"And there appeared another wonder [sign; semeion, Grk.) In heaven; and behold a great red dragon...and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth...." (Rev. 12:3-4).

We have been told, and perhaps we have even also taught, Satan was once the most beautiful and powerful angel in heaven whose name was "Lucifer". He carried that name, as the story goes, until one day he looked upon his own beauty with vain admiration. He then began to believe he was something greater than even God, his own creator. Not only did he esteem himself as being the most beautiful and powerful creature in all the universe, but many of the lesser angels of heaven began to look upon his great beauty and were deceived by him and believed it also. We have been told that Lucifer was so beautiful that many of the angels began to actually worship him. He, therefore, was able to persuade one-third of all the host of the natural heavens of the universe to follow him in rebellion against God and in an attempt to overthrow Him. If he had been successful in this war of all wars, Satan would have now been the ruler of the universe rather than God. However, as the story goes, he lost the war, and as a result he was cast down to the earth with all the angels who had signed allegiance with him, and his name was changed from Lucifer, meaning light bearer, to Satan which means opponent. This all sounds good and exciting, this great war among the stars, and everything, but I can tell you right now, dear saints, this is not what has happened, and the truth of the matter can be established very easily!

The first point to consider is this: Chapter twelve of Revelation, as well as the other 21 chapters, was as a prophetic writing that was to take place from THAT TIME FORTH. Revelation was not a book written of history but one of the future, as Rev. 1:1 clearly states. It says, of "...things which must shortly COME TO PASS, or from the Greek, "...OCCUR WITH SPEED." And again in Rev. 4:1 we read, "Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be HEREAFTER."

So many teachers today maintain that Rev. 12:1-2, which speaks of the woman in heaven with a crown of twelve stars, should be taken as prophetic of future events; but with verse three and four, about the dragon having seven heads and seven crowns, they say is referring to the past. How can this hold water? I don't think it can. It is common to hear Bible teachers say, and generally in separate sermons (maybe to avoid confusion), that verses one through three are future events, verse four is of the past (at least 6,000 years ago), verses five and six are back to the future, verses seven through nine or twelve (various opinions here) as being, again, speaking of the past, and finally the rest of the chapter speaks of the future. They say that everything is either of the past or future and nothing pertains to the present. To maintain such a thought, and then to actually teach it, is totally inconsistent and out of context with the subject. Going back and forth like this is nothing more than playing religious ping pong to justify fairy tales of man's own making, and to say none of this speaks of today is to totally sidesteps what God is actually doing in the heavens of his people today. Now let's get serious and see if we can unravel some truths here.

"And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth...." Since Rev. 12:4 is speaking of present and future events, and this "wonder" mentioned in verse three is not referring to a literal thing but is a "sign" (as the Greek has it) -- then the tail of the dragon and the other signs represent something spiritual that is present with us today, and we need to know what or who they might be. The only stars in heaven referred to in this chapter are in the crown of the woman, so it stands to reason that the third part of the fallen stars speak of those which were in that crown. The "THIRD PART" has some significance also, being that all these things are "SIGNS" which point to a reality. There are THREE parts to every person that God places in the church; which is, their spirit, soul, and BODY). Therefore, the ONE-THIRD of those who are cast to THE EARTH would be the ones who are drawn away by their own lusts and enticed by the temptations of that lower, EARTHY realm and who submit to those temptations.

Although men, as James wrote, are drawn away by their own lusts (Jms. 1:14-15), there are also those who play upon the temptations of others (II Tim. 3:1-6). These who are doing this drawing are referred to as the tail of the dragon in Revelation twelve, and for confirmation we can read Isa. 9:15-16: "The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of the people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed."

So you see, dear saints/stars, saintly stars, star clustered saints, starry-eyed saints, or whatever fits, the tail of the dragon drawing the stars out of heaven is in no way referring to a long-lost war of the devil that took place back before Adam was ever formed and placed in the garden of Eden. But that infamous tail of the dragon speaks loudly of all those who have been, over the past two thousand years (also the present and future), speaking lies to the people and deceiving them by playing upon the temptations of the natural man. As a result, those whose dwelling place was once in a realm of the higher heavens, and who had a place of glory and authority are found to be groveling in the dust of the earth, and some are thinking they have found it. They do not realize that fulfilling the lust of the flesh does not constitute the glory of the kingdom of God, but the lying prophets can surely make it sound as if it does. Therefore, let us be careful and not be tempted to finish in the flesh what we began in the Spirit, as Paul admonished the Galatians in Gal. 3:3.

We are amazed at some of the things being taught in this hour of severe testings we are evidently in today. They consist of the old, dead traditional teachings of yesteryear as well as the "brand-spanking new" revelations that are "hot off the grill." They range any where from salvation by works and rituals to being glorified by awful diets of green mold that is supposed to awaken and revive the pineal gland. From the elementary basics to the latter, most all of them reek with carnal efforts -- the arm of flesh. Even the kingdom message of Sonship can result into carnal works if we try to perform only what the Spirit of God can do. All the things men attempt to do in order to be saved and/or glorified can only make better "Adams" of them at the most. A perfect Adam can still be drawn and cast to the earth where Satan's table is set and waiting, even as the first one lost his place in the heavens and became a steady diet of the deceiver.

