Monday, September 7, 2020

How are the Prophecies of the Second Coming Fulfilled?

Many, when they hear about the Second Coming of Christ, think of His eventually return where He will appear in the clouds of the sky, the world will come to an end, and that there will be a last judgment. However this is a false expectation: by the Second Coming is not meant a physical manifestation of the Lord, but a heavenly revelation from heaven which will take place in vision. The final judgment does not take place on earth, but in the spiritual world. The "end of the world" is not the end of the visible planet earth, but rather, it refers to the end of the age of traditional Christianity that has become corrupted by falsehoods.

That the Second Coming is spiritual, and not observable in a physical manner, is discussed in detail here: Is the Second Coming a Physical Event or Spiritual Event?

That the Second Coming is a spiritual revelation, and not a physical manifestation that appears before everybody at once, we know from Jesus Himself:

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.  (Luke 17:20-23)

Now despite this, there are some that still expect a literal, physical appearance of the Lord. This is not possible, for when Jesus rose from the dead, His human body had transformed into a Divine Human. The Lord could only be seen by those whose spiritual vision had been opened:

"He is not to appear in person, because since He ascended into heaven He is in the glorified Humanity, and in this He cannot appear to any man unless He first opens the eyes of his spirit, and this cannot be done with any one who is in evils and hence in falsities... Therefore when He manifested Himself to His disciples, He first opened their eyes; for we read, And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him, and He vanished out of their sight (Luke xxiv. 31). The same took place with the women at the sepulchre after the resurrection, who therefore then saw angels sitting in the sepulchre and talking with them; and no one can see angels with the material eye. That neither did the apostles see the Lord in the glorified Human before His resurrection with the eyes of the body, but in spirit, which appears, after returning to wakefulness, as if in sleep, is evident from His transfiguration before Peter, James, and John, for it is said that they were then heavy with sleep (Luke ix. 32). It is therefore vain to believe that the Lord will appear in a cloud of heaven in person; but He will appear in the Word, which is from Him and thus is Himself." (True Christian Religion, n. 777)

What happened is that in the 18th century, Emanuel Swedenborg's vision was opened where he would read scripture and its spiritual meaning was explained by the Lord. This is the Second Coming, available to anyone who pays attention and reads the writings: the First Coming was a revelation of the Word made flesh, the Second Coming is a revelation of the spiritual sense of the Word hidden within its literal sense.

This does not preclude future revelations concerning the Second Coming and the book of Revelation - but it must take place in one's spiritual sight, not in the physical world. This is the first step of true understanding.

THE INTERMEDIATE WORLD BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL

After death, a spirit is judged and goes either to heaven or hell, which Swedenborg saw were higher dimensions where space and time do not exist, and yet these spiritual dimensions govern our states of mind. What he also discovered was that between heaven and hell groups of souls would gather in an intermediate spiritual world who were not prepared for judgment, which he called the "world of spirits." It is in this area where the last judgment occurs, where souls are judged in mass at the end of a world age. This intermediate world can be compared to purgatory in Catholic tradition, and some of it is known from the "Harrowing of Hell" that took place when Jesus descended into hell in Orthodox tradition. This middle region between heaven and hell is mentioned explicitly in two areas of the New Testament:

"For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison" (2 Pet. 3:18-19)

It is also the area where some good spirits remain, awaiting judgment:

"And when he had opened the fifth seal, 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 loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Rev. 6:9-11)

The good that remained here were those who had good intentions, but had perhaps been misled by falsehoods or did things out of ignorance. The evil that remained until the last judgment were those who put on an appearance of being good or religious towards others, but inwardly were evil. Jesus had entered this intermediate spiritual world after His death, and He speaks of His fight against hell in order to release spiritual captives in this passage:

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. (Matt. 12:28-29)

THE FINAL JUDGMENTS OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD

In the heavenly revelations received by Swedenborg in the 18th century, it was shown to him that "last judgments" take place periodically in the spiritual world. This has happened three times, one of which he witnessed personally in his waking visions:

  1. A final judgment took place in the spiritual world which is metaphorically described in the story of the flood of Noah.
  2. A final judgment took place in the spiritual world during the time of Jesus, which Jesus does mention briefly but practiced it in His exorcisms of demons.
  3. A final judgment took place in the spiritual world in 1757, due to the corruptions of the Christian churches (primarily by dividing God into three persons, and promoting a religion of belief alone)

