We continue our studies in Revelation. We are discussing which nations comprise the beast. Commentators vary somewhat as to who these ancient kings are.
Dake says they are:
6. The old Roman Empire
7. The 10 kingdoms that are yet to be formed inside the Roman Empire.
The heads on the dragon are seven world empires that precede the coming of the Antichrist. Chapter 17 gives us more insight to these seven Gentiles powers. John says, “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Revelation 17:10). The next verse (Revelation 17:11) says that there will be an eighth king.
We believe the five Gentile powers which had fallen are:
Now we know the red dragon represents Satan as a bloodthirsty murderer. The seven heads symbolize seven Gentile powers used by him to persecute Israel. The ten horns symbolize ten future leaders who will make up the seventh head.
These ten horns are ten kings and comprise the seventh head, which will form an alliance in the future with Israel and between each other. They will comprise the fourth kingdom seen in Daniel’s vision. Daniel 7:7 says, “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 brake 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.”
Daniel goes on to say in Daniel 7:19-20, “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.”
These ten rule for a short time with the Antichrist, in the Day of the Lord. Revelation 17:12 says, “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” There can be no doubt that the seven heads on the dragon are seven Gentile kingdoms which comprise the whole beast. This beast has and will continue to persecute Israel to the end.
“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…” (v. 4). “The tail” of the dragon is associated with his last acts in heaven. This, no doubt, happens at the same time he is cast out in verse 7. As he is evicted, he draws a third part of his angels with him. He has been unable to stop two witnesses and in his desperation casts a third of his host to the earth to fight against them. Remember, the events in these chapters begin at the three and one-half year point in the Tribulation.
Although the attempt to destroy Israel from Genesis 3:15 continues, Satan intensifies his efforts during these last three and one-half years. Notice what Jesus says about those awful days. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
Israel will receive her long awaited King of kings and experience the New Birth spoken of by Jesus in John 3. The labor pains are evident. Thus, Satan stands ready to destroy the new nation before it can come to birth.
Here it states that the “man child” (v. 5) was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. The promise to the Jewish assembly of Thyatira will be revisited here. Revelation 2:26-27, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.” There will be those who will rule the nations with Christ. They, too, will rule with a rod of iron.
Dake believes the Man Child consists of the sealed 144,000. This may be so. It is evident that a remnant of national Israel will come to birth and will be God’s Son. “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:” (Exodus 4:22). Israel must be born again and become a New Nation! (See John 3:5-8; Isaiah 66:6.) This was offered by Jesus to Israel at His first advent. That is what the earthly ministry of John, Jesus and the Twelve was all about. It had nothing to do with the founding of the church of this dispensation.
In Acts 2, Jesus was caught up to heaven and seated at the right hand of the Father. However, we also find the 144,000 caught up to heaven in chapter 14 of Revelation. In Revelation 7, they are sealed for protection. In chapter 14 they are seen on MountZion in heaven! One need not ask how they got there. They were caught up to God, and to His throne. This happened somewhere just prior to the Second Advent. In relation to the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, 2,000 years have elapsed between verses 5 and 6.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.