Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Secret Code of the Psalms

I am pleased to announce the publication of new book, The Secret Code of the Psalms, which reveals a hidden numerical design embedded in the Hebrew poetry of the Psalms:


This is based on an accidental discovery as a result of editing the poetry of the Psalms for a previous book I published, The Symbolism of the Psalms. Within this work is revealed a numerical design in the Psalms numbers, verse counts, word counts and even the letter counts in the original Masoretic Hebrew text. This numerical design determined the overall arrangement of the Psalms, and explains several odd features in the Hebrew text that has puzzled Biblical scholars, such as why Psalms or phrases are duplicated, why certain acrostic verses are missing, the meaning of the odd word Selah as well as its positioning, why single Psalms were split into two, and much more. The overall numeric design of the Psalms is revealed, and the numerical poetic structure of all 150 Psalms are explained in detail.

The numerical design reveals a hidden system of cross referencing, where disparate passages in the Psalms are connected together to form a connected whole, where the smallest part of scripture is a reflection of the whole. Every letter becomes an important part of this whole, supporting the statement of Jesus that every "jot and tittle" of scripture is significant (Matt. 5:18).

The text of scripture has priority over any numerical considerations, and it is shown how the numerical design reinforces the meaning of the text. For example, consider this passage:


The verse in question states: The speech of Jehovah is pure speech: As silver refined in a furnace of earth, purified seven times (Ps. 12:6). This is the seventh verse of the Psalms (the Bible verse number is inaccurate). Up to the end of this statement the Psalm has 49 words, or 7 x 7. The stanza that contains this verse has 154 letters which is 2 x 77.

Let's choose another simple example where a number is mentioned:

Forty years I loathed that generation,
And said, It is a people who go wandering in their heart,
And they know not my ways.
Unto whom I swore in My anger:
They shall not enter into My rest (Ps. 95:10-11)

What is amazing, is that preceding that verse which mentions the 40 years of wandering is the 1600th verse of the Psalms, where the number 1600 is 40 x 40.

And these are just two examples out of hundreds.  And this is not the way I discovered this, it was accidental, when I was trying to arrange the Psalms back into their original poetic structure according to Hebrew parallelism. The challenge was how to arrange the Psalms into stanzas? I discovered that stanzas were arranged according to word counts, and later, they were arranged with certain letter counts in mind. This is the origin of the Jewish Masoretic practice of counting verses, words and even letters to ensure the accuracy of scripture. But this practice originated from a numerical design.

THE DIVINE SIGNATURE OF PI

What is perhaps the most surprising discovery of all, which again was accidental, is that embedded in the Psalms I saw that there are mathematical ratios that approximate pi to a very high degree of accuracy. The numbers of these ratios were considered sacred, and the numbers were used in the letters for the name of God, Jehovah. The circle was considered to be a symbolic representation of the infinite Divine, which is revealed in the measure of the diameter of the circle.

The knowledge of this can be found in an ancient mystical Jewish text known as the Sefir Yetzirah. In that ancient work, a Hebrew letter circle is presented:


This diagram is explained from a mathematical perspective in the work. To summarize, there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet since 22/7 is a convergent ratio for pi. The diameter is 7, and 7 of course is a holy number throughout scripture. But the Psalms contains within it even more accurate ratios, so accurate they were not improved upon until they were rediscovered in China in the 5th century A.D. and later among Indian and Persian mathematicians in the 14th-15th centuries A.D.

The ratios of pi pervade the entire Psalms, and determined its overall structure. However there are other overlapping numerical structures that are explained in detail in this work. Some of the knowledge contained in scripture is similar to the ancient mathematical knowledge of the Pythagoreans, who believed that numbers ruled all of creation. They placed special emphasis on the musical octave scale, and knowledge of this octave scale can also be found in the numeric structure of the Psalms.