The doctrines taught, however, are not always what draws the saints from dwelling in a place of the heavens to a realm in the earth. Many times the doctrine can be right on, but we can either hear with our minds rather than the Spirit. Most of us are aware that we are to be cautious of WHAT WE HEAR, as Jesus had instructed, but we sometimes forget that He also said to be careful of HOW WE HEAR. (Mrk. 4:24 & Lk. 8:18). If what we hear is not taken to heart by the deep planting of the Spirit, it can then be plucked up by the devil, not take good root and die in the time of temptation, or be choked out by the cares of the world (Lk. 8:12-14). In cases such as these, the dragon's tail is not out there as a false teacher but is right within our own minds. I also believe a truth can be heard by one who has a deceptive spirit, mingle it with that spirit, and contaminate and defile the pure word received.

Another area of deception comes from those who are temporarily deceiving people with erroneous doctrines, but many times these teachers, along with the ones hearing their word, have a genuine love for God and His truths. And when they begin to see the error of their way, they do not hesitate to confess and repent of it. They right the wrongs done and continue on in their progression in Christ. What should concern us, however, are those who not only have some bad doctrines, but as already mentioned, they carry with their word an almost imperceptible spirit that creates serious, lifelong problems to themselves and to their students.

We were warned of Jesus and some of the apostles to take heed lest we are deceived by those going forth as Christs (anointed ones) but are in reality Jezebels who teach and seduce God's servants to commit fornication (not natural fornication but sometimes that too). (Rev. 2:20, also Mrk. 13:22, I Jn. 2:26, II Tim. 3:13, Rom. 16:18, II Thes. 2:3). As a result of this spiritual fornication there are people who appear to be coming down with spiritual venereal diseases.

Spiritual and natural fornication is not even the limit to what is happening with some people today, for we are now seeing homosexuality in both realms as well; and most of us know the disease that accompanies this life style -- namely, AIDS! (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Once this happens, the person has no defense or immunity to any spiritual disease. Whatever bad doctrines that go around, they will get them and eventually die from it. What would not affect the average person then becomes their grim reaper.

Some diseases are a result of ignorance or perhaps are even necessary to build up the immune system (spiritually as well as physically), such as the common cold. However, there are others of which there is no cure and are extremely dangerous and even deadly. These, we should protect ourselves from at all cost. Whether it is herpes, AIDS, or other venereal diseases, they are all obtained due to promiscuity, and it is no different in the spirit. Therefore, it would behoove the saints to take note of what is going on in the natural world and be warned of the like dangers in the heavens. We should keep in mind, unclean vessels carry and transmit diseases, regardless of how rich their food may be.

Discernment is one of the most vital and important gifts to possess today, but we believe it is the one most lacking. And because of its rarity among the stars of God, we are seeing about one-third (figuratively...maybe literally) of them being cast to the earth where no Christ dwells. Perhaps Paul was seeing some of the same evils in his day that we are now witnessing when he wrote, "...Mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and AVOID THEM." We can prosper greatly by heeding the warnings and staying away from those with seducing spirits. If we fail to heed the warning signs of clear cut offenses to the gospel and righteous living that we see in certain ones, perhaps thinking we are too spiritual and mature to be deceived, we should not be surprised to find ourselves being swept from the heavens by the infamous TAIL OF THE DRAGON that appears very much like an angel of light.

Whether the doctrines being taught today are that of fundamental teachings which most churches are familiar with, or which pertain to the progressive kingdom of God that Jesus spoke so much about; if either the words or the spirit behind the words cause the saints to live according to the natural realm of the earth or self grandeur -- it is safe to say they are THE TAIL OF THE DRAGON.

I wish I could tell everyone to listen to us and others who might be able to reveal who the tail of the dragon is, so we all could be safe from deception; but truthfully speaking, no one can take the place of what each individual is responsible for. The only way any of us can escape that sweeping tail is to have an authentic attitude of wanting to know the truth, and to continually walk in those ways of truth when they come, regardless of what it is or what it does to our personal life and theological ideas. Jesus said, "If a man will (is determined to, Grk.) do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (Jn. 7:17). But there is more. He also said, "...If ye CONTINUE in My word, then are ye My disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make your free." (Jn. 8:31-32). We will then come to the place of having discernment of spirits and proving them to see if they are of God, to see if Christ truly has come in their flesh and is manifested in their lives, as John told us to do in I Jn. 4:1-3. We should also be as the Bereans of Acts 17:10-12 who were more noble than those of Thessalonica, and more noble than many today too. For, although they received the word with readiness of mind, THEY ALSO SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY to see if the teachings were true. We can forget about remaining in the heavens and becoming a ruling factor in God's kingdom if the above things are lacking in our walk (determination to do God's will, coming to the knowledge of the truth and remaining in that truth, discernment and proving of spirits, and searching the scriptures for confirmation or otherwise).

Elwin R. Roach

War In Heaven

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