Friday, October 7, 2011

Revelations 12 (Part 4) The Dragon

By Odon Bulamba (5th May 2006)

Rev 12:3, “Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.”

1. The dragon is a frightful creature

When John was on the island of Patmos, God opened his eyes and he saw things no human being has ever seen, things that are happening in the world of eternity. He saw a big red dragon coming from heaven according to some versions, from the earth according to other versions, or from the sea, in other versions. But one thing we know for certain is that John saw a red dragon. Who among us has ever seen a dragon? No one has.

According to the dictionary, a dragon is a power. People believe that a dragon is a lizard but not a normal one; it can destroy and it has enough power or strength to protect a nation. I wonder, whether John knew, at that time, what a dragon was, and I wonder how he recognised it was one. He could have thought it was a crocodile or a big lizard, but he affirms it was a dragon. How does a dragon look like? I have never seen one and neither have you but because John had the eyes of God, he was given the power to see things which exist in the other world, he was not mistaken, he really saw a dragon.

A Chinese friend of mine always used to bother me with his stories of dragons. So, one day I asked him, ‘What colour is a dragon?’ He answered, ‘It depends, some dragons are be red, others green.’ ‘Have you ever seen one?’ ‘No, but our ancestors used to have them as pets.’ I said, ‘What! A pet dragon?! How come?’ he answered ‘That’s what we believe’ and he went on and on about dragons. Then I asked him, ‘How do you know dragons are powerful?’ He told me that dragons can spit out fire from their mouth and it destroys everything.

2. The dragon is a spirit and it represents Satan

John saw a red dragon, and this red dragon represents Satan and we know from John chapter 8 that Satan is a murderer. You will find another story of a dragon in Genesis chapter 6.

Some people say about Revelation 12: 3 that the dragon was red because he was covered with the blood of people he had killed. A dragon is not simply a lizard, it is a creature which makes you fear and panic, a creature that doesn’t have forgiveness and when you see one, you want to run as fast as you can because he has no mercy.

When I was young, I used to watch movies about dragons and all these frightening creatures, and I believed that dragons were always angry and that they easily destroyed everything, they do not have forgiveness. In ancient China, the dragon was something different from the lizard we talked about earlier, it was a spirit. Some people would pray and call on that spirit to be with them. When, Bruce Lee, who was one of my favourite actors, was angry, he would change face, he would start to scream, and then hit and kill people. Although these were just movies, I understood that a power was coming from somewhere and made him execute supernatural actions. Therefore, know that dragons exist and that they represent Satan.

John knew the creature was a dragon because it looked frightening. A lion could frighten you but never as much as a dragon. A shark is also a dangerous and frightening animal, but not as frightening as a dragon. A dragon is the worst of all beasts. This is how John recognised it was a dragon.

3. The dragon doesn’t fear the sun

This red dragon had something in mind. In verse 4, the Bible says that despite the sun covering her, the dragon did not fear to approach the woman.

Rev 12:4, “His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.”

Although Satan knows that God is among us, although he knows His presence in our lives, and he knows that Jesus Christ is our master, he doesn’t fear or care, he always comes close to us to tempt us and in this verse, when the dragon stood in front of the lady, his intention was not at all to harm her, but to kill her new born baby. That’s all. He didn’t tell the mother, ‘I am going to kill you because if I kill you while you are pregnant, the baby that is in you will also die.’ No. He said, ‘I only want the baby’ and there he was controlling that lady who was crossing a difficult time; she was in labour, and Satan was there pushing her, ‘Give birth now so that I get the baby. I want your new born son, because I want to kill him’.

Some theologians believe that this verse talks about Mary, the mother of Christ; they believe that when she was pregnant, God’s power was with her and when she was ready to give birth, Herod stood up and said ‘I will kill all the new born males’. But in this case, the dragon didn’t go everywhere to search for pregnant women and for all the new born boys, the dragon came to search specifically for the lady who was giving birth, and who was covered by the sun.

