The Dragon -- the Bel of Babylon
To the Hebrew's, the dragon is symbolic of the devil. But in the Orient, it is a symbol of worship. This has been true for thousands of years. For instance, Nebuchaddnezzar and his people worshipped in Babylon a giant serpent-dragon called 'Bel'. There are many references to 'Bel' in scripture, especially because it was the god of Babylon, the great biblical nemesis of the House of Israel.
"I will punish Bel in Babylon and take from his mouth what he has swallowed." (Jer.51:44).
The draconic image of Satan goes back much farther than Babylon and Nebuchaddnezzar. Satan's reptillian imagery in scripture started with Adam and Eve when Satan appeared to them in the form of a snake.
In the book of Job and especially in the writings of the prophet Isaiah, the biblical imagery of Satam was transformed from a snake into a great sea-monster, the dragon who rules the lower waters. "That day, the Lord will punish, with his hard sword, massive and strong, Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent; he will kill the sea-dragon." (Is.27:1).
In the visions of John, representations of the master serpent in scripture is that of a great red dragon (Rv.12:3). John completed the Bible's imagery with his fire, smoke and sulphur-breathing serpent destined to lead the kings of the East into the terminal fury of Armageddon.
In Greek mythology, Draco, the dragon, was the constellation of stars in the heavens which were thought to be responsible for bringing famine and pestilence to the world. But in the East (especially in China and Japan) the dragon has always occupied a place of great honor. The dichotomy between these two perceptions underscores the battle lines of the last days.
"Then from the jaws of dragon and beast and false prophet I saw three foul spirits come...demon spirits, able to work miracles, going out to all the kings of the world to call them together for the war of the Great Day of God the Almighty...they called the kings together at the place called, in Hebrew, Armageddon." (Rev.16:12-16).
John said that in the van of this army, demon spirits would issue "out of the jaws" of the dragon. (Rv.16:13). 'Out of its jaws' means out of its mouth. John is not talking only about military conquests here, he is also referencing a spiritual disaster. Something the dragon says -- the philosophy it preaches -- this is the 'demonism' that surrounds the Beast. It is the spiritual darkness that will engulf the earth by systematically taking away from it the light of Christ -- creating a philosophical eclipse that will cloak almost every nation in spiritual darkness before the last day dawns.
The dragon, the creature Babylon is shown to ride, is shown in the Book of Revelation to have 7 heads. (Rv.17:3). Often described in prophetic passages as the 'sea monster' (or Leviathon), this dragon is shown to be aquatic -- the ruler of the lower sea. That sea corresponds to the lower block of waters God separated when He created the world in the very beginning. (Genesis 1:6-10).
The lower waters were shown in that passage of the Book of Genesis to be the primordial elements of the earth and the stars that surround it. Jesus affirmed this when he called Satan, 'the prince of this world'.
The fact that its seven heads would one day be smashed and destroyed by the word of Jesus Christ is shown in the ancient prophecies. "By your power, Lord, you split the sea in two, and smashed the heads of the monster on the waters." (Ps.74:13).
Note in the passage above the multiple heads of the monster God has destroyed. It's plurality in this Psalm shows that the Psalm and the Book of Revelation are referencing similar entities -- similar heads.
When the eighth head of the beast appears, he will end up in Rome as a symbol of his identity. "The dragon handed over to the beast his own power and his own throne and his worldwide authority." (Rev.13:2). This is the meaning of the 'mortal wound healing' (of Rome, the 6th head), and it unites Bell, the god of Babylon, with the great red dragon foreseen by John in his visions of the last days.
This reduces all things to one common denominator. The meaning of life and the Bible and everything else revolves around a single reality, Satan's declaration of war on God and the choosing of sides in the conflict. The Book of Revelations has shown us that Satan has mimicked the Trinity of God by producing a trilogy of beast, false prophet and dragon.
The Woman and the Dragon
A final image in scripture revolving around the dragon involves that of two women. One of these women is the 'mother of the male child', i.e., Mary and her son, Jesus; and the other is the female, Babylon. God is the father of Mary and Jesus. Satan, the dragon, is the father of Babylon.
"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labor, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns...the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother."
"The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron scepter, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready for her, to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days." (Rv.12:1-6).
In a succession of graphic symbolic images, John reveals that the world's lady, the prostitute which sits on the seven hills, and who has given birth to the children of Satan (the harlot the Bible calls 'Babylon'), exists in violent opposition to God's sacred woman: the mother of Jesus Christ.
"As soon as the devil found himself thrown down to the earth, he sprang in pursuit of the woman, the mother of the male child, but she was given a huge pair of eagle's wings to fly away from the serpent into the desert..." (Rv.12:13-14).
"Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God's commandments and bear witness for Jesus." (Rv.12:13-17).
We can see in these narratives that the Bible defines both the mother of Jesus and Babylon as women. The designation defines motherhood. Each has given birth to a body of people. One group worships God, and Jesus the male child. The other, the dragon.
And since conception here relates to spiritual children, not physical ones, we should understand that Mary is an allegory of the the new Jerusalem in heaven whose upper waters have been brought down to the earth by the Holy Spirit. As these living waters enter those who choose Christ, they are transformed into the children of God.
The dragon's Incarceration
A mortal wound was delivered to the dragon's plans when Jesus appeared. The dragon's sixth head, pagan Rome, was destroyed and his city taken hostage by the forces of heaven. In order to accomplish this, God ordered Michael the Archangel to take Satan prisoner and lock him in the Abyss.
"Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the key of the Abyss in his hand and an enormous chain. He overpowered the dragon, that primeval serpent which is the devil and Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and shut the entrance and sealed it over him, to make sure he would not deceive the nations again until the thousand years had passed. At the end of that time he must be released, but only for a short while." (Rev.20:1-3).
The dragon's incarceration in the Abyss made it possible for the human forces of God to spread the word of Christ throughout the entire world. Though a time of 'trouble', the era made it possible for God to effect the rescue of all the people Satan had taken captive when he corrupted God's creation at the beginning.
This period of salvation, God's true 'Day of Atonement', has seen the Sonlight of Christ shine across the earth for almost 2000 years, almost doubling the thousand years specified in John's vision.
At the end of that period, the millenium must end briefly. The offer of reconciliation from God will be withdrawn in the wake of a Great Revolt on earth. A second war will occur when Satan is released and comes back up from the Abyss to mobilize the world for that conflict, his last desperate and futile attempt to undo the victory of God over him.
Although incinerating the earth in his wrath, the dragon, together with his false prophet and beast will be defeated and all thrown onto the fires of Gehenna, a great sulphur lake whose burning will never end.
And the children that God has rescued from their grasp will be escorted safely into the new kingdom, the heavenly Jerusalem that the Lord has prepared for those who have faith in Him
The Last Days of Babylon', Chapter 6, 'The Kings of the East'
'The Last Days of Babylon', Chapter 9, 'The Fall of Babylon'
'The Last Days of Babylon', Chapter 16, 'The Seven Hills'
'The Last Days of Babylon', Chapter 18, 'Woman vs Dragon'
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