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Re:Lamblike Beast

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  • ksmith@standrews.sa.edu.au
    ... second beast most likely is/will be a person . I agree. But what leads you to that conclusion? I have read others who say that we should not think of
    Message 1 of 15 , Oct 29, 2001
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      --- In revelation-list@y..., Ed Garcia <Ed.Garcia@f...> wrote:
      > Kym,
      >
      > I am wondering, in your response you say "the first beast, this
      second beast > most likely is/will be a > person". I agree. But
      what leads you to that conclusion? I have read others > who say
      that we should not think of the beasts in terms of individuals but
      > as a system ( I disagree with such an understanding). What
      leads you to the > conclusion that in the beasts we are dealing
      with individuals. >>>


      Dear Ed,

      My interest in the Revelation has been primarily in its date and
      relationship to the other New Testament books so I have not
      thought too much about the rest of its contents. Clearly, this will
      have to change. Hopefully the following will be of some use.

      Perhaps it would be best to see a combination of persons and
      systems here. While there is undoubtedly a world system behind
      which stands the Dragon, Satan, and through which he seeks to
      seduce the world, there seem to be real persons as well.

      If Satan sets up a counterfeit trinity, then, like the true trinity, it
      must be personal. While people do worship systems, especially
      in the sense of becoming slaves to them, it will take a person to
      direct that worship to the one who covets it, i.e. Satan. If the
      Father's Son became human, we can be sure that the devil will
      want a human `son' to do his bidding as well. So the first beast,
      it seems to me, is clearly a person and will, undoubtedly, be a
      man, otherwise known as the antichrist (1 Jn 2:18), `man of
      lawlessness' and `son of perdition' (2 Thess 2:3) or the
      `desolating sacrilege' (Matt 24:15; cf. Dan 9:27).

      Concerning the second beast, the picture given in Rev 13 seems
      to relate to a person and to a system that that person sets up
      and maintains. Of course there is a difficulty with what language
      in the Revelation should be taken literally and what should be
      taken figuratively/allegorically/metaphorically and so on. My
      hunch is that it probably moves from one to another. In the case
      of the second beast I am quite happy to accept that the signs
      given to it, like calling fire from heaven (13:13-14) will be literal
      signs observed by and deceiving humanity. I do not think that a
      world system will or can do such signs, but a person
      supernaturally empowered by the prince of darkness – even if he
      does not understand the actual source of his abilities – can. It is
      this beast, the second, who stirs up the world to follow the first
      beast and who will set up a system – clearly a political and
      financial one – by which those who refuse to worship the first
      beast will be cut off from `normal' society. In our modern
      technological day of plastic money, electronic finances, etc, it is
      not hard to imagine how this could be done.

      That's how I see it anyway.

      Kym Smith
      Adelaide
      South Australia
      khs@...
    • Ian Paul
      Dear Kym ... It feels as though this is moving some way from the text itself to appeal to other realms of logic. In discerning whether the text (or its writer)
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
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        Dear Kym

        >Perhaps it would be best to see a combination of persons and
        >systems here. While there is undoubtedly a world system behind
        >which stands the Dragon, Satan, and through which he seeks to
        >seduce the world, there seem to be real persons as well.
        >
        >If Satan sets up a counterfeit trinity, then, like the true trinity, it
        >must be personal. While people do worship systems, especially
        >in the sense of becoming slaves to them, it will take a person to
        >direct that worship to the one who covets it, i.e. Satan.

        It feels as though this is moving some way from the text itself to appeal to
        other realms of logic. In discerning whether the text (or its writer) is
        envisaging a person or a system, surely we have to look at the text itself,
        and the sources of its imagery?

        Revelation is making particular use of the animal images in Daniel, all of
        which appear to refer to empires. Revelation does re-use images in a way
        distinct from their OT context, but I think I would need some other evidence
        from Revelation itself before saying that the beasts refer to persons rather
        than systems/empires.

        And your discussion assumes that the primary referent is future (to the
        first century) which as you know I am not persuaded is correct.

