Spiritual Sodom & Spiritual Egypt
“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.” Rev.11:8.
The above verse is one of the most pertinent and currently-relevant passages in all of Scripture, particularly-so to every American. Let me tell you why I think so.
BACKGROUND OF THIS VERSE
We need to first identify the dead bodies referred to in this verse. The primary focus of the whole chapter of Revelation 11 has reference to “two witnesses”. As is true of most prophecies, not all students of the Bible agree on the identity of these two personages. But most prophetic teachers and authors say they will be either Enoch and Elijah, or Elijah and Moses. According to this understanding, these “individuals” will provide testimonies for a 1260 “day” period. Their testimonies involve many things, too numerous to go into here, but the foundation of their preaching relates to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. According to most interpreters, this 1260 day, or 3 ½ year period, will be the first half (some say second half) of the final seven-year-countdown to the second coming of the Lord Jesus. This seven year period is commonly referred to as The Tribulation.
Most people who read this already know that I have written a book called The Two Witnesses, in which I present who and what I believe about these two representatives. The entire book can be read online at my website which I will provide at the end of this article. Here I want to draw your attention to one very strong point which adds significant believability of my whole thesis. It is based on the Scripture quoted above — please read it again.
I believe that the 1260 “day” period does not only mean 1260 literal days, but that it also refers to 1260 years. How can this be? Because we are dealing here with what is called the Law of Double Reference, which is often true relative to Holy Scriptures, particularly-so where prophecy is concerned. The word “day” is sometimes used in Scripture as a symbol in reference to one year of time. (See Ezekiel 4:6 as an example.) In other words, both understandings can be true. A reasonable and logical way to establish whether the long-range “day” was also a God-intended application is to look at history and see if what has occurred fits what the Scriptures say!
Expositors who oppose my view typically point out that no such liberty can be taken since the reference verse here in Revelation doesn’t specifically state that this is what is meant. In other words, these teachers are extreme literalists — i.e., if a passage doesn’t expressly say something right in the context of the passage (as in my example of the Ezekiel 4:6 verse), then they believe I’ve committed a severe, hermeneutical error of interpretation. (Hermeneutics is a term which refers to certain rules and guidelines which are used to interpret Scriptures.)
Astonishingly, the same critics who find fault with my perspective about the word “day” often in their Scriptural expositions also make statements of what a passage means when what they say isn’t in fact found in the immediate text they are addressing! Of course I have no problem with this, except for the fact that they don’t adhere to their own hermeneutical guidelines. The guideline we should all agree on is that anyone’s interpretation of any passage of Scripture must take into account the whole of Scripture, not just the text under study. And this is precisely what I have done relative to the word “day” as it appears in Revelation 11. To me, Revelation makes more sense in many of the places where the word “day” appears to be alluding to a year of time. (You need to read my entire book, The Two Witnesses, to fully appraise my convictions about this matter.)
But now let me come back to the topic under consideration today.
THE TWO WITNESSES
Without attempting here to completely justify my conclusions, but in my book I show the logic of believing that (in the long-range sense) the “two witnesses” refers to the Church within the boundaries of two nations, namely Great Britain and the United States. (I have been accused of teaching British Israelism, a belief system with which, in fact, I do not agree.) But I do believe a special “anointing” was given to the Church in these two national powers commencing almost 1260 years ago as I speak. In our day, the evils rising are so ugly and prominent in these two lands that it does indeed make one wonder how I could draw what might appear to be ridiculous conclusions. And yet, looking back at the verse under our scrutiny here, that’s exactly what we are told would be the case as the testimonials of the two witnesses draws to a close. We need to go back now and read the preceding verse, Rev. 11:7:
“Now when they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.”
Reader, are you getting the picture? If my interpretation of Revelation 11 is correct, that is, that the “two witnesses” also refers to masses of born-again people in the Church age who just happen to live in either GB or the USA, have collectively been used by God to give their “testimonies” to the world for a specific period of time, then there will come a time when their witnessing will be completed. And when that time comes, according to verse 11:7, they will be killed.