The final judgment of the year 1757 opened up a new era of thought, where mankind started to think more freely and began to question religious authority, and follow rational thought. Swedenborg mentions that a new era of free thought would begin:

"The great change which has been effected in the spiritual world does not induce any change in the natural world as to external form, and therefore there will be civil affairs hereafter just as before... the man of the church will hereafter be in a freer state of thinking on the things of faith, thus on the spiritual things which are of heaven, because spiritual freedom has been restored... I have had various conversations with angels concerning the state of the church hereafter, and they said that they know not things to come, because to know things to come is of the Lord alone; but they know that the slavery and captivity in which the man of the church has been hitherto, has been taken away, and that now from restored freedom he can better perceive interior truths, if he wishes to perceive them, and so can become interior, if he wishes to become so; yet they have slender hope of the men of the Christian Church, but much of a people quite remote from the Christian world, and hence removed from infesters, which is such as to be able to receive spiritual light, and to become a celestial spiritual man; and they said that at this day interior Divine truths are revealed in that people, and are also received with spiritual faith, that is, in life and heart, and that they adore the Lord." (Final Judgment, n. 73-74)

This is known as the Age of Enlightenment to historians. The external manifestation of it can be seen in the volumes of writings that Swedenborg wrote to explain the spiritual sense of the Bible. Now completely independent from Swedenborg, those who have studied the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, especially Seventh Day Adventists, understood that there was a 1260 year prophecy beginning with the collapse of the Roman Empire that ended in the 18th century. All that they could figure out was the external historical manifestation of the spiritual event: at this time, the Catholic Church lost its spiritual power, especially with the disbanding of the Jesuits and the separation of church and state due to the French and American revolutions. From the revelation we have now received, the 1260 year period began in 497 A.D. and ended in 1757 A.D. (see The Prophetic Time Periods of Daniel Revealed).

The Seventh Day Adventists speak of a prophecy in Daniel 8 concerning the "cleansing of the temple" which they cannot explain well, but they happen to be close to the mark. It was actually fulfilled in the cleansing of the spiritual world between heaven and hell in 1757. There is a 2300 year prophecy beginning from the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C. which brings us to the year 1762, for which see the previous posts The New Church Prophecy of the 2300 Days, or the Cleansing of the Sanctuary and The Prophecy of Babylon and the Writing on the Wall

So with that introduction, lets explain now what portions of the book of Revelation have been fulfilled, or are happening now...

THE SEVEN CHURCHES REPRESENT THE OLDER CHRISTIAN CHURCHES

The letters to the seven churches were written to seven churches in Asia, or modern day Turkey, and they are representative of the older traditional Christian churches as they are now, preceding their awareness of the revelations of the Second Coming.  There are seven different types, and they are explained in detail here: The Symbolism of the Seven Churches of the book of Revelation

Those who separate faith from charity, are described in one aspect of the letter to the church of Thyatira. However most Christians are in an external form of worship, without applying it to their life, and are dead spiritually: these are described by Sardis. Those who do works of charity, or are merit seeking, are described by Pergamos.  All churches, in no matter what state of life, or what state of belief they are, are invited to the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem that descends out of heaven.

