The second "WONDER" that will appear in Heaven will be a "GREAT RED DRAGON." We are not left in doubt as to who is meant, for in verse 9 he is called that "OLD SERPENT, THE DEVIL," and "SATAN." His color is RED, the color of blood, for he was a murderer from the beginning. John 8:44.
He has "SEVEN HEADS" and "TEN HORNS," and upon his heads are "SEVEN CROWNS." These are the emblems of the universality of his earthly dominion, and typify the sevenfold perfection of his power: for he is the
PRINCE OF THE "POWERS OF THE AIR."
"PRINCE OF THIS WORLD."
(Eph. 6:12. John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11.)
As such Jesus did not dispute his claim when in the Wilderness Temptation he offered Him the "Kingdoms of this World" and the glory of them. Luke 4:5-7. His "Seven Heads," "Ten Horns," and "Crowns," associate him with the "BEAST OUT OF THE SEA" of the first verse of the next chapter, the only difference being that the Dragon's "Crowns" are on his "Heads," while those of the Beast are on his "Horns," and therefore differ in number. These features, common to both, reveal the fact that there is some relation between the "Dragon" and the "Beast," and that the "Beast" is an earthly embodiment or incarnation of the "DRAGON," for the "Beast" does not appear on the earth until after the "Dragon" is cast out of Heaven. Though the "Antichrist" exists from the beginning of the Week, he does not become "THE BEAST" until in the "Middle of the Week." Satan is cast out of Heaven and incarnates himself in him. Then the "Antichrist" breaks his "Covenant" with Israel, desecrates the Temple, and becomes the "Satanic Person" that rules during the last half of the Week.
The "STARS OF HEAVEN" attached to his "tail" reveal the fact that Satan will take with him in his expulsion from Heaven, a third of the Angels, for the Angels are spoken of as "Stars" in the Old Testament. Job 38:7. These "Angels" will be cast with him into the earth. They will not be visible but they will secretly sow the seeds of rebellion, and ultimately they will be cast with Satan into the "Lake of Fire" which will be prepared for them. Matt. 25:41. While we are not told that Satan's "Angels" are cast bound with him into the "Bottomless Pit," yet the inference is that they are, for during the Millennium they do not appear to be present on the earth.
John tells us that the "Dragon" stood before the "Sun Clothed Woman" ready to "devour her child" as soon as it was born. It is intensely interesting reading to trace in the Scriptures the story of Satan's efforts to prevent the birth of the "Man-Child" CHRIST, and then after His birth to destroy Him before He could reach the Cross and purchase man's redemption. As soon as Satan had accomplished the Fall of Adam and Eve, he found himself under the curse of God, and was told that the "SEED" of the Woman should bruise his head. Gen. 3:14-15. This aroused the enmity of Satan and he determined to prevent the birth of the promised "Seed," or, if that were not possible, to destroy the "Seed" after birth. So as soon as Abel was born, from whom the promised "Seed" was to come, Satan schemed for his destruction, and finally got his 'brother Cain to kill him. Then the "Sons of God" (Angels) doubtless at Satan's instigation, married
the "Daughters of Men" (Cainites), and their "sin," and the character of their offspring moved God to destroy mankind from off the earth. This was what Satan planned for, and would have been a victory for Satan and a defeat for God, so God decided to spare the race, and begin over again with a representative man, Noah. But it was not long before Noah planted a vineyard and drank himself drunk with the wine therefrom, the result the curse of Canaan the Son of Ham. Gen. 9:18-27. Then the people began to multiply and Satan filled their heart with pride and presumption and they rose and built the "Tower of Babel," the result the "Confusion of Tongues" and the unity of the race broken up. Gen. 11:1-9. Then the Lord called Abraham and the fight narrowed down to his seed. Abraham was 75 years old, and had no children, and Sarah his wife was 65 years of age and barren. Gen. 16:1. Doubtless Satan laughed at the situation because of Sarah's barrenness, in which probably he had a hand, but to show Satan that He could work a miracle if necessary, to produce the