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Re: Hermas and the Tribulation Beast

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  • e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n
    The introduction to the similtudes and commandments is in the fifth vision.
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 16, 2011
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      The introduction to the similtudes and commandments is in the fifth vision.


      --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, "e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n" <rocsy@...> wrote:
      >
      > Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the
    • George F Somsel
      Now you are indeed engaging in allegorical interpretation.  I find no justification for that.  Hermas has little or nothing to do with Revelation.  The
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 16, 2011
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        Now you are indeed engaging in allegorical interpretation.  I find no
        justification for that.  Hermas has little or nothing to do with Revelation. 
        The source of the Beast in Revelation lies in Daniel.  As is usually the case,
        our author does not simply adopt the OT or apocalyptic figures but transforms
        them to fit his own scheme.  The four beasts of Daniel 7 have been compressed
        into one Beast with 7 heads to fit with the mimicry of the divine by the unholy
        trinity.  Each head indicates a separate manifestation of a power that arrays
        itself against God.  One has been slain and yet lives.  This is a reference to
        the Roman Empire which had gone through a period of near collapse with 3
        emperors who ruled only most briefly.  It was, however, revived.  Many attempt
        to refer that to Nero, but though Nero may have sat for the portrait it does not
        represent Nero.  Neither does the Beast represent Rome.  It rather represents
        all of the realms which have arrogated themselves against God from the beginning
        of time.

         george
        gfsomsel


        … search for truth, hear truth,
        learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
        defend the truth till death.


        - Jan Hus
        _________




        ________________________________
        From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
        To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sun, January 16, 2011 3:17:40 PM
        Subject: [revelation-list] Hermas and the Tribulation Beast

         
        Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of
        the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred
        threescore and six.

        17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven
        mountains, on which the woman sitteth.


        In the previous message I put forward the idea that the type of wisdom needed to
        identify the beast was biblical and Greek rather than historical, literal and
        what was conventional Jewish interpretation. I based that on Paul's remarks that
        Greeks sought wisdom (1 Cor 1:22), and wisdom was not about earthly rulers (1
        Cor 2:6). The basic idea is found in Romans where the Law might be understood as
        the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Rom 7:5), and Christ as the tree of life
        (Rom 5:17, 21). The seven heads actually represent the new creation in Christ (2
        Cor 2:17) and the ten horns represent the Law as symbolised by the decalogue. In
        other words the beast represents the deception brought on by an apparent
        conflict between law and grace, or legalism and antinomianism.

        The idea is that prophetic, wisdom teaching was hard to understand (1 Cor 3:2,
        Heb 5:12-13). In its absence the error of Jewish teaching stepped in (Barnabas
        IV).


        Historical, literal teaching about the beasts in Daniel and Revelation is
        conspicuous by its absence in the New Testament and among the earliest church
        fathers until Clement of Alexandria, who admits to being influenced by Josephus.


        The Pastor of Hermas was written before 130 CE, and has a tribulation beast.
        What would be a more perfect case to examine, and look for evidence of one
        interpretation or the other?

        The Pastor of Hermas
        Contents:
        Book First - Visions
        Book Second - Commandments
        Book Third - Similtudes

        >>...And while I was glorifying Him and giving Him thanks, a voice, as it were,
        >>answered me, "Doubt not, Hermas;" and I began to think with myself, and to say,
        >>"What reason have I to doubt—I who have been established by the Lord, and who
        >>have seen such glorious sights?" I advanced a little, brethren, and, lo! I see
        >>dust rising even to the heavens. I began to say to myself, "Are cattle
        >>approaching and raising the dust?" It was about a furlong's distance from me.
        >>And, lo! I see the dust rising more and more, so that I imagined that it was
        >>something sent from God. But the sun now shone out a little, and, lo! I see a
        >>mighty beast like a whale [Rev 13:1], and out of its mouth fiery locusts [Rev.
        >>9:3-7.]

        But the size of that beast was about a hundred feet, and it had a
        head like an urn. [Rev. 11:7, 12:2-4, 17:8] I began to
        weep, and to call on the Lord to rescue me from it. Then I
        remembered the word which I had heard, Doubt not, O Hermas.
        Clothed, therefore, my brethren, with faith in the Lord and
        remembering the great things which He had taught me, I boldly
        faced the beast. Now that beast came on with such noise and
        force, that it could itself have destroyed a city. I came near it, and
        the monstrous beast stretched itself out on the ground, and
        showed nothing but its tongue, and did not stir at all until I had
        passed by it. Now the beast had four colours on its head, black,
        then fiery and bloody, then golden, and lastly white. [Rev 6]-
        Hermas, Book First, Fourth Vision, Chap I

        I asked her about the four colours which the beast had on his head. And she
        answered, and said to me, "Again you are inquisitive in regard to such matters."
        "Yea, Lady," said I, "make known to me what they are." "Listen," said she: "the
        black is the world in which we dwell: but the fiery and bloody points out that
        the world must perish through blood and fire: but the golden part are you who
        have escaped from this world. For as gold is tested by fire, and thus becomes
        useful, so are you tested who dwell in it. [1 Cor 3:12-14, 1 Pe 1:7]Those,
        therefore, who continue stedfast, and are put through the fire, will be purified
        by means of it. For as gold casts away its dross, so also will ye cast away all
        sadness and straitness, and will be made pure so as to fit into the building of
        the tower. But the white part is the age that is to come, in which the elect of
        God will dwell, since those elected by God to eternal life will be spotless and
        pure[Rev 3:4-5, 3:18, 6:11, 7:13, 19:8 ]. Wherefore cease not speaking these
        things into the ears of the saints. This then is the type of the great
        tribulation [Mat 24:21, Rev 2:22, 7:14]that is to come. If ye wish it, it will
        be nothing. Remember those things which were written down before." And saying
        this, she departed. But I saw not into what place she retired. There was a
        noise, however, and I turned round in alarm, thinking that that beast was
        coming. Hermas, Book First, Fourth Vision, Chap III <<