        Ian Paul
      • RSBrenchley@aol.com
        ... to ... A reference to the Trinity here seems anachronistic, unless you re dating Revelation really late; the first clear extant reference to the Trinity
        Message 3 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
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          Kym writes:

          > >If Satan sets up a counterfeit trinity, then, like the true trinity, it
          > >must be personal. While people do worship systems, especially
          > >in the sense of becoming slaves to them, it will take a person to
          > >direct that worship to the one who covets it, i.e. Satan.
          >
          Ian replies:

          > It feels as though this is moving some way from the text itself to appeal
          to
          > other realms of logic. In discerning whether the text (or its writer) is
          > envisaging a person or a system, surely we have to look at the text itself,
          > and the sources of its imagery?
          >
          A reference to the Trinity here seems anachronistic, unless you're dating
          Revelation really late; the first clear extant reference to the Trinity being
          in Theophilus of Antioch, around the 160's AD.

          Regards,

          Robert Brenchley,
          Birmingham, UK.

          RSBrenchley@...
        • Ed Garcia
          Contrary to Mr. Paul, I agree with Kym, I believe that the beasts of Revelation refer to both individuals as well as empires/systems/groups of people. This is
          Message 4 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
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            Contrary to Mr. Paul, I agree with Kym,

            I believe that the beasts of Revelation refer to both individuals as well as
            empires/systems/groups of people. This is the only conclusion that makes
            sense. For one thing you can't have an empire with out an emperor or an
            emperor without an empire; you can't have a kingdom without a king or a king
            without a kingdom (though we should also include queens too). If we consider
            the book of Exodus we see that God is not only punishing Pharaoh but Egypt
            as well. The two are practically interchangeable. In Revelation we can think
            of the woman giving birth to the male child. True the woman can represent a
            group, or body of people, a nation perhaps. But it is also true that the
            child spoken of is Jesus and would have been born of a human mother, an
            individual, Mary. Thus the woman represents a group of people, a nation and
            an individual. In Revelation 19:20 the Beast as well as the False Prophet
            are thrown into the lake of fire. Can a system be thrown into a lake of
            fire? Besides, in 19:20 the Beast and False Prophet are referred to as third
            person singular, not third person plural. Thus, I believe that with some
            symbols Revelation means both individuals and groups or maybe systems.

            -Ed Garcia
            Kansas
          • Ian Paul
            ... as ... Maybe to you or me, but again, the fundamental question is surely what makes sense for John? In personifying the four empires, Daniel appears to
            Message 5 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
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              Ed Garcia writes:

              >I believe that the beasts of Revelation refer to both individuals as well
              as
              >empires/systems/groups of people. This is the only conclusion that makes
              >sense.

              Maybe to you or me, but again, the fundamental question is surely what makes
              sense for John? In personifying the four empires, Daniel appears to have no
              need for the individual leaders, and John uses similar language. Again, his
              use of Is 26 and Micah 4 in depicting God's expectant people as a pregnant
              women gives no prominence to the actual mother.

              > Can a system be thrown into a lake of
              >fire?

              If systems can be demonic, why cannot they be judged?

              > Besides, in 19:20 the Beast and False Prophet are referred to as third
              >person singular, not third person plural.

              Hmmm...I think there is a fundemental question here about use of language
              and the way metaphor works. When 'England beats Australia at cricket' there
              is more than one person involved even if the verb is singular.

              Ian Paul
            • Ed Garcia
              Ian Paul writes: In personifying the four empires, Daniel appears to have no need for the individual leaders Whether this is the case or not I cannot say.
              Message 6 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
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                Ian Paul writes:

                "In personifying the four empires, Daniel appears to have no
                need for the individual leaders" Whether this is the case or not I cannot
                say. But still, with a nation, a kingdom or an empire you have a leader
                whether it be an emperor, a president, a king, a dictator, a premier or a
                general. If you have an empire, you have a leader. And at times, even in
                scripture, the leader personifies the whole. Consider Jesus and his church
                which is his Body. can we think of the Christ's kingdom without Christ?

                " Again, his use of Is 26 and Micah 4 in depicting God's expectant people as
                a pregnant women gives no prominence to the actual mother."

