Based in the question: According to full preterism, who is 'the dragon' and what are the differences between 'the dragon' and 'the beast'?

In some passages from the Bible there exists sentences such as: Revelation 12:9

The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

and Revelation 13:4

People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?"

Since I am assuming that 'Satan', 'the beast', etc are the same entity then

Who is 'the dragon' and what are the differences between 'the dragon' and 'the beast'?

2 Answers 2


I have been a classical Dispensationalist for forty-eight years, so I am quite familiar with the answer to this question. Most Dispensationalists believe that "the Dragon" is Satan, and "the Beast" is the Antichrist and his government. He is a man possessed by Satan who will be given a brief period to rule the entire world. According to Dana & Mantey's A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament the prefix "anti" can mean "instead of" as well as "against", so this may lend support to the idea that the Antichrist is a counterfeit of Christ. The usage of the term "the Beast" in the question refers to "the Beast from the Sea" of Revelation 13:1-10. There is another Beast from the Earth (Revelation 13:11-18) identified by Dispensationalists as the False Prophet (Revelation 16:13), a man who will lead the world to worship the first Beast from the Sea as god. Some Dispensationalists hold that the False Prophet is the Antichrist, but since "Christ" is actually a political term meaning "King" (Luke 23:2), most believe the first Beast is the Antichrist. Thus there is a kind of unholy trinity: the Dragon (anti-God the Father), the Beast from the Sea (anti-Christ the Son), and the Beast from the Earth (anti-Holy Spirit).

There are a large number of Dispensationalist writings on these issues, and I recommend a couple of good places to start that are a bit old, but still very relevant: Jesus is Coming by W.E.B. (William E. Blackstone)[1898; third edition 1932], and Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (1958) by J. Dwight Pentecost.

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    This answer would be greatly improved with the addition of Dispensationalist sources.
    – bradimus
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 19:52

Dragon = satan/devil

Beast = governing body/system lead by the anti-christ who will rule the world

Sea = a population of individuals (from which emerges the Beast)

Therefore the unholy trinity is as follows: 1. Dragon 2. Beast 3. False Prophet

Revelation 13 King James Version (KJV) 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

In Rev 13:4, we read that the dragon (satan) was worshipped which gave power to the beast (political leader). The beast is symbolic of both a single person and an entire governing political entity/system.

Revelation 13 King James Version (KJV) 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.

The beast is the false messiah, the counterpart to Lord Jesus Christ (messiah). The false prophet can be likened to the counterpart to John the Baptist. The false prophet performs miracles and signs to legitimize the beast as messiah. In Rev 13:13 we see that the false prophet brings down fire from the sky as a sign before a multitude.

Revelation 19 King James Version (KJV) 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

In Rev 19:20, we read that the false prophet that was responsible for making miracles evident to the multitude in order to give credibility to the beast, will be cast into the lake of fire. Both the beast and false prophet will be there, placed there by Jesus Christ Himself.

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    Welcome to Christianity SE! I hope you'll take the tour if you haven't already done so. Your answer, while perhaps on target, isn't very useful to readers because it doesn't demonstrate that this is a common dispensational viewpoint. You might consider reviewing how your answer can be supported. Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 3:47

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