Revelation 12:1-17 Part 6

REVELATION 12:1-17 Part 6



1)    Then a great sign in the heaven was made visible: a woman sun-clothed, the moon underneath her feet, a crown of twelve stars on her head,

2)    having in her belly, crying out travailing and pained to bring forth.

3)    Then another sign in the heaven was made visible: and lo, a great fiery dragon having seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems,

4)    and its tail draws the third of the stars of the heaven and cast them into the earth.  And the dragon stands before the woman who is about to bring forth, that when she brings forth it might devour the child.

5)    And she did bring forth a son, a male who intends to rule all the nations by means of a rod of iron; and her child was hastened away to God and to His throne.

6)    But the woman did flee into the wilderness where she has a place having been prepared there of God, that there they may feed her a thousand two hundred and sixty days.

7)    And fighting was in the heaven, Michael with His messengers to fight the dragon; and the dragon (and its messengers) fought,

8)    but it did not prevail, a place no longer found for them in the heaven;

9)    and the great dragon, that old serpent (the whole world’s deceiver) called diabolos and ‘o Satanas, was cast into the earth and its messengers cast with it.

10) And I heard a great sound in the heaven declaring ‘now the salvation and the might and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ did come to be, for the accuser of our brothers that accuses them before our God day and night was cast;

11) for they did overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their life even unto death.

12) Because of this rejoice, heavens and you who dwell in them; woe the land and the sea for the devil did go down to you having great wrath, knowing that it has little time.’

13) And when the dragon beheld that it had been cast into the earth it did pursue the woman whoso brought forth the male;

14) and the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman so that she could fly into the wilderness into her place away from the presence of the serpent where she is fed there a time, times and a half time.

15) And the serpent did cast water from its mouth as flood after the woman that it might bring about her carrying away,

16) and the earth did run to the aid of the woman; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast from its mouth.

17) And the dragon was enraged regarding the woman and did go forth to make war with the rest of her seed, that is those keeping the commandments of God and holding the testimony of Jesus.


The sign of this creature is to be sent to the Churches.  The sign is our Lord’s perspective, just as the sign of the woman is His perspective; and it is a perspective of “the whole” as it bears upon the last days.  And it’s in His language which is all through the former written Word.  And it’s all for the comfort and assurance and hope of all His newborns in the Churches in the nations.

And the sign is the last days confirmation of all former prophecy with regard to this creature; and it confirms what has been written about the authority of God the Son; and it confirms what has been said (in Isaiah and Micah) regarding the newborn “Daughter of Zion”. 

It is for their repose and confidence in their Lord’s complete authority over all that is happening around them.  They were to see the sign (as John wrote it) and be courageous and resolute under the extreme conditions that were then present and, moreover, the even more extreme conditions that were to take place quickly; for they were to know, from this sign, that nothing happened by “accident”.  And they were to hear, and be reminded, of the “theology” taught them by the apostles.  And they were to hear the language written by John, and know that this was Yahveh’s language all through the prophets and, therefore be secure in the fact that all these events were not at all superfluous or unintentional or arbitrary.  But rather it was all under the authority of their Lord Jesus Christ.

It is a sign of Yahveh; it is the sign of the dragon.  The sign of the dragon with seven heads and ten horns and ten diadems (crowns).

The sign reveals this creature to be the instigator and power behind the imperial thrones of the ancient world that persecuted the Lord’s covenant people.  The sign, as expected, is in the same language as before… six hundred and fifty (or so) years before, as a matter of fact!

Listen carefully as I read from Daniel chapter seven for you once again:


I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of heaven brake forth upon the great sea.

3)    And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

4)    The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon two feet as a man; and a man's heart was given to it.

5)    And, behold, another beast, a second, like to a bear; and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

6)    After this I beheld, and, lo, another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a bird; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

7)    After this I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, a fourth beast, terrible and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse (different) from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.


In Yahveh’s sign to John in the heaven, the dragon has seven heads and ten horns.  In Daniel’s vision, the four beasts arising from the sea of humanity had a total of seven heads and ten horns.  And Daniel saw that they had “dominion”; so there were the obvious indications of dominion: they had diadems, or crowns.

