The Two Witnesses
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” Rev 11:3-4
Before we give the inner interpretation of this let us briefly relate the orthodox one. Standard Christians see the two witnesses as two physical prophets who shall appear in the last days. Some believe they will be Moses (or possibly Enoch) and Elijah come again, not reincarnated, but making a supernatural appearance. They see these two as appearing in Jerusalem and causing all kinds of grief to unbelievers.
On the fringe side of things there are hundreds out there with large egos claiming to be one of the two witnesses. Because of this claim we are supposed to drop everything and follow them
Then there are others who teach that the two witnesses are groups, movements or even historical figures.
While it may be true that certain physical correspondences may appear from time to time that could be interpreted as the two witnesses (and I have written of this myself), I think the reader will find that the inner interpretation will strike a chord within him. Whereas the outer interpretation occurs within a very limited time, the inner applies from the time of John through today and henceforth.
So who or what are the two witnesses? What is it they are witnessing to, or for, regarding the disciple seeking to unfold the Christ within?
To answer this question we must recap the meaning of the recent verses.
The disciple has “eaten” the little book, or obtained a revelation of his place in the scheme of things, his mission and the work to be done. After this he sees he must look into the hearts of men and discern the true seekers of the light within from those who are governed by the light without.
What is it that must now be witnessed or verified?
To answer this we must reflect back on the book (mission) he swallows. We are told “it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.”
The mission and labor is sweet to dream and talk about, but the actual work and application can be very bitter because of the resistance the one following the path of Christ encounters. Remember that Jesus had to suffer the bitter pill of suffering in the garden and being crucified.
Others seeking to follow the path of Christ may not be crucified but they must be willing to give even their lives if necessary; they will also reach that point where they will ask “if it be possible, remove this cup.”
The only way the disciple can make his way through this Valley of the Shadow of Death is to be absolutely sure his direction is correct. Otherwise, he will stumble, fall and not recover to obtain the victory.
The only way for him to gain this surety is to obtain the two witnesses.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses…”
Note that the two witnesses are given power from God. What is the purpose of such power? The purpose is to verify with positivity that transcends physical reality so that the witness is sure.
So who or what are the two witnesses?
“These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” Verse 4
What does this tell us?
A clue is given in the Book of Zechariah:
“Here is a lamp-stand meets my eyes, all of gold. A bowl this lamp-stand has at the top of it, and from the bowl run seven pipes, to feed the seven lamps that crown it. And there are two olive trees hanging over it, one to the right and one to the left of the bowl . . .” Zech 4:1-4
“Then I asked him about the two olive trees, to right and left of the lamp-stand; and there was more I would know. What are the two olive-shoots, close beside the two golden taps that feed yonder pipes of gold? What said he, canst thou not tell? Not I, my Lord, I answered. What should these be he said, but the two newly anointed ones that stand in his presence, who is Master of the whole earth?” Zech 4:11-14 Knox Version
Notice that we have the symbolism of the two most important numbers when dealing with the Creator, which is the seven and the three. We have the seven pipes and lamps symbolizing the “seven spirits before the throne.” Then we have the “Master of the whole earth” and the two anointed ones who feed the seven. These two plus the one equal the three of the Trinity.
After the disciple meets the powerful angel and eats the little book he feels he has a witness from on high (the powerful angel), but this is still not enough to sustain him. Remember that when Jesus faltered in the garden “there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” Even for the Master, knowledge of his mission gained directly from his father was not enough; he needed additional assistance from another witness.
Next, as Jesus faced his accusers Peter cut the ear off one of the soldiers. After this Jesus healed the ear in the eyes of all. This was a final witness to himself, as well as his accusers, that his mission was indeed in harmony with the higher will.
The purpose of the two witnesses are first to strengthen the disciple, and second to verify his works as a witness to the people who listen.
The first witness increases the inward spiritual power that is sent forth from the disciple to the people. The people receiving his words thus feel an inner strength being projected. Then the second witness verifies his works to the people.
In other words, the verification of his Words and Works are the two witnesses from the disciple to the people as well as to himself.