                That may be true but we are discussing the woman in Revelation and in that
                passage both Mary and whatever/whoever the Woman giving birth represents are
                clearly represented.

                "If systems can be demonic, why cannot they be judged?"

                Systems can be judged but how do you throw a system into a lake of fire?
                Individuals, however, can be thrown into a lake of fire.

                -Ed Garcia
                Kansas


                -----Original Message-----
                From: Ian Paul [mailto:ian.b.paul@...]
                Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 4:18 PM
                To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [revelation-list] Re:Lamblike Beast



                Ed Garcia writes:

                >I believe that the beasts of Revelation refer to both individuals as well
                as
                >empires/systems/groups of people. This is the only conclusion that makes
                >sense.

                Maybe to you or me, but again, the fundamental question is surely what makes
                sense for John? In personifying the four empires, Daniel appears to have no
                need for the individual leaders, and John uses similar language. Again, his
                use of Is 26 and Micah 4 in depicting God's expectant people as a pregnant
                women gives no prominence to the actual mother.

                > Can a system be thrown into a lake of
                >fire?

                If systems can be demonic, why cannot they be judged?

                > Besides, in 19:20 the Beast and False Prophet are referred to as third
                >person singular, not third person plural.

                Hmmm...I think there is a fundemental question here about use of language
                and the way metaphor works. When 'England beats Australia at cricket' there
                is more than one person involved even if the verb is singular.

                Ian Paul


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              • ksmith@standrews.sa.edu.au
                ... you re dating Revelation really late; the first clear extant reference to the Trinity being in Theophilus of Antioch, around the 160 s AD. Dear
                Message 7 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
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                  --- In revelation-list@y..., RSBrenchley@a... wrote:
                  >>> A reference to the Trinity here seems anachronistic, unless
                  you're dating > Revelation really late; the first clear extant
                  reference to the Trinity being in Theophilus of Antioch, around the
                  160's AD. >>>

                  Dear Robert,

                  As you probably know, I date the Revelation in 62 and before
                  most of the New testament books were written. If the Revelation
                  used the term, 'trinity', then you might be right. However, it does
                  not. We can speak of the NT's allusions to the trinity (e.g. in Matt
                  18:19) without demanding that the NT or any of its parts were
                  post 160AD. It is the reality of the trinity, not the term, that Satan
                  attempts to emulate, and the reality is well known to Satan.

                  Sincerely,

                  Kym Smith
                  Adelaide
                  South Australia
                  khs@...
                • ksmith@standrews.sa.edu.au
                  Dear Ian, In reference to my post #120, you said, ... itself to appeal to other realms of logic. In discerning whether the text (or its writer) is envisaging a
                  Message 8 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
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                    Dear Ian,

                    In reference to my post #120, you said,

                    >>> "It feels as though this is moving some way from the text
                    itself to appeal to other realms of logic. In discerning whether the
                    text (or its writer) is envisaging a person or a system, surely we
                    have to look at the text itself, and the sources of its imagery?>>>

                    I don't think that I moved from the text at all. It may be true that my
                    approach to the text is not as narrow as you may think that it
                    should be, but surely we would miss much of what Scripture has
                    for us if we did not come to its individual parts with a broader
                    theological and/or scriptural framework. Can we do otherwise?
                    In what you quoted of my post (added below), there seem to be
                    two main issues. The counterfeit trinity and the combination of
                    persons and systems in relation to the second beast.

                    The former, the idea of the counterfeit trinity, is only an
                    observation of chapters 12 and 13 where we have the Dragon,
                    the first beast who recovers from a mortal wound and to whom
                    the Dragon gives his authority, and the second beast which
                    seeks to bring the world into subservience to the first beast –
                    and through him to the Dragon – and who marks those who do
                    submit. If one cannot accept that individual persons are primarily
                    meant by the beasts then I can understand that this idea would
                    be harder to allow as a legitimate option.

                    The second idea, that the beasts may relate to both persons and
                    systems, is probably dependant, to some degree, on how much
                    one a. allows the text to contain both literal and metaphorical
                    language and b. accepts that other NT writers are referring to the
                    same entities using other terms.

