Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
There are three main figures in Revelation 12: the woman, the man-child, and the great red dragon. Throughout the centuries, there has been war between the woman and the serpent. Actually, the battle has not been fought by the woman, but by the man-child. This chapter covers all the generations from Genesis 3:15 until the end of this age. But it especially gives a more detailed portrait of Satan’s activity during the last three and a half years. This warfare began in Genesis 3:15, and it will consummate in the last three and a half years. The woman with the man-child and the serpent, which has become the great dragon, will fight until the time of the resurrection of the dead overcomers. When all the dead overcomers are resurrected as one entity, the man-child will come into full existence. This single entity, the stronger part of God’s people, will be raptured before the great tribulation, not to the air, but to the throne of God. After the rapture of the man-child, there will be the final three and a half years, or the twelve hundred sixty days.
After the man-child has been raptured to the throne of God, there will be war in the heavens. This indicates that the overcoming saints will exert a great influence upon the coming warfare in the heavens. This war will not begin until the overcoming saints have been resurrected and raptured. After this, there will be war between Satan and his angels and Michael, the archangel, and his angels. (Before Satan fell, he was also an archangel.) After the man-child has been raptured to the throne, there will no longer be any place there for the dragon. Rather, the dragon will be defeated and cast down to the earth. When he comes to earth, the great tribulation will begin. During this period of time, the dragon will do everything possible to damage the man created by God for His purpose. Because up until now God has not yet gained the man-child, He has not had a way to cast Satan from heaven to earth. God needs a corporate man to accomplish this for Him.
The picture in Revelation 12, which concentrates on the last three and a half years, portrays a complete picture of the enmity between the serpent and the woman. When Satan has been cast down to earth, he will cause great damage to the woman, who will still be on earth. In this message we need to consider the great red dragon and his persecution.
Verse 3 says, “And another sign was seen in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.” While the serpent is the subtle one, the dragon is the cruel one.
Verse 3 says that the dragon is great. In Genesis 3, Satan was a serpent, a smaller creature. Here he has become a dragon, much greater than a serpent. Because the serpent has been eating a great deal throughout the centuries, he has been enlarged into a great dragon.
This great dragon is red. Red here signifies the shedding of blood caused by Satan’s murders (John 8:44). Abel was the first martyr murdered by the dragon. In Matthew 23:35 the Lord Jesus spoke of the blood of Abel the righteous. The dragon is not only great because of his eating, but is also red because of his murdering so many overcomers throughout the years.
The great red dragon has seven heads, which are the seven Caesars of the Roman Empire (13:1; 17:10-11). When we come to 13:1, we shall see that these seven heads are the heads of the beast and that the beast will not only be the Roman Empire but also Antichrist. In 17:9 and 10, we are told that the seven heads are seven Caesars. That the dragon has seven heads, which are the heads of the seven Caesars and of the beast, Antichrist, indicates that the dragon and the beast are one. This means that the seven Caesars of the Roman Empire are the heads of Satan. By this we see that the Roman Empire, especially Antichrist, is the embodiment of Satan.
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