        Hermas comes upon a beast that has some similarities to the beasts in
        Revelation. He is told not to doubt, and then is given an introduction to the
        commandments and similtudes. Similitudes are parables or allegories. One
        difference between Hermas' beast and those in Revelation is that it has only one
        head. Perhaps the horns and heads are the commandments like the ten horns in
        Revealtion, and similtudes (spiritual understanding) like the creation week (new
        creation in Christ) of seven heads. There is a problem though. Hermas receives
        twelve commandments and ten similtudes. My solution is simple. We need the seven
        and ten to recognize creation (new), and the decalogue. In Hermas we are
        directly told they are commandments and similtudes, like the parables Jesus gave
        spiritual teachings with.








        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n
        Thank you George. I am not trying to understand thee things as moderns do, but as those to whom it was first written might have understood them. ... The
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 16, 2011
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          Thank you George. I am not trying to understand thee things as moderns do, but as those to whom it was first written might have understood them.

          >>As far as was possible, and could be done with perspicuity, I cherish the hope that, according to my desire, I have omitted none of those things at present [demanding consideration], which bear upon your salvation. For if I should write to you about things future, ye would not understand, because such knowledge is hid in parables. These things then are so.

          The Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter XVII.—Conclusion of the first part of the epistle.<<




          --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
          >
          > Now you are indeed engaging in allegorical interpretation.  I find no
          > justification for that.  Hermas has little or nothing to do with Revelation. 
          > The source of the Beast in Revelation lies in Daniel.  As is usually the case,
          > our author does not simply adopt the OT or apocalyptic figures but transforms
          > them to fit his own scheme.  The four beasts of Daniel 7 have been compressed
          > into one Beast with 7 heads to fit with the mimicry of the divine by the unholy
          > trinity.  Each head indicates a separate manifestation of a power that arrays
          > itself against God.  One has been slain and yet lives.  This is a reference to
          > the Roman Empire which had gone through a period of near collapse with 3
          > emperors who ruled only most briefly.  It was, however, revived.  Many attempt
          > to refer that to Nero, but though Nero may have sat for the portrait it does not
          > represent Nero.  Neither does the Beast represent Rome.  It rather represents
          > all of the realms which have arrogated themselves against God from the beginning
          > of time.
          >
          >  george
          > gfsomsel
          >
          >
          > … search for truth, hear truth,
          > learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
          > defend the truth till death.
          >
          >
          > - Jan Hus
          > _________
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ________________________________
          > From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
          > To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Sun, January 16, 2011 3:17:40 PM
          > Subject: [revelation-list] Hermas and the Tribulation Beast
          >
          >  
          > Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of
          > the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred
          > threescore and six.
          >
          > 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven
          > mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
          >
          >
          > In the previous message I put forward the idea that the type of wisdom needed to
          > identify the beast was biblical and Greek rather than historical, literal and
          > what was conventional Jewish interpretation. I based that on Paul's remarks that
          > Greeks sought wisdom (1 Cor 1:22), and wisdom was not about earthly rulers (1
          > Cor 2:6). The basic idea is found in Romans where the Law might be understood as
          > the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Rom 7:5), and Christ as the tree of life
          > (Rom 5:17, 21). The seven heads actually represent the new creation in Christ (2
          > Cor 2:17) and the ten horns represent the Law as symbolised by the decalogue. In
          > other words the beast represents the deception brought on by an apparent
          > conflict between law and grace, or legalism and antinomianism.
          >
          > The idea is that prophetic, wisdom teaching was hard to understand (1 Cor 3:2,
          > Heb 5:12-13). In its absence the error of Jewish teaching stepped in (Barnabas
          > IV).
          >
          >
          > Historical, literal teaching about the beasts in Daniel and Revelation is
          > conspicuous by its absence in the New Testament and among the earliest church
          > fathers until Clement of Alexandria, who admits to being influenced by Josephus.
          >
          >
          > The Pastor of Hermas was written before 130 CE, and has a tribulation beast.
          > What would be a more perfect case to examine, and look for evidence of one
          > interpretation or the other?
          >
          > The Pastor of Hermas
          > Contents:
          > Book First - Visions
          > Book Second - Commandments
          > Book Third - Similtudes
          >
          > >>...And while I was glorifying Him and giving Him thanks, a voice, as it were,
          > >>answered me, "Doubt not, Hermas;" and I began to think with myself, and to say,
          > >>"What reason have I to doubtâ€"I who have been established by the Lord, and who
          > >>have seen such glorious sights?" I advanced a little, brethren, and, lo! I see
          > >>dust rising even to the heavens. I began to say to myself, "Are cattle
          > >>approaching and raising the dust?" It was about a furlong's distance from me.
          > >>And, lo! I see the dust rising more and more, so that I imagined that it was
          > >>something sent from God. But the sun now shone out a little, and, lo! I see a
          > >>mighty beast like a whale [Rev 13:1], and out of its mouth fiery locusts [Rev.
          > >>9:3-7.]
          >
          > But the size of that beast was about a hundred feet, and it had a
          > head like an urn. [Rev. 11:7, 12:2-4, 17:8] I began to
          > weep, and to call on the Lord to rescue me from it. Then I
          > remembered the word which I had heard, Doubt not, O Hermas.
          > Clothed, therefore, my brethren, with faith in the Lord and
          > remembering the great things which He had taught me, I boldly
          > faced the beast. Now that beast came on with such noise and
          > force, that it could itself have destroyed a city. I came near it, and
          > the monstrous beast stretched itself out on the ground, and
          > showed nothing but its tongue, and did not stir at all until I had
          > passed by it. Now the beast had four colours on its head, black,
          > then fiery and bloody, then golden, and lastly white. [Rev 6]-
          > Hermas, Book First, Fourth Vision, Chap I
          >
          > I asked her about the four colours which the beast had on his head. And she
          > answered, and said to me, "Again you are inquisitive in regard to such matters."
          > "Yea, Lady," said I, "make known to me what they are." "Listen," said she: "the
          > black is the world in which we dwell: but the fiery and bloody points out that
          > the world must perish through blood and fire: but the golden part are you who
          > have escaped from this world. For as gold is tested by fire, and thus becomes
          > useful, so are you tested who dwell in it. [1 Cor 3:12-14, 1 Pe 1:7]Those,
          > therefore, who continue stedfast, and are put through the fire, will be purified
          > by means of it. For as gold casts away its dross, so also will ye cast away all
          > sadness and straitness, and will be made pure so as to fit into the building of
          > the tower. But the white part is the age that is to come, in which the elect of
          > God will dwell, since those elected by God to eternal life will be spotless and
          > pure[Rev 3:4-5, 3:18, 6:11, 7:13, 19:8 ]. Wherefore cease not speaking these
          > things into the ears of the saints. This then is the type of the great
          > tribulation [Mat 24:21, Rev 2:22, 7:14]that is to come. If ye wish it, it will
          > be nothing. Remember those things which were written down before." And saying
          > this, she departed. But I saw not into what place she retired. There was a
          > noise, however, and I turned round in alarm, thinking that that beast was
          > coming. Hermas, Book First, Fourth Vision, Chap III <<
          >
          > Hermas comes upon a beast that has some similarities to the beasts in
          > Revelation. He is told not to doubt, and then is given an introduction to the
          > commandments and similtudes. Similitudes are parables or allegories. One
          > difference between Hermas' beast and those in Revelation is that it has only one
          > head. Perhaps the horns and heads are the commandments like the ten horns in
          > Revealtion, and similtudes (spiritual understanding) like the creation week (new
          > creation in Christ) of seven heads. There is a problem though. Hermas receives
          > twelve commandments and ten similtudes. My solution is simple. We need the seven
          > and ten to recognize creation (new), and the decalogue. In Hermas we are
          > directly told they are commandments and similtudes, like the parables Jesus gave
          > spiritual teachings with.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • George F Somsel
          I hardly think that Hermas beast is the least bit comparable to that of Revelation.  In Revelation a counter-Judaism is established and penalties are imposed
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 16, 2011
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            I hardly think that Hermas' beast is the least bit comparable to that of
            Revelation.  In Revelation a counter-Judaism is established and penalties are
            imposed for non-conformance.  In Hermas the beast does not oppose Hermas, but
            simply turns into a pussy-cat.
            And I went on a little farther, brothers, and behold, I saw a cloud of dust
            rising up, as it were, to heaven, and I began to say to myself, "Maybe some
            cattle are coming and arising a cloud of dust." And it was about two hundred
            yards, away from me. (6) As the cloud of dust grew larger and larger, I began to
            suspect that it was something supernatural. Then the sun shone a little more
            brightly, and behold, I saw a huge beast, like some sea monster, and from its
            mouth flaming locusts were pouring out. And the beast was about one hundred feet
            long, and it had a head like a ceramic jar. (7) And I began to cry and to beg
            the Lord to rescue me from it. And I remembered the word which I had heard: "Do
            not be double-minded, Hermas." (8) So, brothers, having put on the faith of the
            Lord and remembering the great things he had taught me, I took courage and faced
            the beast. And the beast was coming on with such a rush that it could have
            destroyed a city. (9) I came near it, and huge though it was, the sea monster
            stretched itself out on the ground and merely thrust out its tongue, and did not
            even twitch until I had passed by it. (10) And the beast had four colors on its
            head: black, then the color of fire and blood, then gold, and then white.
            Holmes, Michael William. The Apostolic Fathers : Greek Texts and English
            Translations. Updated ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999.