These beasts arising from the sea (called out, by the way, by the four cherubim at the four corners of the ark of the covenant), (the beasts) are the world-wide dominions of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome.  The last one – the last “beast”, the one with the ten horns - is the one we’ll see in some detail through the remainder of John’s Revelation.  After all, it was the empire in dominion at the writing of this letter.  It was the fourth beast in the image of the “great” beast.

The existence of these four world-wide, culture changing, language changing, tyrant empires are attempts by this “dragon” to establish an illicit and illegal world empire to challenge the covenantal Kingdom of Jesus Christ (a Kingdom which is prophesied all through Scripture).  As the creature provoked each of the four “challenges”, the persecution and ultimate destruction of the covenant nation was the focus and goal of its desire; for if it were able to destroy Israel, it would cut off the covenant promise!  At least that’s what it thought!

The fiery dragon with the seven heads (the sign of Yahveh to the Churches) is here perfectly identified with the four beasts of Daniel’s vision.  That’s the point of the sign!  In fact, it IS the beast of which these four empires were partial images!  They are, all four of them, in the likeness of the dragon-beast of Revelation twelve.  As John describes the sign, we see the language of God in the Revelation to Daniel.  It’s the same language, isn’t it? 

The four beasts of Daniel are described by him very much like John describes the “great” beast here in the Revelation.  So the four beasts in Daniel’s vision are seen to be “in the image” of the great beast of John’s vision.

So the dragon is seen in Yahveh’s perception as the “great” beast (the one behind the four beasts of dominion – with the seven heads and ten horns).  The four beasts of Daniel “look like” the dragon!  The dragon is not only “behind” the four beasts in Daniel, but it gives the four beasts of history their “identity”!   They actually appear to Daniel as interchangeable counterparts to the “great” dragon.  And in fact they are indistinguishable in God’s view.  Even as Daniel describes the “uniqueness” of each of the four beasts in his vision, there is a striking correspondence with the great beast revealed here in Revelation twelve.

So, in Yahveh’s view those who “take after” the dragon; those who assume its ends and goals; those who “take up” its cause; those who submit to its incitements against the covenantal decree actually take on its appearance and character in His perception!  The great dragon gives them their appearance and character… they really and actually become its “image”!

 The “great beast” here in the Revelation is the one that incites aliens and nations against the seed of the Covenant people.  And, here in the sign, it has the diadems of the four beasts on its own heads!  However, the authority that it has assumed for itself (indicated by the crowns), is an illegitimate authority (as it mocks the King of Kings); and it provides that same mocking image to others who assume the same illegitimate authority.  It has provided that “image of dominion” to the four empires of Daniel’s vision.

And it’s the same image that it provides individuals and groups who take on the illegitimate image of authority.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be world dominion (although that’s the ultimate goal); but there is a similarity, or correspondence, between this creature and any other who assumes authority for himself.  Anyone who denies the authority of the risen and ascended Christ takes on the likeness and identity of this creature!

When, for example, humanity’s original mother and father were deceived by this beast, they took on its identity as fallen and cursed creatures in rebellion against God’s Word.  And they became deceptive creatures in their own right… covering themselves and hiding from God.  And when confronted with their disobedience, they even tried to deceive Him in their answers to His inquisition!  So they took on the image of the beast rather than being the image of Triune God as they were created.

But this beast is the ages-long murderer and liar, and the persecutor of the promised covenant seed, the persecutor of the daughter of Zion, and the persecutor of the seed of the daughter of Zion!  And it is presented here in the sign of Yahveh as the provocation and instigation behind each of the four ancient empires, as those empires were incited to world dominion and the destruction of the covenant seed.  And the fourth of the four beasts is a matter of immediate attention in the remainder of the Revelation.

Now, I want to change directions here, just for a couple of minutes.  Because of what we know to be the case (from the text of Scripture), we can judge present conditions righteously.  In fact, we are judges in the Judge of all the earth.  We sit with Him, In Him, in judgment.  And as long as we judge with HIS authority, then we judge righteously; and we have His authority.

Although we don’t prophesy, we are to be judges of present conditions based on that which God has previously spoken.  We are to bring God’s Word to bear on all present conditions.

And the fact is, that this beast (the sign of which is the fiery dragon) has not yet been consigned to the lake of fire beneath the judgment seat.  Although it has been bound in darkness; and its “binding” has left it incapable of preventing the ransacking of its house, its final judgment has not yet occurred.

