The Last Days
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. -- Revelation 20:1-6
In this vision St. John was shown conditions that exist in "the last days" or the latter part of a cycle in our evolution. The Western Wisdom Teachings postulate that evolution is a well ordered process, always a spiral, and takes place through periods of time occurring to the law of cycles or periodicity. These cycles occur in our individual lives to bring us again and again to birth on the physical plane, and they also occur on a larger scale to bring the general conditions necessary for the progress of humanity. This is in accordance with the Hermetic axiom: "As above so below; as below so above."
"As a circle dance of the Sun among the twelve signs determines the seasons of the year when direct, causing the germination of myriads of seeds east in the earth, also the mating of the fauna, which then makes the world alive with the sights, and sounds of manifested life, and at another time leaves the world dumb, dull, and drear in winter's gloom, under the sway of Saturn, so by the slower backward movement, known as the Precession of the Equinox, does it produce the great changes which we know as Evolution. In fact, this precessional measure of the Sun marks the birth and death of races, nations, and their religions, for the pictorial zodiac is a symbolical presentation of our past, present, and future development."
The time required for the passage of the Sun by precession through the zodiac is called a Great Sidereal Year -- 25,869 solar years. Thus it takes approximately 2000 years for the Sun to pass through one sign, one-half of this period being predominantly materialistic (under the sway of the Luciferian influence), and the other half of a more spiritual nature. Thus we may say that "Satan" is "bound" for a period, and mankind progresses more rapidly (consciously or unconsciously) on the spiral path of evolution during that time.
The masses of people take the slow path of hard experience; the pioneers take the more difficult but shorter path of initiation. The initiate dies to the Physical World, and may therefore be said to participate in the "first resurrection." On him "the second death (of the physical body) hath no power," and he "reigns" with Christ, the Divine Leader, during a cycle of spiritual unfoldment.
--Rays from the Rose Cross Magazine, October, 1964