THE SEVEN SEALS: EXPLORATION BEFORE JUDGMENT

The unsealing of the book of seven seals signifies a phase of exploration of the state of each person in the intermediate world before judgment is executed, for before judgment there is a state of visitation or exploration of one's interior mind.  On a careful read of the symbolism (described in detail in The Apocalypse Revealed and Explained) it matches the progressive decline of the Christian Church until no good or truth remained within it, as described spiritually in Jesus's explanation for the end of the age (see The End of this World Age - the Last Days of Matthew 24). For the sun to turn dark signifies a total lack of love, for the moon to turn blood red signifies truth will be falsified, and for stars to fall from the sky signifies all spiritual knowledge will be lost for the Christian churches on earth. This period of spiritual exploration continued for a period of time before the judgment upon the spiritual world in 1757, until the evil became separated from heaven which is described as heaven departing as a rolled book (Rev. 6:14):
"The reason that it is said that the heaven departed as a book rolled together, is that man's interior understanding and hence his thought is like heaven. For his understanding can be elevated into the light of heaven, and in elevation can think with the angels about God, about love and faith, and about eternal life. But if his will is not at the same time elevated into the heat of heaven, the man is still not conjoined to the angels of heaven, and thus is not like heaven... By this faculty of the understanding, the evil, who are here treated of, were able to be in consociation with the angels of the lowest heaven. But when these were separated from them, their heaven then departed like a book rolled together." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 335)
Another aspect of the spiritual exploration of the intermediate spiritual world is that the good who were present there and yet had not been taken up to heaven had to be marked out and separated from the evil, and this is represented by the sealing of the 144,000 (Rev. 7). This is represented historically in scripture when the angels rescued Lot and his family before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19) and the sealing of the righteous by angels before the destruction of Jerusalem (Ezek. 9). The "winds" that are held back by the angels signifies a stronger Divine influx from the higher heavens into the lower intermediate spiritual world:
"It is to be known, that a final judgment takes place, when the evil are multiplied to such a degree under the heavens in the world of spirits, that the angels in the heavens cannot stand in the state of their love and their wisdom; for they then have no support and foundation. And because this takes place from the multiplication of the evil below, the Lord, therefore, that He may preserve their state, flows in more and more strongly with His Divine; and this is done until they cannot be preserved by any influx, unless the evil below are separated from the good: and this is effected by a lowering and drawing near of the heavens, and hence a stronger influx, until the evil cannot endure it; and the evil then flee away, and cast themselves into hell." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 343)

THE SEVEN TRUMPETS: EXPLORATION OF THE SPIRITUAL CHURCH

Following the exploration of those spirits in the intermediate world who were only good in external appearance, or those who were good but had been influenced by falsehoods, next followed an exploration of those who had a higher understanding of Christianity, but had falsified the gospel by separating faith from charity and good works. This mainly affected those of the Protestant persuasion, who believed in scripture and yet had followed an evil life. That this is a false theology, see Is there Salvation from Belief Alone? and The Spiritual Meaning of the word "Works" in Scripture. That this exploration concerned the Protestants, is because when people believe in salvation from belief alone, and that man has power to do nothing, and that nothing a person does has any spiritual value, and that sins are "automatically transferred" on a mere lip confession, they do not practice repentance. And repentance through Jesus Christ is the true path of Christianity. Their exposure, that they lived an evil life, and did not practice repentance, is described in Rev. 9:20-21 which describes those who do not repent of the work of their hands. Their separation from heaven in the spiritual world are described in a symbolic manner, which is more fully explained in The Apocalypse Revealed and Explained.

THE ANGEL WITH THE LITTLE BOOK

Revelation 10 describes an angel that descends from heaven with a little book, who then speaks and then seven thunders are uttered, and John is commanded to not write it down.  This concerns a new heavenly revelation that was not revealed to John the apostle, but it has been revealed in the heavenly visions given to Emanuel Swedenborg. The "little book" concerns one major point that has been missed by many within the Christian churches: that Jesus Christ is not a second person of a trinity, but that He is the One God of the universe, who descended and became incarnate in human form, and made His human Divine, until He became a God-Man or Divine Human who can now interact directly with all mankind who had been cut off from heaven. Thus the angel with the little book was fulfilled in the revelation of the Divine Human given to Swedenborg, which is explained throughout the writings and more specifically in the small work, Doctrine of the Lord, which was published in 1763. See the post The Mystery of the Book of Seven Thunders Explained.

THE TWO WITNESSES

Revelation 11 describes two witnesses who prophesy for a period of 1260 days before being slain, and these signify the two principle doctrines of the New Church which are rejected by several churches that teach a false theology of faith alone:
  1. That there is One God in One Being, One Person, who is Jesus Christ, the Divine Human, and,
  2. That one must live by the commandments, turning away from evil as sin
Their rejection, and death, signifies that these two principles are opposed by those who follow a tritheism of three persons, and who believe that one is saved by faith alone and that works effect nothing for one's salvation. This is summarized in the blog post The Identity of the Two Witnesses of Revelation. The two doctrines are summarized in the small works, Doctrine of the Lord (1763), and Doctrine of Life according to the Commandments of the Decalogue (1763), and these are the two witnesses which become rejected primarily by those who follow the false theology of faith alone in the Protestant/Reformed churches (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 515)

THE "PRECURSOR" JUDGMENT OF THE YEAR 1757

Swedenborg was shown a grand vision of a judgment that took place in the intermediate spiritual world in 1757, and assumed that it was the complete fulfillment of all the prophecies in the Apocalypse (Final Judgment, n. 40-44 and Final Judgment Continued, n. 1).  Swedenborg had other confirmed clairvoyant abilities as testimony that he indeed did see a last judgment of the spiritual world in 1757, but Swedenborg had initially incorrectly assumed that his grand vision was the complete fulfillment of the Apocalypse. On a careful read of his writings, it can be seen that it was a precursor, and that there will be more to come.