            The two are of a completely different character.  Passing on from his encounter
            with the beast, Hermas meets the woman who represents the Church who says to him
            "You deserved to escape it," she said, "because you cast your cares on God and
            opened your heart to the Lord, believing that you could not be saved by anything
            except the great and glorious Name. Therefore the Lord sent his angel who has
            authority over the beasts, whose name is Segri, and he shut its mouth so that it
            might not hurt you. You have escaped a great tribulation because of your faith,
            and because you were not double-minded, even though you saw such a huge beast.


            In Revelation it is precisely because of their faith and their opposition to the
            agenda of the demonic trinity that the Jews suffer martyrdom.

            george
            gfsomsel


            … search for truth, hear truth,
            learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
            defend the truth till death.


            - Jan Hus
            _________




            ________________________________
            From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
            To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sun, January 16, 2011 4:38:08 PM
            Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Hermas and the Tribulation Beast

             

            Thank you George. I am not trying to understand thee things as moderns do, but
            as those to whom it was first written might have understood them.

            >>As far as was possible, and could be done with perspicuity, I cherish the hope
            >>that, according to my desire, I have omitted none of those things at present
            >>[demanding consideration], which bear upon your salvation. For if I should write
            >>to you about things future, ye would not understand, because such knowledge is
            >>hid in parables. These things then are so.