                    Taking the latter idea first, if the first beast is Paul's `man of
                    lawlessness' and son of perdition, the lawless one who comes
                    `by the activity of Satan' (2 Thess 2:3-9), then we are clearly
                    dealing with an individual. The same may be said of John's
                    antichrist (1 Jn 2:18). I think these connections are there to be
                    made.

                    That the text may contain both literal and metaphorical ideas is
                    more open to subjective assessment and also, therefore, more
                    open to error. This does not mean that both are not there,
                    however. Clearly the beast with two horns like a lamb and a
                    voice like a dragon is metaphorical, though some real entity, be it
                    person or system, is obviously intended. That this beast will be
                    allowed to do great, deceitful signs, including calling fire down
                    form heaven, may be only metaphorical, but I think not – even if
                    the fire itself is merely metaphorical (something I also doubt).

                    Now it is clear, especially with the second beast, that a system is
                    involved. That, however, does not exclude a prominent
                    personage who heads it up and whose charisma and `signs'
                    add weight to the authority of the system. That system appears to
                    be both political and financial and one that is imposed on the
                    whole earth. Given a crisis of sufficient proportions, it is not
                    impossible to imagine the nations of the world uniting to resolve
                    it. We saw the possibilities recently with the global coalition
                    against terrorism. Perhaps, in reference to the counterfeit trinity,
                    a system is the only was for the counterfeit third person to be
                    all-present.

                    >>>Revelation is making particular use of the animal images in
                    Daniel, all of which appear to refer to empires. Revelation does
                    re-use images in a way distinct from their OT context, but I think I
                    would need some other evidence from Revelation itself before
                    saying that the beasts refer to persons rather than
                    systems/empires.>>>

                    Your own admission that the Revelation "does re-use (OT)
                    images in a way distinct" must open some possibilities. You
                    may insist that the lamb-like beast of 13:11 is a system, but you
                    are unlikely, I daresay, to consider the Lamb of 14:1 to be a
                    system and not an individual. I think I should be careful here to
                    remember my limitations. As I have said, my interest – until now
                    – has been primarily in the date of the Revelation and its
                    relationship to the other NT books. I have not given sufficient
                    consideration to the contents of the book to enter too deeply into
                    the current debate, though I do not back off from what I have said
                    so far. Nor does that mean that I will not attempt to take it further,
                    I just know that that is going to take some effort.

                    >>>And your discussion assumes that the primary referent is
                    future (to the first century) which as you know I am not persuaded
                    is correct.>>>

                    My position, as you probably know, is that the Revelation has (at
                    least – and probably only) two periods primarily in view. That
                    does not mean that it has not been incredibly useful in between,
                    it has. I think it was first given in anticipation of Nero's
                    persecutions. The apostles always believed that Christ would
                    come in their lifetimes and they say as much in their earliest
                    correspondences (e.g. 1 Thess 5; 2 Thess 2; 1 Cor 7:25-30).
                    With the giving of the Revelation, however, their expectation was
                    heightened, resulting in epistles like 1 John, Eph and 1 Pet and
                    James and, as a second wave, 2 Pet, and Jude. The apostles
                    had no doubt that Nero's demise would come about with the
                    return of Christ. When this did not happen, they had to come to
                    grips with the double layered intention of the Revelation. While
                    significant things had happened in their own time which, it
                    seemed, the Revelation had warned them about (the
                    persecutions in Rome and in Asia, for example), some major
                    portions of John's vision had not been fulfilled. These awaited a
                    second and final fulfilment which they may or may not see. It was
                    necessary for them, however, to provide for a Church which
                    might outlast them and the gospels of John, Luke and Matthew
                    were produced, as well as the Acts of the Apostles for this
                    purpose. I suspect that John still considered that he would be
                    around if not to see the actual end, at least to identify the main
                    players, hence the inclusion of John 21:20-23.
                    Much prophecy in both OT and NT is double layered. It has an
                    immediate context but looks forward to something other as well.
                    A small example is Isaiah 7:14. What has happened with the
                    Revelation is that God has provided for his Church which and
                    when it will face the last things. He `fostered' a situation in the
                    first century about which he gave some preview and warning and
                    to which the apostles responded. The veiled nature of the
                    preview – i.e. the Revelation – was such that it was not possible
                    for the apostles to distinguish between the immediate and the
                    final fulfilments. Indeed, at the time they had no thought other
                    than that it was all about to happen.
                    Why has God done this? He has done it, I suspect, so that the
                    Revelation would be recorded by an apostolic writer and would
                    be received and kept as part of Scripture. Not to have done this
                    would mean that, if he gave it at all, he would have to give the
                    vision to some later writer who would be unlikely – humanly
                    speaking – to have any more credibility that some one like
                    Nostradamus.
                    So yes, I do think that the "primary referent" of the Revelation is
                    future - in both of its `layers'.