Therefore it is still active, trying its best to prolong the time of its ultimate end… still trying its best to raise up world dominions to challenge the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, still trying to provoke even one newborn to turn on his Savior.

It now knows that a hundred and forty four thousand Jews were the daughter of Zion – the Firstborn of the Christ – sent in to the strong man’s house to rob it of its goods.  So it is still deceived into inciting the elimination of Jewish people.  Even though it instigated the complete destruction of Israel, Jerusalem and the temple by means of the fourth beast (the one with the ten horns), it still thinks it necessary that ethnic Jews must be eliminated.

The Roman empire and its “caesars” tried for over two hundred years to eliminate Jewish Christians after our Lord’s Parousia.  But they and their Gentile seed of Abraham flourished under that great persecution.  And the fourth beast of Daniel’s prophecy was defeated.

Then the creature incited another horrible beast, and gave it its image.  It was another false religion (not at all dissimilar to judaism’s false religion – one in the beast’s own likeness – that very nearly gained world dominion.  It was deceptive and ferocious, seeking the bloody deaths of every Christian and every Jew that would not bow the knee to its “allah”, a false sun god of Arabian mythology.

This beast is still out there in the image of the dragon – trying to cut off the covenant seed, or trying to “turn” just one newborn of the Christ.  And it’s now deceptively promoting equality and social justice and peaceful coexistent in order to insinuate itself into societies everywhere.  Having been defeated militarily in the middle ages, the beast couldn’t stop the seed of the daughter of Zion from thriving all over the world.  And now that same beast is raising its ugly head once again… threatening every Christian with death should they not “turn” from the Savior; and threatening every Jew with another holocaust.

Sino-soviet communism unleashed horrible persecutions of Christians and Jews.  It was an attempt to have dominion over all the world, and an attempt to cut off the covenant seed – all incited by the beast of Revelation twelve… the sign of which is the fiery dragon.

National socialism in Germany did the same; and at the same time the “land of the rising sun” deceptively imitated the Christ rising as the Light of the World.

  Both desired world dominion.  National socialism especially was the image of the beast, for it sought to stamp out ethnic Jews and all Christians who refused to bow to the “kaisar” (the more modern “caesar”).

And all the time the Church thrived in the midst of intense provocation; for the King of Kings will not have a competing world dominion.

And now we have another rising up by incitement from the beast.  It is “global socialism” operating under the deception of fairness and social justice.  And there’s no doubt in my mind that the Church and ethnic Israel will come under intense persecution once again.  That’s the beast’s pattern; for it has no other choice.  Its time is limited.  It must compete for the kingdom of this world in order to establish an illegal dominion.  It must cut off the covenant seed.  It must turn at least one covenant newborn against the Christ.

But it is under authority of the Christ; and our Lord’s newborns are being manifest in it all.  For those who belong to Him will keep His commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.  And once again we will thrive in all the nations and isles of the earth.

For the sake of time, I’ve left out much in the two thousand years since the resurrection and parousia of the King of Kings, such as the rise of “alien” pretenders in the Roman Church who envisioned world dominion for themselves; and the Spanish quest to conquer the known world (and the French under Napoleon); and the philosophical prominence of the French revolution – providing enlightenment to the world through thinkers such as Rousseau and Locke and Bastiat (the last two through “natural law theory”); and Darwin in England.

It seems that the beast never gives up its quest; but the Church continues to thrive amidst it all… for it lives in its Savior Who uses the beast and all of the earth’s aliens and illegals for His Own purpose; for His rebirthed and baptized newborns are made manifest in it all.  For they keep the Commandments of God and hold testimony of Jesus.

No matter how severe the provocation, the Lord’s Kingdom will expand in the nations.  And here’s the last point in this interim… very important: however the Church may look from the outside and from the inside, it belongs to Jesus Christ.

There may be false teachers; there may be false prophets; there may be false witnesses; there may be hypocrites; there may be unqualified pastors and elders and deacons; there may be fornicators; there may be railers against dignities; there may be sluggards who won’t work; and there may be those who fold under ridicule, persecution and suffering.

But according to God’s Word those are there under the authority of the Christ, and they are there for a purpose – our Lord’s purpose!  And that purpose (one of them) is to manifest – to show clearly – who the newborns are. 

And sometimes newborns have to make difficult decisions about the particular assembly with which they worship on the Lord’s Day.

