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So we come to Chapter 11. And this chapter deals with the two witnesses who are killed by one of the beasts that ascend out of the bottomless pit, but who comes back to life again, and raised up to heaven in a cloud.
Now the symbolism of the two witnesses must refer to things in us, which bear witness to, or give testimony that a person is loyal to God through the truth of Jesus Christ. Yet, these would also stand for things, which can be temporarily killed in us by uprisings of negativeness in us. Beast ascending from the bottomless pit. Yet these always spring back into life in us again. What are they? Who are these two witnesses in us?
The two witnesses would stand for (1) our good intentions, (2) our positive attitudes. These two qualities of our consciousness, when they are alive and working, bear witness to our faith in God and to our devotion to the truth of Jesus Christ. Our good intentions, our positive attitudes, the two witnesses.
But when sudden uprisings of negativeness come from that mysterious somewhere, bottomless pit in us, they often, these two factors are its first victims. My good intentions can be ruined, and my positive attitudes can go dead. The two witnesses can be killed. But they refuse to stay dead. For we read,
“And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet. 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.”
Good intentions that are based on truth can never really die out in us. Positive attitudes based on truth can never really die out in us. Negativeness may immerge, and seem to conquer these servants of the Lord in us for a spell, but life returns to them and they take an active place once more in our consciousness on a higher level than ever before. “They ascended up to heaven in a cloud and their enemies beheld them.”
But who and what is this beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit, who can temporarily kill our two witnesses and who causes a lot of other harm as we shall see. But who is finally subdued and then eventually eliminated from the whole scene? The beast of Revelation stands for all error and negativeness in human consciousness in general. Where does this beast come from? Where does negativeness come from? Where does evil start? In Revelation the dwelling place and the starting point for error and negativeness is called a bottomless pit. Shall we analyze a bottomless pit?
First, there is no bottom to it, which means there is no basis of reality for it. Second, it is an endless hole, H-O-L-E, and endless hole, which means there is not really any substance to it. It is a hole. It is nothingness coming from nowhere, but it does have a stopping point on earth. So it is nothingness projected into form temporarily. It has no real beginning but it has a temporary ending in the realm of outer occurrences. So perhaps, a summing up could be this. The bottomless pit stands for unreality or nothingness, temporarily brought into somethingness. And out of this artificial, temporary somethingness it our human nature, emerges that mysterious enigma called the beast.
The beast, or evil, or negativeness, is the greatest mystery and contradiction in all human thinking and human nature. No one has ever yet been able to explain or resolve this mystery. Even Jesus only went so far as to simply refer to it as a liar and the father of all lies.
Later on in our Book of Revelation, there are some further interesting references made to this symbolism of evil, the beast. We read, “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition. Behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” And then again we read, “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is, and goeth into perdition.” All this strange seeming double talk is actually illustrating one of the most complex and difficult ideas for literal minded thinkers to comprehend, which is this: evil, error, negativeness, beast, come out of unreality, bottomless pit and so must go back into nothingness, perdition.
And even though the mind of man does make it possible for evil and error to take on certain forms and exist for a time, beast that was. Yet this is not real and has no permanence, beast that yet is not. Therefore, even when evil, error, and negativeness or being formed into temporary existence, they are even then on the way to returning to the nothingness from which they came.
But we must remember that all we are dealing with here, takes place in man’s consciousness.