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Re: [revelation-list] Re:Lamblike Beast

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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