Revelation: Its Ongoing
Relevancy and Fulfillment
Portentous Drama of Two Great Apocalyptic Beasts
Chapter 13 of Revelation
The First Beast
Act 1 | Scene 5
A Great, Fiery Red Dragon Gives Power,
a Throne, and Great Authority to the First Beast
F. “The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” Revelation 13:2
In Scene 5, another being, extraordinarily awesome, makes his entrance on the stage. A “great, fiery red dragon!”
Not with just one head but with “seven heads and ten horns!” Revelation 12:3
Any spectator, upon seeing him, would surely feel tremendous fear, shaking in his whole body; a very, high level of stress.
What will the “great, fiery red dragon” do? How will he impact the goings and comings of humanity? What relationship will there be between him and the “beast?”
The “dragon” comes over to the “beast,” and before our very eyes, a transaction takes place between them the consequences of which will cause great upheavals among vast multitudes.
What is the Satanic transaction?
The “dragon” gives “his power, his throne, and great authority” to the “beast!”
1. The “dragon” is Satan.
“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.” Revelation 12:9
2. According to Revelation 12:3, the “great dragon” also has “seven heads and ten horns.” Intriguing similarity, don’t you think? Why do both the great dragon and the beast have “seven heads and ten horns?”
"So, a great, fiery red dragon in Revelation? With seven heads and ten horns. Preposterous! And you want me to take you and that book seriously? You spend all that time writing about such fastasmal creatures. Get real!"
Actually, dear friend, I am writing
about nations, kingdoms, and
peoples, plus evil spiritual forces that offer them power and worldly glory, for that is what those "fantasmal creatures" do simbolize, you know. And that is what Revelation 13 is about.
The Revelation itself explains that the great, fiery red dragon represents the Devil and Satan. Oh, let me suppose: You also believe "Satan" is a very destructive myth! What then? Neither does EVIL exist? Yet even in these times when nations and peoples are not as deceived and depraved as during the Medieval Age, governments, societies, and cultures are still laced with the bad, immoral, corrupt, violent, and criminal; with vices, racism, and posturing for war. A question for you: Is Darwinian evolution the cause of all EVIL on this planet, from whatever beginning you may wish to posit, to the present day?
Be careful the breath of the great, fiery red dragon has not singed your objectivity and mental processes!
And in our own digitalized art and cultures! A massive presence in video games such as "Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen." See two graphics above.
"Leviathan" is the great dragon of Chapter 41 of the ancient Book of JOB, in the Old Testament of the Bible. "Nothing on earth is its equal. A creature without fear." An intricate, detailed description attributed to the Creator God himself, how could any mortal of remote times conceive such a being if it never existed? Perhaps the last of a long extinct species that never numbered more than maybe only one pair
Withall, let us keep in mind the vital point, to wit: The Great, Fiery Red Dragon of Revelation 13 symbolizes the Devil and Satan, who gives his power, a throne, and great authority to the nations, kingdoms, and peoples symbolized by the seven heads, ten horns, and the little horn. In this context, Revelation is as relevant today as it was when written more than 19 centuries ago. Its "world vision" is nothing short of absolutely astonishing! For, while some of the entities thus symbolized are no longer on the world stage, others are!
And now, please go back up to "F" on the left for a study I would like to share with you on these tremendous subjects.
Or, would you deny that some nations, kingdoms, and peoples of the 20th and 21st centuries accepted the offers of those very evil forces? What about Adolf Hitler and Germany, Joseph Stalin of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics, Benito Mussolini and Italy, Pol Pot of Cambodia, and? And so many more. Causing about 60,000,000 deaths.
The DRAGON plays an outstanding role in cultures, religions, literature, and the arts across aeons and around the globe. Take a quick look at the spectacular paintings, accompanied by concise information, presented by the renowned artist Howard David Johnson.
It is very doubtful that this circumstance is merely accidental.
On the contrary, we reason that both have a whole lot in common, for they sustain the very same “seven heads and ten horns.”
They would have then, we deduce, the same mind, mentality, goal, agenda.
To be sure, we will see that both
are bound together and tightly
involved in the same evil
undertakings, to the extreme that they share the same attributes and powers.
The “great, fiery red dragon,” with his “seven heads and ten horns,” maximum leader of the “spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12), makes himself known on planet Earth through the “beast” with his “seven heads and ten horns.”
Both powers oppose the true God and his elect.
We cannot, should not, miss the connection between the two, nor
fail to understand its importance
3. “The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”
He can have them only because Jehovah God Almighty permits him to have them, and because even during the Christian Age not only fallen angels but also hordes of human beings are willing to serve the Devil.
a) “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.” Revelation 13:5
b) “…he was given authority.” Revelation 13:5
c) “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe.” Revelation 13:7
d) Respected reader, do you see the implication of the phrases “he was given” and “It was granted to him?”
Who gave, or granted, Satan those powers he exercises during the times of the beasts of Revelation 13? Who permitted him to have them?
There is only one who has the authority to confer such powers: God, the Sovereign Creator.
Therefore, it is to be under-stood that God is the one who concedes to Satan the authority to speak and act with limited liberty, from the time when he first rebelled against the Almighty to the present.
Of course, Jehovah God, in
virtue of his omnipotence,
could well have totally
from all celestial environs
when this Fallen One first
rose up against him, but he
chooses to conserve his life,
even conceding his authority and power for certain maneuverings on planet Earth.
In this excellent painting by Pat Marvenko, the "great, red dragon" with his seven heads and ten horns stands before the First Beast also having seven heads and ten horns. Representing Satan and deceived secular-political powers, they share, in varying degrees determined by the extent of their interactions, plus the counter ones of God and his own people, the same evil mindset and agenda.
In the background, people of different races with the mark of the beast on their forwards welcome and worship the Second Beast arising out of the earth. A statue of the First Beast can be seen on a pedestal to their left. The ball of fire from Heaven represents the coming punishment of God for all beasts and horns which are symbols of nations and peoples who allow themselves to be deceived and used by Satan and his allies.
Obviously with the purpose of testing human beings, as well as angels.
The well-informed Christian will understand this purpose, while to the natural man or woman bereft of spiritual knowledge and understanding it will remain an enigma. Until he or she too is converted to the Lord.
e) There can be no doubt as to who has absolute dominion over the kingdoms of earth.
“The only true and living God” is the one who has it.
“For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Romans 13:1-6
Nevertheless, for the realization of his purposes among the nations, as well as to prove those who profess to serve him, God permits Satan to give his power, throne, and authority to idolatrous, atheistic, or purely secular rulers and their organizations. In virtue of having such tremendous power conditionally and temporarily, Satan tempted Christ, showing him “…all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, 'All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8-11
His offer was valid, for, in reality, Satan was the true lord and owner of those idolatrous kingdoms that existed during the time of the earthly ministry of Christ.
They did not honor or serve God; their master was Satan.
With all, on occasion, God suspends the rights of Satan over the kingdoms of the world, intervening himself to fulfill his own divine purposes. For example, he did it in the case of the Persians, so that Israel could be restored to the promised land after the Babylonian captivity.
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.” Ezra 1:1-2
Did you take notice of the phrases “…the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia” and “…the Lord God… has commanded me…?”
Behold here, a classic example of how God works in the kings of the earth, even in those who worship false gods, for the implementation of his own divine will, the which takes priority over any other will, be it of man or Satan himself.
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed
as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star
rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture
is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came
by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they
were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
2 Peter 1:19-21
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.”
1 Thessalonians 5:1-4