For those of you who have been watching this blog closely, while I was working on this other people would have clairvoyant dreams describing this work, and one dream in particular explained the numbers in the Psalm I was about to analyze before I even knew it. See the post More Clairvoyant Dreams of the Numerical Symbolism of the Psalms. That was back in 2016. This has taken several years and it is finally done, and the evidence is conclusive. The challenge was to demonstrate what was by design as opposed to what was just random, and this is done by following strict methods according to the poetic structure of the text. It is comprehensive, all 150 Psalms are explained.

Another surprising discovery: this work for the first time explains the origin of the Jewish tradition that there are 613 commandments in the Law of Moses. This tradition is very ancient, dating back to the the 3rd century A.D. Jewish rabbis have been at a loss to explain the origin of this oral tradition.

When one takes a step back, and looks at the overall design, one will question could any human author conceived this on their own? The design is elegant and beautiful, where the smallest of parts is related to a larger whole.

WHAT WAS SWEDENBORG'S VIEW OF THIS?

Emanuel Swedenborg was shown many things, but this is one thing he missed. Swedenborg, however, was actually the first one to discover the pattern of Hebrew parallelism in scripture, where one line is repeated in the next. The verse, the simplest numerical unit, forms the foundation of the overall numerical structure. However beyond the verse, there are larger structures that repeat, where entire stanzas are parallel with other stanzas.

An example of how Swedenborg missed this entirely, is although he could explain parallelism in a verse, he could not explain why scripture would duplicate entire passages. For example, in the book of Exodus, chapters 36-39 repeats exactly what was said in chapter 25-28. Swedenborg passes right over it in his commentary on chapter 36:

"What these things signify in the internal sense is evident from what has been explained before in chapter xxvi., for they are the same as are there. Wherefore what is in this chapter is passed over without further explication." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 10750).

What the numerical symbolism of the Psalms shows is that duplication of passages have meaning, often related to the underlying numerical structure.  To most readers the repetition in Exodus is useless, however what seems useless does have significant meaning.

So why the extensive design with numbers in the Psalms?  Here Swedenborg does offer an explanation - in a lower plane of heaven, general ideas were represented by particular numbers. Words express these ideas in a more particular manner. What this work shows is that there is a correspondence between the numerical design and the literal text. Thus this work will provide new insights into the meaning of scripture, especially the Psalms.

Again, I am happy this is done. The work is massive, with original discoveries and a new translation and the original Hebrew text is included. It also references Biblical scholarship over the past 200 years concerning the poetic structure of the Psalms. The embedded mathematical knowledge, and its intricate design, comes closer to showing that indeed scripture does have a hidden Divine author.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Is God a Personal Being or is He a Substance in Three Persons?



Biblical scripture reveals that God is One Personal Being, whose name is Jehovah. The name Jehovah originates from a word that simply means "He is." And in scripture, God calls Himself "I AM." Outside of scripture, God is defined as one substance and three persons. This originated with the Nicene Creed of the fourth century A.D., and this has formed a false foundation in traditional Christian theology. They who follow this do not understand that Jesus is Jehovah in human form, and that while He was in His lowered human state He prayed to the Father as another person. In reality the Father and Son are one person just as the soul and body form one person in each human being.

THE NICENE CREED VS. THE SYNODS OF ANTIOCH

In discussions of the One God with those who divide Him into three persons, one invariably comes to the meaning of the word "substance" (Greek ousia) or "essence." The reason for this is that in the Nicene Creed of the fourth century the trinity was defined in a Greek speaking world and used a couple of words for "substance." Thus to this very day the Trinity is often defined as "one substance and three persons."