Please note the apostle John’s use of the word “war”. Think about it, war is a term which involves nations, not just two individuals! And who will be responsible for the deaths of the two witnesses? Well, verse 7 tells us plainly — it will be “the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit...”. Specifically we don’t yet know, but I believe this beast refers to the anti-Christ who will be using the forces which will be given into his hands for a brief period of time at the end of the Christian age.
THE GREAT CITY
The specific place where the two witnesses die is called THE GREAT CITY, where “...also our Lord was crucified”. Well, obviously the literal interpretation of this refers to Jerusalem. And when the two individual witnesses come on the scene (let’s assume it will be Enoch and Elijah) and give their testimony for 1260 literal days, they too will eventually be killed and that would occur in Jerusalem, Israel. (I think the two individual witnesses will commence their ministry immediately following the death of the national witnesses.)
Similar to the “day” concept, I believe that THE GREAT CITY also has a symbolic meaning other than just a single town — i.e., I think it also refers to large masses of people in many cities. I won’t go into this here as fully as I do in my book. But the verse we’re looking at today helps get at part of the meaning.
To understand this, we must go back to the long-range application of this passage of Scripture. Please note carefully just how thorough John was to address this: he named the two main specific characteristics which would be prevailing in the lands where the bodies lay after their death — referring to these traits in this manner: “...which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt”. This brings us to the main point I wanted to share with you in this paper.
What primary activities and characteristics do you think of when you see the word Sodom? Surely you agree that homosexuality is the main inference. And in our day in the USA no movement or activity is more prominent and talked about than this subject. It is quite remarkable to see the effectiveness the so-called “gay” community is at broadcasting their lifestyle, even more incredibly, being accepted by practically all the media and many huge businesses (like the Ford Motor Company, for example). Seldom does a day go by now that we are not bombarded with the latest “news” of the successes which the Sodomites are having in promoting the notion that their lifestyle is not sin, but simply a matter of reasonable choice. It comes via television, radio, the printed page and the Internet every day. I’m sure that you have made this observation too.
Even as I speak, I received an email today from an organization dedicated to watching and alerting the Church about what is happening in the state of California relative to the subject of homosexuality. The California PTA and the State Teacher’s Association have come out in favor of making it illegal to say anything in the public school system against homosexuality and several other perverted, sexual lifestyles and practices. I believe this is strong evidence substantiating what the Bible means when it refers to the land of spiritual Sodom.
Whatever or wherever is meant by “THE GREAT CITY” where the bodies of the two witnesses fall, it will be in a place where the characteristics have become exactly as just described. And no place on this earth is this more factual today than right here in our beloved land of America.
And what main characteristics do you think about when you read the term “spiritual Egypt”? In ancient times, the most outstanding characteristic of Egypt was its devotion to pantheism — i.e., all sorts of religions and multiple gods. They worshiped everything under the sun, including the sun itself! Recall all those plagues which Moses was given the power to bring against Pharaoh. Surely the reason God selected the particular plagues that He did was because the people in that day worshiped all those things. It’s a very serious matter, but I can’t help seeing it humorously. It’s as if God thought, “Oh, you love frogs; just wait, you haven’t seen anything yet!”
As already pointed out, I see the Church within Great Britain and America as having been the main “lighthouses” to the spiritually blind throughout the world. Our mission has been to spread the Gospel message, not only within our borders, but also into all regions of the world. History reveals that in England the first printing of the Bible in the English language commenced in the 8th century. (Interestingly, this just happens to be approaching 1260 years right now). Also well known is the fact that many great preachers and evangelists, plus the ministries they founded, have arisen in Great Britain and America throughout their histories. I also discovered documented facts (references noted in my book) that the vast majority of financial aid for spreading the Gospel into the rest of the world via various missions has been supported by giving from Christians whose home base is in one of these two lands.
