The Chinese dragon is one of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs, Chinese dragons are symbolic of being lucky, propitious, powerful, and noble; not as monsters as they are portrayed in Western stories. Dragons are found in many aspects of Chinese culture from legends about Chinese ancestry to modern mascots, from festival events to astrology to idioms.
In Chinese culture, excellent and outstanding people are compared to a dragon, while incapable people with no achievements are compared to other, disesteemed creatures, such as a worm.
In traditional Chinese art and culture, black, red, qing (a conflation of green and blue), white and yellow are viewed as standard colors. These colors correspond to the five elements of water, fire, wood, metal and earth, taught in traditional Chinese physics. Throughout the Shang, Tang, Zhou and Qin dynasties, China's emperors used the Theory of the Five Elements to select colors.
Red, corresponds with fire, symbolizes good fortune and joy. Red is found everywhere during Chinese New Year and other holiday celebrations and family gatherings. A red envelope is a monetary gift which is given in Chinese society during holiday or special occasions.
The red color of the packet symbolizes good luck. Red is strictly forbidden at funerals as it is a traditionally symbolic color of happiness; however, as the names of the dead were previously written in red, it is considered offensive to use red ink for Chinese names in contexts other than official seals.
In modern China, red remains a very popular color and is affiliated with and used by the Government. In this context, the Asian application of the red dragon is not related in any way to the Biblical Red Dragon. Biblically, red is the color of fire, and therefore of life; the blood is red because life is a fiery process. But red, as contrasted with white, is the color of selfish, covetous, passionate life. Sin is called red inasmuch as it is a burning heat that consumes man (Isaiah 1:18). Red (crimson), as representing blood, designates the life principle of man and beast (Genesis 9:4-6) and the essential element of atonement (Isaiah 63:2; Hebrews 9:22).
During the future tribulation period, the world will be ruled by a godless man, human not a mythical dragon, presiding over an evil governmental system. The Bible associates this end-times ruler with a beast in Revelationand in Daniel.
In Revelation 13 John sees a vision of a dragon and two beasts.
The first beast comes out of the sea and receives power from the dragon, or Satan. This beast is described as having ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast resembled a leopard, and has feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion (Revelation 13:1–2). Daniel’s vision of the beast is similar in many ways to John’s (Daniel 7:7–8, 19–27).
In Revelation, the term beast refers to two related entities. Sometimes “the beast” refers to the end-times’ empire. The seven heads and ten horns indicate that the beast will be a coalition of nations that rises to power to subdue the earth under Satan’s control. Later references to “the beast” in Revelation picture an individual—the man who is the political leader and head of the empire.
The beast will receive a deadly wound and be healed of it (Revelation 13:3). He will exert authority over the whole world and demand worship (verses 7–8). He will wage war against God’s people, and he will prevail against them for a time (Revelation 13:7; Daniel 7:21).
However, the beast’s time is short: according to Revelation 13:5 and Daniel 7:25, he will only be permitted absolute authority for forty-two months (three-and-a-half years). The beast in Revelation is the Antichrist, the one who will “oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
He is also called “the man of lawlessness” and “the man doomed to destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). In Daniel’s vision, the Antichrist is the “little horn” that rises from the head of the beast (Daniel 7:8).
When the Lord returns in judgment, He will defeat the beast and destroy his empire (Revelation 19:19–20; cf. Daniel 7:11). The beast will be cast alive into the lake of fire.
The identity of the individual who will become the beast of Revelation is not yet known.
According to 2 Thessalonians 2:7, thismanwill be revealed only when God removes the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit from the earth.
To compare the differing biblical visions of the kingdoms of the world, in Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar dreams of the kingdoms of the world as “a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance” (Daniel 2:31). The prophet Daniel later sees a vision of the same kingdoms, except he sees them as hideous beasts (Daniel 7).
In John’s vision of the final worldly kingdom, the empire is portrayed as a grotesque and misshapen beast. These passages present two very different perspectives on the kingdoms mankind builds.
Man sees his creations as imposing monuments and works of art fashioned of valuable metals. However, God’s view of the same kingdoms is that they are unnatural monsters. And the beast of Revelation will be the worst of them all.