The year of the dragon….I DON”T THINK SO!!!
(Take a moment and read Revelation 12, and if you have time, read chapters 12-14)
February 10th marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year. This year, according to Chinese customs/belief/religion/zodiac is the year of the dragon. For several days now I have had to witness the display of this mythical creature with a long snake like body, 4 tiny legs, and the head of a fierce and ferocious dragon. It is a revered image in the Chinese culture with supposed great fortune to the one born during this year. I don’t know about you, but when I think of a “dragon”, I think of one thing – Satan – the archenemy of Christ and His followers. This is the one described in our precious bible – the word of God – as “the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). Revelation 12 describes a “great red dragon” who organized a massive heavenly coup, gathering a third of the angels of heaven on his side, and starting a war in heaven against the angels of God. The archangel Michael and those with him war against the devil, winning the battle, and hurling the devil and his gang of demons down to earth. The cosmic battle ends in a great victory for Team Heaven, and Team Satan being kicked out of heaven, and thrown down to Earth. There is a victory chant in heaven “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” (Rev. 12:10-11). God wins! Heaven wins! Jesus wins! We win...if we are on team Jesus. It’s much better to win than lose – just ask a Kansas City Chiefs fan :)
Now don’t miss the message of Revelation 12 – the dragon was defeated! He is a loser, so he attacks a helpless woman giving birth and a newborn child. In other words…he preys on the most vulnerable. This is his tactic; but there is divine assistance provided to the woman (the people of God, the church – verse 14-16). Who are those identified as the “offspring” of the woman? Those who “keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (vs. 17). These are the overcomers of verse 11!
In chapter 13 of Revelation the dragon seems to be winning with the help of the antichrist (the first beast) and the false prophet (the second beast). It appears that the whole world is worshipping the dragon as he deceives the people of the earth with his false signs and wonders, and forces many to take his mark.
But…there is a group whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (13:8)! These are the 144,000 (a representative number) who have not bowed their knee to Baal, who have the seal of heaven on their forehead – the name of their God and Savior (14:1). They are the undefiled, the blameless, the pure and holy, who have been purchased with the blood of the Lamb and follow the Lamb wherever He goes – that is obedience! You can identify them by the “new song” they sing of their salvation and redemption (14:1-5; See chapters 4 & 5). For these individuals, there is no such thing as a “year of the dragon” for it is always the year, the day, the hour, the second of the Risen Lamb of God who crushed the dragon’s head two thousand years ago on a Roman cross, and now lives and reigns forever in heaven with and in His people – the church of Jesus Christ! Arise Church!!! Let us proclaim loudly and celebrate the victory of our glorious King who defeated the dragon, destroyed the works of the devil, and is now seated on high on His throne with His people purchased with His precious blood! 2024 is the year of JESUS!
"Advancing the Kingdom of God by releasing Spirit-filled followers to serve Jesus in freedom and joy."