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RE: [revelation-list] Re:Lamblike Beast

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  • 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 1 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
      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 2 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
        --- 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 3 of 15 , Oct 30, 2001
          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 4 of 15 , Oct 31, 2001
            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 5 of 15 , Oct 31, 2001
              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 6 of 15 , Nov 1, 2001
                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
                >
                > _________________________________________________________________
                > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
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                >
                >
                >
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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 7 of 15 , Nov 1, 2001
                  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

                  _________________________________________________________________
                  Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp



                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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