First, the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are ultimately rejected, killed, and after three and a half days are raised and are caught up into heaven, and Swedenborg's visions . This signifies the revival of the New Church, and its preservation by heaven:
"And after the three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet, [Rev. 11:11] signifies that the two essentials of the New Church, at the end of the former, when the New Church is beginning and advancing, are vivified by the Lord with those who receive them. By the three days and a half is signified to the end and beginning... and thus from the end of the church which as yet is, to the beginning of the new; here with those among whom the New Church commences and is progressing: because it is now said of the witnesses, that the spirit of life entered into them, and they stood upon their feet. By the spirit of life from God spiritual life is signified; and by standing upon the feet is signified natural life agreeing with the spiritual life, and thus to be vivified by the Lord." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 510)
This speaks of the utter rejection of the New Church, especially by those who follow a false theology of salvation by belief alone, for they reject salvation by repentance and reforming one's life.  Swedenborg had one vision that showed that the revelations given to him were the fulfillment of this prophecy, and he saw that in the spiritual world it was vehemently opposed by spirits who believed in faith alone. The ascension of the two witnesses into heaven signifies that the New Church will be preserved and protected by heaven against those who oppose it. And after this, the Apocalypse describes a judgment upon the evil that opposed the revelation:
And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth part of the city fell, signifies that a remarkable change of state then took place with them, and that they were torn away from heaven and cast down into hell. In that hour signifies the time when they beheld the two witnesses go up into heaven, and yet remained fixed in their falsities, as just above (n. 514); for the two witnesses prophesied, that is, taught them (vers. 3). And after they were slain, and came to life again, and they also saw them ascend into heaven, and still did not recede from their falsities, then that great earthquake took place... By an earthquake a change of state is signified (n. 331); here their destruction... By falling is signified to sink down into hell, which takes place when they are torn away from heaven. For the cities in the world of spirits which are in evils and falsities, — after they who are there have been visited, informed, and admonished, and still persist in their evils and falsities, — are shaken by an earthquake; and thereby a gulf is opened, into which they sink down...  And there were slain in the earthquake names of men seven thousand, signifies that in that state all those who professed faith alone, and therefore made the works of charity of no account, perished. By being slain is signified here as before to be spiritually slain, which is to perish as to the soul. By the earthquake is signified a change of state with them, and their destruction... And the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven, signifies that they who joined any goods of charity to their faith, when they saw the destruction of those, acknowledged the Lord, and were separated. By the remnant are here meant those who adjoined to faith any goods of charity... Because these, through fear, acknowledge the Lord, they were separated, that they might be explored as to the origin from which they did good, whether from themselves or from the Lord." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 515-7) 
In the book of Revelation, this is the second time a spiritual judgment is mentioned. The first was at the opening of the sixth seal where there is a great earthquake (Rev. 6:12-17) and this involved those within the intermediate spiritual world who were outside of the Christian church. The second is after the ascension of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:13), and this involved a judgment upon those of the Protestants or Reformed who separate faith from charity. And this is similar to how the last judgment of 1757 in the spiritual world proceeded:
"And it was done in this order: first, upon those of the Papal religion; then upon the Mohammedans; afterward upon the Gentiles; and lastly upon the Reformed." (Final Judgment, n. 47)
Rev. 6-7 speaks of the general judgment upon the spiritual world, and this is followed by a judgment on the Protestants of faith alone in Rev. 8-11. When the judgment of 1757 took place in the spiritual world, it manifested as an earthquake, and there was a separation between the good and evil, before the evil were cast down to hell:
"Destruction is effected after visitation; for visitation always precedes. Visitation is a process of exploration as to quality, and also a separation of the good from the evil; then the good are removed and the evil are left. When that was done, there were great earthquakes, from which they perceived that the final judgment was at hand; and trembling also then seized them all." (Final Judgment, n. 61)