However the problem with this definition is that the word for "substance" and its proposed meaning(s) is borrowed from ancient Greek philosophy, not scripture. The use of the word substance was condemned earlier in the Synods of Antioch (264 and 269 A.D.) as it was used by Paul of Samosta:
"It must be regarded as certain that the council which condemned Paul rejected the term homoousios; but naturally only in a false sense used by Paul; not, it seems because he meant by it a unity of Hypostasis in the Trinity (so St. Hilary), but because he intended by it a common substance out of which both Father and Son proceeded, or which it divided between them, — so St. Basil and St. Athanasius; but the question is not clear. The objectors to the Nicene doctrine in the fourth century made copious use of this disapproval of the Nicene word by a famous council."
Instead of clearing the issue, the Nicene Creed confused it, and this is just one example of contradictions when one depends on the teachings of men instead of scripture. This leads to contradictory word definitions in terminology, for which see What is the difference between person and substance?  The reality is the foundation of traditional Christian theology in the post-Nicene era rests on a contradictory statement. It is based on Greek philosophy, and philosophy is not a reliable source of truth, as it is often based on opinion or what is derived from the senses. Philosophical opinions were also developed long before we had a correct understanding of physics.

THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE WORD SUBSTANCE

In the New Church, which is a new revelation for Christianity, it is permitted to understand spiritual mysteries of faith in a rational manner. This could only happen after the Age of Enlightenment, where truth must be according to reason, not tradition or authority (see Truth by Religious Tradition and Authority vs. Spiritual Truth.) Since much of traditional theology is based on tradition and authority, Christianity is in decline and is no longer a strong intellectual force in modern society. Science is looking for facts, and in the post Enlightenment era all truth must be rational, and useful.

In the revelations of the New Church, an interesting insight is given on what is the true spiritual meaning of substance and form, and its relationship to the nature of the One God. The ultimate substance and form is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom itself:
"the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom in themselves are Substance and Form; for they are very [Being] and [Existence]; and unless they were such [Being] and [Existence] as they are substance and form, they would be only an imaginary entity, which in itself is nothing"  (Swedenborg, Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 43)
Love and wisdom are not just abstract ideas, but are spiritual realities based on substances and forms not visible to our senses:
"the substances and forms which are love and wisdom are not visible to the eyes like the organs of the external senses" (Swedenborg, Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 42)
And from the Divine Love and Wisdom of God, this flows downward into lower substances and forms, until it reaches the material plane:
"But it is to be well known that the truth Divine, which flows into the third heaven nearest to the Lord, also at the same time and without successive formation flows in even to the lowests of order, and there from the First immediately also rules and provides all things; hence successives are held together in their order and connection. That this is so may also be somewhat evident from a maxim not unknown to the learned in the world, that there is only one substance which is substance, and that all other things are formations thence; and that in the formations that one only substance rules, not only as form, but also as not form, as in its origin. Unless this were so, the thing formed could not subsist and act. But these things are said for those who may understand them." (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 7270.4)
In other passages, Swedenborg states that it is a falsehood of the age to assume that the universe was created from nothing - the material world was created from the spiritual world, which existed before the material world was created. The spiritual world originated from the Divine Love and Wisdom. Moreoever, good and truth flows from the One God into every person being, in fact, God is Life itself and it is from God that every living thing has their life:
"Every one in the heavens knows and believes and even perceives that he wills and does nothing of good from himself, and thinks and believes nothing of truth from himself, but all from the Divine, thus from the Lord; and that the good and truth which are from himself are not good and truth, because there is no life in them from the Divine... Angels from their wisdom go still further, and say not only that all good and truth are from the Lord, but also the all of life. They confirm it by this, that nothing can exist from itself, but from what is prior to itself; thus that all things exist from the First—which they call the very Being [Esse] of the life of all... Further they say that from that Only Fountain of life, which is the Lord, there proceeds nothing but Divine good and Divine truth, and that these affect every one according to his reception; they who receive them in faith and life have heaven in them; but they who reject them, or stifle them, turn them into hell; for they turn good into evil and truth into falsity, thus life into death" (Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, n. 8, 9)
From various passages, the Divine Love is Being itself, which in Latin Swedenborg calls Esse, which is the Latin word "to be" - from which there is all substance.

GOD IS BEING, GOD IS LIFE, GOD IS LOVE

So where in scripture does it say, God is a substance in three persons? Nowhere. Because this definition was invented by men.

