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'Beast' Means Worldly Dominion

Incredibly to those of us who have long been blinded by conventional authoritarian tradition, the bible on closer inspection proves to be anti-authoritarian, which is libertarian. In the Book of James [1:25] God’s Law, which is the bible, is called the Perfect Law of Liberty. See below Brother Gregory’s elaboration followed by my own.

THE PRIME DIRECTIVE OF THE CHURCH

No one shall exercise dominion over others [from ARTICLE X at ww.HisHolyChurch.net]

by Brother Gregory

Mat. 20:25-27 But Jesus called (the apostles) unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over (their people), and they that are great exercise authority upon them. [26] But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; [27] And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

• Any organization, government, or trust that violates the prime directive (by exercising dominion as per Mat 20:25–28 above) is not the Church, nor is it a part of the Church. (In the Church, most possessions) are entirely held in common for (Christ’s) purposes by those remaining faithful to His doctrines and ordinances.

Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. [43] But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: [44] And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

• Jesus wanted his called-out Church not to exercise authority, or bring people under power, but, like Moses, they were to seek to lead people to freedom under God. (In families and communities consensus decision-making was to be used, since this is the only way to make decisions without one person or group exercising dominion over others. Consensus means unanimous rule, which is not impractical, when understood properly [See Chapter 7: Walk in God’s Ways]. Majority rule is domination of minorities by majorities and nearly everyone is in the minority some of the time. Quakers, i.e. Friends, are one of the few religions to have used consensus significantly. Evangelical Friends are also pro-life.)

Luke 22:25-29 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. [26] But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. [27] For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. [28] Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. [29] And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

• (Benefactors means rulers, often called fathers in prior times, who give the people benefits in exchange for loyalty and services. Any person) assuming the office of Father stands against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus is talking (here) about government, not religion. He is using government terms and telling his people they are not to be like governments that exercise authority or dominion (over the people). He is talking about Rome and governments like Rome.

Ex. 20:2-5 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. [3] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

• (This was God’s first commandment to his people, to have no other gods or rulers, but God alone. He called the Gentile system of Egypt a house of bondage, because the rulers exercised dominion over the people, not just over the Israelites. On the other hand, the rule of judges established by Moses did not involve use of force against the people, but the people had self-rule with ministers, who were their servants, acting as advisors.)

John 13:14-15 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. [15] For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

• Serving others cleans us; dominating others defiles us.

THE BEAST IS ANY GOVERNMENT OR RULER THAT EXERCISES DOMINION

The previous section, The Prime Directive, showed that God’s and Jesus’ foremost commandment is that no one exercise authority or dominion over others, except perhaps as a last resort in defense of oneself or others. In this section, we’ll review biblical references to beasts for further insight on this precept of peace.

2 Kin. 14:9 And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.

• The cedar may symbolize a steadfast, upright nation, the thistle a morally weaker nation and the beast a barbarous, ungodly nation.

Ps. 73:22 (King Asaph said) So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

• Beast here probably means one who uses brute force in human relations, especially in ruling others, as Asaph was a king.

Ps. 74:13–14 (King Asaph said to God) Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. [14] Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

• Judging by the context, these great beasts may refer to formerly mighty, but ungodly, nations.

Ps. 74:18–21 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Lord, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name. [19] O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever. [20] Have respect unto the covenant: … [21] O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.

• The turtledove here appears to mean Israel, as a nation of peace. The beasts are the ungodly enemy nations or kingdoms ruled by brute force. Such kingdoms, or governments, may give benefits to citizens in exchange for loyalty, but they do not help their poor to become self-reliant.

Ps. 80:13–15 The boar out of the wood doth waste (the vine), and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. [14] Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine (Israel); [15] And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.

• The vine refers to Israel, any Godly nation. The boar and other beasts refer again to warring, ungodly nations.

Isa. 35:8–9 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. [9] No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

• The highway is God’s Way of Love, which includes the Commandments, which are commandments for loving God and our neighbors. The lion and ravenous beast are again warring nations ruled by brute force, not love.

Dan. 2:37–44 (Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, saying) Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. [38] And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. [39] And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. [40] And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. [41] And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. [42] And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. [43] And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. [44] And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

• This dream predicted 5 great kingdoms from the time of Daniel, which are: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome, the last being first of iron, under the Caesars, then of iron and clay, perhaps under the popes. And God’s kingdom would smash and replace all of these kingdoms.

Dan. 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. [23] Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. [24] And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

• In his first vision Daniel seems to have foreseen the same 4 kingdoms or empires as in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Here the beasts are clearly referring to brutal governments.

Dan. 8:20–21 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. [21] And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

Dan. 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

• In Daniel’s second vision two of the kingdoms are named. The ram and goat are said to refer to Media-Persia and to Greece. The first king of Greece referred to seems to indicate Alexander the Great, who lived some 200 years after Daniel’s vision. The kings who followed him were the Ptolemy’s, I think, who divided Alexander’s empire into 4 parts. These kingdoms are depicted as violent and brutal.

Titus 1:12–13 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

• This is a New Testament reference to beast and seems to mean what Asaph meant: a person, group, or nation, who uses brute force against others.

Rev. 11:7–8 And when (God’s two witnesses) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. [8] And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

• The two witnesses may indicate two nations, such as Israel and Judea, since war is not made on individuals. The beast from the pit suggests a nation founded by Satan. The great city is shown to be synonymous with Sodom & Egypt, which are blamed for Jesus’ crucifixion, suggesting idolatrous nations, like Rome. Idolatry would mean having rulers other than God.

Rev. 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

• The dragon is another great beast. It behaves as one exercising dominion and seems genocidal.

Rev. 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

• The sea sometimes means a populous area. This beast has the same number of horns and heads as the dragon, but has ten crowns, while the dragon has seven. The beast suggests again a government of dominion. The horns & heads may indicate individual kings of this government.

Rev. 13:11–12 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. [12] And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

• This second beast would be another kingdom using dominion, apparently coming after the first beast and allied with it. Coming up out of the earth or wilderness seems to mean from an unpopulated region. Lamb’s horns may suggest having minor kings or rulers. Some say the second beast is the United States, because it originated in a wilderness.

The above biblical references to beasts support Gregory’s view that exercising dominion, instead of granting liberty, is the main problem with conventional governments.

Luke 4:5–8 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. [7] If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. [8] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

• Ned Netterville says “Satan here claims ownership and authority over all of the kingdoms of the world, which Jesus pointedly does not dispute. This undoubtedly derives from all earthly kingdoms’ abandonment of God as their lawmaker in favor of human legislators” (See his book, Jesus on Taxes at www.jesus-on-taxes.com).

September 24, 2005

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