            The Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter XVII.—Conclusion of the first part of the
            epistle.<<

            --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
            >
            > Now you are indeed engaging in allegorical interpretation.  I find no
            > justification for that.  Hermas has little or nothing to do with Revelation. 
            >
            > The source of the Beast in Revelation lies in Daniel.  As is usually the case,
            >
            > our author does not simply adopt the OT or apocalyptic figures but transforms
            > them to fit his own scheme.  The four beasts of Daniel 7 have been compressed

            > into one Beast with 7 heads to fit with the mimicry of the divine by the unholy
            >
            > trinity.  Each head indicates a separate manifestation of a power that arrays

            > itself against God.  One has been slain and yet lives.  This is a reference
            >to
            >
            > the Roman Empire which had gone through a period of near collapse with 3
            > emperors who ruled only most briefly.  It was, however, revived.  Many
            >attempt
            >
            > to refer that to Nero, but though Nero may have sat for the portrait it does
            >not
            >
            > represent Nero.  Neither does the Beast represent Rome.  It rather represents
            >
            > all of the realms which have arrogated themselves against God from the
            >beginning
            >
            > of time.
            >
            >  george
            > gfsomsel
            >
            >
            > … search for truth, hear truth,
            > learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
            > defend the truth till death.
            >
            >
            > - Jan Hus
            > _________
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ________________________________
            > From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
            > To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Sun, January 16, 2011 3:17:40 PM
            > Subject: [revelation-list] Hermas and the Tribulation Beast
            >
            >  
            > Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of
            > the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred
            > threescore and six.
            >
            > 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven
            > mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
            >
            >
            > In the previous message I put forward the idea that the type of wisdom needed
            >to
            >
            > identify the beast was biblical and Greek rather than historical, literal and
            > what was conventional Jewish interpretation. I based that on Paul's remarks
            >that
            >
            > Greeks sought wisdom (1 Cor 1:22), and wisdom was not about earthly rulers (1
            > Cor 2:6). The basic idea is found in Romans where the Law might be understood
            >as
            >
            > the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Rom 7:5), and Christ as the tree of
            >life
            >
            > (Rom 5:17, 21). The seven heads actually represent the new creation in Christ
            >(2
            >
            > Cor 2:17) and the ten horns represent the Law as symbolised by the decalogue.
            >In
            >
            > other words the beast represents the deception brought on by an apparent
            > conflict between law and grace, or legalism and antinomianism.
            >
            > The idea is that prophetic, wisdom teaching was hard to understand (1 Cor 3:2,

            > Heb 5:12-13). In its absence the error of Jewish teaching stepped in (Barnabas

            > IV).
            >
            >
            > Historical, literal teaching about the beasts in Daniel and Revelation is
            > conspicuous by its absence in the New Testament and among the earliest church
            > fathers until Clement of Alexandria, who admits to being influenced by
            >Josephus.
            >
            >
            >
            > The Pastor of Hermas was written before 130 CE, and has a tribulation beast.
            > What would be a more perfect case to examine, and look for evidence of one
            > interpretation or the other?
            >
            > The Pastor of Hermas
            > Contents:
            > Book First - Visions
            > Book Second - Commandments
            > Book Third - Similtudes
            >
            > >>...And while I was glorifying Him and giving Him thanks, a voice, as it were,
            >
            > >>answered me, "Doubt not, Hermas;" and I began to think with myself, and to
            >say,
            >
            > >>"What reason have I to doubtâ€"I who have been established by the Lord, and
            >who
            >
            > >>have seen such glorious sights?" I advanced a little, brethren, and, lo! I
            >see
            >
            > >>dust rising even to the heavens. I began to say to myself, "Are cattle
            > >>approaching and raising the dust?" It was about a furlong's distance from me.
            >
            > >>And, lo! I see the dust rising more and more, so that I imagined that it was

            > >>something sent from God. But the sun now shone out a little, and, lo! I see a
            >
            > >>mighty beast like a whale [Rev 13:1], and out of its mouth fiery locusts
            >[Rev.
            >
            > >>9:3-7.]
            >
            > But the size of that beast was about a hundred feet, and it had a
            > head like an urn. [Rev. 11:7, 12:2-4, 17:8] I began to
            > weep, and to call on the Lord to rescue me from it. Then I
            > remembered the word which I had heard, Doubt not, O Hermas.
            > Clothed, therefore, my brethren, with faith in the Lord and
            > remembering the great things which He had taught me, I boldly
            > faced the beast. Now that beast came on with such noise and
            > force, that it could itself have destroyed a city. I came near it, and
            > the monstrous beast stretched itself out on the ground, and
            > showed nothing but its tongue, and did not stir at all until I had
            > passed by it. Now the beast had four colours on its head, black,
            > then fiery and bloody, then golden, and lastly white. [Rev 6]-
            > Hermas, Book First, Fourth Vision, Chap I
            >
            > I asked her about the four colours which the beast had on his head. And she
            > answered, and said to me, "Again you are inquisitive in regard to such
            >matters."
            >
            > "Yea, Lady," said I, "make known to me what they are." "Listen," said she: "the
            >
            > black is the world in which we dwell: but the fiery and bloody points out that

            > the world must perish through blood and fire: but the golden part are you who
            > have escaped from this world. For as gold is tested by fire, and thus becomes
            > useful, so are you tested who dwell in it. [1 Cor 3:12-14, 1 Pe 1:7]Those,
            > therefore, who continue stedfast, and are put through the fire, will be
            >purified
            >
            > by means of it. For as gold casts away its dross, so also will ye cast away all
            >
            > sadness and straitness, and will be made pure so as to fit into the building of
            >
            > the tower. But the white part is the age that is to come, in which the elect of
            >
            > God will dwell, since those elected by God to eternal life will be spotless and
            >
            > pure[Rev 3:4-5, 3:18, 6:11, 7:13, 19:8 ]. Wherefore cease not speaking these
            > things into the ears of the saints. This then is the type of the great
            > tribulation [Mat 24:21, Rev 2:22, 7:14]that is to come. If ye wish it, it will