From scripture, God calls Himself I AM, and from that we know that God is Being Itself:
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Ex. 3:14-15)
From scripture, God is life:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6)
From scripture, God is love:
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8)
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16)
To say that God is life and that God is love is an equivalent statement, for one's love is one's life. You take away someone's love, and they will cease to want to live.

GOD IS LIFE WHICH FLOWS INTO ALL LIVING THINGS

Science cannot explain life, nor what it is, because life is not material which flows into non-material things, causing them to live. The revelations given to Swedenborg extend the concept of God is life:
"From very much experience I have been instructed that there is but one single life, which is that of the Lord, which flows in and causes man to live, yea, causes both the good and the evil to live. To this life correspond forms which are substances, and which by continual Divine influx are so vivified that they appear to themselves to live from themselves" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 3484)
Living creatures are recipients of the one life from God:
"That forms or substances are recipient of life, may be evident from the particulars seen in living creatures; also that recipient forms or substances are arranged in the way most suitable for inflow of life. Without the reception of life in substances, which are forms, there would be no living thing in the natural world, nor in the spiritual world" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 7408.2)
As God is life, and is the source of life for all living things, substance typically refers to a lower material form that is a recipient of life. Moreover angels and spirits are but purer substances but not visible to human sight:
"Spirits themselves are forms, that is, consist of continuous forms, equally with men, but of a purer nature, and not visible to the bodily sight. And because these forms or substances are not visible to the corporeal eye, man at this day apprehends no otherwise than that knowledges and thoughts are abstract things; hence also comes the folly of our age, that men do not believe that they have a spirit within them which is to live after the death of the body, when yet this spirit is a substance much more real than the material substance of its body" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 3726.4)
"All the angels there are forms, or substances formed according to the reception of the Divine things which are from the Lord" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 3741)
Even thoughts themselves exist as a form of a pure substance, and are not simply electrical impulses of the brain:
"They who have no other idea of knowledges, and also of truths, than that they are abstract things — such an idea as most people have also concerning thoughts — can in no wise apprehend what is meant by good being implanted in knowledges, and by truth being the recipient of good. But it is to be known that knowledges and truths are things no more abstracted from the most pure substances of the interior of man, or his spirit, than sight is abstracted from its organ the eye, or than hearing is abstracted from its organ the ear. There are purer substances, and those real, from which knowledges and thoughts have existence" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 3726.3)
Thus God is love, God is life, and this flows into substances causing them to live; but the one true substance is the Divine love itself from which all things are. And this one Divine love is One Divine Being, and is Being itself. This Divine Being lowered itself into a human form, from which the Divine spirit flows into men. From this we know, when we love others, we are in true communion with the One God.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Is the Doxology of the Lord's Prayer Original?



There are two forms of the Lord's prayer: a shorter form in Luke, followed by a longer one in Matthew. There is a phrase at the end of Matthew known as a doxology, which is excluded in many modern Bible translations. Here are the two versions of the Lord's prayer:
And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:2-4)
And the longer version from Matthew:
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. (Matt. 6:9-13)
The last phrase is excluded since in modern Biblical criticism, greater weight is given to the early Alexandrian texts over the Byzantine Majority Text. The majority of texts include it, but these earlier manuscripts do not. They ignore the fact that the Alexandrian text tradition has errors of its own. The modern Bibles that exclude the text are as follows:

  • American Standard Version
  • Contemporary English Version
  • English Standard Version
  • GOD'S WORD Translation
  • Good News Translation
  • New International Reader's Version
  • New International Version
  • New Living Translation
  • Today's New International Version.

Others enclose it square brackets. This was quite surprising when I saw the removal. So is it original or not? The scholars who exclude it have to ignore some evidence in its favor. For example there is an early Christian document from the first or second century A.D. known as the Didache which is based on the gospel of Matthew, and it includes it:
Neither pray as the hypocrites; but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, thus pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours is the power and the glory forever (Didache, ch. 8).
Beyond the Alexandrian and Byzantine text traditions, there are other ancient translations which include it: the Syriac translations, the Diatessaron, and the Sahidic Coptic translation (see The Lord's Prayer.)

