Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Purpose of Creation is from Divine Love

In the revelations of the New Church, it is revealed that there is One God-Man is Divine Love and Divine Truth who manifests Himself in human form. Moreover, Divine Love and Wisdom manifests itself in the substance and form of everything that exists. This was revealed to Swedenborg which he describes in his work Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom, however he could not demonstrably prove it as at that time (18th century) the knowledge of science was limited (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 40). He then demonstrates this through our interaction with the material world through our senses, where substance and form are the results of the affection and thoughts of the mind. The ultimate Substance and Form is Divine Love and Wisdom (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 43), from which all things exist:
"Now because this Very and Only Reality is Substance and Form, it follows that it is the very and only Substance and Form. Because this very Substance and Form is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, it follows that it is the very and only. Love, and the very and only Wisdom; consequently, that it is the very and only Essence, as well as the very and only Life; for Love and Wisdom is Life." (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 45)
The substances and forms of the material world is not the Divine Love and Wisdom itself, but rather all substances and forms correspond to Divine Love and Wisdom, forming an image:
"the created universe is an image representative of God-Man, and that it is His love and wisdom which in the universe are presented in an image. Not that the created universe is God-Man, but that it is from Him; for nothing whatever in the created universe is substance and form in itself, or life in itself, or love and wisdom in itself; and neither is man a man in himself; but all is from God, Who is Man, Wisdom and Love, and Form and Substance in itself. That which is in itself, is uncreate and infinite; but that which is from Him, because it has nothing about it which in itself is, is created and finite, and this presents an image of Him from Whom it is and exists. Of things created and finite may be predicated esse [essence] and existere [existence], also substance and form, as also life, and even love and wisdom, but all these are created and finite. The reason that such things can be predicated of them is not that anything Divine belongs to them, but that they are in the Divine, and the Divine is in them. For all created things in themselves are inanimate and dead, but they are animated and made alive by this, that the Divine is in them, and they are in the Divine." (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 52-53)
So how exactly does Divine love correspond to substance in the material world? From modern physics, we now know from Einstein's theories that mass and energy are equivalent. Energy corresponds to Divine Love, as energy represents the ability to do work, and the essence of love is to do. It took a massive amount of energy to create the universe, and this energy originated from the Divine Love. Our modern physical concept of energy began to be developed in the early 19th century, after Swedenborg died, so he did not have a chance to incorporate it into the theology of new Christianity which was revealed to him. But we have enough of a rational theological foundation to do this.

Energy manifests in a variety of forms. Just as Swedenborg described different degrees or levels in the spiritual theology that was revealed to him, so we can classify energy into different levels: subatomic, atomic, molecular and macroscopic, as follows:

LevelEnergy FormParticle
SubatomicElectromagnetic or Radiant EnergyPhoton
SubatomicNuclear or ChromodynamicGluon (Strong Force)
SubatomicWeakW/Z Boson (Weak Force)
MacroscopicMechanical, Mechanical/Sound Wave, Elastic, Thermal

Normally energy is described in different ways according to the different branches of science, but no one attempts to describe everything in a unified whole.  The first four forms of energy are at the subatomic level, and these are the four fundamental forces of the universe. It is mediated by force particles or bosons. At the atomic level, ionization energy is the amount of energy needed to decouple a valence electron from an atom or molecule. At the molecular level the chemical energy is stored in chemical bonds, where energy is release or absorbed through chemical reactions.

Food energy is the amount of energy living things obtain from food. From food we have energy to do things, thus in scripture, whenever food is mentioned it corresponds to love. This is mentioned throughout Swedenborg's exposition of the spiritual sense of scripture, but again the physics behind food had not yet been described at the level where this could be proven.

The macroscopic level are the forms of energy we are familiar with in everyday life, which manifests as mechanical, mechanical/sound wave, elastic and thermal. It is the energy associated with the motion and position of an object. The laws for energy at the macroscopic level are mainly governed by mass which mostly originates from the strong force, and resistance which mostly originates from the electric force. Although the modern concept of energy and its association with motion was formulated after Swedenborg died, he indicates that it has a spiritual origin:
" all and each of the things in nature and her three kingdoms [animal, vegetable, mineral], there is an inward active force from the spiritual world; and unless this were so, nothing whatever in the natural world could act as cause and effect, and consequently nothing could be produced. That which from the spiritual world is in natural things, is called a force implanted from the first creation; but it is an endeavor, on the cessation of which, action or motion ceases. Thence it is that the whole visible world is a theatre representative of the spiritual world." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5173.2)
We now know that the "force implanted from the first creation" are the four known forces of the universe at the subatomic level. The forces or energy of this world is spiritual in origin. We can say at the macroscopic level, a world has been created for us to do things. Our life is governed by our love, and our love defines who we are.