The witnesses also represent two aspects of the Godhead. The “Master” or Lord of the earth represents the Father. The first witness represents the Son (the Word) and the second witness represents the Holy Spirit (the Works).
“…they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Sackcloth in Bible days was made of coarse black goat’s hair. The material was used to make sacks, but also garments used to signify a period of mourning due to calamity or death.
And what is the period of time involved?
“…a thousand two hundred and threescore (1260) days…”
This is the second time period mentioned in this chapter. The first reads:
“…the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Verse 2
A prophetic month in scripture was considered to be a flat 30 days. Thus 42 months equals exactly 1260. The symbolism of this figure is repeated numerous times in the Apocalypse. Later, there is a period of “times, a time and a half a time.” Time equals a season, period or year; times equals two such periods; and, finally, a half a time is half a period. Add these together and we get three and one-half periods. If we apply this to scriptural years of 360 days each we again arrive at 1260 days. Then, later in this verse we see the witnesses were dead for three and one-half days.
We thus see that the three and one-half periods were repeated four times in the book, but written about in four different ways.
What is the reason for this?
It is to emphasize that the three and one-half represents a principle rather than a black-and-white time period. The thing which is consistent with all these four time periods is also significant. All four represent periods of loss, tribulation or mourning before victory is achieved.
(1) The holy city is “tread under foot forty and two months.”
(2) The two witnesses prophesy during 1260 days of difficulty and resistance from enemies.
(3) The two witnesses are dead for three and one-half days.
(4) The church flees to the wilderness for times, a time and a half a time (three and a half periods).
What, then, is the true meaning of this three and one- half periods?
The answer is much different than you have read in the various Bible commentaries.
Humanity has a certain affiliation with the number three, as far as time or work goes. This is illustrated in the truism “the third time is the charm.” It seems to us that after three attempts or periods that success is to be achieved. Evidence of this is even seen in the resurrection of Christ, for it is thought he was in the tomb for three days. Maybe this is incorrect. Maybe it was really three and one-half days.
The reason that the great miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead was so impressive was that he was in the tomb for over three days. It was a belief among the Jews that it was impossible to bring a man back to life who had been dead for more than three days.
When Jesus was told of the death of his friend he purposely delayed going to Lazarus so that when he go there he would have been dead for over three days. This was very upsetting to those close to him for they also thought that even Jesus could not bring him back after three days. Both Mary and Martha expressed regret that he did not arrive earlier.
We are told that this attitude made him groan ‘in the spirit, and was troubled.” John 11:33
Why was he so troubled? Because of this built in mechanism that normal humanity has within themselves to just give up after the three periods.
This is why Jesus taught us that “he who endures to the end shall be delivered.” Matt 10:22. The end is always at least a half of a time period beyond that which the seeker expects.
The key to success is to not endure just one round of troubles, or even two or three, but always expect an extra half more than you think will be the maximum. In truth it may be more than the half, but it will be at least a half.
The bottom line is that success will take as long as it takes, but the promise is that if we endure to the end we will achieve success. The problem is that the end is always further away than one tends to expect. The last period that extends beyond the three rounds is the one crucial to achievement.
Two good examples of this are the two greatest conflicts experienced by the United States – the Civil War and World War II.
Time and time again, great pressure was placed upon Lincoln to end the war, especially after three years had passed. It is only due to the iron will and inspired determination of this man that the war was successfully consummated after three and a half years had passed.
The same thing happened with World War II. No one was sure who would win after three years of U.S. involvement, but after we endured three and a half years it seemed pretty sure we would win, and of course we did.
A similar time period was at play in World War I, which lasted just over three and a half years in Europe.
The principle taught is this: If we want to achieve victory on any level we must be willing to endure for longer than the expected three periods. Sometimes it will require three and a half periods, sometimes more. When there is a major struggle or work to be accomplished it will always take longer than expected. If I have a timetable, and I say that I will struggle for X amount of time and that will be it, then failure is inevitable. Only the disciple who endures as long as it takes will triumph in the end.