                    Sincerely,

                    Kym Smith
                    Adelaide
                    South Australia
                    Khs@...

                    >Perhaps it would be best to see a combination of persons and
                    >systems here. While there is undoubtedly a world system
                    behind >which stands the Dragon, Satan, and through which he
                    seeks to >seduce the world, there seem to be real persons as
                    well.
                    >
                    >If Satan sets up a counterfeit trinity, then, like the true trinity, it
                    >must be personal. While people do worship systems,
                    especially >in the sense of becoming slaves to them, it will take
                    a person to
                    >direct that worship to the one who covets it, i.e. Satan.
                  • Otto Erlend Nordgreen
                    Dear Ian, in your discussion with Kym and Ed, you wrote: Revelation is making particular use of the animal images in Daniel, all of which appear to refer to
                    Message 9 of 15 , Oct 31, 2001
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                      Dear Ian,

                      in your discussion with Kym and Ed, you wrote:

                      "Revelation is making particular use of the animal images in Daniel, all of
                      which appear to refer to empires. Revelation does re-use images in a way
                      distinct from their OT context, but I think I would need some other evidence
                      from Revelation itself before saying that the beasts refer to persons rather
                      than systems/empires."

                      What do you make of Dan 8:9? I find it interesting to observe that after the fall of Alexander's Greece, a 'little horn' is said to grew from one of the four diadochi, viz. Syria, and that in relation to the fourth beast, Daniel also mentions a 'little horn' (Dan 7). Most commentators seem to accept that the 'little horn' of Dan 8 is the Syrian king of Antiochus IV, Epiphanes.

                      The most 'natural' reading of Daniel, I would like to argue, should lead us to accept the same identity for the 'little horn' in Dan 7 and 8. Thus, following the Greek View, we should relate the fourth empire of Dan 2 and 7 to the historical person of Antiochus IV.

                      It is true that the 'little horn' of Dan 8:9 is said to grew from one of the parts of the fallen Greek empire of Alexander. But we should not let this disturb the interpretation that identifies this 'little horn' with that of the fourth empire in Dan 7. Why? By recognising that Daniel actually tells us that the Greek empire already had fallen when the 'little horn' grew from one of its parts (cf. Dan 8:9,22; 11:4). Furthermore, it is quite possible that Daniel is using the 'little horn' to symbolise the fourth empire as such. Thus, like John the Seer uses one of the heads of the beast (from the sea) also to represent the beast as such, this could also be the fact of Daniel's portray of the fourth secular power.

                      For my identification of the four 'kingdoms' in the Book of Daniel, see my essay "The Four Kingdoms in the Book of Daniel Reconsidered", as published at

                      http://folk.uio.no/otton/Daniel1.htm

                      Just some thoughts...

                      Best wishes!

                               ________________________________________         
                               Otto Erlend Nordgreen                               
                                                      
                               Student at Department of Germanic
                               Studies, University of Oslo, Norway
                               E-mail: otton@...
                               Website: http://www.uio.no/~otton/English1.htm
                               ________________________________________

                    • Dave Mathewson
                      Ed Garcia writes: Systems can be judged but how do you throw a system into the lake of fire? Individuals, however, can be thrown into the lake of fire. But
                      Message 10 of 15 , Oct 31, 2001
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                        Ed Garcia writes: "Systems can be judged but how do you throw a system into
                        the lake of fire? Individuals, however, can be thrown into the lake of
                        fire."

