Revelation Chapter 12, Part 6

Verse 3And another sign appeared in heaven: behold a great fiery red dragon having seven
heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads
.”

In the Bible a (wild) beast (Hebrew cheva Strong’s # 2423; Greek therion Strong’s # 2342) is at
various times used as
a symbol of government. “In Daniel’s prophecy the great universal empires of
the earth are thus symbolized. Babylon was the Lion, Medo-Persia the Bear, Greece the Leopard, and
Rome the Dragon (Dan 7:1–8).

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, 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: and it was diverse from all the beasts that
were before it; and it
had ten horns
.” (Dan 7:7)

The Roman Empire still persists. Christendom is a part of that great Roman Empire which began
in the days of Caesar and
which, according to the Scriptures, still is in the world. “Practically all
Bible exegetes agree that the Dragon of the Revelation represents the purely civil power,
wherever it
may be found
[emphasis added].” But it is to be observed that both the dragon and the beast of
Revelation are pictured as having seven heads and ten horns (
Rev 12:3; 17:3). Yet the dragon and the
beast are two separate and distinct symbolisms,
having a similar body form. It is this latter feature
of similarity of configuration that serves as a mark of identification, denoting that both animals,
though diverse in other respects, basically represent
Rome.” (T.K.O.R. Pages 295,296, See D
Forward
)

In His Word, God has been pleased to recognize the Papacy likewise as a system, as a
government
(a “beast”). Papacy claims that the Kingdom of God, Messiah’s Kingdom, was established in
799 A.D.; that it lasted a thousand years, just as the Bible declares Christ’s Kingdom will last; and that it
expired in 1799 A.D. They claim also that since 1799 this Kingdom of Christ (that is, the Papal system,
represented in the Revelation as the Beast) has been suffering violence; and that during this time the
Devil has been loosed, in fulfillment of
Rev 20:7.” (Likewise see the D Forward)

And another sign appeared in heaven (another sign, another “evidence or proof ” that a
dispensational change was occurring)
: behold a great fiery red dragon

In Daniel’s account (Dan 7:7 See above) it is stated that the fourth beast had ten horns, but no
mention was made of it having any more than one head, nor was any mention made of its being “
red.
The color red and the
additional “heads” and “crowns indicate that a change of some magnitude had
taken place in the dragon.
Some type of remodeling or reorganization of this fourth beast had taken
place as symbolized here
in pictorial language. John sees it as another “wonder” another “signin
heaven
(the controlling elements of society), something new on the scene, something which had
not been there before
. History provides the answers the knowledge which allows us to understand these
symbols, to understand what has taken place. John was familiar with the Roman Empire during his life,
(the fourth beast) but what he sees
now pictured in this great fiery red dragon is something new to him,
a “
wonder. (The Revelation Decoded and Explained”, Page 164)

If John was already familiar with the fourth beast, the Roman Empire why do you imagine that
he should now consider it a
“wonder” to behold?

Although we believe John may not have been fully aware of what the additional “heads and crowns
upon the dragon typified we are ascertain that he well knew what the dragon itself typified, the fourth
beast or universal empire,
Pagan Rome, so this vision in itself would not amaze him, thus we must
assume that there was something else about this picture which astonished him. The answer lies in what
Brother Bob pointed out above (highlighted).
It’s not the Fiery Red Dragon with its additional heads
and crowns that he wonders at, it’s where this Fiery Red Dragon is located,
in heaven, this is
what astonishes him
.

In what sense of the word could the dragon, Imperial Rome, basically a civil power, (a political
entity
) have ever been IN “heaven”, the ecclesiastical realm, prior to its being cast to earth in
Verse 9?  

Remember the “Great City”, “Babylon the Greatis composed of three controlling elements, 1)
political,
2) financial, and 3) ecclesiastical each with its own distinctive sphere of power and influence
over the people. But now here we have two elements vying for the same position, the political or civil
governing element, and the religious or ecclesiastical element both struggling for ecclesiastical
supremacy over the people.

The Roman Empire had not only conquered the world and given it politics and laws, but,
recognizing religious superstitions to be the strongest chains by which to hold and control a
people, it had adopted a scheme which had its origin in Babylon, in the time of her greatness as
ruler of the world.
That plan was that the emperor should be esteemed the director and ruler in
religious as well as in civil affairs
. In support of this, it was claimed that the emperor was a demigod, in
some sense descended from their heathen deities. As such he was worshiped and his statues adored; and
as such he was styled
Pontifex Maximus--i.e., Chief Priest or Greatest Religious Ruler.” (B 288)

Since Pagan Rome existed a considerable length of time before the woman or the Church
appeared on the pages of secular history, why, here in
Verse 3, is the dragon introduced upon
the scene
after the portrayal of the woman in heaven?

The answer: Because the time frame of the vision is later, when the dragon (or more particularly its
already comfortably ensconced Balaam priesthood) began to take note that the woman (more particularly
her yet unborn child) posed a potential threat to the security and the perpetuation of its religious role in
the empire.
The woman clothed with the true gospel “Sun” (that is, Jesus as the Messiah) was
now seen to place in jeopardy the pagan priesthood’s
false sun worship.

Thus the dragon and the woman appear in the same nominal religious arena (the ecclesiastical
heaven”). Both are symbols. The confrontation is not in earth’s atmosphere, not in tartaroo; nor is it in
God’s heaven. It is in the ecclesiastical heaven. Two systems, two composite bodies, two seeds, are at
odds with each other. Clearly, an allusion is being made to a much broader, a much deeper long-term
significance than the limited activity in this twelfth chapter of Revelation. The allusion is to the enmity
between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (
Gen 3:15). The portent of verses 1 to 3
can now be better understood as beginning to converge upon the events of the “
ten days” (Rev 2:10)
of the Diocletian persecution from A.D. 303 to 313, wherein the woman suffered the late labor pangs
of ambitious leadership within, and persecutions without, at the hands of the dragon or the “
devil.”
(
T.K.O.R. Page 297)

“Pagan Rome fought the development of Christianity (false as well as true), but pagan Rome was on its
way out of power, soon to disintegrate, making way, as Paul points out, for the “
mystery of Iniquity”,
the Tare Class which would soon dominate Christianity and make Babylon such an anti-Christian
institution.”

“The Apostle Paul foretold that this iniquitous principle (
the “mystery of iniquity) would work secretly
for a time, while some opposing thing stood in the way, until, the hindrance being removed, it could have
a free course, and progress rapidly to the development of the
ANTICHRIST He states, "Only he that
now hinders will hinder, until he be taken out of the way
." (2 Thess 2:7) What does history have to
show in fulfillment of this prediction? It shows that the thing which hindered a rapid development of
Antichrist was the fact that the place
or seat aspired to was already filled by another, the Emperor of
Rome
.

The emperor was designated Pontifex Maximus, the Chief Priest or Greatest Religious Ruler at the
time, and so the Papacy (
the “Beast” of Rev 13:1 the “little horn” of Dan 7:8) would have to wait
until he (and what he represented) was “
taken out of the way”, until the dragon should give him “his
power, his throne, and great authority
” (Rev 13:2). It should likewise be noted that ever since the
Antichrist received this seat of power and authority this title of
Pontifex Maximus has been claimed by
and given to all the pontiffs or popes of the Roman hierarchy ever since
.” (B 288)

In our next post we will continue our examination of
Verse 3 taking a closer look at this “great fiery red
dragon
having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.”


                                            PREVIOUS PAGE  INDEX  NEXT PAGE