Perhaps the dragon that has had the most
influence on Westernized Christian thought
is the red dragon that dominates the last
book of the New Testament. The author
of this book, who simply identified himself
as John, had been exiled to the Isle of
Patmos, a small Greek island in the Aegean
Sea, where he received a brilliant vision
in which he was welcomed into the heavens
to witness all things which were to come.
In the vision he was shown a book with
seven sealed portions. He was allowed
to see the contents of each sealed portion
in turn and then commanded to write what
he saw. It is at the very end of the seventh
portion that we find the story of the
The story begins when John sees a beautiful
woman in childbirth. This is no ordinary
woman; she is clothed in the sun, with
the moon under her feet, and wears a crown
of twelve stars. As she struggles to give
birth, a great red dragon comes into view.
He is as terrible as the woman is resplendent,
a serpentine creature with seven heads
and ten horns, and a crown on each head.
With his mighty tail he draws away a third
of the stars of heaven and violently throws
them down to the earth. Thus announcing
himself, he alights menacingly before
the woman, threatening to devour her child
as soon as it is born.
But the woman is able to save her newborn
son, who is mysteriously secreted away
to the throne of God, the dragonís arch-enemy.
God has a special interest in this baby,
for it has been prophesied that he will
one day become the ruler of all nations.
The woman, thus assured that her child
is protected, flees into the wilderness,
where a refuge has been prepared for her.
Meanwhile God sends his
angels, led by the valiant archangel Michael,
to battle against the red dragon. The
dragon is fierce, assisted by his own
legion of demons, but eventually they
are beaten and evicted from heaven.
On earth, the vengeful dragon
seeks out the woman to torment her, but
using two great eagle wings given her,
she escapes; however, the red dragon possesses
great powers, and even controls the weather.
From his mouth he creates a flood to drown
her. But the earth opens its gaping mouth
and swallows the flood, aiding the woman
in her escape. Frustrated, the dragon
then turns his attention to the womanís
other children, who fill the earth. Hungry
for revenge, the red dragon seeks help.
He doesnít have to wait
long before a hideous beast rises out
of the sea. This beast also has seven
heads and ten horns, but his body is that
of a leopard, while his feet are those
of a bear, and his mouth is that of a
lion. The dragon, finding a worthy accomplice,
grants the beast power and authority.
While the inhabitants of the world watch,
the beast reveals a deadly wound on one
of its heads. As if by magic, the wound
heals itself. Awe-struck, many people
flock to the dragon and the beast, worshipping
them and turning against God.
With their new army behind
them, the beast and the dragon wage war
against the inhabitants of the earth still
faithful to god, overcoming them and taking
many captives. And although the beast
dies, he is replaced by another beast
with two horns like a lamb. This second
beast controls fire, making it fall from
the sky. Like the dragon, he is also very
wicked and teaches the people to worship
the first beast. Indeed, he teaches them
that they should kill anybody who wonít
worship the first beast. Caught in this
wicked fervor, the people began to mark
their bodies, so that they can tell who
worships the beast and who doesnít.
Back in the heavens, the
angels tell God about all that is happening
on the earth with the dragon and the beasts.
Enraged, God vows to punish any who has
received the mark of the beast. From a
cloud, the grown son of the woman descends,
wearing a golden crown and carrying a
sharp sickle in his hand. Calling the
angels to his side, the armies of God
prepare to visit the earth. Seven mighty
angels appear, each bearing a terrible
plague and a golden vial containing the
wrath of God. Godís army is prepared to
face the dragon in a final battle.
One by one the angels pour
their vials out upon the beast-worshipers,
inflicting them with sores, death, heat,
darkness, hunger, and drought. Before
the last angel pours the contents of his
vial out, three magical frogs are pulled
out of the mouths of the dragon and the
beast, revealing how the evil creatures
had received their powers. When the last
vial is poured out, the ground begins
to shake. Great hailstones fall from heaven.
The mountains are flattened and the islands
fall into the sea. All those who have
marked themselves are overtaken and, along
with the beast are thrown into a lake
of fire. Finally, the son of the woman,
who now sits upon the throne, rewards
all the people who have remained faithful
to God. Even those who have been killed
are brought back to life. Beaten, the
dragon is bound and shut in a bottomless
pit where he can no longer deceive the
nations for a thousand years.
About the Author:
This article was written by Robin Daniels.
Robin is a mystic and contributes to Mystical