In the Seal epoch the sealed book on the lap of God was the central object of concern. In the Trumpet epoch it are the trumpets blown before the altar of God’s temple. But to come closer to the temple and to God himself, evil in ourselves has to be overcome. We are at the threshold to the spiritual world and after trespassing it, the spiritual forces themselves become perceptible, the light forces as well as the dark forces and we must be able to survive exposure to them. Isis becomes unveiled, as it was called in the Egyptian mysteries. Are we ready to pass the threshold? And how is this measured?
The measuring rod for the temple
And there was given me a reed, like a rod; and the voice said: Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court, which is outside the temple, leave that out, and measure it not, for it is given to the heathen, and the holy city they shall tread under foot, forty and two months.
Steiner (26 June 1908) explains that man in our time is building his inner temple, the Manas. When man enters the spiritual world he has to measure if his inner temple has obtained in all respects the right proportions. The transformed inner temples, which man carry with their souls into the spiritual world, will together form the new world, the Jupiter incarnation of our planet, the New Jerusalem. In the measuring reed the later golden rod, which John will receive to measure this heavenly Jerusalem, already resonates. It makes clear that the purified human soul will be the building block of the future world, the New Jerusalem. A similar proclamation was earlier given in the letter to the community of Philadelphia: He that overcomes will I make to a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall no more go out. And I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem…
Schult (p.163 and following) explains that, after the spiritual illumination that is symbolized in the digestion of the book as explained in fragment 29, here the cosmic ordination till priest follows. To this end Michael orders John to measure with a rod the temple of God and the altar and those that worship therein. Similar to the sealing, at the sounding of the sixth trumpet, of the 144,000 in order to save them from evil, the inner sanctuary of the soul is marked and safeguarded according to a holy measure. The measuring at the sixth trumpet has the same purpose as the sealing at the sixth seal.
The symbolism of the Jewish temple
The Herodian temple in Jerusalem was structured according to the human being. The outer court for the heathen represented the physical body, the court for the women the etheric body. The inner court was the astral body. Here the astral symbols of the pillars of Sun and Moon, of Joachim and Boas, were found as well as the sea of glass carried by twelve cows. The sanctuary represented the I, and the Holy of holiest the higher God-Self in man. One can also see the body in the court, the soul in the sanctuary and the spirit in the Holy of holiest. The court has not to be measured, as it represents the physical and etheric body which are left behind at this stage, they are excreted. The seals represented the overcoming of the physical aspects of the world. The trumpets represent the same for the etheric aspects.
The two cultural streams in mankind
And I will mandate my two witnesses, that they prophesy thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candle sticks standing before the Lord of the Earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and will devour their enemies. And if any man will hurt them, he must in the same way be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
The fruits people bring from their life on earth appear in the spiritual world in a transformed way. The two fiery pillars of the previous vision, reappear here as two divine witnesses, the two olive trees and the two candles standing before the god of the Earth. They are the bearers of two spiritual streams in human culture. Bock (p.170-178) calls them ‘science & technology’ and ‘religion & art’. In Genesis we already read of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life (Gen. 2: 17). Here both trees come back as the two witnesses and between them stands the solar being of the Christ as the Lord of the Earth. We face in this vision the sephiroth tree of the Kabbalah.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends from the abyss, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
But the beast Apollyon, rising from the abyss, wants to kill both cultural streams in man. It wants to make science to a cold science missing soulfulness and restricting itself to what can be rationalized and mechanically expressed. And art and religion will swill in egoistic passions and lack the light of the spirit, according to Bock.
The two witnesses
The heathen will tread underfoot the holy city Jerusalem and the court during 42 months. That is an indication of the six times seven periods that will pass till the separation of human spirits will occur. This moment has arrived with the sounding of the sixth trumpet (Schult, p.165). In the city, conquered by heathen, the two witnesses of God will work as messengers of the spirit during 1260 days. The 42 months and 1260 days refer to the same period of three and a half years. The year was in this context seen as a circle of 360 days. Three and a half times 360 is 1260 days. Three and a half is also half of seven, and in this way points at the period between the arrival of the Christ till the end of the seven world years. Both Christ witnesses will be killed by the beast from the abyss and will be resurrected after three and a half days, the time period of the initiation sleep of the old mysteries.