"These changes of their state were accompanied with various concussions of their dwellings and lands, followed by earthquakes, mighty according to their perversions. Here and there also were made chasms toward the hells, which were under them, and thus communication was opened with them: then exhalations were seen ascending like smoke mingled with sparks of fire." (Final Judgment Continued, n. 25)
In city that is destroyed by earthquake in Rev. 11:13 is spiritually called "Sodom and Egypt." And Swedenborg saw that those who were in faith alone, and yet lived an evil life, in the spiritual world behaved exactly like those of Sodom right before their judgment:
"Visitations were also made by angels; for before any ill-conditioned society perishes, visitation always precedes. The angels exhorted them to desist; foretelling their destruction if they did not. Then they also sought out any good spirits that might be intermingled with them, and separated them. But the crowd, incited by their leaders, treated them with insults, rushing upon them to drag them into the market-place and treat them abominably, just as was done in Sodom. The most of these were of faith separate from charity, and there were also some who professed charity and still lived wickedly." (Final Judgment Continued, n. 26)
In Revelation, the earthquake and destruction is followed by the seventh trumpet:
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Rev. 11:15)
Compare this to what Swedenborg saw concerning the judgment upon those of faith alone in the spiritual world in 1757:
"The Lord was seen in a bright cloud with the angels, and a sound was heard thence as of trumpets, which was a sign representative of the protection of the angels of heaven by the Lord, and of the gathering together of the good from every side." (Final Judgment Continued, n. 28)
Unfortunately, not many in the New Church have made this connection, taking Swedenborg's opinion that everything of the Apocalypse has been fulfilled on face value.  Swedenborg had also made the decision to make an account of his vision of the last judgment in the work Final Judgment, separate from his massive work on the explanation of the Apocalypse (see The Apocalypse Revealed and Explained.) When we read the commentary on Rev. 11:15, Swedenborg confirms that it refers to the last judgment that he saw in 1757:
"And the seventh angel sounded, signifies the exploration and manifestation of the state of the church after its consummation, when the coming of the Lord and of His kingdom takes place. By sounding the trumpet is signified to explore and make manifest the state of the church after its consummation, when the coming of the Lord and of His kingdom takes place. The reason is, because this is signified by the seventh angel sounding; for by the six angels and their trumpets sounding, the explorations and manifestations of the consummated church have been signified, as is manifest from the preceding chapter, where only its consummation is described. But that its state after consummation is now treated of, which is the coming of the Lord and of His kingdom, is manifest from these things that follow in this verse and afterwards: in this verse, And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall reign for ever and ever, etc. This manifestation was made by the sounding of the seventh angel, because seven signifies the same as a week; and six days of it are days of labor and of what belongs to man, and the seventh is holy and the Lord's." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 519) 
Also Swedenborg explicitly states that this was fulfilled by the last judgment of 1757 (Apocalypse Explained, n. 674). Moreover, when he completed his work True Christian Religion, he saw this take place in the spiritual world:
"After this work was finished the Lord called together His twelve disciples who followed Him in the world; and the next day He sent them all forth into the whole spiritual world to preach the Gospel that the Lord God Jesus Christ reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages of ages, according to the prediction by Daniel (vii. 13, 14), and in the Apocalypse (xi. 15); and that Blessed are they who come to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Apoc. xix. 9). This took place on the nineteenth day of June, in the year 1770. This is meant by these words of the Lord: He will send His angels, and they shall gather together His elect from one end of the heavens even to the other (Matt. xxiv. 31)." (True Christian Religion, n. 791)
This was written in the year 1770, which not only fulfilled Matt. 24:31, but again he quotes Rev. 11:15 which is the sounding of the seventh trumpet. This indicates that the judgment that took place in the intermediate spiritual world in the year 1757 was a precursor to future events in the development of the New Church, with the end goal of communion with the Lord described in Rev. 19:9. 