Energy corresponds to love, and manifests in a variety of forms. The physical concept of energy was not known to Swedenborg, but we can easily see now that substance in itself, since it is a manifestation of energy which is the ability to do something, corresponds to love. Thus we can conclude that creation came into being not only from God's love but its very existence corresponds to Divine love. Since its purpose is to manifest the Divine Love, our purpose in life is to love. Jesus said that the greatest commandment, on which the entire law and prophets are based, is to love God, and to love others. We can extend this further: all of creation, with its different forms of energy, is an image of the Divine love. God is Divine Love, who seeks to love others outside of Himself, and that is why creation was created to create a reality in which there is a potential to love others and to love God. To realize that potential, and to actually make it kinetic, can only happen by following God's laws, for these laws are the ones that govern the universe. Inasmuch as we love, God live within us, and we in Him.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

How the Chalcedonian Creed Corrupted Christianity

In the revelations of the New Church it was revealed that Jesus Christ has one Divine Nature, which He acquired when He rose from the dead. This Divine which manifested in human form is in fact the Son of God, it is not a separate person born from eternity. God the Father was known as the Father since Jesus was born of a virgin, there was no concept of a trinity of three persons. How Christianity was changed beginning in the 5th century is documented in the the following work:

Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years

This was the era of the Christological controversies, where they debated the nature of Christ due to various heresies that had arisen. It was mainly settled in the Chalcedonian Creed of 451 A.D. which divided Christ into two natures. Ironically, the original Christians, those of the Oriental Orthodox Church, dissented, as this disagreed with what was originally taught in the first three centuries of Christianity. Since they believed in one nature, they were classified as "monophysites" which was then declared a heresy.

So who is correct?  According to the revelations received by Swedenborg, the Monophysites held to the original doctrine that Jesus had one Divine nature, even as to his body when He rose from the dead. This can be easily proven - in the Eucharist of Communion, the body and blood of Jesus Christ is the center of worship. God had to become incarnate and make His human Divine, in order to restore the connection to humanity.

So why did they divide Christ into two natures? This, ironically, had already been declared a heresy just two decades earlier - it was known as the Nestorian heresy. The reason for dividing Christ into two natures was so that the Pope could declare himself as the "Vicar of Christ," and thus assert his authority over everyone else. The motivation was to rule over others by means of religious power. This was shown to Swedenborg in a vision:
"As further regards this truth [of the Divine Human], it should be known that the Ancient Church acknowledged it, and also the primitive Christian Church; but after the papal sway increased even to establishing dominion over all human souls, and exalted itself — as is said of the king of Babylon in Isaiah...
"How this was decreed in a certain council, has also been revealed to me. There appeared to me certain spirits in front to the left at the plane of the sole of the foot, at some distance from me, who were talking together, but about what I did not hear. It was told me that they were some of those who composed the council in which the decree was made regarding the Lord's two natures, the Divine and the human. Presently, I was permitted to converse with them. They said that those who had the greatest influence in the council, and who were superior to the rest in rank and authority, came together in a dark room and there concluded that both a Divine and a human nature should be attributed to the Lord; principally for the reason, that otherwise the papal sway could not be maintained. For if they had acknowledged the Lord to be one with the Father, as He Himself says, no one could have been recognized as His vicar on earth; and schisms were arising at that time, by which the papal power might have fallen and been dissipated, if they had not made this distinction. Then to give their decision strength, they sought out confirmations from the Word, and persuaded the rest.
"The spirits added that by this means they were able to rule in heaven and on earth, because they had it from the Word, that to the Lord was given all power in heaven and on earth; which power could not have been attributed to any vicar, if His Human also was acknowledged to be Divine; for they knew that no one was allowed to make himself equal to God, and that the Divine had that power of Itself, but not the Human, unless it was given to it, as it was afterward to Peter. They continued, that the schismatics of that day were men of acute discernment, whom in this way they were able to quiet, and by this means the papal power was also confirmed. From this statement it is evident that this distinction was invented only for the sake of dominion; and that for this reason they were not willing to know that the power given to the Lord's Human in heaven and on earth makes it manifest that it also is Divine. That Peter, to whom the Lord gave the keys of heaven, does not mean Peter, but the faith of charity, which, because it is from the Lord alone, is the power of the Lord alone, can be seen in the preface to the twenty-second chapter of Genesis." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4738)

