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Re: Hermas and the Tribulation Beast

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  • 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 1 of 12 , Jan 17, 2011
      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 2 of 12 , Jan 17, 2011
        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 3 of 12 , Jan 17, 2011
          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 4 of 12 , Jan 17, 2011
            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 5 of 12 , Jan 19, 2011
              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 6 of 12 , Jan 19, 2011
                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 7 of 12 , Nov 29 9:39 AM
                  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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