            > be nothing. Remember those things which were written down before." And saying
            > this, she departed. But I saw not into what place she retired. There was a
            > noise, however, and I turned round in alarm, thinking that that beast was
            > coming. Hermas, Book First, Fourth Vision, Chap III <<
            >
            > Hermas comes upon a beast that has some similarities to the beasts in
            > Revelation. He is told not to doubt, and then is given an introduction to the
            > commandments and similtudes. Similitudes are parables or allegories. One
            > difference between Hermas' beast and those in Revelation is that it has only
            >one
            >
            > head. Perhaps the horns and heads are the commandments like the ten horns in
            > Revealtion, and similtudes (spiritual understanding) like the creation week
            >(new
            >
            > creation in Christ) of seven heads. There is a problem though. Hermas receives

            > twelve commandments and ten similtudes. My solution is simple. We need the
            >seven
            >
            > and ten to recognize creation (new), and the decalogue. In Hermas we are
            > directly told they are commandments and similtudes, like the parables Jesus
            >gave
            >
            > spiritual teachings with.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >


             




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n
            Very good. I understand these are modern objections, but I am trying to understand these things as the early Christians did. Please read this second century
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 17, 2011
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              Very good. I understand these are modern objections, but I am trying to understand these things as the early Christians did. Please read this second century document very carefully.

              >>The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, Chapter XII.—The importance of knowledge to true spiritual life.

              When you have read and carefully listened to these things, you shall know what God bestows on such as rightly love Him, being made [as ye are] a paradise of delight, presenting in yourselves a tree bearing all kinds of produce and flourishing well, being adorned with various fruits. For in this place the tree of knowledge and the tree of life have been planted; but it is not the tree of knowledge that destroys— it is disobedience that proves destructive. Nor truly are those words without significance which are written, how God from the beginning planted the tree of life in the midst of paradise, revealing through knowledge the way to life, and when those who were first formed did not use this [knowledge] properly, they were, through the fraud of the Serpent, stripped naked. For neither can life exist without knowledge, nor is knowledge secure without life. Wherefore both were planted close together. The Apostle, perceiving the force [of this conjunction], and blaming that knowledge which, without true doctrine, is admitted to influence life, [1 Cor. 8:1.] declares, "Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth." For he who thinks he knows anything without true knowledge, and such as is witnessed to by life, knows nothing, but is deceived by the Serpent, as not loving life. But he who combines knowledge with fear, and seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit. Let your heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true knowledge inwardly received. Bearing this tree and displaying its fruit, thou shalt always gather in those things which are desired by God, which the Serpent cannot reach, and to which deception does not approach; nor is Eve then corrupted, but is trusted as a virgin; and salvation is manifested, and the Apostles are filled with understanding, and the Passover [Rev. 5:9., Rev. 19:7., Rev. 20:5.] of the Lord advances, and the choirs [1 Pet. 5:3], are gathered together, and are arranged in proper order, and the Word rejoices in teaching the saints,—by whom the Father is glorified: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.<<

              Here are some second century comments showing how the early Christians viewed antichrist and the Apocalypse.

              >>If any one have ears, let him hear. If any one shall lead into captivity, he shall go into captivity [Rev 13:10]. If any shall slay with the sword, he must be slain with the sword. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints." [Rev. 13:2, etc.] After this he likewise describes his armour-bearer, whom he also terms a false prophet: "He spake as a dragon, and exercised all the power of the first beast in his sight, and caused the earth, and those that dwell therein, to adore the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he shall perform great wonders, so that he can even cause fire to descend from heaven upon the earth in the sight of men, and he shall lead the inhabitants of the earth astray."
              Irenaeus, Book V, Chapter XXVIII
              4. But he indicates the number of the name now, that when this man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is: the name, however, is suppressed, because it is not worthy of being proclaimed by the Holy Spirit. For if it had been declared by Him, he (Antichrist) might perhaps continue for a long period. But now as "he was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the abyss [Rev 9:2, 20:1] , and goes into perdition," [Rev. 17:8] as one who has no existence; so neither has his name been declared, for the name of that which does not exist is not proclaimed. But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that "many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
              Irenaeus, Book V, Chapter XXX.
              3. If any one, again, will look into Jacob's actions, he shall find them not destitute of meaning, but full of import with regard to the dispensations. Thus, in the first place, at his birth, since he laid hold on his brother's heel, [Gen. 25:26]. he was called Jacob, that is, the supplanter—one who holds, but is not held; binding the feet, but not being bound; striving and conquering; grasping in his hand his adversary's heel, that is, victory. For to this end was the Lord born, the type of whose birth he set forth beforehand, of whom also John says in the Apocalypse: "He went forth conquering, that He should conquer." [Rev. 6:2.]
              Irenaeus, Book IV, Chapter XXI.<<

              The ancients saw order and meaning in the universe, and expected the same things in scripture.


              --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
              >
              > I hardly think that Hermas' beast is the least bit comparable to that of
              > Revelation.  In Revelation a counter-Judaism is established and penalties are
              > imposed for non-conformance.  In Hermas the beast does not oppose Hermas, but
              > simply turns into a pussy-cat.
              > And I went on a lit
            • George F Somsel
              No, you are not attempting to understand these things as the early christians did.  The view of Hermas regarding the beast is not that of the Apocalypse
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 17, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                No, you are not attempting to understand these things as the early christians
                did.  The view of Hermas regarding the beast is not that of the Apocalypse
                concerning the Beast.  I have indicated that such is the case by highlighting
                points at which they diverge.  Your continued attempt to impose Hermas on the
                Apocalypse will not survive scrutiny.

                 george
                gfsomsel


                … search for truth, hear truth,
                learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
                defend the truth till death.


                - Jan Hus
                _________




                ________________________________
                From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
                To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Mon, January 17, 2011 8:34:45 AM
                Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Hermas and the Tribulation Beast

                 


                Very good. I understand these are modern objections, but I am trying to
                understand these things as the early Christians did. Please read this second
                century document very carefully.

