The analogy here is that the remnant has realized that Jesus Christ is their rejected Messiah, and that He is about to return to earth. They are now in extreme straits, and they are praying, “Thy kingdom come…deliver us from evil…”
Isaiah says, “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory” (Isaiah 66:7-11).
(End of the previous study
Satan and His Wrath Against Israel
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And there was war in heaven: 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, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:3-17).
The other “wonder” or “sign” seen in heaven is that of a great red dragon (vs.3-4). Just as God will use Israel and their kingdom to fulfill all His will in the earth, so the Devil uses the kingdoms of this world and that of the beast, in particular, to carry out his plans. The seven heads comprise seven Gentile kingdoms to carry out his will against God and His Christ by persecuting Israel. This ought to explain all the suffering Israel has endured and is yet to endure.
The Devil has many names or titles in Scripture. Each one is symbolic and depicts some aspect of his wiles and nature. He is called, “that old serpent,” to illustrate his subtlety and deceit. He is called “Satan,” because he is an adversary to God’s people. He is called a “red dragon” to show his ferocity and bloodshed. He is called an “angel of light” to illustrate his deception. He is presented as a “roaring lion” to picture his power and might. He is the “prince of the power of the air” to show his domain and the nature of his kingdom. Satan is none of the above in his form, yet he is all of them in his nature. These “signs” are not to be taken as though they themselves literally exist; rather they symbolize that which is literal.
All these names are given to him to reveal his various attributes. Just as the woman was symbolic of Israel, who was blessed and protected by God and will bring forth a Son who will defeat Satan, so the serpent is symbolic of the power and hatred behind the Gentile powers that seek the destruction of Israel.
The dress and attire of the woman are symbolic of different aspects of her character, purpose, and government. The description of the dragon is also symbolic.
The “wonder” or “miracle” of the Gentile powers can be seen. Satan is the power energizing them to persecute the woman down through the centuries. Satan himself does not have seven heads, he is the Anointed Cherub! His heads, or ambassadors, are the seven kings, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (Revelation 13:1). “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:3). “And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:7). “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth” (Revelation 17:9).
You will notice in each of the above passages the beast is comprised of seven heads or kings. These seven kings rule consecutively and constitute the one great beast consisting of seven kings.
Commentators vary somewhat as to who these ancient kings are. Tim Lahaye says the seven heads consist of five kings prior to the vision given to John. The sixth, which existed in John’s day, was Domitian. The Antichrist will be the seventh. He lists four by name: Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greece and Rome. James Knox thinks the seven heads are seven-series of Roman governments of the past. Dr. Peter S. Ruckman says they are:
- Nimrod, the king of Babylon.
- Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.
- Sennacherib, the king of Assyria.
- Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon
- Darius, the king of Persia.
- Unnamed “X,” the mystery man–the sixth head is a mystery and unnamed.
- The seventh head, of course, is the kingdom which conquers Alexander the Great and takes over the world. Preparatory to the first advent of the Lord Jesus Christ: Rome!
George Williams says they are:
We shall see in the next study.
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.