Continuing our deep study into Revelation 12, I continue with lines 3 through 6:
Revelation 12:3-6 (ESV): And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
Wow, right? Again, we see something that looks like a parable, and we must reference the Word to fully understand the references, specifically to the “dragon” this time and the “male child”.
The “dragon” is certainly Satan, and is even directly identified as such later on in Verse 9 of this chapter. The fact that he was mentioned as having a red color is no coincidence - it shows his traits as a liar and murderer. We can reference John 8:44 (ESV): You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Catch this about Satan - he is the father of lies, and when he lies, he is being his true self. If he would tell the truth, then he would be out of character, for his character is to be a murdering liar.
Knowing this, as we continue to to analyze these verses, his “seven heads” and “seven crowns” unfortunately depict the totality and universality of his power and influence over all nations, which is what the seven heads and crowns represents (the 7 kingdoms at the time, and what they have become today).
This idolatry to false gods and Satan started long ago, and this verse of the dragon waiting on the child to try and consume him is a parable of the world that Jesus was born into, but even in His death, Satan and his influence over the world could not consume Him as God called Him up and still today He is our Risen King.
Here is an example of Egypt’s Idolatry:
Deuteronomy 29:16-17 (ESV): “You know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed. And you have seen their detestable things, their idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold, which were among them.
However, and quite literally, Satan was waiting to kill Jesus upon His birth, but did not succeed and the prophecy spoken by God was fulfilled in Matthew 2:13-15 - Satan’s influence of lies and hatred was so strong over the world and over Herod that he even went on to kill every male child under 2 years old just as a shot in the dark to try and find and kill Jesus at His birth!
Matthew 2:13-18 (ESV): Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
It’s pretty wild to consider Satan’s influence in this situation, and specifically over Herod the Great. Herod went about on these actions and commands based off of things he had heard - lies - which influenced him to want to kill Jesus at birth.
Herod was a power-hungry ruler who destroyed anyone he feared was trying to topple him from his throne. He even killed several members of his own family because he thought they were plotting against him! Seriously, research it!
When a group of scholars came to Jerusalem shortly after Jesus was born they asked one question: Where could they find the newly-born king of the Jews? They added, “We have seen His star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2, NKJV). When word of this reached King Herod, he sent for them and urged them to find the child, so he could worship him, too.
But Herod was lying. His real goal was to destroy the child, fearing that in time Jesus would take over his throne. God warned the wise men of Herod’s plot in a dream, and after Herod realized they had evaded him, he ordered the death of every child in Bethlehem below the age of two!
Satan is very intertwined with the world and other “beasts” as well. The verse continues on and mentions his “ten horns”, which shows his connection with the “Fourth Beast”, and the “Beast from the Sea” (which is covered in the following chapter of Revelation in 13:1-10, if you would like to reference it):
Daniel 7:7 (ESV): After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
Now, the part about the “stars in heaven” is easy to figure out, especially if you have ever read Genesis carefully. These “stars” that Satan knocked out of Heaven are the angels that chose to follow him instead of God in Satan’s original rebellion against God, and are now in a fallen state.
2 Peter 2:4 (ESV): For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
For further reference, open your Bible and check Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-16, and all of Jude 6.
Consider this as well - this is the only place in the New Testament that the word “dragon” is used. I highly doubt he is a literal “dragon”, but a figure of speech to represent Satan, just like “Seven heads … ten horns … seven crowns” depict Satan’s domination of 7 past worldly kingdoms and 10 future kingdoms.
Satan will rule the world until the seventh trumpet blows:
Revelation 11:15 (ESV): The Seventh Trumpet - Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
Speaking back on the seven heads and seven crowns, I believe these seven are heads of evil governments of the world in representation of the 7 kingdoms at the time and the 10 horns are future kingdoms. This world power come through earthly kingdoms, and comes from Satan himself due to his influence on the world. Consider that five emperors had come and gone by the end of the Apostle John’s time - one ruled during his time, and the seventh I think represents the Antichrist to come.
Continuing on to line 5, we see mention of “A man child”, which we now know is Jesus, and despite Satan’s efforts to destroy the messianic bloodline line, Jesus’ birth took place as predicted by the prophets.
Jesus was caught up unto God to sit on the right hand of God at the resurrection and is currently residing there. When He returns, Jesus will rule all nations as the King of kings and Lord of lords. This rule will be a shattering work of judgment to the world, as we can see the mention of “rod of iron” as a representation of His power over the world.
Psalm 2:9 (ESV): You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”
This “Rod”, is one that cannot be broken and speaks of the totality of Christ’s rule - He will immediately judge all sin and put down any rebellion.
“Her child was caught up unto God’ was also a literal reference to Christ’s ascension:
Acts 1:9 (ESV): And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
Line 6 continues on to speak of a woman fleeing into the wilderness. For starters, we know the “woman” is Israel, so the wilderness likely represents a safe place for the people or church in general, perhaps in the regions of Moab, Ammon and Edom, which are east of Palestine. I made this connection because, very interestingly, according to the prophecy in Daniel 11:41 of the end times, these regions will be specifically spared from the Antichrist’s wrath in the attacks against the Holy Land. Furthermore, and somewhat obviously, Israel isn’t limited to flee to just those regions - the “wilderness” could also represent just about anywhere outside of Palestine, including other countries such as the United States.
It continues on to mention “A thousand two hundred and threescore days”. This is a key time - in the middle of the Tribulation, the Antichrist, who, remember, to this point appears all good and has deceived many into thinking that he is actually Jesus or something like Him, breaks his covenant with Israel, puts a stop to temple worship, sets up the abomination of desolation as foretold in Daniel 9:27, and completely rocks Jerusalem as a whole for a period of time:
Revelation 11:2 (KJV): But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
This is the Great Tribulation period - which will last 42 months (3 and half years). During this time, many Jews will flee for their lives:
Matthew 24:16-24 (KJV): Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Towards the end of the Great Tribulation, Israel will take refuge among the Gentile nations, and God will frustrate Satan’s attempt to destroy Israel by hiding His people and “shortening the days”, just as Jesus stated in Matthew 24.
This brings me to my closing point for this article for now, and something to ponder in regards to the state of our world. Government as a whole, no matter which country you choose to analyze, and even part of the church world, is leaning more and more to elevating ourselves to the point of making us like god and moving away from Christian values that God laid out for us to follow. We are so focused on the vision of “being who we want to be” and making common, core sins regarded as "OK nowadays" that it seems that the last sin left we truly care about is murder, and government empowers this vision, sans-Jesus.
Secular humanism and the New Age Movement are two groups of thought that both seek to elevate mankind to Godhood status. These are very dangerous things to take action in.
Because this belief that we are above or equal to God, and don’t need Jesus, or church, or to follow the 10 Commandments, is exactly why Lucifer was tossed out of Heaven.