All rights reserved by the author Homer Dewayne Shappley
Revelation: Its Ongoing
Relevancy and Fulfillment
Ominous 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!
The testy observation of an annoyed skeptic when he looks at the title of Scene 5.
ridiculous fantasy! ¿And you, Mr. Commentator, want me to take that book seriously, as well as your own person? You, who invest so much energy and time writing about those purely fictitious beings. You should get real and come down out of the clouds. Those grotesque creatures exist only in the unhinged minds of the spellbound religious superstitious.”
"So then, a great, fiery red dragon in Revelation? With no less
than seven heads and ten horns with ten crowns. Such a
Esteemed student of these subjects, you have the option of reading my “Reply and Defense” for Mr. Annoyed Skeptic (about 5 or 6 minutes to read all of it), or of proceeding immediately to scrutinize the analysis provided as follows.
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
"Reply and Defense" for Mr. Annoyed Skeptic
Dear Mr. Skeptic, regarding my "getting real", worthiness to be taken seriously, and soundness of mind, it seems to me that only a person who has studied objectively this entire Commentary could make an intelligent evaluation. To be sure, I have invested much time and
work in its preparation. The dividends for me, personally, have been tremendous, and this has motivated me to share the fruits of my studies with the public. My very strong conviction is that Revelation is a book full of "relevant realities" and not "mere fictions and fantasies."
Please take note: My principal subject is not, by any means whatsoever, the "creatures" or "beings" of Revelation that you catalog as "purely fictitious" and "ridiculous fantasies." but that I classify as "metaphorical." Rather, it is what they represent, and they represent Secular-Political Nations and Kingdoms, with emphasis on the agendas and actions of their governments and peoples.
My principal subject also includes the spiritual powers of evil that offer carnal-material power and glory to those secular-political entities, for to my understanding, those metaphorical beings of Revelation such as the two beasts of Chapter 13 and the great, red dragon of Chapter 12 project the attributes and play the roles precisely of the spiritual powers of evil operative both in the dimensions of the material uinverse and the spiritual universe. Ephesians 6:10-20
Surely you, Mr. Skeptic, would not 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, and Pol Pot of Cambodia? Plus, so many more. Causing about 60,000,000 deaths!
The Revelation itself explains that the great, fiery red dragon represents the Devil and Satan who is the father, as other Bible texts also explain, of lies, deceits, vain philosophies, vices contrary to nature, crime, etc. In sum, of all evil on a vast scale throughout all the regions of darkness. John 8:44; Colossians 2:8; Romans 1:19-32.
Oh, but let me suppose: You also believe "Satan" is a very counterproductive, destructive myth in which only ignorant and superstitious humans believe. Whatever you, me, or any other human being believes about Satan, the fact is that EVIL abounds and multiplies all over the face of planet Earth. That is an undeniable REALITY. Even in these times of the 21st century 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. From the relatively inane to the most destructive and depraved imaginable. With the immoral, corrupt, violent, and criminal. With cultural, psychological, political, and economic wars. Also, posturings for material, physical war. All this evil permeates the governments, societies, and cultures of the whole world today. Will you deny it, Mr. Skeptic?
So then, when you take an aggressive stand on your own deficient concepts of the "fantasy, absurd creatures of Revelation" and "the non-existence of Satan," be careful the hot breath of the great, fiery red dragon has not singed your mental processes and objectivity!
The DRAGON plays an outstanding role in cultures, religions, literature, and the arts across eons and around the globe. Take a quick look at the spectacular paintings, accompanied by concise information, presented by the renowned artist Howard David Johnson. www.howarddavidjohnson.com/dragons.htm Also the abundant information in the following resources. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_(disambiguation)
During the second half of the 20th century and the time transpired thus far of the 21st, dragons appear frequently in the medium of entertainment and art defined as "anime." A massive presence in video games such as "Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen." See the two graphics at the beginning.
“Anime. style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anime
"Leviathan" is the great dragon God calls Job's attention to as a supreme example of his creative power in the animal world. The entire Chapter 41 of the ancient Book of JOB, in the Old Testament of the Bible, is dedicated to Leviathan. "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 Leviathan of Job's time being the last of a species that never numbered more than maybe a very few.
With all, let us keep in mind the central, vital point of this whole matter: 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 nineteen 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, I would encourage you, Mr. Skeptic, or any other reader, to please go back up to "F" on the left for a study I would like to share with you regarding these very instructive subjects. "This calls for a mind that has wisdom..." Revelation 17:9. As does all of Revelation!
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?”
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 Common Era (Christian Age, for Christians) 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 him authority and power for certain maneuverings on planet Earth.
Obviously with the purpose of testing human beings, as well as angels.
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, in the language of Revelation, symbols of nations and peoples who allow themselves to be deceived and used by Satan and his allies.
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.
In the above painting, Jesus is standing on “a very high mountain” where “the devil,” a shadowy figure behind him, “took him,” and “showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor,” tempting him, saying: “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
“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.
Text and composition of this document by Homer Dewayne Shappley
CATEGORY Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment. 21st Century commentary.
Act 1. Scene 6. The 6th head of the First Beast receives a "Fatal Wound," but it was "healed." When, how, and by whom?
“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