’m here to collect!”  With that he twists his tail in glee!  Clicks his horns.  As he readies to round you all up!  To give you your one-way ticket to hell!    

And that’s when Michael the archangel and all his hosts go to work!  To battle!  To war!  For you!  “You’ve forgotten one thing Satan,” the archangel declares. 

“Not hardly!” retorts the devil in colossal arrogance!  “It’s an open and shut case!”

“Take another look you fool!” Michael answers.  “I know you’re purposely ignoring it! But it’s as plain as day! As plain as plain can be!  These sinners are COVERED!  SOAKED … IN … BLOOD!  BLOOD FROM A THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS CRIME SCENE THAT HEAVEN AND EARTH HAVE EVER SEEN!  LOOK AT THEM SATAN!  I SAID LOOK AT THEM!  WHAT’S THAT?  YOU SAY YOU CAN’T!  OF COURSE YOU CAN’T!  AND I’LL TELL YOU WHY!  IT’S BECAUSE ALL OF THESE SINNERS ARE DRENCHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE MURDER VICTIM!  WHO WAS BRUTALLY HUNG ON A TREE WHERE HE BLED OUT!”

“AND THIS MURDER VICTIM’S BLOOD WAS NOT JUST ANY BLOOD!”

“SATAN!  DON’T LOOK AWAY!  DON’T PRETEND THAT YOU DON’T HEAR ME!”

“THESE SINNERS ARE COVERED IN GOD’S BLOOD!  DIVINE BLOOD!  THE VERY LAMB OF GOD’S BLOOD THAT TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD!  WHOSE BLOOD PURIFIES AND CLEANSES FROM ALL SIN!” 

“Your accusations against these sinners hold no weight up here before the Lord you little beastie!  All your ugly reproaches – all your indictments – all your bill of particulars against all these sinners have been exhausted on Lamb of God Jesus!  Jesus bore all their sin in His body!  Jesus became MAXIMUM SINNER!  Therefore, all God’s wrath has been emptied on Lamb of God Jesus!  All these sinners are forgiven!  There is nothing more to say!”       

“PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE SATAN AND SMOKE IT!”

And with that sermon from the archangel, the battle in heaven is over!  Satan and all his evil angels are thrown out of heaven!  Bounced out!  Given the boot!  Kicked downstairs!

And all heaven rejoiced! 

“But woe to the earth and the sea because the devil has gone down to you.  He is filled with fury because he knows that his time is short.”

The devil prowls around this earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  The battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers – Satan the prince of this world! 

The battle here on the earth is for your heart, your mind and your soul!  The devil is always on the offensive!  Attacking your faith in Jesus!  Always trying to get you to doubt Christ’s promises!  “Did God really say?”  “Did Jesus really mean it?  You don’t feel forgiven!  His words haven’t changed your life at all!” 

And through such warfare the devil would lead you to doubt, to deny, and to despair!  Why?  So that you go to hell!  That you would be eternally damned with him and all his evil angels!

How do you fight this battle? 

With the Word!  Box in the devil’s ears … or horns with the Michael the archangel sermon.  Namely, “I’m covered in the blood of the Lamb!  Drenched!  Soaked!  All my sin is answered for!  Jesus didn’t leaven any of my sin out of His bloody death!  So get lost devil!  You are judged!  You’ve lost!” 

Brothers and sisters, this is so, so important!  Satan is the loser!  Jesus, the murder victim, is the victor!  For not only did He die for you!  He also rose from the dead for you!

His victory is your victory! 

Lamb of God Jesus extends His victory to you today!  With the bread and wine Jesus gives you His Good Friday Body and Blood by which He achieved your salvation and His triumph for you over the red dragon!  Along with the sure and certain promise that you are forgiven! 

Behold!  If only our eyes could see!  As you go to the altar to receive the Sacrament of Good Friday’s salvation, Jesus brings with Him all the “angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven.”  Tonight, in the Sacrament you have come “to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God … [and] to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,” (Hebrews 12:22).

The victory is Christ’s!   His victory is your victory!  So in a few minutes let’s join with the angels, the archangels and all the company of heaven in singing the Sanctus!  For behold!  Jesus comes!  He comes in the Sacrament!  And His judgment is:  “you are forgiven!  Life and salvation are yours!  I promise.”

In the Name of Jesus.              

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