The Great Red Dragon of Revelation 13
In Revelation 12 we have great wonder revealed in heaven. This wonder was as follows: “…and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.” Revelation 12:3. This great red dragon is identified as being “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.” Revelation 12:9. So Satan is clearly defined as the symbol of the great red dragon.
Revelation 12:4 states that this dragon stands before the woman of Revelation 12:1-2 and seeks to kill her baby. Assuming that the man-child who was born, and who will rule all nations with a rod of iron, is Christ (see Psalms 2:6-9) then the woman would have to be either Mary or the Jewish church. Since Mary is not in heaven, and is not clothed with the sun, or standing on the moon, or having a crown of 12 stars, then the data would indicate that this woman is the Jewish church. Then since the Bible revealed that the woman flees into the wilderness for 1260 years then the Jewish church must have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour and Messiah and became the Christian church that is persecuted by the Dragon.
Then the dragon, seeking to literally kill the man-child, must have had an earthly representative. That representative, who stood before the woman to kill the man-child, was Herod. He sought to slay Jesus when he was but a babe. Matthew 2. Herod was a puppet king that ruled while under the control of Rome. Rome also tried to get rid of Jesus forever when the Jewish leadership brought Jesus to the Roman governor Pilate to be declared a criminal and then crucified. Satan sought to kill Jesus through his agent the Pagan Roman Empire and thus Pagan Rome because a secondary symbol of the Great Red Dragon.
The Bible provides a few more pieces of information about the dragon. The dragon was a persecuting agency and proved to be very aggressive towards the Christian church for 1260 years – a time, times, and half a time. This time description is also applied to the Little Horn in Daniel 7:25. This time period indicates that the Great Red Dragon attempts to attack God’s people directly through the pagan manifestations of Rome. After it gave the Roman Catholic Church it’s power, and his seat, and great authority (Revelation 13:2) the Great Red Dragon was content to fade into the background while its’ chosen agent manifested all of the hatred of the dragon and was a persecuting power for the 1260 years from 538AD to 1798 AD.
The Great Red Dragon gets some of what it wants by its relationship with the Papacy, in that it receives worship. Revelation 13:4. This is one of the goals of Satan since his rebellion in heaven. Satan has sought to be like God and to receive worship from his followers. Isaiah 14:13-14.
The Great Red Dragon also influences the two horned beast of Revelation 13:11. The two-horned beast pretends to be a good government but the Bible says that it will speak, or legislate, like Dragon. Thus the Great Red Dragon will continue to have a literal voice on earth through the government agencies that surrender to him.
But God says that there will be an end, even for an entity as powerful as Satan, and for His representatives on earth. God promises that He will cast the Devil, and thus all of its representatives, into the lake of fire to be destroyed with the beast and the false prophet. Revelation 20:10.
In conclusion the Great Red Dragon is primarily a representative for Satan, and it has a secondary application of being a government supported by Satan and for Satan. I pray that this short paper will assist you as you study the Word of God and especially the prophecies of God.