A Devotion for 14 January 2021 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. REVELATIONS 13:11-17
As a young fellow growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountain country, I was fascinated with the reading of the great battles and prophecies of the Holy Bible. There was no question then, nor is there now, in my mind, that the Bible is the Immutable Word of God. My two favorite books were Daniel and Revelations – the colorful symbolism of dragons, the beautiful lady whose crown were the twelve stars, and the moon to stand upon. Of course, I took all those symbols as reality, and in a spiritual sense, they were as real as the trees of the forest. But God writes in a manner that evokes awe as well as understanding. The Great Red Dragon is real, but it had its beginning as an angel of light that was cast out from Heaven.
“3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Up to this point, I agree with the preterists that this event happened in antiquity incomprehensible in our scope of chronology. But I do not believe the role of that Great Red Dragon has been put to rest in our day – he still prowls the Parliaments, Congresses, schools and even Churches of the world. Hugh Latimer, one-time bishop of Worchester and martyr of the English Reformation, had this to say of the Dragon:
“And now I would ask a strange question: who is the most diligentest bishop and prelate in all England that passeth all the rest in doing his office? I can tell for I know him who it is; I know him well. But now I think I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will ye know who it is? I will tell you: it is the devil. He is the most diligent preacher of all other; he is never out of his diocese; he is never from his cure; ye shall never find him unoccupied; he is ever in his parish; he keepeth residence at all times; ye shall never find him out of the way, call for him when you will he is ever at home; the diligentest preacher in all the realm; he is ever at his plough; no lording nor loitering can hinder him; he is ever applying his business, ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, to set up idolatry, to teach all kind of popery. He is ready as he can be wished for to set forth his plough; to devise as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God’s glory…O that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corn of good doctrine as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel.” Hugh Latimer was burned at the stake by the Catholic Queen, Bloody Mary, on October 16, 1555. His last counsel to his companion of the fires was “Play the man, Ridley, we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England as I trust shall never be put out.” And it has been a vibrant fire until this day, though the Church of England has dampened its flames in that Isle.
May I say that I know that great preacher very well myself? He is that same Serpent of the Garden; the same that enslaves and persecutes millions in China; the same that has murdered every victim of God’s Creation from the moment Eve stopped and conversed at the damnable Tree. It is strange that the symbol of such a repugnant fellow should be the same as a great Asian nation today. The image of the red dragon in China is found everywhere in art, stone, and tomb. It is considered to convey, as that old Deceiver did, the idea of immortality. Satan, in his role as Dragon and devourer, may gain some distinction in these latter days; however, he has already suffered defeat. His videttes may have yet to return the sorry news to him of his defeat, but he is most dangerous at the moment of his demise.
I once had a student from Nigeria who told me that it was illegal to kill a ‘rock’ python snake in or near a village. I asked, “Why?” He answered that such a large snake could destroy the delicate huts and homes of the village in their death throes. Satan has all of those qualities of a deadly snake – and he is in his death throes.
Just because Red China bears the marks and symbols familiar with the Devil does not mean that they have sole ownership of the title. They imprison and torture Christian ministers, incarcerate certain indigenous populations in concentration camps and force them to do slave labor, and execute (on general principle) the largest number of human beings of any other nation in the world today. They are without moral restraint in their exercise of power. These are the qualities their ten-horned master finds admirable. They buy the influence of corrupt politicians around the world in their hunger to force their totalitarian policies on a global population. Our own government is dominated by politicians who have, like Esau, sold their birthright for a bowl of red porridge to the Dragon.
The beast is able to assume his place in all generations from the time of the expulsion from Eden. In all ages, he has had his servants and ministers. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
We in America have experienced the sad emergence of men and women at the very top of our government who are entrapped by their financial dealings and scandals with Red China. Many who would perhaps prefer to perform their responsibilities in a patriotic manner but cannot for they have dealt with the devil’s steward by whom they are controlled with the web of the spider. They have become corrupt by bribes.
Fortunately, we have always men and women of principle, patriotic fervor, and Christian devotion who seek to restore our nation to its biblical foundations in liberty and freedom. I have witnessed the courageous standing of these newly elected leaders who have not indebted themselves to the Red Dragon for a single mite or farthing. They are free to press the cause of righteousness on the floor of the American Congress – and they have done so – many as their very first political act in a Congress newly sworn. We need to ensure that more such patriots are elevated to offices of leadership for, in the end, we will get precisely what we deserve in those whom we elevate to public office. God disposes according to our election.
The Beast is alive and well in our day. He would take away our freedom of expression and speech. He is able to do so through non-governmental organs such as unregulated media corporations, banks, and even opportunities for employment. The delay in resistance to this growing threat to Constitutional and biblically granted liberty will result in complete loss of freedom and penurious depravity. Now is the time to combat the growing danger. Heed the words of the greatest of our Founding Fathers – Patrick Henry:
“Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
Patrick Henry – March 23, 1775