                        But is this perhaps not too subtle of an approach to Rev's metaphorical
                        language? At a literal level, this would be a difficulty, but at a
                        metaphorical level, no more a difficulty that having a woman who gives birth
                        to a son representing (at least in part) a nation, or the Christ being both
                        a Lion and a Lamb.

                        Dave Mathewson

                        _________________________________________________________________
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                      • Stettler Alliance Church
                        please take me off the mailing list thank you ... into ... birth ... both ... http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
                        Message 11 of 15 , Nov 1, 2001
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                          please take me off the mailing list

                          thank you

                          ----------
                          > From: Dave Mathewson <d_mathewson@...>
                          > To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: [revelation-list] Lamblike Beast
                          > Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 12:35 PM
                          >
                          > Ed Garcia writes: "Systems can be judged but how do you throw a system
                          into
                          > the lake of fire? Individuals, however, can be thrown into the lake of
                          > fire."
                          >
                          > But is this perhaps not too subtle of an approach to Rev's metaphorical
                          > language? At a literal level, this would be a difficulty, but at a
                          > metaphorical level, no more a difficulty that having a woman who gives
                          birth
                          > to a son representing (at least in part) a nation, or the Christ being
                          both
                          > a Lion and a Lamb.
                          >
                          > Dave Mathewson
                          >
                          > _________________________________________________________________
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                          >
                          >
                          >
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                          >
                          >
                        • Ed Garcia
                          Revelation is indeed filled with metaphor and symbols and one could possibly even argue symbols of symbols. I do understand that. But don t get me wrong, I am
                          Message 12 of 15 , Nov 1, 2001
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                            Revelation is indeed filled with metaphor and symbols and one could possibly
                            even argue symbols of symbols. I do understand that. But don't get me wrong,
                            I am not saying that the beast, false prophet, the woman giving birth or
                            whoever must be understood as individuals only. There is also a corporate
                            quality to these characters. I believe that characters such as the beast and
                            false prophet point not only to individuals but, as I termed it above, to
                            corporate entities as well. As I said systems can be punished but not thrown
                            into a lake of fire, individuals can be thrown into a lake of fire. Nations,
                            organizations, political movements and whatever cannot be punished in an
                            after life so they are punished (plagued) here on earth, in this life. Lost
                            individuals who foment, or otherwise follow whole-heartedly doomed movements
                            can be punished in an after life - and will be. Thus in Revelation we have
                            bowls and trumpets raining punishments down on the wicked and in the end we
                            have the Beast and false Prophet, as well as Satan being thrown into the
                            lake of fire.

                            The idea that a leader can stand for a group is, I believe, biblical.

                            I also believe that nations and groups of people cannot be punished in the
                            world to come and so are punished in this world and that errant individuals
                            will be punished in the life to come. I believe this too to be biblical.

                            As I said above, I am not saying that the Beast and others are to be
                            understood solely as individuals. I am saying that they should be understood
                            as symbols of both individuals and groups. My original posting was to
                            explain my disagreement with Rev. Paul who in an e-mail dated 10/30 says

                            "I think I would need some other evidence from Revelation itself before
                            saying that the beasts refer to persons rather than systems/empires."

                            Ian's statement suggests that he does not see the Beast and other characters
                            as representing individuals but only movements or corporate bodies. I
                            disagree with this, I understand such symbols to symbolize both individual
                            and corporate entities, this would in turn demand the existence of a
                            movement of some sort as well. I hope this helps to clarify my ideas.
                            Thanks.

                            -Ed Garcia
                            Kansas



                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Dave Mathewson [mailto:d_mathewson@...]
                            Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 1:35 PM
                            To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [revelation-list] Lamblike Beast


                            Ed Garcia writes: "Systems can be judged but how do you throw a system into

                            the lake of fire? Individuals, however, can be thrown into the lake of
                            fire."

                            But is this perhaps not too subtle of an approach to Rev's metaphorical
                            language? At a literal level, this would be a difficulty, but at a
                            metaphorical level, no more a difficulty that having a woman who gives birth

                            to a son representing (at least in part) a nation, or the Christ being both
                            a Lion and a Lamb.

                            Dave Mathewson

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