                >>The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, Chapter XII.—The importance of knowledge
                >>to true spiritual life.

                When you have read and carefully listened to these things, you shall know what
                God bestows on such as rightly love Him, being made [as ye are] a paradise of
                delight, presenting in yourselves a tree bearing all kinds of produce and
                flourishing well, being adorned with various fruits. For in this place the tree
                of knowledge and the tree of life have been planted; but it is not the tree of
                knowledge that destroys— it is disobedience that proves destructive. Nor truly
                are those words without significance which are written, how God from the
                beginning planted the tree of life in the midst of paradise, revealing through
                knowledge the way to life, and when those who were first formed did not use this
                [knowledge] properly, they were, through the fraud of the Serpent, stripped
                naked. For neither can life exist without knowledge, nor is knowledge secure
                without life. Wherefore both were planted close together. The Apostle,
                perceiving the force [of this conjunction], and blaming that knowledge which,
                without true doctrine, is admitted to influence life, [1 Cor. 8:1.] declares,
                "Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth." For he who thinks he knows anything
                without true knowledge, and such as is witnessed to by life, knows nothing, but
                is deceived by the Serpent, as not loving life. But he who combines knowledge
                with fear, and seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit. Let your
                heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true knowledge inwardly received.
                Bearing this tree and displaying its fruit, thou shalt always gather in those
                things which are desired by God, which the Serpent cannot reach, and to which
                deception does not approach; nor is Eve then corrupted, but is trusted as a
                virgin; and salvation is manifested, and the Apostles are filled with
                understanding, and the Passover [Rev. 5:9., Rev. 19:7., Rev. 20:5.] of the Lord
                advances, and the choirs [1 Pet. 5:3], are gathered together, and are arranged
                in proper order, and the Word rejoices in teaching the saints,—by whom the
                Father is glorified: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.<<

                Here are some second century comments showing how the early Christians viewed
                antichrist and the Apocalypse.

                >>If any one have ears, let him hear. If any one shall lead into captivity, he
                >>shall go into captivity [Rev 13:10]. If any shall slay with the sword, he must
                >>be slain with the sword. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints."
                >>[Rev. 13:2, etc.] After this he likewise describes his armour-bearer, whom he
                >>also terms a false prophet: "He spake as a dragon, and exercised all the power
                >>of the first beast in his sight, and caused the earth, and those that dwell
                >>therein, to adore the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he shall
                >>perform great wonders, so that he can even cause fire to descend from heaven
                >>upon the earth in the sight of men, and he shall lead the inhabitants of the
                >>earth astray."
                >>
                Irenaeus, Book V, Chapter XXVIII
                4. But he indicates the number of the name now, that when this man comes we may
                avoid him, being aware who he is: the name, however, is suppressed, because it
                is not worthy of being proclaimed by the Holy Spirit. For if it had been
                declared by Him, he (Antichrist) might perhaps continue for a long period. But
                now as "he was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the abyss [Rev 9:2, 20:1] ,
                and goes into perdition," [Rev. 17:8] as one who has no existence; so neither
                has his name been declared, for the name of that which does not exist is not
                proclaimed. But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this
                world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at
                Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory
                of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire;
                but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest,
                the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in
                which kingdom the Lord declared, that "many coming from the east and from the
                west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

                Irenaeus, Book V, Chapter XXX.
                3. If any one, again, will look into Jacob's actions, he shall find them not
                destitute of meaning, but full of import with regard to the dispensations. Thus,
                in the first place, at his birth, since he laid hold on his brother's heel,
                [Gen. 25:26]. he was called Jacob, that is, the supplanter—one who holds, but is
                not held; binding the feet, but not being bound; striving and conquering;
                grasping in his hand his adversary's heel, that is, victory. For to this end was
                the Lord born, the type of whose birth he set forth beforehand, of whom also
                John says in the Apocalypse: "He went forth conquering, that He should conquer."
                [Rev. 6:2.]
                Irenaeus, Book IV, Chapter XXI.<<

                The ancients saw order and meaning in the universe, and expected the same things
                in scripture.

                --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
                >
                > I hardly think that Hermas' beast is the least bit comparable to that of
                > Revelation.  In Revelation a counter-Judaism is established and penalties are

                > imposed for non-conformance.  In Hermas the beast does not oppose Hermas, but
                >
                > simply turns into a pussy-cat.
                > And I went on a lit







                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Jon Newton
                Interesting Irenaeus in the 2nd passage alsmot reads like a modern dispensationalist predicting a future antichrist in a rebuilt Jerusalem temple Jon (Pastor)
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 17, 2011
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                  Interesting

                  Irenaeus in the 2nd passage alsmot reads like a modern dispensationalist predicting a future antichrist in a rebuilt Jerusalem temple

                  Jon

                  (Pastor) Jon Newton


                  --- On Tue, 18/1/11, e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...> wrote:

                  From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
                  Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Hermas and the Tribulation Beast
                  To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                  Received: Tuesday, 18 January, 2011, 2:34 AM







                   













                  Very good. I understand these are modern objections, but I am trying to understand these things as the early Christians did. Please read this second century document very carefully.



                  >>The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, Chapter XII.—The importance of knowledge to true spiritual life.



