RE: [revelation-list] Lamblike Beast
- 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.
From: Dave Mathewson [mailto:d_mathewson@...]
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 1:35 PM
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
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.
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