promised "seed," God waited until Sarah was "past age," until she was 90 years old (Gen. 17:17), and then He caused her to conceive and bear the promised "seed." Gen. 18:9-15; 21:1-3. When Isaac was about 12 years of age Satan moved God to test Abraham by commanding him to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice upon Mount Moriah. It was similar to the test of Job. Job 1:6-12; 2:3-6. The plan for Isaac's destruction failed, for when God saw that Abraham was willing and ready to slay his son, He intervened and spared his life. When Isaac grew up and married Rebekah, Satan, to prevent her having offspring, caused her to be barren, but Isaac prayed and God heard his prayer (Gen. 25:20-21), and twins were born. Then Satan, when they had grown up, stirred up enmity between them hoping that the tragedy of Cain and Abel would be repeated, and Jacob, through whom Christ was to come, would be slain. When the time came for Moses to be born, Satan put it into the heart of Pharaoh to order that all male Hebrew children should be destroyed at birth, his purpose being to destroy the male line of descent altogether. But his plan was frustrated by a baby's tear. Ex. 2:5-10. And so it went on, until at the death of King Jehoshaphat his son Jehoram slew all his brethren with the sword (2. Chron. 21:13), thus reducing the "seed royal" down to one life. But Jehoram had children. Then the Arabians slew all his children but one, Ahaziah the youngest. 2. Chron. 21:17 (margin). 2. Chron. 22:1. But Ahaziah had children. These in turn were slain by Athaliah his mother, doubtless at the instigation of Satan. She thought she had slain them all, but God interposed and rescued the infant son at the hands of his aunt, who hid him in the Temple (2. Cor. 22:10-12), and for 6 years all the hopes of God's people as to the promised "seed" rested on that infant's life. During the Captivity Satan tried to destroy the whole Hebrew nation at the hands of Haman, but a very little thing, a king's sleepless night, frustrated that plan. Esther 3:8-15, 6:1-11. But the story is too long.
At last the promised "SEED" was born. Then Satan, failing to prevent His birth, determined to destroy Him before He could reach the Cross. To that end he prompted Herod, through jealousy and
fear, to slay all the male children at Bethlehem under 2 years of age, but Joseph warned of God in a dream, had fled with the infant Christ to Egypt. When Christ entered on His ministry Satan met Him in the Wilderness and suggested that He throw Himself from the Pinnacle of the Temple. Foiled in that Satan sought Christ's life by getting His own townspeople to attempt to cast Him over a precipice. Luke 4:29. The two storms on the Sea of Galilee were but attempts of Satan to destroy Christ. You cannot rebuke a thing, you can only rebuke a person, and when Christ rebuked the winds and the sea, He rebuked the person (Satan) who had caused their disturbance. Matt. 8:24-27.
Then Satan renewed the fight through Priests and Pharisees until he succeeded at last in getting one of Christ's own disciples, Judas, to sell his Master. Then amid the shades of Gethsemane, through physical exhaustion, he sought to kill Christ. And when he at last succeeded in having Christ crucified, through the agency of Pilate, he thought he had conquered, but to be doubly sure he took good care to have the place of burial sealed and guarded. But when Christ rose from the dead Satan's rage knew no bounds. In all probability Satan and his angels contested the Ascension of Christ, for only thus can we account for the necessity of His going up 10 days before Pentecost, that He might have ample time, convoyed by "Twelve Legions of Angels," for any "Battle of the Clouds" that Satan might attempt. The history of the Christian Church is but one long story of the "Irrepressible Conflict" between Satan and God's people. Paul writing to the Thessalonians said--"We would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again, but SATAN hindered us." 1. Thess. 2:18. And now as the time draws nigh for Christ to receive "The Kingdom," which means that He will come back to the earth, and that Satan's power and dominion over the earth shall cease, and Satan be bound for 1000 years, Satan filled with wrath will oppose His return with his armies and there will be "WAR IN HEAVEN."