But in spite of this tremendous background, in our day false religions and false philosophies abound in the “sister” lands from which much of God’s work has occurred throughout the past 12½+ centuries of the Christian age. Today, especially in America, many of our leaders seem obsessed on promoting what they call “pluralism”, believing that our come-one-come-all, open-door policies have been the cause of our historical successfulness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our successes have been the result of God’s blessed gifts to the nations He chose. It would probably remain so until this day if the Church within these power structures remained faithful to the anointing and blessings which have been ours to enjoy. Many Churches are growing softer, some even placing Sodomites into the pulpits! The Gospel message itself is also becoming weaker and shallower, especially relative to the cross of Christ. The net effect of the collapsing Church is opening the door to all kinds of evil forces and evil doers.
As the Church backslides because of disobedience and wavering faith, so also does her influence upon the governments, schools, businesses, and all other walks of life. What’s the bottom line of all this? It adds up to the fact that we are becoming spiritual Egypt. And that is precisely the way John saw it nearly 2,000 years ago!
As stated earlier, there are many critics of my convictions and postulations. The primary resistence comes from those who ardently insist upon a literal-only interpretation of the book of Revelation (and all prophecy passages for that matter). True, if one takes that hermeneutical stand, then my perspective — that there is the reality of the Law of Double Reference in many Scriptures — is blocked.
I would urge the reader to take the time to consider the possibility that my approach is both logically and Biblically sound. It is also very important to recognize that the historical facts discussed in this article, relative to two particular national power structures and two certain portions of the body of Christ which they have housed, are simply true, not something I made up. Admittedly, this doesn’t demand that the “two witnesses” of Rev. 11 must mean two nations rather than just two people. But, let’s be reasonable, when the words of Scripture describe the ever-mounting historical and present characteristics and evidences found in Great Britain and the USA, then at some point I believe it is quite rational to reach certain, glaring conclusions, namely, in this case, the conclusions presented in this paper and in my book, The Two Witnesses.
Since these ideas first came to my mind about 28 years ago, I have not found any reason to reject the insights. Indeed, as time advances, I become increasingly convinced that what I have discovered was surely planted into my spirit and mind by the Holy Spirit. There was never a time in my life when I wanted to come up with something different from other prophetic analysts, just for the sake of being different. Absolutely not! In my early days of Bible prophecy studies, I read many other books on prophecy. I simply desired to know what the prophecy experts in the body of Christ believed and taught relative to these matters. But one day God got me alone in His “closet”, and slowly but steadily it became increasingly clear to me what I was to do. In no uncertain terms He impressed upon my spirit and mind to delve deeper into the Word of God and listen to His still voice as I went. Fifteen years later, The Two Witnesses was completed and published.
One day many years ago, the main text of this article was a prime “proof text” example which really got my attention. It seemed to be addressing something which I had already observed was becoming a reality right here in the United States at the time. I didn’t find it too difficult to see that two special terms — which John called spiritual Sodom and spiritual Egypt — had an application in our day. Once while concentrating on this verse I had a thought that went something like this: “This sounds like the evening news!” And, sad but true, since that time we have advanced further and further towards the fulfillment of these spiritual identifications.
Now that you have these concepts before you, I would urge the reader to prayerfully ponder these thoughts. And as you do, pay close attention to what you see and hear through all the media. The news folks seem to love giving coverage about issues which relate to homosexuality and false religions. Without realizing it, they will describe for you in great detail the characteristics of spiritual Sodom and spiritual Egypt. Watch and listen! And once you get it, I think you too will become convinced that they are describing Biblical predictions of modern USA.
If Great Britain and America are indeed spiritual Sodom and spiritual Egypt, then we must conclude that we are seeing the long-range fulfillment of this Scripture right before our eyes. If so, then this is really important understanding for us to grasp. Are you among the few who see it?
Love to you all, in Christ Jesus,
Lance Johnson, O.D.
Founder and Director
COME & SEE Ministries