However there is one additional piece of evidence that all scholars have ignored, or have failed to notice: a form of the Lord's prayer is hidden within the book of Revelation. This can be seen with a detailed comparison between Matt. 6:9-13 and Rev. 1:4-6. See the table below:

LORD’S PRAYER
BOOK OF REVELATION
Our Father who art in heaven
Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come
Hallowed
and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne
be thy name
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
and the prince of the kings of the earth
Give us this day our daily bread
Unto him that loved us
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
and washed us from our sins in his own blood
For thine is the kingdom,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father
and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

The similarity is remarkable: a different form of the doxology is found in the book of Revelation. It is different enough where it is unlikely that the gospel of Matthew borrowed from Revelation, and the dates of authorship are prohibitive: most scholars agree that Revelation was written later than the four gospels. It is shameful that modern scholars ignore the fact that there are numerous corruptions in the Alexandrian texts which forms a small minority of the manuscript evidence: see The Unreliablitity of the Alexandrian Manuscripts - Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are among the worst manuscripts known.

In the Orthodox Church, the doxology is integral to their liturgy and is still preserved intact. The congregation typically chants the Lord's prayer, but the doxology is reserved for the priest. The Didache is evidence of an early form of communal worship, and the gospel of Matthew is directed for the Jews who formed the first Christian communities.

Some comparisons between Matthew and the Apocalypse deserve more comment:

The opening of the Lord's prayer: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name - is in fact a hidden address to the Trinity in the person of Jesus Christ.  The Father is the Divine itself, His name is Jesus Christ, and "Hallowed" which means "Holy" is a hidden reference to the Holy Spirit which is the spirit of God that proceeds from the Divine through the body of Jesus Christ. This is why in the Apocalypse mention is made of the "seven Spirits" - where seven signifies all or what is holy. The Catholic falsely add an attribution to the Trinity of three persons at the beginning and end of the prayer in their liturgy, not realizing it is already there in the Lord's Prayer itself.

In the New Church it is revealed that the Lord's Prayer is fulfilled when we pray directly to Jesus Christ. But the false doctrine of a trinity of three persons leads to confusion: Christians keep asking: who do I pray to?  The former website I linked to exposes this problem with a question: When we pray, we do we address? Because traditional Christian theology is a false form of tritheism, and in the Lord's Prayer they bypass Jesus in their thoughts. The New Church theology is monotheistic: prayers are directed to One God only who is Jesus Christ. One can see in the comparison: the Father's name is Jesus Christ. In the OT He is known as Jehovah, and in the NT Jesus is called "Lord" which is also a Jewish title for Jehovah. The Lord, in his human form, does pray to the Father, but this is done when He was in a state of humiliation, where the Divine had been lowered into human form that could be tempted from the body that had been inherited from Mary.

Another portion deserves more comment: the "bread" of the Lord's prayer is replaced by "love" in the Apocalypse. But it is to be known that the bread is the communal bread of the Eucharist which is a symbolic representation of Divine love. It is not a literal prayer for physical food, as literalists may presume. For further information on this symbolism, see The Symbolism of Communion and Salvation by Blood.

THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE DOXOLOGY

For most, the Lord's Prayer is chanted in meaningless repetition, with few heeding any attention to the particular meaning of the words.  Kingdom, in the spiritual sense, refers to Divine truth, as kings rule nations by laws formed from Divine truth. Power, in the spiritual sense, refers to omnipotent power that comes from Divine truth. Glory, in the spiritual sense, refers to the glorification of the Lord's body so that is was made Divine, that is, Jehovah had united His human form to the Divine love itself. In the end, it should be acknowledged that all good and truth originate from God alone, and we are but recipients of such gifts when we allow that in our lives through our thoughts and actions.