THE GRADUAL FORMATION OF THE NEW CHURCH

The slow formation of the New Church on earth is described by the woman giving birth to a child in Revelation 12, which signifies the Doctrine that the Lord's human is Divine, a Divine Human, and that His human form is the Son and not a second person of a fictional trinity of three persons.  That the doctrines of the New Church will be hard to accept, and occur with difficulty, is signified by the woman who labors to give birth to the child. That the woman has to flee to the wilderness, means that for a long time the New Church will be among the few, and in obscurity. This is due to the strong persuasion of the false theology that God is three persons and that one is saved by faith alone. That a false theology of three personal beings would arise is signified by the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (see The Prophecy of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet).

One reason for the slow development on earth, is that the heavens have to be organized first before the New Church will completely manifest on earth:
"It is in accordance with Divine order that the new heaven should be formed before the new church on earth; for the church is internal and external, and the internal church makes one with the church in heaven, and thus with heaven; and the internal must be formed before the external, and the external must afterward be formed by means of the internal; that this is so is known among the clergy in the world. Just so far as this new heaven, which constitutes the internal of the church with man, grows, so far does the New Jerusalem, that is, the New Church come down from that heaven. This, therefore, cannot take place in a moment, but it takes place as the falsities of the former church are removed; for what is new cannot enter where falsities have been previously implanted, unless these are uprooted, which will take place with the clergy, and so with the laity; for the Lord said, No one putteth new wine into old bottles; else the bottles break and the wine runneth out; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved (Matt. ix. 17; Mark ii. 22; Luke v. 37, 38)." (True Christian Religion, n. 784)
This gradual formation can be seen somewhat in modern times: many are leaving the traditional churches behind, and identifying themselves as "spiritually independent." For those who have removed themselves from the falsehoods of the older churches, there is an opportunity to learn of the rational spirituality of the New Church: one that declares that there is One God in One Person Jesus Christ, and that a true spiritual life is to live by the decalogue of the 10 commandments. In one of his private letters, Swedenborg wrote this:
"The New Heaven of Christians out of which the New Jerusalem, will descend from the Lord (Rev. 21:1, 2) is not yet fully established..." (Docu. 230, dated Sept, 25, 1766)
And the key to establishing the New Church, is instruction of a new set of ministers, who are not constrained by the older false teachings:
"The Lord is at this time preparing a New Heaven of those who believe in Him, acknowledge Him as the true God of heaven and earth, and look to Him in their lives, which means to shun evil and do good; for from that heaven the New Jerusalem is to come down (see Rev. 21:2.). I daily see spirits and angels, from ten to twenty thousand, descending and ascending and being set in order. By degrees, as that heaven is being formed, the New Church likewise begins and increases. The universities in Christendom are now first being instructed, whence will come new ministers; for the new heaven has no influence over the old (clergy) who deem themselves, too learned in the doctrine of justification by faith alone" (Docu. 234, II., dated Stockholm, February 1767.)
So it is obvious: not everything in the book of Revelation or the Apocalypse have been fulfilled yet, there are present and future spiritual developments in the formation of the New Jerusalem here on earth.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Divine Signature of the Genetic Code



From the revelations of the New Church, it is revealed that God is life itself, and all life forms are recipients of that life which they receive through spiritual influx. We also know from the revelations, that all natural forms, especially forms of life, are symbolic representations of spiritual ideas and concepts. Now lets take this further: all of life is based on the genetic code of living cells. The genetic code is composed of codons, which is a sequence of three nucleotides, a specific type of organic molecules. In DNA we have guanine, adenine, cytosine and thymine. Within the genetic code there are exactly 20 amino acids, and these are known as the "canonical" amino acids among the 500 or so amino acids found in nature, and are the foundation of all life.

If God is life, and is the source of all life, is there any "signature" or mathematical pattern found in the genetic code?  The answer is yes. The pattern is statistically significant and there are no known natural laws that explain it; nor is it random; nor does the mathematical symmetry seem to be a necessity for the biological processes of the genetic code itself. Two scientists discovered evidence of an artificial mathematical code embedded into our genetic DNA, which cannot be explained by evolution and is not random. Their findings were published in the peer reviewed scientific journal Icarus in 2013. From ET Genetic Code May Be Found In Human DNA, According To Kazakhstan Scientists' Biological SETI Theory
"Two scientists in Kazakhstan believe humans may have an extraterrestrial "stamp" embedded into our genetic code, a mathematical message that would not be explained by Darwin's theory of biological evolution.
The scientists are suggesting that an advanced alien civilization "seeded" our galaxy eons ago with an ET signal that eventually found its way to Earth, implanting a genetic code into humans... Physicist Vladimir I. shCherbak of al-Farabi Kazakh National University of Kazakhstan and astrobiologist Maxim A. Makukov of the Fesenkvo Astrophysical Institute refer to this far-out concept as "biological SETI."
The article is entitled The "Wow! signal" of the terrestrial genetic code, and can be found here: https://arxiv.org/abs/1303.6739. They proposed that this genetic signal was due to panspermia from millions of years ago. One biologist refuted it, stating they did not properly rule out the "operations of natural law." From Panspermia:
"This claim has been refuted by biologist PZ Myers who said, writing in Pharyngula: Unfortunately, what they’ve so honestly described is good old honest garbage ... Their methods failed to recognize a well-known functional association in the genetic code; they did not rule out the operation of natural law before rushing to falsely infer design ... We certainly don’t need to invoke panspermia. Nothing in the genetic code requires design. and the authors haven’t demonstrated otherwise."
The authors of the original article then published another subsequent peer reviewed article, where they test the probability that the pattern was due to naturally occurring laws, applying statistical methods. And they arrived at the same conclusion as the original paper: this is not due to any naturally occurring law. Their paper addressing the criticisms can be found here: SETI in vivo: testing the we-are-them hypothesis.