4. The woman represents the church of the Living God

Other people say that, after Satan tempted Eve, God told her in the Garden of Eden, ‘The son to whom you will give birth will kill the snake and the snake will bite you’ and people say that it was a conflict between Satan and God from the beginning. In Rev 12, the woman represents the true Church of God, the Church which is the pillar of the truth, not my church, not your church, but the church of the Living God. Not a denominational church, not the church of Baptists, Pentecostals or other denominations. No. Neither is it a building. It is what is in you. That’s what the Bible is talking about. God would never cover a building like this one and say, ‘I will protect this building’. He will protect His people, He will protect our souls, but He will never protect material things.

To give an illustration of the situation, imagine that something is going to come out of Benedicte, she is going to give birth to a sceptre, which will allow her to save the world, and to destroy the dragon’s power. The dragon knows it and therefore, he wants to destroy the sceptre as soon as it is born, because it will otherwise destroy his kingdom. Let’s turn to

Daniel 7:7-8, "After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.”

Here, Daniel sees the picture of a beast, which is different from the picture of any beast we know. Imagine if you saw a cow with ten horns, what would you think? It is abnormal, strange, and what would you do? Or imagine you saw a buffalo with ten horns? You run, because it is dangerous.

So this man saw this animal with ten horns, and that’s not all, something else was astonishing, the little horn had eyes. Imagine, you are a farmer and one day you wake up and see your cow with an eye on one if its horns, what will be your first action?
- Ring a scientist.
- Kill it.

Maybe I will tell everyone because it is a discovery and I may get some money for it, or perhaps I will be afraid of it because it is not normal, it is a monster. When Daniel saw this animal, he tried to describe it as best as he could, but he was unable to tell us about all its features. This animal is similar to the one John saw; both of them had ten horns, we read it in Revelation 17:9 &12.

"This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.… The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.”

5. Ten tools Satan uses

We need wisdom and understanding to help us picture this creature with ten horns. These ten horns represent ten kings, to whom power will be given.

A few years ago, some theologians spoke about the United Europe; they said that although it was constituted of 12 countries, 10 of them made the decisions and gave their power to someone while the other 2 didn’t have a connection with the ten others. In the spiritual world, we have 10 big weapons we can use, and Satan also uses, which are the foundation of his kingdom, they are the tools he uses first to destroy the Church. The Bible says that in the end times, people will become friends with these 10 tools. What are they?
- Money, power
- Where is it written?

… in 2 Timothy 3, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”

All those things are building the kingdom of this beast. Whenever you have one or two or 10 of these elements in you, I tell you that people will criticise you or even fear you and they will see you as a monster, ‘Oh you know Odon, he loves so much money!’ ‘You know Michael, he loves himself!’ ‘You know Benedicte is this and that’, ‘Saida is such and such’, people will talk about you and it will be like a dragon throwing fire. Imagine someone who loves money, if you tell him he loves money, how will he react? He will think you are attacking him. It is like saying to a thief, ‘You are a thief!’ How will that person feel? Offended, and he will defend himself. And if you tell a liar, ‘You are a liar’ the person will feel angry, ‘Pete, you are a drunkard.’ ‘So what! Do you want to buy me a beer?’ They will justify and defend themselves because they feel attacked. And now, Satan is always going to be beside us Christians to see what will come out of us.

6. Do you give birth to the glory of God?

And what you are giving birth to is not something special, to tell you the truth, you are giving birth to one thing only, to the glory of God in your life, that’s all. Do you glorify God in your way of talking? Do you glorify God in your way of doing things? Do you glorify God in everything you do? For instance, if I have $2 and I give $1 to Isabella out of love and because she needs it, God will be pleased with that. But Satan will say, ‘Look, the $1 you gave Isabella yesterday, she spent it on popcorns. Keep your money!’ and you will think, ‘Yes, that’s true, I don’t have to do that’ and Satan will deceive you in this way. We easily forget that Satan is around us, that is why we often act or react like pagans.

We completely forget that if we don’t act with wisdom, we risk offering the things God gave us to the kingdom of darkness. Many people say that the baby who was born from the lady in verse 2 was Jesus Christ. Fine, I don’t say it’s wrong. But imagine that Jesus Christ came down to earth to save the world and Satan came to destroy him. Imagine that through your good actions, someone can get saved, but you just don’t want to do good things.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Revelations 12 (Part 3) Preview

By Odon Bulamba (5th May 2006)

Before talking about Revelations 12....

