846. And the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God, signifies that they were rejected by those who are in falsities from their own intelligence, because they worshiped the Lord, and lived according to the truths of His Word. By "the souls of them that were beheaded (smitten with the axe), for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God" are meant men after death, who are then called spirits, or men clothed with a spiritual body, who were concealed by the Lord in the lower earth, until the evil were removed by the Last Judgment. They are said "to be beheaded," because they were rejected by those who were in falsities from their own intelligence, all of whom are in evils and thence in falsities, or in falsities and by them in evils, and yet in externals are in Divine worship. That this kind of falsity is signified by an axe, will be seen in the next article. By "the testimony of Jesus and the Word of God," is signified the acknowledgment of the Lord's Divine in His Human, like as by these passages above:
John testified of the Word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:2).
Michael and his angels overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony (Rev. 12:11).
The dragon went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments, of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17).
I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus Christ; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10).
That by these passages is signified the acknowledgment of the Divine of the Lord in His Human, and a life according to the truths of His Word, and in particular according to the commandments of the Decalogue, may be seen in the explanations given above. These souls are the same as are spoken of above in these words:
I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God and for the testimony which they held; and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Lord, who art holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell upon the earth? And white robes were given unto everyone of them, and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants and their brethren, who should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled (Rev. 6:9-11);
which may be seen explained (n. 325-329).