The Three and a Half Cycles
The three and one-half periods generally applies to a period of work or tribulation that ends with success if the labor is not terminated.
The cycles could be divided like this:
First period: This is the period which lies within the expected time that the work is thought to become successfully completed.
Second period: This is the period that goes beyond that which was expected. Now it is apparent to all that the labor is much more difficult than expected. If the initiator perseveres some complaints will surface, but it appears he still has the support to continue to victory.
Third period: The initiator has persevered with bullheadedness, in the eyes of many, and it seems the work is doomed to failure and any more effort is a waste of time. Even many friends and supporters turn on the initiate and attempt to make him alter his path.
The half-a-time period: Only the committed initiate on the path of the Christ has the will to continue until this final time of enduring to the end is reached. Perhaps the best example of this was the work of Lincoln, a high initiate, during the Civil War. After over 500,000 deaths of his own brethren he continued through the half-a-time period with a determination seen by few people in history. Now, on hindsight, we see that this half-a-time period of perseverance was extremely important to the history of the world.
Even so, it is with any disciple who follows the path of Christ. He will see a vision of his work and within himself will form an estimate of how long it will take to achieve success.
This is the first period, and after it passes, it will seem that he is farther from success than when he started. Then a second time period passes and still the goal is far away, and initial supporters are starting to grumble and fall away.
Two times or cycles have passed and now he enters the third cycle. Not only do supporters turn on him and wonder if he was ever right or inspired to begin with but he doubts himself. Only by going back in his mind to the initial revelation of the work and reminding himself of its reality can he manage to develop the power to continue.
The disciple who does not do this cries out “My God, why have you forsaken me?” and quits.
The disciple who does correctly reflect may still make this cry but he continues for the half-a-time period despite the appearances and circumstances.
As he endures to the end through the final maze and fog ,the inner sun arises and its blazing flames dispel the mist and all doubts evaporate. After the half-a-time period the disciple wonders why he ever doubted, for he is glad beyond measure that he did not give up.
Those who fell away from the cause return as if they were supporters all the time.
Those who betrayed him retreat into silence and dare not speak as they did before, else they appear as fools.
Those who stayed with the initiate are seen as true friends to himself and to each other, and have joy and knowledge of real brotherhood – a brotherhood known to a sacred few.
Three and one-half is half of seven, the number of days in a week and the number of cycles of creation.
After three a half days of creation God was in the middle of making the great lights in the heavens, darkness was no more.
After the three and one-half cycles are passed the work is not done but the second half of the work begins. This is the work where the laborers proceed in the light rather than in the dark. It is now seen that the labor is beneficial and desirable, and many come to the aid of the initiator (who is often dead or gone) and finish the work.
For instance, after the Civil War, even though Lincoln was dead, the people now saw the value of the labor and sought to finish his work and reconstruct the country. Indeed, there were many problems but overall the labor benefited many generations to come.
Remember that after God completed the seven days of labor his greatest creation (Adam) fell from grace, and still more labor was required to salvage him.
The earth itself was beautiful, but far from perfect. Even so, no work started by an initiate is perfect and beyond criticism, but it will be a thing of beauty and will be a vehicle to assist humankind to go where they have not gone before.
The Devouring Fire
“And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” Rev 11:5-6
The initiate on the path of becoming like the Christ will speak eternal words, words that shall not pass away (the first witness), and perform works that will help humanity and which will stand the test of time (the second witness).
Such Words and Works always draw forth enemies from the establishment who feel threatened and desire to maintain their base of power and authority. In fact, when you see a leader embraced by the world, you can usually rest assured that the two witnesses are not present in his consciousness.
The world always resists change, especially change for the better, and enemies come forth out of the woodwork to fight against such forward motion.
The scripture reads “And if any man hurt them…” How could the witnesses be hurt? The word “hurt” comes from the Greek ADIKEO and has a wider meaning than any single English word. When reading the scripture most people think this is referring to physical hurt, but ADIKEO comes from the root ADIKOS, which gives the word the core meaning of being “unjust” or wrong.