1. When you are afraid, worship God

Before carrying on with the book of Revelation chapter 12, I have something very simple to read you and I’d like you to answer my question, if you can.

The Bible tells us that Jesus’ disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. Which water was that? The Sea of Galilee. And it also says that, when his disciples saw Him walking on the water, they worshipped Him.

Mark 6:51-52.

“Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.”

Their hearts were hardened. But if we turn to Matthew 14:33, we will find a different story. “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Amen. So when they saw Jesus walking on the water, some of Jesus’ disciples were afraid because they thought He was a ghost and because they had hardened their hearts, while others worshipped Him. Is it possible, when you are crossing a situation in which you fear, to worship? Can you really worship when you are afraid? Can you? It is hard, but some people do and it is a good weapon we are supposed to use. When you cross a hard situation, worship, and victory will follow. But if, when you cross a hard situation, you think, ‘Where will the solution come from?’ you will easily forget about God.

2. The example of Daniel’s friends

In the Bible, there is a good example of men who worshipped God while crossing an extreme situation. When Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the blazing furnace, they worshipped. Could you really do that? Maybe I’ll cry or scream. But while they were in this fire, they started to worship and finally, they were delivered from it. Can you give me another example from the Bible of someone who was in a trial, who was full of fear and who worshipped God?

- Paul & Silas. When they were in prison, instead of crying, they praised the Lord and sang songs to God.

Amen. This is good example; Paul and Silas were in prison where they couldn’t do much. Moreover, as you may know, there are rules in prison, for instance you must stop talking and go to sleep early, but it was a good time for them to sing and worship God. While they were praising the Lord, suddenly the prison doors opened and they were freed. The amazing thing in this story is that, when the government of that time discovered that Paul and Silas had escaped, they didn’t tell the authorities ‘Go and arrest them’. Imagine, if here, in New Zealand, someone escaped from jail, what would the police do? They would search for the fugitive, arrest him and bring him back to jail. But in this case, they didn’t bring them back, and the same thing happened to Daniel, and his friends. Therefore, we can learn from these two examples that when God delivers someone from a tribulation, that is it, nobody can take him back to it.

Give me another example.
- Jonah, inside the whale, cried out to God and God delivered him.
Yes. Thank you and the Bible is full of examples which teach us that whenever we are crossing a hard situation and we fear, we have to worship. Imagine Ange was a monster, and you see her coming and when she is close to you, you see that she is not a monster but she is Ange. Would you have the courage to worship in front of her? I think you’ll start to doubt and every second, you’ll open an eye and close the other one, thinking, ‘Is she a monster or a human being?’ Now, Christ’s disciples were crossing the same situation, they were afraid of Jesus, but in the end, they worshipped him.

3. Did Joseph (the father of Jesus) go to Egypt after or before going to the temple in Jerusalem?

When Joseph fled with Jesus, Jesus was still a baby. He went to Egypt and the Bible says that it was a time during which someone wanted to kill all the Hebrew baby boys. Who was that? Herod? Who was Herod? The king. Of what kingdom? Judea, Rome.

During that time where was Pharaoh? In Egypt. The Bible tells us in Matthew 2:13 that Joseph carried baby Jesus to Egypt,

“When (the Magi) had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."”

But in Luke 2: 21, it says that Jesus was taken to the temple in Jerusalem.

Luke 2:21-24, “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.  When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons”.

How could Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus have gone to the temple in Jerusalem if they were in Egypt? Did they run from to Egypt to Jerusalem, knowing that Herod controlled the city, and wanted to kill the baby boys? What do you think about that?

- They run to Egypt after going to Jerusalem?
- Herod killed all the baby boys under 3?
- It was after Herod realised the wise men didn’t come back to him that he became angry?

And where did Joseph leave from? Jerusalem or Bethlehem? I will tell you the answer later on. Thank you so much for your contribution.

Revelation 12 (Part 2) Table of Contents

By Odon Bulamba (5th May 2006)

"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems". Revelations 12:1-3


Before talking about Revelation 12:
1. When you are afraid, worship God
2. The example of Daniel’s friends
3. Did Joseph go to Egypt after or before going to the temple in Jerusalem?