Moses and Elijah
The leading figures connected with both pillars are known in Jewish-Christian literature as Moses and Elijah. Moses stands for wisdom and is bringer of truth, while Elijah is the prophet and the direction giving force. Both support the love force that appears above them as solar being, according to Steiner.
Both witnesses cannot be two personalities, according to Schult, as they act the whole period between the arrival of the Christ and the end of the world. He sees them as basic forces, such as mentioned in Zecharia 4:3, in which both olive trees are called the anointed ones, which are working for the world as a whole, as servants of the Lord. Schult (p.167) sees the two olive trees as the cosmic tree of life and tree of knowledge in the zodiac. Both star trees refer to the Moon pillar and Sun pillar of the zodiac. The witness with power to shut heaven, that it rain not, refers to Elijah (see 1 Kings 17:1). The other with power over waters to turn them to blood, points at Moses (Exodus 7:14). Moses is the great legislator and Elijah the great prophet of the old Jewish people. In Moses lives the power of the Moon pillar, in Elijah that of the Sun pillar. Moses represents the past, Elijah the future. Christ is the eternal presence, the revelation of eternity in man. Moses experiences God in lightning and thunder, Elijah in the soft whispering of the wind. Their qualities indicate that they can materialize the spirit in physical reality. The fire of the word of God streams from their mouths and digests demonic forces. But the two witnesses must yield in the battle with the anti-Christ, which is the Lord of this cosmos (Schult, p.168). There is no last victory of the spirit without crucifixion or suffering. Those who follow the Christ have to walk the path of the Christ. But their death is, like in the case of Lazarus, a death of initiation. In death itself they find eternal life.
Sodom and Egypt
And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
This is, as Schult (p.165) points out, the only text in the Apocalypse directly referring to the historical crucifixion of Jesus. In spiritual sense, Jerusalem is called here Sodom and Egypt. Sodom lays in a moon-type of underworld at the Death Sea and was engulfed by ahrimanic forces. Egypt was the land of the old sun mysteries but became the center of a luciferic cult of worshipping the emperor. Ahriman and Lucifer are the names John gives to Jerusalem after the murder of Jesus Christ.
The earthquake, the numbers 7 and 10
And the same hour, there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city collapsed, and in the earthquake were annihilated seven thousand names of men.
After the two witnesses are resurrected and ascended to heaven, a great earthquake follows destroying one tenth of the city and 7,000 names of men. Schult (p.169) points out that here for the first time the combination of the numbers 10 and 7 appears. Later the 7 and 10 are the characteristics of the beast coming up from the sea with seven heads and ten horns. Seven is het number referring to the planets and time. Ten is, amongst others, used in antiquity as the number of the zodiac, of the sephiroth and of the ten spheres of heaven and hell. The ascension of the two witnesses shocks and transforms the depths of nature. Now the hardening of nature by evil is overcome.
The developments after the sounding of the sixth trumpet correspond with the events mentioned in the sixth letter to Philadelphia where Christ says: Behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and admit that I have loved you. Here, at the sixth trumpet, it becomes: And the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. Thus, the separation between the spirits becomes visible.
Van Egmond (10 January1995, p.8) explains fragment 30 as follows. The essence, the blueprint for the way we can live spiritually, is given to us anew at this transition of the sixth to the seventh trumpet. John receives the reed, the measuring tool which will allow him later to enter the heavenly Jerusalem. John, here, is the symbol for the human soul. We all are represented in John.
The eleventh chapter of the Apocalypse is the middle of the book, that has twenty two chapters in total. At the sound of the sixth trumpet the future is already present. This second part starts with chapter 12.