You can’t really physically hurt inspired Words and Works (even though the messengers can be physically hurt), but enemies of truth can unjustly attack them. How is this done? This is best understood by looking at the attacks on the Words and Works of the great lights in history. Their words have been distorted, twisted, changed and corrupted so that when the public receives them through whatever media is used they appear as evil as the devil himself. The same happens with their works. The initiate and his workers are compared to tyrants – and to enemies of the state – by the status quo and the world. Just as the Jewish leaders accused Jesus of trying to destroy their law and system, the works of others on the path of Christ are seen as destructive to the establishment.
Therefore, they seek to destroy such works, not through reason and fair play, but by attack by distorting the work and the intention behind the work. Again, they associate the workers and the work with evil. You will recall that they accused Jesus of working through the power of Beelzebub, the Jewish word for Satan. (See Matt 12:24)
When the disciple on the path of Christ goes forward with his work, enemies indeed come forward and unjustly attack, accuse and corrupt his “words” and his “work” – the two witnesses.
What happens after the attack?
“…fire proceedeth out of their mouth…”
After enemies surface, and attack and distort the Words and Works, “fire” proceeds from the witnesses. The meaning here is significant and much different than taught by orthodoxy. Fire comes from the Greek PUR. The English “pure” and “purify” come from it. Light or lightning can also be implied. What does this tell us? It reveals that when the initiate is attacked – and his enemies make arguments against him through the use of lies and distortion – out of his mouth will come forth fiery truth and light that sets the record straight. Distortion cannot stand in the face of truth, and when corruption is met with pure truth and reason, truth will prevail in the end.
“…and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.”
The power of the Words and Works of the initiate are so powerful that they “devour” the attacks of the enemies.
Again, Jesus is the perfect example of this. After his enemies tried to attack him to illustrate he was evil, the Master returned fire with reason so powerful that their argument was devoured. After one exchange it is written:
“And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” Matt 22:46
It says that the attacker must “in this manner be killed.” The Greek word for “killed” implies more than physical destruction and can refer to any type of destruction. Jesus killed the argument of the Pharisees who attacked him; and this is what happens to all false reasoning that comes against the witnesses that accompany the disciple on the path.
Before and during the Civil War many distorted the truth of what freedom is and maintained that they must enslave the minority to maintain freedom for the majority. Fire proceeded out of the mouth of Lincoln with words such as:
“A nation cannot continue to exist half slave and half free… A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
These words of Lincoln have endured the test of time like an eternal fire that has destroyed every enemy which has come against them. In addition, his second witness, his work in preserving the union and the freeing of the slaves, has also been a fire that has destroyed every argument to the contrary.
Verse 6 reads:
“These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.”
First, we must realize what is meant by “the days of their prophecy.” The word prophecy comes from the Greek PROPHETEIA, which basically means “inspired speech.” The time period is three and one-half cycles or seasons. During this time period the initiate gives forth inspired words that uplift the few who will listen and respond.
Let us look at Lincoln again. During the three-and-a-half periods of his prophecy was heaven shut that it did not rain for his enemies?
Heaven symbolizes higher light and knowledge, and rain symbolizes the receptivity of the people for growth.
His enemies rejected granting freedom to the human spirit of an entire race of people and the rejection of this basic right caused “heaven,” or higher light and compassion, to be closed to them so that no enlightenment came during this period.
The scripture continues:
“…and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.”
Water is symbolic of emotion. The symbolism of blood depends on the context in which it is used. It stands for angry emotion, life or the sacrifice of life depending on the situation. In this case it means that the two witnesses accompanying the initiate stir the emotions to such a degree that a conflict ensues, causing great anger that could lead to the sacrificing of life. This indeed happened during the Civil War as 600,000 Americans lost their lives. In addition, the whole land was smitten with all sorts of plagues, hunger, disease and death.
It is interesting that these same correspondences can be made to the work of Jesus, FDR and Churchill during World War II, Martin Luther, the Founding Fathers and many other workers of light.
