THE RED DRAGON
Some have felt that the Sarah Covenant pictures this
"woman." This view would have merit only if the "man child"
represented Christ. Such does not seem to be the case. While the "dragon"
represented in Herod did try to kill the "child" Jesus he did not succeed. Jesus
fled into "Egypt"—not to heaven. There was no throne for Jesus while he dwelt
on earth. While Jesus finally is raised to heavenly glory, it was not as a "man
child." He was raised a "life-giving spirit" (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus did not
gain heavenly glory by besting the devil in combat. He said, "all power is given unto
me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18). God the Father gave this to Jesus. There
was no way that the devil and Jesus locked in conflict for heavenly glory.
Why would the "crown of twelve stars" be featured on this
woman before the "man child" is born? Jesus selected the twelve apostles when he
was a grown man and not a "child." To teach that the "twelve apostles"
crowned the woman who gave birth to Jesus seems almost irreverent.
While Jesus was put to death on the cross, it was not as a
"child." The devil was successful in securing Jesus death. He remained in the
grave for parts of three days and was not snatched up to heaven. He stayed on earth for
forty more days before he ascended to heaven. None of this fits the scenario given in
Constantine entered the Church as Pontifex Maximus, Chief Religious
Ruler, especially at the Council of Nicea, CE 325. It was his desire to control spiritual
Rome and civil Rome from one seat of authority that he intended to occupy. However, upon
Constantines death, Julian, the Apostate, who was a noble pagan who had no use for
the church or the Christian bishops, ascended the throne.
This locked civil Rome out from the rising Papal powers. This left
the Papal powers free to rise in ascendancy, taking complete control of the spiritual
heavens. This happened very quickly and soon after Julians death the succeeding
emperors found themselves locked out of the council and synods of the church. The ascent
of the man-child of sin was very sudden and spectacular.
Edward Gibbons, Esq., in THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE
ROMAN EMPIRE, Vol. II, p. 41 (in Chicago Bible Students disk on Gibbons the footnotes are
not provided so the pages are 31, 32), in evaluating the tendency of Christians to seek
martyrdom observes: "The first Christians, who, according to the lively expressions
of Sulpicius Severus, desired martyrdom with more eagerness than his own contemporaries
solicited a bishopric.
"The epistles which Ignatius composed as he was carried in chains
through the cities of Asia, breathe sentiments the most repugnant to the ordinary feelings
of human nature. He earnestly beseeches the Romans, that when he should be exposed in the
amphitheater, they would not, by their kind but unseasonable intercession, deprive him of
the crown of glory; and he declares his resolution to provoke and irritate the wild beasts
which might be employed as the instruments of his death.
"Some stories are related of the courage of martyrs, who actually
performed what Ignatius had intended; who exasperated the fury of the lions, pressed the
executioner to hasten his office, cheerfully leaped into the fires which were kindled to
consume them, and discovered a sensation of joy and pleasure in the midst of the most
exquisite tortures. Several examples have been preserved of a zeal impatient of those
restraints which the emperors had provided for the security of the church. The Christians
sometimes supplied by their voluntary declaration the want of an accuser, rudely disturbed
the public service of paganism, and rushing in to pronounce and to inflict the sentence of
"The behavior of the Christians was too remarkable to escape the
notice of the ancient philosophers; but they seem to have considered it with much less
admiration than astonishment. Incapable of conceiving the motives which sometimes
transported the fortitude of believers beyond the bounds of prudence or reason, they
treated such an eagerness to die as the strange result of obstinate despair, of stupid
insensibility, or of superstitious frenzy."
This illustrates that the antichrist had martyrs during the pagan
persecutions, which they could look back upon and chose whom they would as their
"brethren" who were being accused and martyred. It must be acknowledged that
while there were true Christians who were martyred, the antichrist had many people who
gladly and fanatically sought martyrdom.
We are not to think of the man of sin element as being limited in
its roster of martyrs to fanatic examples. It claimed that all martyrs, starting with
Christ and the apostles on down through the terrors of Diocletians reign of terror,
were among its faithful who helped bring it victory. As Gibbon says in Vol. 2, p. 84:
"The Church of Rome defended by violence the empire which she had acquired by fraud;
a system of peace and benevolence [practiced by early Christians] was soon disgraced by
proscriptions, war, massacres, and the institution of the holy office [of torture]."
Constantine ended the relentless persecution of Christianity,
allowing the man of sin forces to enrich and fortify their position and ultimately to
secure victory over the whole spiritual realm. While the early Christians were non-violent
martyrs, once the man of sin came to power it became more ruthless and cruel than the
worst performances of Diocletian.
We notice this false declaration of victory that says: "Now is
come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his
Christ." We notice this shameless proclamation attributing to God and Christ what in
fact had been the result of their pride-driven ascent to power in the control of the
Notice this man of sin class does not say we were "accused day
and night." No, these ruling princes were not the persecuted and martyred. They say,
"the accuser of our [deceased] brethren
is cast down." They claim all the
martyrs, which at their discretion they chose to call, their "brethren." How
convenient it was!
The proclamation from verses 10 to 12 is made by the papacy and in
no wise represents Gods viewpoint. When ecclesiasticism succeeded in putting out
civil Roman authority from its ranks, and established itself as supreme, then it made this
false claim. It was then claimed "salvation" and "strength, and the kingdom
of our God" had truly come and its rule was by the power and appointment of Christ.
This eventuated into the counterfeit papal Millennium, which it
claimed, had been brought in by faithfulness and martyrdom on the part of its members who
were trusting in the blood of Christ. Indeed, with this victory it exhorts those dwelling
in its ecclesiastical realm to "rejoice," but it like-wise forecasts
"woe" for the stable social society as well as for the restless masses, for the
"devil is come down unto you, having great wrath."
This manifestly must be the counterfeit claim of the papacy, rather
than the true "kingdom of our God" by reason of the fact that while this alleged
reign and deliverance is proclaimed we find the "woman" (the true church)
fleeing into the "wilderness" condition where she is miraculously sustained by
God. When the true reign of Christ is in effect where will the Church be? It will not be
in the "wilderness" but rather reigning with their Lord and head and neither
will the devil be bringing "woe" to the inhabitants, for he will be bound in the
bottomless pit. This obviously is a counterfeit kingdom.
The devil, working through the civil Roman authorities [not the then
reigning aristocracies but the element frowned upon by papacy] caused infidels and liberal
writers to bring forth truths which were ahead of their times. The purpose was not to
enlighten the people, but rather to act as an emetic to cause them to become nauseated
with liberalism, infidelity, and Protestantism, and thus to make speedy riddance of these
troublesome teachings. The effects were not as desired, for the Lord caused the people to
receive these advanced teachings with favor, and instead of desiring to rid society of
these teachings they endorsed them. Thus the "woman" received help and sympathy
instead of being overwhelmed.
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II - Part III - Part IV - Part V
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