Revelation 12:3-4 December 16
It was that old Serpent the Devil473 who deceived our first mother in the garden of Eden487 and thus brought untold miseries onto the entire human race. Thereafter, he restlessly went forth to and fro throughout the Earth488 and proceeded to mislead nearly all individuals.
Satan misled even all the Nations489 except the True Israel within the Older Testament's Nation of Visible Israel,490 from whose bosom the Messiah was to be born.491 And Satan misled the Nation of pagan Rome in particular. For he dragged down and debased the "Stars" or the Political Leaders there too492 in his grim attempt to destroy the Messiah at His human birth, and later again at His death.493
Fifth. This awesome spectre is described as "a great red Dragon having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads."471 Clearly, this refers to the Devil specifically in the guise of the Roman Empire.
That is an identification plainly made in many portions of Holy Scripture.494 It is therefore the conviction also of Tertullian, Victorinus, Pareus, the Dordt Dutch Bible, Mede, Tillinghast, Goodwin, Sherwin, Matthew Poole, Cramer, Matthew Henry, Sir Isaac Newton, Bishop Thomas Newton, John Brown of Haddington, Priestley, Thomas Scott, Adam Clarke, Bishop Elliott, David Brown, Albert Barnes, and many Theologians.
Furthermore, the spectre seen by John was that of "a great red Dragon" with "ten horns."471 This corresponds to the Roman or fourth "great" Beast in Daniel's vision. For that Beast there was "dreadful and terrible and exceedingly strong" with "great iron teeth" and "ten horns."495
Moreover, John's Dragon had "seven crowns" upon its seven heads. These seven crowns and heads were probably successive and not contemporaneous. But either way, they clearly identify the beast as the temporal political power corresponding to the "seven mountains" surrounding the ancient city of Rome.
In addition, those "seven crowns" or seven Kings or Kingdoms may also represent the seven successive and heathen ancient World Empires (of which Rome was the then-current one). And again, the "seven Kings" remind one both of the seven successive forms of government of the Roman Empire itself as well as of Rome's seven chief "Kings" or Emperors during John's own century in particular, at the time that Apostle received this very vision.496 487 Gen. 3:1-6,13-16; II Cor. 11:3; I Tim. 2:11-15. 488 Job. 1:6 & 2:1. 489 Rev. 12:9; 20:3f; I Jh. 5:19,21; cf. n. 408. 490 Dt. 7:1-8 & Rom. 9:6. 491 Rom. 1:3 & 9:4f. 492 Rev. 12:4,7b,9b cf. nn. 408 & 474 & 481. 493 Cf. nn. 474f & 498-500. 494 Rev. 17:3,8-18; 13:1f cf. Dan. chs. 2 & 7:7f,19 & 9:26f & 11:30.36 to 12:1,11 cf. Mt. 24:15,28. 495 Dan. 7:3,17,19. 496 Rev. 12:3f & 13:1-3 & 17:8-11 cf. Dan. 7:7f (where the 10 minus the 3 yields 7 horns and where the next horn is the 8th). The seven successive Heathen Empires of the Ancient World are: (1) the Ancient Egyptian Empire, 2700 to 1000 B.C. (cf. Gen. 12:10 to Ex. ch. 15 & Is. 52:4); (2) the Ancient Assyrian Empire, 1000-625 B.C. (cf. Isa. 52:4 with II Kgs. 15:19 to Jer. 50:17f);
Satan drags only One-Third of the Angels into Perdition
It should be noted, however, that this prediction would not be fulfilled completely until long after John's own day. For it was only after the time of Constantine that Rome would clearly be seen to have ten uncrowned horns or provinces. And those ten provinces would thereafter soon be broken up into ten distinct Kingdoms, subsequently held together in an artificial way only by the Romish Papacy.497