As we continue to read Revelation 12, the spiritual warfare escalates with a Dragon! Believe it or not, there are dragons in the Bible. The chapter introduces four main characters.
- The Pregnant Woman about to give birth
- A Dragon
- Her Male Son
- The archangel Michael (with his army of angels)
In our last post, we discussed the Pregnant Woman. Now let’s take a look at the Dragon, because believe it or not, there are dragons in the Bible. And this one is huge and wants to destroy! Why is he one of the main characters in chapter 12?
The Second Sign
We saw the First Sign in my last post, now let’s take a look at the second sign: The Dragon (Serpent, Satan).
Satan is represented as a very large red dragon with seven heads, ten horns and seven crowns on each head. With his tail he sweeps away one-third of the stars out of the sky down to the earth. The dragon approaches the pregnant woman and stands in front her so that he can eat the child as soon as He is born. His intent is to devour the child to eliminate Him before He can grow up to be a threat. This isn’t Smaug from the Hobbit. We aren’t talking about Game of Thrones. This is a massive, cosmic-sized dragon who means to do nothing but ill and damage to the world, and he’s targeting God and all who follow Him.
First, let’s take a look at Lucifer; the one who, our passage calls the Dragon or Serpent. Who is/was he and what were his beginnings?
Ezekiel 28:12-17 also describes Lucifer’s beauty back in the Garden of Eden and before his pride became his undoing. He was the most beautiful of all God’s creation and hung out above God’s throne. He was one of the elite guardians of God’s throne room… until he decided to be God, or rather, greater than God.
“You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you.Ezekiel 28:12-17
Ezekiel also states that Lucifer was “… the anointed cherub who covers (covers the throne of God), and I placed you there. He:
- Was on the holy mountain of God
- Walked in the midst of the stones of fire
- Was blameless in his ways from the day he was created, until unrighteousness was found in him
Lucifer was beautiful! He was powerful! The “covering cherub” was in the very presence and holiness of the one true God! Yet, he fell and taught himself to hate the God that he once served so much that he desires to destroy God’s plan and purpose for His own creation! He forgot who put him in that position of power and beauty.
Back In The Day – Setting the Stage For Our Story
So he was beautiful, in a desirable position and even a position of power. God gave him all the greatness and beauty that he had. None of it was because of him. Knowing that, let’s go back and look a little deeper at what happened as he fought to be better than God. We saw his creation and beauty in Ezekiel 28:12-17, but Isaiah 14:12-15 also describes Satan’s desire to be higher, or more powerful than God and the ensuing battle for power and for heaven and all creation.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit”Isaiah 14:12-15
God dispatches the archangel, Michael, and his angels to battle Satan (Much like the interaction we’ll see in our next post when we tell the story of Revelation 12 and put the pieces together). Ultimately, they crush Lucifer (Satan) and cast him out of heaven. This fuels his rage against God because Lucifer cannot be God and certainly cannot be greater than God, and he sets out to destroy all that God has created as well as all plans that God has set in motion for His creation.
The Wickedness & Pride of The Dragon (Satan)
Then, we read more about Lucifer’s wickedness and pride and what God does to him we see his continuous battle to “better” God and to throw Him down.
“By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. and I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.”Ezekiel 28:16-17
We can almost hear the disappointment in the story as God tells it. God created Lucifer for great purpose and because of his pride, he orchestrated his own downfall.
So a war breaks out but the dragon and his angels did NOT win! Michael and the hosts of heaven, in the power of God, thwarted Satan’s plan, overcame him and his followers, and threw them out of heaven. No matter how beautiful he was and no matter how much status and power he had, Lucifer (Satan) still fell before the power dispatched by God. He is bitter and angry when we see him in Revelation. So much of what we see in Revelation 12 is a recounting of all of these historic events, but also a continuation of the story that has been developing over millennia and will soon find its completion at the end of the book.
Who Does Satan Hate?
Satan Hates And Wants To Destroy
Satan’s first attempt at destroying someone was God. He wanted to be better than God at the beginning. He wanted it all to be about him. Even though Sheaven
cripture described him as beautiful very early on, he wanted nothing but to exalt himself over God. Then, when he couldn’t do so, he develops a deep bitterness that wants to destroy God and anything connected to Him. Since he can’t touch God, his favorite target becomes what God created in His own image; mankind.
Satan Hates Israel
Israel is the family line that started with Abraham and brought Jesus Christ (the male baby that the Pregnant Woman is expecting) into the world through Mary. As discussed last time, we see the Pregnant woman as Israel and some believe that she is Mary. While, physically, Mary gave birth to Jesus, the implications of the passage seems to imply a broader bitterness than just the mother of Jesus. But Mary came from Israel, so I see it as a layered context. The passage tells the story of Mary and Jesus. But the passage also tells the story of the entire lineage of Jesus which God foretold and chose to be the lineage from which God would bless the entire world through Jesus.
Satan Hates Believers
Satan hates those who follow Christ and who are part of the Church. There are common themes still as to why Satan hates believers and why Satan hates Israel. He straight up hates Jesus! Satan straight up hates anyone who knows God, who God blesses and who walks with God. While God’s will fulfill his plans for humankind through Israel, God continues that plan and that story through the church today. As a result, Satan directs His bitterness at us.
Satan actually means “adversary” in Hebrew! He fights against all who love God and honor Him! He destroys by lying to us and about us. Scripture calls Satan the “father of all lies.” We overcome the dragon by holding tight to the promises and faithfulness of God to deliver us from that same “father of lies”.
The Dragon Is Not Strong Enough
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.Revelation 12:7-9
This passage is from Revelation 12, but sounds a LOT like the passages we discussed in Ezekiel and Isaiah, doesn’t it? Regardless of the story, Satan will not win though over God! God is too great, strong and powerful. We have no need to fear when we have a relationship with His Son, the male child, Jesus Christ!
Do you believe that Satan is also powerful? He is, but he isn’t more powerful than God. Satan has a scheme to get us, to distract us from doing what we know is right.
” in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”2 Corinthians 2:11
The God Of Angel Armies Will Crush Our Accuser
As we know, God calls Satan the accuser of the brethren. He uses other people to accuse believers and those who will be believers. He uses guilt, shame, hurt from our past and present to accuse us of all kinds of things to keep us from knowing Christ in a real way.
Christ wants a real relationship with us but so many times, people don’t want what He offers. They go on with their lives pretending and believing that they have no use for a relationship with God. They do things like using drugs, drinking, relationships that are bad for them to keep them from believing that they have no need for Christ and salvation. Satan accuses, God extends grace. God wants to give us grace. He wants to be our Savior.
“no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.Isaiah 54:17
One of the saddest and most powerful lies of all that he tells us is simply that we have too much to lose and that God wants us to give up so much. But, in reality, He wants to give us and bless us so much. And what He asks us to leave behind is what will hurt us anyway. He wants to free us from what keeps us in bondage.
Lessons from the Dragon
Here is a quick list that summarizes what the Dragon, or Satan does. Don’t allow Satan to destroy you but rather seek a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Love what He wants for you! Know your enemy and what the dragon’s motivations are:
- He wants to be greater than God
- Satan incites fear
- He is angry
- Accuses and abuses. Does it through guilt, nasty people, insecurity
- Hates Israel
- Hates believers
- Lies to us and about us
- Is not strong enough to separate us from Christ
- Has a scheme, a plan
- Is close by
- His time is short
With all that, there seems to be plenty to fear. But God is stronger and gives us peace. He protects us and loves us enough to even die for us. Make it a point going forward to live in the peace that God wants to give us.