The Death of the Witnesses
“And when they 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. 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. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
“And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Rev 11:7-13
“And when they shall have finished their testimony…”
“Finished” comes from the Greek TELEO which has the same root as TELEIOS, the Greek word for perfection. In other words, this scripture tells us of the time in which the Words and Works have been presented with as much clarity as possible. All who have eyes to see and ears to hear cannot deny the witnesses. Those who continue to deny the value of the witnesses are hard-hearted and closed-minded and refuse to see and hear.
“…the Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit…”
This is the first mention of “the Beast” in Revelation. We shall give a full explanation of it when we get to Chapter Thirteen. Suffice it to say, at present, that the Beast represents the authoritarian rulers of the world who permeate all walks of life.
Where does he come from?
The bottomless pit.
And what is that? As we explained in reviewing Chapter Nine this represents the seemingly unlimited number of emotionally polarized people on the earth. These are they who are reactionary and respond with predictable actions when stimulated. These people who yield thought and reason to knee-jerk emotional reaction give power to anti-Christ authorities, causing the Beast to be able to ascend before the consciousness of humanity again and again.
“…shall make war against them…”
The two witnesses, the Words and Works of the disciple, have gone through three cycles and have caused a great stirring among the people and the authorities who lead them. Now, against all odds, they continue for a half a time, or seemingly forever, unless they are stopped. It now dawns on those in power that the witnesses must be neutralized by any means possible.
“…and shall overcome them, and kill them.”
The authorities of the earth now turn on the witnesses with all the power at their disposal. We are told these earthly powers shall “overcome” and “kill” them.
What does this mean? The interpretation would seem to imply the death of the initiate. Although this often happens, as with Lincoln and Jesus, it is not always the case. With Galileo, for instance he was placed in jail and forced to deny his Work and Words. They did not kill this initiate, but they did seem to kill his two witnesses – that the earth was not the center of the universe.
The witnesses are killed or neutralized in a number of different ways:
(1) The literal killing of the initiate and his associates which seems to stop the Words and Works.
(2) The demonizing of the Words and Works giving the public impression that they are evil and need to be avoided.
(3) The corruption of the witnesses. When the Words and Works permeate society to the extent they cannot be extinguished, the authorities pretend to embrace them. After this, they alter and corrupt them so society’s original errors and power are held intact.
“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.”
Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, yet the scripture says the witnesses were killed in the same place – not physically but spiritually. This spiritual place, which corresponds to Jerusalem of old, is called “Sodom and Egypt.”
Why is it written that the two witnesses were killed in this place “where also our Lord was crucified?”
In Jesus’ day the attempt to kill his Words and Works, or the two witnesses, was through the crucifixion. This same principle applies in all other attempts to kill or corrupt the witnesses of other initiates. “Sodom and Egypt” gives us major clues as what conditions are needed to kill the witnesses.
Sodom was destroyed by fire because of wickedness in the days of Abraham and Lot. Two evils concerning it were mentioned in the Bible. First, they were not accepting of strangers such as Lot; and second, they were willing to do whatever necessary, even unto murder and rape, to fulfill their carnal desires.
The keynote of Egypt is slavery since this is where the Hebrews had to be delivered by Moses.
Thus we have three conditions needed to slay the witnesses:
(1) A refusal to accept or even tolerate the new and different.
(2) A willingness to do violence to fulfill desire and maintain the status quo.
(3) A state of mental enslavement where the people do not think and act without permission from authority.
We are told their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of this “spiritual” city. What are their dead bodies and what does this mean?
When the life that was in the Words and Works of the initiate seems to be suffocated, what is left is the dead bodies. And what are these?
To understand, let us draw a picture of the typical situation after the death of the two witnesses.
The people are in a state of mental slavery and only do what they are told to do. They fear to endorse or accept anything new, and are encouraged to satisfy their every desire as long as it does not give life to the witnesses.
The bodies of the witnesses remain in the streets. The word “streets” tells us the people still have access to the witnesses but, by their refusal to give them their eyes, ears and heart, they appear as dead. The body for their Words could be a book or a Bible. The body for the Works is a church, movement or organization.
