First of all, I apologize for not having gotten back with you sooner with a reply.
I personally have no difficulty in seeing that the world's governments rule solely by God's permission, and THAT is how they stand "placed" in their positions by God.
I can understand why you would feel that way, but I have to stick to what the Scriptures actually say.
You imply that my impression of what Romans 13 says is NOT what the text "actually" says. In my opinion, however, the scripture actually does say that.
There is nothing in the language of the text that implies the idea of permission.
I disagree, for the reason that I've already explained. The idea of permission is inferred at Romans 13.
Now, having said that, I would add that my belief [that God puts governments into place] does not imply that everything any government does is necessarily in accord with God's will.
I don't believe that you're being logical here. You believe that God put Hitler into power, yet Hitler was free to rule in any way that he pleased? I can't see the logic in such an idea myself.
Then you quote the following scripture:
Rom 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
And then say:
In the above cited text from Romans, it is also acknowledged that it was God who raised up (it doesn't say "permitted") a human leader (Pharoah) in fulfillment of His greater purpose.
The question is, though, Is the translation you took Romans 9:17 from and accurate translation?
Consider the way the NWT reads, and in particular the footnote to that verse:
*** Rbi8 Romans 9:17 ***
17 For the Scripture says to Phar'aoh: "For this very cause I have let you remain, that in connection with you I may show my power, and that my name may be declared in all the earth."
*** Rbi8 Exodus 9:16 ***
16 But, in fact, for this cause I have kept you in existence, for the sake of showing you my power and in order to have my name declared in all the earth.
*** Romans 9:17(ftn) ***
" I have let you remain ," J 17, 18, 22 ; ! AB, " I have raised you up "; Ex 9:16 in LXX, which Paul here quotes, "you have been preserved."
In view of the above, how can you be so sure that the translation you're quoting from is accurate?
Perhaps you would like to explain the reason why you think Daniel 4 disproves my take on Revelation 13.--Schizm.I quoted above Nebuchadnezzar's words that " the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes." (Daniel 4:32) This is yet another explicit statement that God grants human authority. As in Romans 13, nothing in the context carries the idea of permitting. That is a thought that must be inserted by the interpreter if it is to be seen there at all.--Neon.
All that THAT means, is that God is in ultimate control of everything. The fact that the nations have received their authority from the dragon (Re 13) doesn't mean that God himself can't intervene. After all, he is the "Most High". The whole point of the account that you've referred to is as Nebuchadnezzar himself finally acknowledged: "B ecause those who are walking in pride he is able to humiliate." Because of Neb's pride God brought him down to his knees by interfering with his rule. After Neb had learned his lesson then God allowed him to rule again by giving his kingdom back to him.
In my opinion, you've put a completely wrong twist on the account of Daniel 4!
So we do agree that the beast is a political entity. What we don't agree on is whether or not the beast represents the governments that have exercised Universal Rule throughout history. I would contend that the fact that the Revelation 13 beast bears the very same markings as the 4 beasts of Daniel 7, in addition to also having 10 horns, suggests that the kingdoms represented by the 4 beasts find representation in the heads of the Revelation 13 beast. If such is the case, and I believe that it is, it would mean that the 4 beasts (kingdoms) of Daniel 7 got their authority from the dragon. Also, the 17th chapter of Revelation appears to help out in the interpretation by telling us that the heads of the beast represent 7 kingdoms, 5 of which had passed into history by the time that John received the Revelation, another one which was ruling at the time that John lived, and the 7th one that was yet to make the scene. Of course all of this flies in the face of your thinking that those same governments were put on their thrones by God.I wonder how it's possible for anyone who is acquainted with the 7th chapter of Daniel to fail to associate the 4 beasts there with the beast of Revelation 13. The connection is undeniable, and that the wild beast of Revelation 13 is a political entity can't be disproved.--Schizm.Well, first, I never said that the beast wasn't a political entity. There's a difference between saying that the beast is a political entity and saying that it is the entire system of human governments throughout history.--Neon.
As far as Daniel 7, most Christian commentators identify the "little horn" mentioned in Daniel 7:8 with the beast of Revelation 13, not the entire sequence of beasts. This is usually seen as the Antichrist, an individual or political power (interpretations vary) that will arise shortly before the return of Christ. As far as I know, only Jehovah's Witnesses identify the entire sequence of beasts with the wild beast of Revelation 13.
While it's correct to say that the "little horn" equals the 8th king that the Revelation account speaks of (which the WTS would do well to understand), one would be wise to see that the beast of Revelation 13 is first of all (starts off being) that which I've described above. It's only after the beast experiences the "death-stroke" and revives that it changes into being the 8th king = "little horn". That happens as the result of the horns giving up their diadems (authority) in favor of a World Government. The beast has changed into a diademless, scarlet-colored 8th king by verse 3, and is pictured in all its glory in the 17 chapter.