Apocalypse (5) Human Evolution in the Apocalypse of John1

In the description of the coming fall of Babylon in chapter 11, in the destiny of the “two witnesses” another kind of preparatory stage became visible, as we observed. For three and a half days the corpses of the two witnesses had lain on the streets, for all to see. Then “a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet”. Reminiscent of Christ’s ascension, they go up to heaven in a cloud, and the earth answers. “As on Easter morning here, too, comes the great earthquake. The earth vibrates in sympathy when a body which is closely connected with it undergoes such a metamorphosis.” This is not only an indication of “departed souls becoming active in the upper world, it shows something that lies on the way between the Resurrection at Easter and the Last Day”. (p 98) Here, as Rudolf Frieling shows by the use of the verbs, people “saw” the bodies (11:9), but even when they had wanted to deny its reality, they could not but become aware of what happened spiritually when the two “went up to heaven in a cloud” (11:11), “in the sight of their foes” – who “perceived” what happened, in the same way as those who already had been prepared “perceived” Christ’s resurrection and ascension.

“Apocalypse” not only means that heaven and earth are beginning to interact in a different, stronger way. It also means that people will become aware of what happens spiritually, whether they want it or not, whether they are prepared for it or not. Those who have prepared themselves will be able to cope in a better way with all that will happen apocalyptically to human beings and their earth, as well as with “apocalyptic stirrings”, which are signs warning us of what is to come.

  1. The title of the last chapter in Christianity and Reincarnation by Rudolf Frieling, Floris Books, Edinburgh 1977, pp 90-117, here added by Arie Boogert as the last and fifth contribution to the four preceding, dated Summer, 2007. Edited by Muriel Morris.
  2. This quote from John 6:27 here appears in the translation of Kalmia Bittleston, now in The Four Gospels – A Translation in Verse, Floris Books, Edinburgh, 2007.
  3. See “Apocalypse (3), The “Second Coming”, page 2.
  4. See p. 83f in Christianity and Reincarnation (Note 1), in “The Eschatology of the Discourse on the Mount of Olives and of Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians (the chapter preceding the one on the Apocalypse).
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