So what did they find? Based on the codons, and the amino acids formed from the codons, and the nucleons in each amino acid, there are mathematical symmetries that reveal the following numbers using base 10: 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 777, 888, 999. The number are formed by mathematical symmetries, and the foundation of it is the 74 nucleons in the uniform part of the 20 amino acids in the genetic code.  See the following two videos which explain the findings in a graphical manner, as the articles are hard to follow:





THE DIVINE SIGNATURE IN THE GENETIC CODE

I think the article reveals a significant mathematical pattern of high order. It is a "signal," but not from extraterrestrial panspermia - that would have us believe that some alien race managed to be the origin of all life. More likely it is an elegant mathematical pattern, similar to the atomic table, but of higher order since this natural form is a recipient of life. And as God is life, it provides us with a Divine signature. It is not a message from an extraterrestrial race, it is a message embedded on the fundamental building block of life, from the originator of all life.

The reason why I think this is a Divine signature is that I found some of these exact same numbers in the numerical symbolism of the Psalms.  I had already published my findings in the book, The Secret Code of the Psalms:


I discussed this previously in the post The Secret Code of the Psalms, where I state that hidden within the numerical structure of the Hebrew poetry, there are fractional representations of the number pi to a high degree of accuracy. One of these convergent fractions is 333/106, and 333 appears in the numerical structure of the genetic code. The reason why these numbers were considered sacred is that they represent the circle or disk, and in the ancient near east the circle or disk of the sun was seen as a representation of God. The Jews for the most part removed themselves from this physical representation to separate from idolatry, but the mathemetical symbolism was retained. And we know from the revelations of the New Church that all numbers have a spiritual meaning - see Spiritual Meaning of Numbers, or Numerology

Now, returning back to the numerical pattern in the genetic code, where the researchers kept finding multiples of 111.  They note that all of the numbers are multiples of the prime number 37.  And, as already described in my book, Psalms 37 and 111 are both acrostic Psalms. Each verse begins with a Hebrew letter. And just as codons are composed of three nucleotides, most Hebrew words originate from a semitic root of three consonants. Coincidence? And the reason for the emphasis on multiples of 111 is to direct us to 333/106, which is one of the convergent ratios of pi (the others, up to 3 digits, are 3, 22/7 and 355/113). And if we look at Psalm 37, it has this statement in it:
The law of his God is in his heart (Ps. 37:31)
In the spiritual sense, it means a man of God has love in his heart. But the law, in the strictest sense, refers to the 10 commandments, and isn't it odd that the genetic code for all of life has a signature founded on base 10 mathematics?  And isn't it odd that the genetic code has 20 amino acids, which is 2 x 10? Maybe minor coincidences, but add this to the pattern already found by the scientists who had no knowledge of the Divine signature hidden in the Hebrew poetry of the Psalms.

The elegant numerical pattern found in the genetic code serves no functional purpose, but it is there, like a signature, letting us know that someone is there - someone who is the origin of all living things as we know it in the universe.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Is there Salvation from Belief Alone?



Many Christians, especially newly converted Christians, think that salvation comes by merely believing in Jesus Christ and being baptized.  And that's it.  It's a one time event, and then one is done: even worse, some think what you do in life is of no account. But is this true? Is this what scripture teaches? The answer is a definite no: for the word translated as "belief" is more accurately translated as "faith," and faith is not a mere belief in factual knowledge but rather, it is living by the truth, which is turning away from sin and in doing charity to others or being useful in life.