                  When you have read and carefully listened to these things, you shall know what God bestows on such as rightly love Him, being made [as ye are] a paradise of delight, presenting in yourselves a tree bearing all kinds of produce and flourishing well, being adorned with various fruits. For in this place the tree of knowledge and the tree of life have been planted; but it is not the tree of knowledge that destroys— it is disobedience that proves destructive. Nor truly are those words without significance which are written, how God from the beginning planted the tree of life in the midst of paradise, revealing through knowledge the way to life, and when those who were first formed did not use this [knowledge] properly, they were, through the fraud of the Serpent, stripped naked. For neither can life exist without knowledge, nor is knowledge secure without life. Wherefore both were planted close together. The Apostle, perceiving the force [of this
                  conjunction], and blaming that knowledge which, without true doctrine, is admitted to influence life, [1 Cor. 8:1.] declares, "Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth." For he who thinks he knows anything without true knowledge, and such as is witnessed to by life, knows nothing, but is deceived by the Serpent, as not loving life. But he who combines knowledge with fear, and seeks after life, plants in hope, looking for fruit. Let your heart be your wisdom; and let your life be true knowledge inwardly received. Bearing this tree and displaying its fruit, thou shalt always gather in those things which are desired by God, which the Serpent cannot reach, and to which deception does not approach; nor is Eve then corrupted, but is trusted as a virgin; and salvation is manifested, and the Apostles are filled with understanding, and the Passover [Rev. 5:9., Rev. 19:7., Rev. 20:5.] of the Lord advances, and the choirs [1 Pet. 5:3], are gathered together, and
                  are arranged in proper order, and the Word rejoices in teaching the saints,—by whom the Father is glorified: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.<<



                  Here are some second century comments showing how the early Christians viewed antichrist and the Apocalypse.



                  >>If any one have ears, let him hear. If any one shall lead into captivity, he shall go into captivity [Rev 13:10]. If any shall slay with the sword, he must be slain with the sword. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints." [Rev. 13:2, etc.] After this he likewise describes his armour-bearer, whom he also terms a false prophet: "He spake as a dragon, and exercised all the power of the first beast in his sight, and caused the earth, and those that dwell therein, to adore the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he shall perform great wonders, so that he can even cause fire to descend from heaven upon the earth in the sight of men, and he shall lead the inhabitants of the earth astray."

                  Irenaeus, Book V, Chapter XXVIII

                  4. But he indicates the number of the name now, that when this man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is: the name, however, is suppressed, because it is not worthy of being proclaimed by the Holy Spirit. For if it had been declared by Him, he (Antichrist) might perhaps continue for a long period. But now as "he was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the abyss [Rev 9:2, 20:1] , and goes into perdition," [Rev. 17:8] as one who has no existence; so neither has his name been declared, for the name of that which does not exist is not proclaimed. But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day;
                  and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that "many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

                  Irenaeus, Book V, Chapter XXX.

                  3. If any one, again, will look into Jacob's actions, he shall find them not destitute of meaning, but full of import with regard to the dispensations. Thus, in the first place, at his birth, since he laid hold on his brother's heel, [Gen. 25:26]. he was called Jacob, that is, the supplanter—one who holds, but is not held; binding the feet, but not being bound; striving and conquering; grasping in his hand his adversary's heel, that is, victory. For to this end was the Lord born, the type of whose birth he set forth beforehand, of whom also John says in the Apocalypse: "He went forth conquering, that He should conquer." [Rev. 6:2.]

                  Irenaeus, Book IV, Chapter XXI.<<



                  The ancients saw order and meaning in the universe, and expected the same things in scripture.



                  --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:

                  >

                  > I hardly think that Hermas' beast is the least bit comparable to that of

                  > Revelation.  In Revelation a counter-Judaism is established and penalties are

                  > imposed for non-conformance.  In Hermas the beast does not oppose Hermas, but

                  > simply turns into a pussy-cat.

                  > And I went on a lit

























                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n
                  It s not so much the he looked at it like modern dispys, rather dispys look at in a more traditional way than preterists, where Bible allusions are concerned.
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 17, 2011
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                    It's not so much the he looked at it like modern dispys, rather dispys look at in a more traditional way than preterists, where Bible allusions are concerned. There is a good history on the view of antichrist in the church by William C. Weinrich in the Concordia Theological Quarterly.

                    http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/weinrichantichristearlychurch.pdf

                    So many moderns, including academics, seemed uninformed about these things.

                    Alan Fuller
                    http://www.lulu.com/arfuller



                    --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, Jon Newton <jonknewton@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Interesting
                    >
                    > Irenaeus in the 2nd passage alsmot reads like a modern dispensationalist predicting a future antichrist in a rebuilt Jerusalem temple
                    >
                    > Jon
                    >
                    > (Pastor) Jon Newton
                    >
                    >
                    > --- On Tue, 18/1/11, e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                  • e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n
                    Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil,
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 19, 2011
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
                      Rev 12:9 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.
                      Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

                      I think it is interesting that Satan is first cast to Earth, (Rev 9:1, 12:9, 20:2), and finally the lake of fire (Rev 20:10, Mat 25:41, 46).

                      In the OT we see a similar fate for the covering cherub (Eze 28:13-17) and Lucifer (Isa 14:12-15). Satan was cursed in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:14-15).

                      The battle goes on daily in the lives of men ( 1 Pe 5:8, 2Ti 4:17; Rev 12:12). In the Gospel Christ saw Satan cast to Earth (Luke 10:18), and Peter tells us the angels that sinned are reserved for judgment (2 Pet 2:4). It is Christ who has defeated Satan with the Cross (Col 1:13, 2:15) for those that accept (1 Cor 10:13, Eph 6:11-18).

                      That is the tribulation beast that would test Hermas' faith.



                      --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > No, you are not attempting to understand these things as the early christians
                      > did.  The view of Hermas regarding the beast is not that of the Apocalypse
                      > concerning the Beast.  I have indicated that such is the case by highlighting
                      > points at which they diverge.  Your continued attempt to impose Hermas on the
                      > Apocalypse will not survive scrutiny.
                      >
                      >  george
                      > gfsomsel
                      >
                    • George F Somsel
                      I don t think we are in basic disagreement on the point that the Dragon which is cast out of heaven is none other than Satan who is active upon the earth, but
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 19, 2011
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                        I don't think we are in basic disagreement on the point that the Dragon which is
                        cast out of heaven is none other than Satan who is active upon the earth, but
                        the basic difference is that in Hermas the beast is depicted as being subdued by
                        Hermas' faith whereas in Revelation the Beast is the active opponent of the
                        Jews, requiring a wearing of the number of the Beast upon the right hand (as
                        opposed to the phylacteries which were worn on the left hand) and effecting the
                        death of those who do not comply.