Revelation 12:3

1. The dragon is a frightful creature
2. The dragon is a spirit and it represents Satan
3. The dragon doesn’t fear the sun
4. The woman represents the church of the Living God
5. Ten tools Satan uses
6. Do you give birth to the glory of God?
7. Disconnection between Christians of different denominations
8. Church rules become more important than the Bible
9. Some churches even excommunicate their members
10. Don’t follow those who decide without consulting God
11. Satan wants to devour the things that comes out of our heart
12. Be careful not to judge people on their appearance
13. To win the battle, focus on the word of God
14. Why does God allow suffering? Trust in God
15. As Joseph, follow God’s instructions
16. Children help us in many ways
17. Our soul doesn’t have a colour

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Revelation 12 (Part 1) the woman

By Odon Bulamba (21st April 2006) Summary only

"1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelations 12

Prophecies can come through signs, through people talking or through visions and John had a vision.

The sun represents God and the woman represents the church of the living God according to II Timothy 3:15 which is the pillar and foundation of the truth and this is the church that God envelopes (as the sun envelopes this woman). The members of this church are those that accept the truth which is Jesus as He is the truth and so if you accept Jesus you will become a member of the church of the living God and you will have a good foundation that can’t be shaken forever. That church will only have a few members as only a few will accept to live according to Jesus Christ and give their entire life and time to Him. That Church of God will be covered under God’s power.

The sun gives light and Jesus wants us to know that whoever lives in Him will become one with Him and will therefore be the light of the world. When you live in the sun everything will be clear and open and there will never be darkness. God wants us to be in Him so He can protect us (who can reach the sun?).

The moon represents people who are Christian by name only, they are Christian in the world but not in God and God will allow the Church of truth to step on them because the Church of Truth will talk about truth and destroy the value of denomination.

We also ourselves think we are the best one sometimes and give the impression to others we are the light but when God comes next to us and feels us, we are cold (like the moon) although we look shiny (like the moon). To be hot like the sun it is a matter of following God’s instructions; are you a moon or part of the sun? The sun is more important than the moon.

The 12 stars are there to reflect God’s glory in darkness. We are far away from God in the same way that stars are far away but the glory of God continues to shine. The glory of God in our lives is there at every second, it’s just a matter of looking and that is why the stars are above the woman’s head because you have to look. The glory of God is enough, if you need something and God says ok, I will glorify myself then it will be successful.

The number 12 has a meaning;
1 + 2 = 3 (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
2 – 1 = 1 (God in one)

The dragon wanted to attack the newborn of the pregnant woman and when you are living in Jesus Christ you will cross hard situations like pregnancy where you are unable to eat certain foods or you feel tired or you can’t sleep or you vomit and when we accept Jesus Christ we are no longer masters of our lives but it is the Holy Spirit who controls us like the baby controlling the mother’s appetite etc.

The Holy Spirit tells you what is good for you and what is not so you will become a perfect Christian. A pregnant lady can easily order people about while they are only a weak person and when the Holy Spirit fills a small and weak person, they can have the strength to talk about Jesus to big and strong people. When Jesus wants to use us, He doesn’t care about how big or small we are, we just have to put fear aside.

Someone who is fat is not treated the same as someone who is pregnant; people can see the difference and it is the same with churches. A denomination can be there showing the world it’s greatness but people will know the difference between the Holy Spirit and the flesh. We have to learn about God’s strategies to know how to look after the Holy Spirit and how to be lead by the Holy Spirit.

What pregnancy do you have? When you envy something and then that envy becomes pregnant it can give birth to sin which can give birth to death. Pregnancy of the Holy Spirit grows up and gives birth to miracles so that many souls can trust in Christ as their Savior.

There are 12 gifts according to II Corinthians and all other gifts come under those 12 categories. E.g. teaching comes under knowledge and tongues and visions come under interpretation. The 12 gifts have branches and the Church of the living God must also hold those 12 gifts with the 5 ministries to support the church and to work together so the glory of God can be manifested at every second.