The bodies remain but are dead because of the corruption of the people by the Beast, which is a master at the manipulating of emotion.
The Resurrection of the Witnesses
“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Rev 11:9-13
In the orthodox interpretation it is believed that John saw the days of international television. How else could all the world see the bodies of two dead prophets, apparently on the streets of Jerusalem?
On the other hand, the prophecy is so specific that if two prophets did appear, were killed, and lay in the streets without burial for three and one-half days and shown on international TV, most of the Christian world would see the correlation to the prophecy and would not rejoice in their death. Instead, the believers would increase in faith and the doubters would fear. They would not be sending gifts to each other.
In other words, knowledge of the prophecy by the world could very well prevent it from coming literally true. Even if the fulfillment took place in another city besides Jerusalem, many would see the correlation.
There are physical correlations that can be made for the two witnesses teaching, being killed and resurrected, but the greatest correlation of all – and the truest to the original prophecy – is that which pertains to the inner meaning.
Even before the days of TV the teachings of high initiates such as Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and others were circulated throughout many nations for the entire world to see and examine. But, by the time they achieved such a wide circulation, the Beast from the bottomless pit had sifted through them all and had told the world what they were supposed to think of them. This caused the Words and Works of the initiates to become as two dead bodies incapable of giving life to the teachings as did the original teacher.
For three-and-a-half cycles of time the dead bodies of the witnesses laid in the streets. The first dead witness is the doctrine in a book that is not understood and the other is an organization or church with no spiritual life
People of the world were happy about their deaths and even sent gifts one to another. How was this manifest?
The answer is that many were happy that the teachings of the spiritual path presented by Christ was no longer binding upon them, and that they could replace them with their own brand of religion or philosophy. A part of this was the creation of Christmas where the people could supposedly worship Christ by sending “gifts one to another.”
How long are the three-and-a-half cycles where the witnesses lie in the streets?
There are several answers to this as correspondences have several layers.
The first correspondence is the period that the body of Jesus was dead, which also gave the appearance that his two witnesses, his Words and Works, were dead also.
Jesus taught for three years and a “half a time,” or a part of a year qualifying for the three-and-a-half times. He died late in the afternoon, probably just after 3 PM, and was placed in a tomb around sunset. He was first seen after the resurrection early Sunday morning. If we use the twelve hour cycles of day and night then just after 9 AM would have been three-and-a-half cycles after his death. But keep in mind that the last period, the half a time, is not exact. This period signifies the time which is necessary to finish the job, whatever that is. Usually, it is close to a half of a cycle.
If we had an accurate history we could trace cycles of three-and-a-half cycles of the teachings of Jesus living and dying and then resurfacing again. If we examine history we see there are periods when the teachings of Jesus seemed as if they were dead, when the scriptures existed but were not accessible to average people. They periodically seemed to be suffocating and then struggling to come to life again. One could use periods of a generation of 40 years, a Saturn cycle of around 29 years or some other combination and see the death and emergence of the Christ message repeating itself.
Then again, one can use cycles to represent a period of transition in history. For instance, the first cycle after Jesus’ death could be the Roman empire dominated by the Caesar-like emperors which suppressed Christianity.
The second cycle started at 325 AD with Constantine and marked the expansion of a corrupted Christianity.
The third cycle began with the rise of Islam around 610 AD, continued through the crusades against Islam and ended around 1300 AD.
Throughout all these three cycles the bodies of the two witnesses, the Words and Works of Christ, still existed, but were dead in the streets of men because they were ignored. Instead of concentrating on the love of Christ they saw Christ as a sword for war. Instead of the life of Christ, they concentrated on the cross and the death of Christ. Instead of the truth making them free, they suffocated the truth, making them enslaved.
Then came the half a time wherein the Christ spirit made the final heroic effort to endure to the end and triumph. This continued through the Reformation and Renaissance. Reformers such as Tyndale, Calvin Martin Luther and others sought to bring freedom to think outside the box of the Roman Catholic Church.
