The contest that John the Revelator calls the “war in heaven” concerns Satan’s attempts to usurp the power of God and to destroy the free agency of his children, and lays the foundation for Satan’s battle against God. One-third of the hosts of heaven exercised their agency to follow Satan in that great war. The Bible references Lucifer’s attempt to exalt himself and the great premortal war in which the dragon and his angels were cast out of heaven. (See Isaiah 14:12–15, Revelation 12:7–9) Our Heavenly Father proposed free agency in that premortal state and Lucifer opposed the plan of agency. The war in Heaven (Rev. 12:7) ensued over the conflict and resulted in Satan being cast out with the third part of the host of Heaven that chose to follow him (Isa. 14:12–20; Rev. 12:4-13). Satan and his minions were denied a mortal body and the opportunity for an earth-life experience.
The warfare continued in mortality in the conflict between Christ and Satan, good and evil, right and wrong, and between the true gospel of Jesus Christ and false principles, etc. The same contestants are doing battle with the same issues unsettled, and the same salvation still at stake. Although one-third of the spirits became devils, the remaining two-thirds were not all equally valiant, there being varying degrees of devotion to Christ and the Father among them. The nature of the conflict, however, is such that there could be no neutrals, then or now (Matt. 12:30).
Satan is miserable in his situation and schemes to make man miserable like himself. He tries to imitate the work of God by transforming himself nigh unto an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:12–15). He is also a worker of miracles, by which he deceives many upon the earth (Rev. 13:1–15). In fact, John the Revelator says he deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9). He will cite scripture to make his point seem plausible (Matt. 4:1–11). Protection against the influence of the devil is found by obedience to the commandments and laws of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The message of all the prophets and apostles is that truth, righteousness, and peace shall in the end prevail over error, sin, and war; the faithful shall triumph over all their afflictions and enemies and shall triumph over the devil. There shall be a complete and lasting victory of righteousness over wickedness on this earth, which will be done by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the end, the Lamb shall defeat the ferocious dragon and his beasts.
Both Jesus Christ and Satan continue to build up their kingdom on earth. Jesus Christ, who proposed free agency in the premortal battle, has inspired great men such as the men who designed the constitution of the United States of America, to establish governments where all people are on equal footing with liberty to pursue happiness and ownership of private property, live in peace, receive justice, and enjoy political, religious, civil, and personal freedoms. This is the unalienable divinely-given right of every man and woman born on this earth. Satan, on the other hand, aims to take away our freedoms, create chaos and injustice, and enslave us to sin, tyrannous governments, or as servants of cruel and evil people and organizations who would enslave us to their will.