                         george
                        gfsomsel


                        … search for truth, hear truth,
                        learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
                        defend the truth till death.


                        - Jan Hus
                        _________




                        ________________________________
                        From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
                        To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Wed, January 19, 2011 8:18:53 AM
                        Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Hermas and the Tribulation Beast

                         


                        Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
                        Rev 12:9 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.

                        Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and
                        strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the
                        accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and
                        night.


                        I think it is interesting that Satan is first cast to Earth, (Rev 9:1, 12:9,
                        20:2), and finally the lake of fire (Rev 20:10, Mat 25:41, 46).

                        In the OT we see a similar fate for the covering cherub (Eze 28:13-17) and
                        Lucifer (Isa 14:12-15). Satan was cursed in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:14-15).

                        The battle goes on daily in the lives of men ( 1 Pe 5:8, 2Ti 4:17; Rev 12:12).
                        In the Gospel Christ saw Satan cast to Earth (Luke 10:18), and Peter tells us
                        the angels that sinned are reserved for judgment (2 Pet 2:4). It is Christ who
                        has defeated Satan with the Cross (Col 1:13, 2:15) for those that accept (1 Cor
                        10:13, Eph 6:11-18).


                        That is the tribulation beast that would test Hermas' faith.

                        --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > No, you are not attempting to understand these things as the early christians
                        > did.  The view of Hermas regarding the beast is not that of the Apocalypse
                        > concerning the Beast.  I have indicated that such is the case by highlighting

                        > points at which they diverge.  Your continued attempt to impose Hermas on the
                        >
                        > Apocalypse will not survive scrutiny.
                        >
                        >  george
                        > gfsomsel
                        >







                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n
                        The Shepherd of Hermas (or Hermes) is a Christian literary work of the 1st or 2nd century. Origen attributed it to the biblical Hermas (Rom 16:14). Irenaeus
                        Message 11 of 12 , Nov 29, 2012
                        • 0 Attachment
                          The Shepherd of Hermas (or Hermes) is a Christian literary work of the 1st or 2nd century. Origen attributed it to the biblical Hermas (Rom 16:14). Irenaeus quoted it as scripture. It is included in some copies of the New Testament (Sinaitic Codex) and is found in some early lists.

                          The book consists of five visions, twelve mandates, or commandments, and ten similitudes, or parables.

                          The first three visions do not concern the end times, but the building of the triumphant Church, and the possibility of repentance because the end is not yet. The fourth vision tells of the trial and tribulation that are to come upon men.

                          Hermas sees a representation of the tribulation that is to come.

                          >>I see the dust rising more and more, so that I imagined that it was something sent from God. But the sun now shone out a little, and, lo! I see a mighty beast like a whale, and out of its mouth fiery locusts proceeded. But the size of that beast was about a hundred feet, and it had a head like an urn."<<

                          The beast has some obvious similarities to beasts found elsewhere in scripture, the Book of Revelation in particular.

                          The obscuration of the sun - 6:12, 8:12, 9:2, 16:8
                          Beast from the sea - 13:1
                          Locusts - 9:3, 9:7
                          Four colored head like an urn - Dead released from the sea - Rev 20:13, Four colors of horses ch 6:2-8, gold(?) altar and saints dressed in white 6:9-11, scarlet beast ch 17

                          It may be that the altar in chapter six is gold because prayers are mentioned, and the golden altar in 8:3-4 is associated the prayers of saints which are like incense. The pale color is missing while black and red are reversed in order, but in Revelation the previous judgments seem to be accumulated in the fourth horseman (6:8).

                          He receives an interpretation of the vision from a lady representing the church.

                          >>I asked her about the four colours which the beast had on his head. And she answered, and said to me, "Again you are inquisitive in regard to such matters." "Yea, Lady, said I, "make known to me what they are."
                          "Listen," said she: "the black is the world in which we dwell: but the fiery and bloody points out that the world must perish through blood and fire: but the golden part are you who have escaped from this world. For as gold is tested by fire, and thus becomes useful, so are you tested who dwell in it. Those, therefore, who continue stedfast, and are put through the fire, will be purified by means of it. For as gold casts away its dross, so also will ye cast away all sadness and straitness, and will be made pure so as to fit into the building of the tower. But the white part is the age that is to come, in which the elect of God will dwell, since those elected by God to eternal life will be spotless and pure. Wherefore cease not speaking these things into the ears of the saints. This then is the type of the great tribulation that is to come. <<

                          A notable difference between Hermas and Revelation is that in Hermas the beast has one head and no horns are mentioned, whereas most of the beasts mentioned later in Revelation have seven heads and ten horns, which are said to represent mountains and/or kings 17:9-12.

                          Instead of a discussion of horns and heads Hermas is given a series of commandments and spiritual parables. This reminds me of the discussion of Daniel's beasts and horns in the Epistle of Barnabas (ch 4). He immediately follows with a discussion of the spiritual covenant and the decalogue (ten commandments).

                          In Hermas the commandments are different in number than Barnabas or the horns in Revelation, but we are told directly they are commandments. The parables remind us that Jesus taught spiritual parables about the coming kingdom. The seven reminds us of the creation, and the new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17, Gal 6:15, Eph 2:15).

                          My conclusion is that end time beast in scripture is primarily about a spiritual battle for the human heart (faith). This was the interpretation understood by those that followed the apostles, and it became lost somewhere along the way. Perhaps there are other levels of interpretation, but I think the spiritual one is the most important.
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