St. Michael & All Angels
Audio
Click the play button below to begin streaming the audio, or click here to open this player in another window.
download this mp3
(right-click on the link above and choose "save link as" or "save target as" to download this audio)
Delivered By
Pr. Lovett
Delivered On
September 30, 2012
Central Passage
Matthew 18:1-11
Description

 

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
 
"Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world - he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." (Revelation 12:7)
 
"Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows his time is short!"
 
We’re in trouble. The devil and his demons dwell on earth. They have been expelled from the heavenly places and now dwell among the children of men. And they are frantic. Their time is short. they will soon be cast into the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. But until that time, until they are thrown into hell, Satan has his little hour; his great tribulation.
 
And how great it is! Look at the world. There is violence and mayhem everywhere. Everywhere you turn you hear of murders and mass killings and bombings and terrorism. But the great tribulation is not far removed from us.  It’s not off in some third-work country or under some rock. The father of lies, that dragon and ancient serpent who is the deceiver sows his seed of murder, lies, and hatred everywhere. Lies and hatred are not unfamiliar to any of us. We have all been hated and we have all hated. We have all been lied to and we have all lied to others.  No one is righteous, no one does good. That means we all do evil. A whole earth full of evil men and women doing what seems best to them. It’s no wonder the 10 o’clock news is full of doom and gloom and stories of murder and corruption. The earth is full of murdering corrupt sinners.
 
I don't have to give you a litany of the evils in this world. You know them well. You know them firsthand. You have divorced dads and moms, estranged brothers and sisters, and rebellious children. You come from and are familiar with broken families, broken by lies and greed and pride of heart. You have been betrayed by those who say, “I love you” and you have betrayed those whom you love. The world is not getting better because the sons of men aren’t getting better. We’re just as selfish and murderous as we were when our brother Cain killed Abel. Woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows his time is short.
Yet there is another proclamation as well: “Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth!” It’s the song of the angels; a song you yourselves join in on here at the gathering of the Lord, the ingathering of the holy one of Israel. “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth!” For unto you a Son is given. He is called Prince of Peace and Mighty God; Lord of armies.
 
We are not without hope in this great tribulation. Indeed, it has been cut short for our sake. We are not without salvation from the murdering and lying tongue of the evil one. The Lord of armies fights for us against him. The Lord wages war against the devil and his demons and fights for and protects His little ones of faith. But neither the warfare nor the result of it is like any known to man. For the battle is not found with the weapons of men but by the weapon of the Spirit, the Sword of Truth, which is the Word of God. And the result is not peace among nations or a better economy or a stronger stock market. The result is peace between God and man, sons and daughters born of the will of God, born by water and the word, holding fast to the good confession that the blood of the Lamb is our salvation and our righteousness. We conquer the devil and his demons by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony of Jesus. And by His word we hold fast and win the war.
 
War arose in heaven and Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels, and the dragon and his angels were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was cast down. This isn’t so much a summary of what happened long ago as much as it is a caption of what is happening now.
 
The war in heaven is as old as creation yet is as new as the new day. And day and night the accuser accuses, and day and night the angels of God wage war by the blood of the Lamb which is our righteousness against the accusations of the devil.
 
Our Lord once sent out seventy-two of His disciples to do battle with demons. He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of heaven, to heal the sick, to cast out demons, and raise the dead. He sent them to undo the works of the devil, just as they saw Him doing. He sent them to establish the kingdom of God; just as they saw Him doing. And in His name, they did. They came back full of excitement saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And the Lord answered them saying, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven.”
Wherever those seventy-two men proclaimed the kingdom of heaven, there Satan and his demons were cast out by Michael and his angels. Wherever they healed the sick and raised the dead, there Michael and his angels fought against the devil and his demons and threw them out of heaven. Wherever those seventy-two went and prayed and fought against the works of Satan by prayer and fasting in the promise of Jesus that nothing would hurt them and victory was guaranteed, not loving themselves even to death, there Satan fell like lightening from heaven. Jesus saw it. Wherever those seventy-two went in the name of Jesus, there heaven and all its hosts went with them and there Michael and his angels fought and overcame.
 
Heaven is not a place like Kansas is a place, or like Hoisington is a place. Heaven is a word for the dwelling place of God. Wherever Jesus is, there heaven is. Wherever heaven is there Michael and his angels fight against the ancient dragon and his demons and throw them out. Wherever the name of Jesus is preached according to the gospel of God, there Satan is thrown down by Michael and his angels. That means that wherever the saints of God are, gathered in the name of Jesus, there heaven is. Welcome to heaven on earth.
 
Do not be afraid, O little ones of Jesus; it not the will of your heavenly Father that any of you should perish. He sends His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways so that though temptation comes – and it must – you will walk and not stumble, you will run and not grow weary; you are carried by angels to the heavenly places to dwell in the presence of God where the devil and his accusations cannot harm you. Not later. Not when you die. Not in your imaginations. But now.
 
Here and now St. Michael and his angels are casting down Satan and his demons from the dwelling place of God, which is you, the temple of the Most High. Here Satan falls like lightening, our accuser being expelled from the heavenly places. Because that is where you are, in the heavenly places. Here – at pulpit, font, and altar – the Lord of glory sits at the right hand of Power and from here He rules the nations in righteousness and equity. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
 
Demons are cast out and the dead are raised. You think not because you’ve never seen them sit up out of their coffins? Those are not the dead. Those are they who have fallen asleep. No, the dead are those who are born in their trespasses and sin and to whom death has come as it has come to all men through one man’s sin. The dead are not those buried in tombs. The dead are those buried under sin and guilt. Not guilt of having let down humans and having done wrong by man, but the guilt of having defied the living God by their idolatry and rebellion; rebelling against His will and worshiping themselves rather than the Creator.
 
But here the dead are raised in the waters of life swirled by angels and mixed with the blood of the Lamb. Demons are cast out by the word of the Lord delivered by angels, messengers of heaven, into the ears of men. Here the sick are healed by the touch of Jesus who stretches out His hand and heals the nations in His risen flesh. Here the kingdom of heaven is established by the cross of Christ who reigns from on high with authority over life and death, heaven and hell, and all things seen and unseen.
 
You joined them in the hymn of praise, proclaiming peace on earth and good will toward men,  and you join them in singing “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of sabatoth”; with angels and archangels – with Michael and all his hosts – and with all the company of heaven.
Your angels behold the face of your Father in heaven, guarding you in all of your ways. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. May the Lord send His holy angel to watch over us that the evil foe may have no power over us. Amen.
 
In Nomine Iesu
X Amen X