In addition, the second arm, the Renaissance thinkers stimulated free thought and expression outside of religion.
Finally, after these three-and-a-half times, or cycles, the two witnesses came to life again, “stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” Their coming to life again manifested as freedom for the human soul in democratic societies and freedom from slavery. The spirit of freedom did indeed cause great fear in the hearts of those who were attached to the power of the kings.
The symbolic date marking this beginning is July 4, 1776.
This life also became manifest in religion as freedom to learn and teach all manner of doctrine, thus creating hundreds of different religions from which to choose.
Neither the churches nor the democracies have been perfect and never will be, but they are living and breathing and allowing for the free life of the human spirit to express itself. Even so, as far as the inner spiritual path goes the witnesses are still dead and the highest good that can be taken from them is to send gifts to each other at Christmas.
In addition, we are yet in the early stages of the new three-and-a-half cycles of life which will last more than 1000 years to come. The spirit of the Words and Works of Christ are alive and well, and when maturity comes peace on earth, goodwill to men will be a reality.
The scripture continues:
“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” Rev 11:12
“And they heard a great voice from heaven…”
“They heard” comes from AKOUO, which is in the aorist tense, peculiar to the Greek. This tells us that the hearing does not pertain to the past, present or future, but is more of a principle that is always applicable.
In other words, this is not a prediction of the future, but a statement that is timeless and can apply in any time frame.
Periodically, the Words and Works of the Master are imbued with the spirit of life from God as if a voice from heaven (higher consciousness) is bringing them back to life.
The voice from heaven is the inner voice of Spirit that speaks to the hearts and minds of seekers who gain fresh understanding of the original teachings.
“saying unto them, Come up hither.”
A number of seekers receive fresh inspiration concerning the truth of the Words and Works of the Master and feel impressed to lift them up as an “ensign” for the people.
“And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”
When the original vision is seen and acted upon by a sufficient number of seekers, the Words and Works are no longer as dead bodies lying on the streets, but lifted up to heaven for all to see. They are in a “cloud”, signifying that the enemies of truth and supporters of the status quo do not see the true principles involved. Even so, they do see the life that is in the Words and Works that goes against their belief system and they shake them to the core.
Verse 13 continues, “And the same hour was there a great earthquake…”
As the Words and Works of the Master teacher are given life and are lifted up in the eyes of the people the enemies of light, love and freedom have the foundations of their belief systems shaken as if an internal earthquake struck them to the core.
“and the tenth part of the city fell,”
The city is composed of those people and structures on the earth who are spiritually like “Sodom and Egypt” who willingly crucify the teacher and suffocate the two witnesses he brings.
The “tenth” signifies the belief structures of the leaders who convince the people that illusionary doctrines are true. When the light shines and the people see the true essence of the Words and Works, the two witnesses, these seemingly powerful yet illusionary arguments fail. Their teachings and doctrines no longer have life and fall as dead in the spiritual earthquake.
“and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand”
This number signifies the fact that a large number of leaders and promoters of false teachings and ideologies will be silenced in that they will no longer have power to deceive and veil the true witnesses.
“…and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
The blind followers of illusionary teachings can no longer trust their authorities and are faced with a situation where the majority now see at least some of the truth and virtue in the two witnesses. Because of fear they now join in with the majority and give glory to God.
Let’s go back to Abraham Lincoln as an example here. He arrived at a time when the freedom of the human spirit to speak the Words and do the Works was dead for an entire race as well as for those who supported freedom for the slaves.
The Civil War created an earthquake for the belief system that supported slavery and the basic structures of support fell. Those who supported slavery were soon silenced, and it was not long before the majority saw the two witnesses of the Words and Works of Lincoln stand on their feet and rise to heaven, or into the higher consciousness of the people.
Those who remained were afraid to admit they ever supported slavery and gave glory to God that all races were now free.
“The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” Rev 11:14
There are more problems and earthquakes to come for those who fight the “light of the world.”
Copyright by J J Dewey
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