Archangel Michael, who reigns as the leader of all God's holy angels, focuses on fighting evil with the power of good. Michael has often engaged in spiritual battles with the fallen angel known as Satan (the devil) throughout world history, but the struggle will come to a climax in the future, soon before Jesus Christ returns to Earth, the Bible says.
In the Book of Revelation, the Bible tells the story of how archangel Michael and the angels he supervises will defeat Satan and the rebellious angels (also known as demons) he supervises during the world's end times. Here's what happens:
War Breaks Out in Heaven
The Bible presents a vision of the future battle in Revelation 12:7-9: "Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down -- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."
Good Versus Evil
In their book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Connecting With Your Angels, Cecily Channer and Damon Brown describe the battle as a clear case of good triumphing quickly over evil: "The dragon represents evil, and there is no better angel than archangel Michael, warrior for good, to battle darkness. The archangel rounded up his band of angel warriors and dispatched the fire-breathing monster and its army in one verse. Considering it is against the usual loquaciousness of the Bible’s authors, we can assume this one was a quick battle."
Author John MacArthur points out in his book Revelation that this battle is the culmination of many battles throughout history between Michael and Satan: "Michael and the dragon (Satan) have known each other since they were created, and the battle during the Tribulation will not be the first time they have opposed each other. Michael is always seen in scripture as the defender of God’s people against satanic destruction."
During this battle in the end times, MacArthur writes, Michael will defeat Satan completely, so that no fallen angels will ever again enter God's presence or accuse faithful people: "All of Satan’s attempts to oppose God throughout history have failed, and he will lose this final angelic battle as well. The devil and his angels are not strong enough to defeat God, Michael, and the holy angels. Satan will suffer such a complete defeat that there will no longer be a place found for him and his demon hosts in heaven. Every inch of heaven, as it were, will be thoroughly scoured and all the rebellious fallen angels thoroughly cast out. They will no longer have access to God’s presence, and Satan will never again accuse believers before God’s throne."
Names That Tell a Story
The meanings of both Michael's and Satan's names are significant in the story of their battle, writes Warren W. Wiersbe in his book Be Victorious (Revelation): In Christ You Are an Overcomer: "What is this celestial conflict all about? The fact that Michael led God’s angels to victory is significant, because Michael is identified with the nation Israel (Dan. 10:10-21; 12:1; note also Jude 9). The name Michael means ‘Who is like God?’ and this certainly parallels Satan’s egocentric attack on Jehovah – ‘I will be like the Most High’ (Isa. 14:14). Apparently, the devil’s hatred of Israel will spur him to make one final assault against the throne of God, but he will be defeated by Michael and a heavenly host."
Rejoicing in Heaven
The Bible continues the story in Revelation 12:10-12: "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: 'Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! 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."
In his book Revelation Unveiled, author Tim LaHaye writes: "The fact that Satan is once and for all cast from the throne of God along with his evil hosts ... will be cause for great rejoicing in heaven."