There are some verses that do in fact seem to teach the above teaching, but one has to also ignore a host of other scripture that teaches against belief alone. Jesus spoke very strongly against those who were in a religion of belief alone, or those who heard His words, and did not do them:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matt. 7:24-27)
And it gets worse: Jesus said those who just say "Lord, Lord" and pray and yet live an evil life will be condemned (Matt. 7:22-23, 25:31-46).  You cannot just believe and live an evil life, without considering your sins. For all will be judged according to their works (Matt. 16:27, Rom. 2:6, Rev. 22:12). And we are talking here about the works of charity, or the effects of doing from good intent, and the work of turning against evil - NOT the external works of the Mosaic ritual law which is what Paul focused on in his letters to the early church.

WHAT PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE SEEM TO CONFIRM BELIEF ALONE?

There are a few passages that seem to confirm that all one has to do is believe to be saved. So lets take a look at them. The first comes from Mark:
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Matt. 16:16)
So how do we reconcile this passage with what Jesus said earlier? The issue here is that this verse is not just mentioning baptism by water: baptism by water is merely an external ritual that in itself does nothing. What it is talking about is spiritual baptism: dying to your old self and beginning a new life, which is effected by repentance, or turning away from sin, and doing what God commanded. Baptism signifies a washing away by the truth, for it is from truth that we know that we should fight against sin and turn away from it. That we are not talking about mere water baptism, but a spiritual baptism, we know from the gospel of Mark itself:
I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8)
For when we turn away from sin, putting our trust in Jesus Christ, He fills our heart with the Holy Spirit. That Mark is talking about spiritual baptism, which is spiritual regeneration by turning away from evil, we know from this when James and John asked that they sit at his left and right hand in the kingdom:
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” (Mark 10:38-40)
Obviously Jesus is speaking figuratively. To drink the cup is to experience temptation, which we can see in Jesus' prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane:
“Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)
To be baptized is to undergo spiritual regeneration by turning away from sin after having been tempted, through which we receive the Holy Spirit. This is done through Jesus who experienced the most severest of temptations from all of hell. And note that to sit with Jesus is not something Jesus can just give to those who want it: it is given to those who live a life of service and charity, which Jesus explains in the verses following (see Mark 10:41-45). So is salvation a "free gift"?  No, not according to Jesus. We have to undergo temptation ("drink the cup"), turn away from evil ("be baptized"), and live by His commandments in charity and usefulness (be a servant).

There are several other verses that mention "belief" as necessary for salvation or eternal life, all from the gospel of John: John 3:12,15-16,18,36; 6:40,47; 8:24, 11:25-26. The word "belief" here is not mere belief, the exact same word can be translated as "faith" which is to live by the truth: by repentance with utter focus on Jesus to work through us, and to do what He said. This is what "believing the Son" means, it is not mere factual knowledge of the memory. We know it is not mere belief, for Jesus Himself asks:
Who then is that faithful and wise steward? (Luke 12:42)
The word "faithful" comes from the same root word that is translated as "belief." The one that is faithful is the one who does according to what Jesus says, which is described in the parable that follows the question (see Luke 12:42-48). We also know that Jesus considered "belief", or more accurately "faith" - is to do God's will, from the parable of the two sons (see Matt. 21:28-32).

The one who believes, and yet does not put the words into practice in one's life, is compared to a plant that grows from seed in rocky soil quickly, but withers away when the hardship of temptation comes:
The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. (Luke 8:13)
To have no root is to not apply the Word to one's life, that is being "rooted" in the Word. Whereas the ones who received the Word, and live by it, are the ones that grow and bear fruit (Luke 8:15).

So can someone claim to follow Jesus, and yet lie, commit adultery, and steal?  Is that what Jesus taught?  No, and you have been taught this, someone is lying to you.  If you claim to follow Jesus, read the scriptures and follow what Jesus said.
"Knowing is not believing, and that believing is internal; and that it cannot be given except in affection for good and truth, and accordingly to none but those who are in the good of charity toward the neighbor." (Heavenly Arcana, 4319.2)
"A man's life after death is the life of his love and the life of his faith. Hence such as his love and such as his faith had been when he lived in the world, such is the life that awaits him for eternity. It is the life of hell to those who have loved themselves and the world above all things, and the life of heaven to those who have loved God above all things, and the neighbor as themselves. The latter are those who have faith, but the former are those who have not faith." (New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrines, n. 227)