The Dragon's War

At times, there may be so many “trees” that we fail to see the “forest,” details that distract us from seeing the obvious. This is often the case when dealing with the visions of the Book of Revelation. According to its very first verse, it is intended to “reveal what things must come to pass,” not to conceal them. Such is the case with the “war” waged by the “Great Red Dragon.” Too often in popular preaching, his earthly agent, the “Beast from the Sea,” becomes a global political leader who wages war against any nation that resists his will.

But this interpretation ignores the plain words of the Book. In Chapter 12, for example, Satan is represented as the “Dragon” who sets out to wage “war” against the “seed of the woman.” The woman’s “seed” is identified as those men “who have the testimony of Jesus.” This group is comprised of saints who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.”

Dinosaur Toy - Photo by Hannah Pemberton on Unsplash
[Photo by Hannah Pemberton on Unsplash]

Chapter 12 concludes with the “
Dragon” standing on the seashore summoning his own “seed” to execute his war against the woman’s “seed.” His first child is the monstrous “Beast” seen by John “ascending from the Sea.”

This first creature wages “war against the saints.” The passage makes no bones about his intention “to overcome them” – (“If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goes. If any man is to be killed with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” – Revelation 13:10).

Whether this means he kills them or causes them to apostatize makes little difference. His goal is to destroy the people of God in one way or another. And Revelation leaves us in doubt as to the identity of the “saints.” They are those “who have the faith of Jesus” – (Revelation 13:1-10, 14:10-12).

This “Beast” has “seven heads and ten horns” just like the “Dragon.” He operates with all his authority. When the “Inhabitants of the Earth” give their allegiance to him, effectively, they “give homage to the Dragon” – (Revelation 13:1-6).


To state the obvious, the victims of this “war” are the men and women who follow Jesus, those who remain faithful in the “Testimony of Jesus” and thereby “overcome” the “Dragon” – (Revelation 12:11, “They overcame him by the blood of Jesus, the word of their testimony, and because they loved not their lives unto death”).

Whether the “Beast” also wages war against other nations, or the state of Israel, is never stated in the Book, although all the “Inhabitants of the Earth” give their allegiance to this creature.

Of course, if “all” the nations submit to him, what would be the point of conducting military campaigns against them? They are NOT the enemies of the “Beast.” They are its accomplices and dupes of the “Dragon” in his plot to destroy the people of God.

In Chapter 11, the same language is used to describe the “war” by the “Beast from the Abyss” against the “Two Witnesses,” and they are identified as “Two Lampstands.” In Revelation, lampstands symbolize churches – (Revelation 1:20, 11:4-7).

In each of the preceding passages, the clause used to describe this “war” is derived from Daniel’s vision of the “Little Horn” that “made war on the saints and prevailed against them.” This clause provides a verbal link between these passages making clear that the same “war” is in view in each relevant passage - (Daniel 7:21).

The Book of Revelation is making a clear point, and repeatedly, but are we listening? Before the end, Satan will launch his last attempt to annihilate the church, the Assembly of God, the “brethren” who have the “Testimony of Jesus” and follow the “Lamb wherever he goes.”


This makes perfect sense from the Book’s perspective. The “Dragon” fails to destroy the messianic “Son” who, instead, is taken to his “Father’s throne.” Following his exaltation, the Devil is “expelled from heaven” and loses his prosecutorial power. The One “destined to shepherd the nations” is beyond his reach, so he does the next best thing – He prosecutes his “war” against the followers of Jesus.

The earlier letters to the “Seven Churches of Asia” provide excellent examples of precisely how Satan conducts this war, namely, by means of deception (“false apostles, Nicolaitans, teachings of Balaam, Jezebel”), economic deprivation, and persecution.

Whatever the “Dragon” and the “Beast from the Sea” may do to the nations of the Earth, Satan’s purpose remains fixed – to destroy the “saints” – and his control over the political and economic spheres of the Earth is employed to accomplish this very thing. The victims of the Devil’s War are the saints of Jesus Christ.