According to the bible, Heaven is defended by an army of good angels known as the Heavenly Host. For example, Christian mythology from the Book of Revelation states that the Heavenly Host will take part in the War in Heaven and defeat the army of Satan.

Does God Himself command the Heavenly Host in combat? Or does God delegate the responsibility to an angelic commander? Revelation 12 says:

12:7 Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

Which seems to suggest that Michael is in command for at least that conflict. Is that the typical situation? Why doesn't God command his side in the war?

2 Answers 2


To oversimplify it, God is too powerful. One twitch of a (metaphorical) muscle, and poof everything is gone. God created everything, the whole universe, including the dragon (devil/Satan) and demons. Furthermore, He sustains the existence of everything (Hebrews 1:3) , so He has the upper hand in this war, to put it mildly.

Throughout the Bible, it is clear that there are many, many situations where God does not directly do some work Himself, but rather delegates it to another being. For instance, the Christian church grew from ~120 to 3000+ to 2.2 billion through the efforts of human evangelism. Yes, of course God was heavily involved, but He still needed/wanted His followers to spread the Gospel (Romans 10:13-15).

Similarly, angels appear almost exclusively as messengers, worshipers, and/or warriors. The devil, also known as Satan or Lucifer, used to be the best and brightest (literally) of the angels. He and the demons especially attack Jews/Christians (1 Peter 5:3), and Michael and the angels fight back (Daniel 10:12-14).

A rather popular misconception among Christians is that God and Satan are equals. This is entirely wrong. Michael and Satan/Lucifer are equals, even brothers. Furthermore, one good way to look at God is as if He was an Author and that this whole universe and all the events that happen are part of one huge, grand Story. In that sense, this struggle between angels and demons is the classic Good vs. Evil battle. If God were to step in and wipe out all the forces of Evil with a single thought, that would be Deus Ex Machina of the highest order, and make for a pretty poor Story. Really, God has already won the War with the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ (and the demons never had a chance), but the battles continue for the souls of people, and will continue until God brings the Story to its conclusion (the first chapter anyway).

To directly answer your questions, God does command His side in the war, but as Commander-in-Chief and does not get directly, personally involved in the battles. Michael is essentially His second-in-command and the foremost angel of the Heavenly Host.

  • @Semaphore: I have updated my answer. Commented May 3, 2015 at 18:04
  • 1
    Extra kudos for citations.
    – Semaphore
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 19:26
  • @Semaphore: ...[whispers] Going to accept my answer? Looks like there aren't any others... Commented May 7, 2015 at 4:20
  • Oh, I thought we were encouraging waiting till public beta to accept answers. I'm happy to accept this early, though.
    – Semaphore
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 10:06

The Judeo/Christian system of heaven is very organised with different angels, class of angels, prophets, and today ministers, pastors, bishops, etc. They each have a role.

Jesus for example is placed in charge.

Seraphims guarding the gate of Eden.

Cherubs guarding the tablets.

Archangel Michael is in charge of the heavenly army.

Your question misses the point much in regard to actually placing God as God, rather than a personified character. For example, God created everything. What is everything? Everything must be part of God, for without God, you can't have anything created for all are part of "him". Science explains this also with dark matter and matter only taking up a very small portion of it all. Planck scale and supersymetry regarding connectivity of all things.

So, you look at Michael. Michael has El at the end of his name. El means God. We know this because God is called Eloh, translated in arabic as Allah. Michael then means that he is part of God or an aspect of God. So, God isn't really sending someone else, he is sending a personification of himself in the form of a very defined entity - Archangel Michael.

Here is some others... Gabriel, Rathael, Uriel.

Another interesting point is Israel - which as you probably guessed means his people or El's people or God's people.

Keep in mind that the bible has different canons and in different times the church will pull different canons to present to people based on the times. Currently the King James bible which is suited for a protestant world is presented.

Something was being presented here. God doesn't need to have a fight with anything as all things are "himself". Rather what I can see is that some things were being presented such as the fight of light and dark (sunset and sunrise from Egyptian mythology) and principles of chess (black and white players), and also the fight between Ahura Mazda (good mind) verses Angra Mainyu (bad mind).

It was the total misrepresentation of this last point that made man put a man or womans colour to signify good and bad rather than the virtue of each person. A very unfortunate thing for all of humanity, but I am glad we all a bit wiser today.

  • just a note regarding my answer and some background which might help... Lucifer the angel who used to be in charge of heaven became greedy, wanted it all, so he took some angels which made them bad angels. God got Michael to kick out Lucifer which made his name then Satan and Jesus was placed in charge of heaven.
    – Thoth
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 5:55
  • Keep in mind the times. There was no internet back then. When a story was presented it had to be preserved and the bible has become a great preserver of things that was happening for that period and before. Don't take it literally but also don't loose the value. A picture of you today in two hundred years time is still a very valid point, even though we might not be able to piece your actual existence.
    – Thoth
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 5:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.