The Year of the Dragon

2024 is the year of the dragon according to the Chinese zodiac. In terms of the animals that feature in the zodiac, the dragon is considered to be the most auspicious, being a symbol of health and prosperity. According to the zodiac, any year of the dragon should be a good year.

While there’s no reason to connect the zodiac with the Bible, it’s interesting to note that the word dragon is used very differently in the New Testament. Revelation 12 describes a dragon and its efforts against Jesus and heaven. It doesn’t succeed; Scripture states: “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9). This identification reveals much: 1) the dragon is Satan; 2) he deceives the whole world; 3) he has been cast down to the earth, because as the verse prior states, the dragon and his angels “did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer” (Revelation 12:8).

It's interesting to compare the two pictures. As the deceiver of the world, Satan would love it if people associated him with health and prosperity. Isn’t that exactly how he portrayed himself to Jesus? “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me’” (Matthew 4:8-9). The devil wants people to believe he really does have the power to bless and benefit people’s lives and will do so if only they serve him.

It's important to recognize that the devil neither has this power nor this desire. In the New Testament period, Satan was allowed to wield miraculous power to coincide with the power demonstrated by Jesus and His disciples. What did the devil do with his power? He sent his demons to so subjugate people to his will that they had absolutely none of their own. It’s telling that the description of someone who had these demons cast out by Jesus is recorded as follows: “clothed and in his right mind… healed” (Luke 8:35-36). It stands to reason that the opposite terms – naked, insane, and sick – describe someone under the power of Satan.

If the dragon is Satan, no one should ever declare a year, a month, a day, a minute, or even a second as his. Thanks to the efforts of heaven, you don’t have to spend even a moment longer serving him and believing his lies. Say boldly with Jesus, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:10).  
-Patrick Swayne  
patrick@tftw.org

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