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.

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