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Book of Revelations

  1. Feb 13, 2005 #1
    I was reading Ghana the other day by Kwame Nkrumah, then I picked up Malcolm X Speaks. In one of his speeches, Malcolm says that Jesus himself was on a horse with a sword ready to face the synagogues that were against him and that this is in the Book of Revelations. I haven't read the Bible, so is this true? Mind you, I may not have worded the Jesus part correctly, but tell me if that basic event is true or not.

    He was not saying this in a negative way, he says that everybody comes to a point where they have to face their oppressors and they have to obtain their freedom, equality, justice by any means necessary.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2005 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    No, Revelation is nowhere near that literal or explicit.
  4. Feb 14, 2005 #3
    yeah that's what i meant when i said that i may not have worded it correctly, but what i am saying does jesus hint at the idea that there comes a point where you can use violence to defend injustice...
  5. Feb 15, 2005 #4


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    Revelations 1:12-16
    I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp doubleedged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
    Revelations 19:11-21
    I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.”

    Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
    There are also a couple of other places in the book where Christ refers to "the sword of my mouth". This "double-edged sword" is apparently intended to symbolize the Word of God. I think the usual interpretation of this is that the Word of God can cut through the earthly shell that divides a person from God, and thus allow the person to be "reborn" in Christ.

    It's probably possible to interpret the passage above from Rev. 19 as concerning a physical violence against the unjust, but it is at least equally and probably more plausible to interpret it as a spiritual violence that, upon the posited return of Christ, will break the shell of faithlessness that people inhabit.

    In Rev. 13, there's a line about how Christians should act when living under the rule of the anti-Christ:

    Revelations 13:10
    If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes. If anyone slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
    At the time the Bible was being written "the saints" usually referred to the community of Christian believers. So this passage could be interpreted as saying that, for Christians, violence is insupportable even in the worst of circumstances. However, the context of the passage has some ambiguity, so I'm sure there are other readings.

    So in the end there's probably no clear cut answer to your question (i.e. "does jesus hint at the idea that there comes a point where you can use violence to defend injustice").
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2005
  6. Feb 15, 2005 #5


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    Trying to understand Revelations is like trying to understand the ramblings of someone on a hallucinogen...my opinion is the two bear a striking resemblance. :tongue2:
  7. Feb 15, 2005 #6

    Actually its like to understand the ramblings of a disgruntled wacky liberal political prisoner in a conservative empire--thats right, apocalypse was written by the 1st century's equivalent of Ward Churchill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Churchill).

    At least thats my sarcastic twisted use of a History channel documentary to in one fell swoop slam both Revelations and Churchill.
  8. Feb 15, 2005 #7


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    Well, yeah, there's that too... :wink: (you do have to wonder what fungus hit the local barley crops that year...)
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