But make sure you aren’t the hypocrite resembling the beast!  Confession and repentance; keeping the Commandments of God; holding the testimony of Jesus.

Now let’s continue to build our understanding of verses three and four:


“Then another sign in the heaven was made visible: and lo, a great fiery dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads seven diadems; and its tail draws the third of the stars of the heaven and cast them into the earth….”


As we see once again, the language of God is simply “spectacular” when it’s seen in covenantal continuity.  Why is a “dragon” shown to John (here in the heaven) as a “sign” to the Churches?  This is a sign of Yahveh; and the sign is a dragon!

The language in the early text of Scripture, having to do with the creation of the cosmos and the exodus from Egypt, provides us with the answers.

There are three different words used for dragons in the Hebrew text; and they all refer to the serpent which is the hostile, deceitful enemy of God’s covenant people (as seen in Eden).  The “serpent” is identified by three different “dragon-words”.  That’s why we see the sign of the dragon here in our text.

In order to demonstrate His dominion over the creature and its incitement of pharaoh in Egypt, Yahveh turned Moses’ rod into a serpent; and then turned Aaron’s rod into a “tannin” – dragon (Exodus chapter seven); so it was “shown” (to all in Egypt and Israel) that the creature that had provoked pharaoh against God’s covenant people was under the authority of Yahveh.

So, in God’s view, the entire depraved pagan culture was satanically incited against His covenant people and His revealed promise of the coming Savior of the world.  And the dragon/serpent language, there at the exodus, and all through Scripture, was how Yahveh revealed that creature.

It is also clear in Scripture (especially in references to Egypt by the word “rahab” – dragon-monster), that Yahveh always is faithful to “deliver” – rescue, save – His people from the satanically-incited pagan nation.

Listen to it from Isaiah chapter fifty-one as the “Strong Right Arm” of Yahveh is prophesied; for it is the coming of God the Son – Messiah-Savior of the world.  And HE – the Son of God – is the One Who delivered Israel from the clutches of the dragon in Egypt.  Here it is:


1)    Hearken to me, you that follow after righteousness, you that seek Yahveh: look unto the rock from whence you were hewn, and to the hold of the pit from whence you were digged.

2)    Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you; for when he was but one I called him (Abraham), and I blessed him, and made him many.

3)    For Yahveh has comforted Zion; he has comforted all her waste places, and has made her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of Yahveh; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

4)    Attend unto me, O my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall go forth from me, and I will establish my justice for a light of the nations.

5)    My righteousness is near, my salvation is gone forth, and my arm shall judge the nations; the isles shall wait for me, and on my (strong right) arm shall they trust.

6)    Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the land shall wax old like a garment; and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

7)    Hearken unto me, you that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of men, neither be  dismayed at their revilings.

8)    For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool; but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation unto all generations.

9)    Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of Yahveh; awake, as in the days of old, the generations of ancient times. Is it not you (strong right arm of Yahveh) that did cut Rahab in pieces, that did pierce the dragon-monster?

10) Is it not you that dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, that made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over?

11) And the ransomed of Yahveh shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


You see, it is the Lord Jesus Christ (the strong arm of Yahveh) who brings His people into the new garden of Eden – the new Zion… just as He did when He freed Israel from Egypt and made a way for them in the sea, and dealt with the “dragon-monster” – rahab.

The dragon was the satan, the creature (under the authority of the Word of God) the creature that was inciting the nations against the progress of the covenant promise!

The third Hebrew word for this creature is found in a number of places of the older text.  The Psalmist reveals the exact same things, in Psalm seventy-four, as we heard in the Isaiah passage, except for the Hebrew word that’s used for it.  And Yahveh’s “strength” here is His Word – the Son of God: Listen to it:


13) You did divide the sea by Your strength: You broke the heads of the sea-dragon in the waters.

14) You broke the heads of leviathan in pieces; You gave it to be food to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

15) You did cleave fountain and flood: You dried up mighty waters.

16) The day is yours, the night also is yours: You have prepared the light and the sun.

17) You did set all the borders of the earth: You made summer and winter.


The exodus was a deliverance from leviathan, you see – the dragon.  The One – the Strength of Yahveh – Who dealt with the dragon with authority, is the same One Who has authority over the waters and the day and the night and the land and the sea and summer and winter.

