Revelation Chapter 12, Part 12
Verse 9 “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who
deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
As Christianity spread in the Roman Empire, the powers of light and darkness came into collision (Rev 12:
7, 8): "Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was
cast out; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
The "great serpent of fire" was cast out, when, by the decree of Gratian, Paganism throughout the
Roman empire was abolished--when the fires of Vesta were extinguished, and the revenues of the Vestal
virgins were confiscated--when the Roman Emperor (who though for more than a century and a half a
professor of Christianity, had been "Pontifex Maximus," the very head of the idolatry of Rome, and as
such, on high occasions, appearing invested with all the idolatrous insignia of Paganism), through force of
conscience abolished his own office. While Nimrod was personally and literally slain by the sword, it was
through the sword of the Spirit that Shem overcame the system of fire-worship, and so bowed the hearts
of men, as to cause it for a time to be utterly extinguished. In like manner did the Dragon of fire, in
the Roman Empire, receive a deadly wound from a sword, and that the sword of the Spirit,
which is the Word of God. There is thus far an exact analogy between the type and the antitype.
(“The Two Babylon’s”, Page 144)
“As was pointed out earlier the dragon as a symbol represents civil power both in this chapter and all
other places the symbol appears in Revelation (13:2, 4, 11; 16:13; 20:2). This dragon IS NOT the
personal devil although the devil does use civil power for his purposes. When Peter urged our Lord not to
go to Jerusalem to be crucified, Jesus said, “Get thee behind me Satan” (Matt 16:23). Our Lord
recognized that at that moment Satan was using Peter in an attempt to control him. (“Revelation 12 A
Gospel Age Overview”, Page 38)
This is not something unusual or unique only to the forth universal empire, (the only thing unique is that
in this instance Satan himself, “The Prince of the powers of the air” (Eph 2:2) has taken a personal
interest in this last in order to erect his master work the Antichrist). The three previous empires to this
one were likewise in a measure controlled and directed by unseen invisible powers as was alluded to in
Daniel’s conversation with the angel of the Lord in Daniel Chapter 10.
“For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the
powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in
the heavenly [places].” Eph 6:12
In Daniel’s conversation with the angle of the Lord (most likely Gabriel, as mention in the previous
chapter) the angel spoke of how he had been prevented from reaching Daniel because the prince of the
kingdom of Persia along with some of his cohorts “the kings of Persia”, (“world-rulers of this
darkness”) Verse 13 had withstood him twenty-one days, this prince was obviously no human prince
for no earthly prince would have been able to prevent the Lord’s messenger from getting through, this
was obviously one of the more powerful of the fallen angels who was controlling affairs from behind the
scene along with his cohorts.
That this was a very powerful being, more powerful than Gabriel was evidenced by the fact that the angel
of the Lord required the assistance of Michael (the true Michael, our Lord in his pre-human existence)
one of the chief princes (thus indicative of the fact that there are several if not more of these “chief
princes”, consisting of various orders of being, i.e. authority and power, our Lord being THE "Chief "or
supreme prince, some of whom although, like the prince of Persia are fallen angels).
After having explained Daniel’s latest vision to him the angel of the Lord stated, “I must return to my
fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will
come.” (Dan 10:20)
In other words this verse implies that each of the four universal empires has had unseen rulers
controlling and overseeing the affairs of each. The Medo-Persian Empire was coming to a close and soon
the Grecian Empire would arise and with it a new prince of darkness taking the helm. In the end Satan
himself would take the helm of the last and most vicious and fierce of these empires, the Roman
Empire, and like those before him he would employ numerous unseen agencies, principalities and
powers, rulers of darkness to aid him in accomplishing his goals.
“Satan’s invisible kingdom has acted largely through the visible city and government of Rome,
and by the same law of correspondence the Roman Empire, the beast with seven heads and ten
horns, is called “the Devil and Satan”. (R 56)
“Verse 9 is unusual in that four appellations are more or less synonymously used to characterize
the Evil One:
1. The term “dragon” best illustrates the uninhibited, vicious, and violent disposition of the fallen Lucifer
when given free rein and license. In Dan 7:7 the dragon disposition is likened unto a beast that is
“dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and
broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.” Civil Rome reflected Satan’s
disposition—it was characterized as cold, ruthless, and merciless to its foes.
2. “That old serpent” is an allusion to the Genesis account of the Garden of Eden where Satan, through
the medium of the serpent, beguiled unsuspecting Eve. The serpent, therefore, symbolizes Satan’s wily
craftiness, his subtlety (Gen 3:1; 2 Cor 11:3).
3. “The Devil” comes from the Greek diabolos, signifying one who misrepresents, hence a slanderer, an
accuser (of the brethren—Rev 12:10).
4. “Satan,” as a title, means one who is an open and unabashed opposing spirit; that is, an adversary, an
opponent, a resister (see Zech 3:1).
Verse 9, therefore, indicates Satan’s versatility and the ease with which he can transform himself into an
angel of light when that role suits his purpose (2 Cor 11:13–15). This ability best explains and
illustrates the transition of Pagan Rome into Papal Rome.”
“The conflict between papal and pagan power resulted in the overthrow of the latter, the civil power or
authority of Rome (the dragon) was now cast out of the heavens that is to say it no longer exercised any
religious authority. The emperor gave the Pope the title “PONTIFEX MAXIMUS” (Chief Religious Ruler) --
a title previously held only by the emperors themselves. Now civil power was cast to the “earth” (a
secular rule only).”
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