And notice please that the Psalmist – inspired of Holy Spirit – uses the plural when revealing the work of Yahveh’s Strength.  He broke the “heads” (plural) of leviathan.  And as Daniel describes the beasts in his prophecy, there were seven heads.  And as John describes the appearance of the sign of the dragon, it has seven heads.

So the sign of the dragon is to remind all of God’s chosen people scattered among the nations that this is the same beast that Yahveh revealed at the creation; it is the same beast that He revealed at the exodus; and it is the same beast behind the four beast-nations of Daniel’s prophecy.

And John specifically names this beast in verse nine, doesn’t he?  He is the dragon, the serpent of old, the whole world’s deceiver; it is diabolos – devil; it is ‘o satanas – the satan.

It has been cursed by Yahveh, but it should not be cursed by you and me.  Since it has been cursed by our Lord, it would be presumptuous for you or me to curse it; that would be taking on an authority that you and I don’t have.  It is a “dignity” of the world order that our God has condemned already.  So there is no need whatever for further condemnation.  And, further, the act of assuming the authority of God to curse and condemn His dignities is an arrogance unbefitting of a newborn in Christ.

Calling it by proper name; and speaking to it; and commanding it; and even cursing it (as if it somehow was under our authority) is precocious and haughty; it is being insubordinate to God’s authority and purpose for the creature. 

And, besides, speaking to it presumes that it has an omnipresence and ubiquity that it doesn’t possess!  Speaking to it assumes that it has the nature of Father, Son and Spirit, when it is a creature!  Speaking to it, then, is an act of idolatry (in addition to being presumptuous).

Therefore there also is no need to “dignify” it, either!  Calling it by a proper name is giving it a dignity that it has not been given by God.  God calls it a “beast”, the sign of which is a dragon!  It is a “devil”; it has no proper name.  “Satan” is written in the text of Scripture with the article in front; it is “the” satan.  It is “the” serpent.  It is “the” dragon.  It is “the” great beast (in contradistinction to the four beasts it raised up from the sea).

Following the Biblical data revealing a third, and a third, and a third (which we’ve seen in previous chapters) this devil led a third of the “lights” of the glory cloud (messengers of God) in a rebellion against their Creator (verse four), manifesting two thirds as obedient!  Remember that these are all under the authority of God and all doing His will – ultimately for His Own glory.  Also remember that there is no shed blood for them; there is no Savior for them; the Savior is the Savior of the world.  These devils are predestined to the lake of fire for the glory of Father, Son and Spirit.

We have two specific references in the letters of the apostles, letting the Churches know, for their comfort and assurance, what exactly went down with these devils.  And be aware that this is not astronomy… it is theology!

The first is from the apostle Peter in his second letter.  And the Churches would have already known this a little later when they received John’s Revelation.  Here it is at verse four:


4)    For if God spared not the messengers that sinned but, having cast them to the abyss (He) has delivered them to chains of darkness [to be] kept for judgment;

9)    so the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of trial, and to keep the unjust to be punished in the day of judgment;


Then from the very short letter of Jude to all the Churches, we read this at verses five and six:


5)    now, I want to remind you, your already knowing this, that the Lord Who rescued a people out of the land of Egypt, later destroyed those who did not believe;

6)    also the messengers that did not stay in their own positions, but did leave their proper dwelling, He has kept under darkness in everlasting bonds, to a judgment of a great day….


In both of these letters, the one from Peter, and then this one from Jude, the assurance of all the newborns in the nations is built up in the midst of a tumultuous time near the end of the last days.  And they both (both letters) sound the trumpet of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and His authority over all these creatures.

They (the creatures) were cast from the heaven into the abyss; and they are bound in darkness unto the day of judgment; and they are deceptively used in our Lord’s covenantal decree for the salvation of the world.  Yahveh perceives them as having been swept out of the glory cloud by the tail of the serpent dragon – the sign of the “great” beast.

As we finish up here through the middle of verse four, we also are to be comforted and strengthened; for the continuing provocations of the devil, bound in darkness as it is, is for the purpose of manifesting those who belong to the Christ… those who keep His commandments and hold the testimony of Jesus.

Having now spent six hours on the beginning three and a half verses of the second half of The Revelation, the remainder of the chapter should move along more quickly; and the rest of the Revelation should be that much more easily understood.