So do we have to believe what was declared as true by men of the Dark Ages? No we do not, instead we can follow the truth of the Divine Human, and understand that this is the true meaning hidden behind the ritual of the Communion. It is the central truth of Christianity that has been lost in this modern age.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Prophetic Time Periods of Daniel Revealed

The book of Daniel speaks of the end times of the church, and the Second Coming. Within the book of Daniel there are many prophecies that were fulfilled in the historical sense, including a 490 year prophecy that predicted the year in which Jesus came as the Messiah and was crucified (Dan. 9:24-27). In the latter prophecy it is quite clear that a "day" is used to signify a prophetic year. That a day signifies a year in prophecy is explicitly declared in scripture in Num. 14:34 and Ezek. 4:4-6.

There is another prophecy which speaks of the Second Coming, which will occur after a "time, times and half a time":
The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. (Dan. 7:23-27)
This prophecy is discussed in detail in The Prophecy of the Four Beasts and Little Horn of Daniel 7. In the literal sense the "fourth beast" refers to the Roman Empire, but in the spiritual sense it refers the final state of the Christian Church that had spread under the rule of the Roman Empire. Most interpreters agree that the "10 horns" in the literal sense refer to Europe, where Christianity had become the established religion. The prophecy of Daniel is speaking of the final end of the Christian church, where no truth remains within it.

That Christianity had become a superficial religion was revealed in visions to Emanuel Swedenborg. On the one hand we have the Catholic Church that used the religion to obtain religious authority and power, and its many traditions conflict with true Christianity. On the other hand you have the Protestant churches who in the positive sense read the Word as a source of authority. But their theology is corrupt as they make faith a matter of belief alone, without regard to how one lives their life. Both follow a trinity of three gods (but deny it in mouth) and believe in vicarious atonement, which is not true. Thus, there is no truth remaining in Christian churches that has not been corrupted by falsehoods. Moreover, they cannot rationally defend it. And this is death in the modern world of the post Enlightenment era.

Now, in the above prophecy of Daniel, it mentions the word "time." Swedenborg will simply say all time periods mentioned in the Bible are different states and will tend to not dwell on the literal sense. But there is an interesting literal meaning to the time period that corresponds to the time when Swedenborg received his heavenly revelations. The word "time" is Aramaic iddan which comes from Akkadian adannu which simply means a "fixed time period." However this can be extended to mean "year," and the same word is used to describe a period of 7 years for the insanity of Nebuchadnezzar (see Dan. 4:13, 4:20, 4:22, 4:29). For the historical evidence regarding the insanity of Nebuchadnezzar see The Madness of King Nebuchadnezzar.

It is likely that a time is one year, times is two years, and half a time half a year, the same time period when Elijah did not allow it to rain (see Luke 4:25). This would be 42 months or 1260 days, as these time periods appear in the Apocalypse (Rev. 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 13:5).

Using a day for a year principle, the prophecy of Daniel thus speaks of a period of 1260 years. This would be the time period when falsehood was dominant within the Christian church. The end was when no truth remained, which in effect was "the end of the world" or more accurately "the end of a world age."

The prophecy of Daniel speaks of a final judgment at the end of the time period, which in the literal sense is 1260 years. The revelations given to Swedenborg reveals that the final judgment takes place in the spiritual world, not the physical world. In his visions Swedenborg was shown that there is heaven, there is hell, and between heaven and hell there is a middle region where souls await judgment. Last judgments are when souls are judged in mass, where the good are separated from the evil. This allows heaven to flow into the minds of men, and a new revelation can be given to establish the church anew.

In one of Swedenborg's most important visions, he saw a last judgment take place in the spiritual world in the year 1757. This is described in detail in his work, The Final Judgment:

That Daniel's prophecy was fulfilled in the last judgment seen by Swedenborg in his visions can be seen in the following prophecy of Daniel:
“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. ​And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." (Dan. 7:13-14)
Swedenborg was shown that the clouds of heaven do not literally refer to clouds, but clouds in the spiritual sense refer to the literal sense of the Word. The "Son of Man" was a title that the Lord chose to refer to Himself as the Divine Truth. The prophecy is thus a revelation of Divine Truth in the literal sense of the Word. It is proof that the Bible is Divinely Inspired. This was revealed in multiple visions which is covered in multiple volumes, especially Heavenly Arcana, otherwise known as Arcana Coelestia or Heavenly Secrets. It is a massive read. These and other works of his are collected in an anthology entitled The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem: Expanded Edition. It is all freely available online, one can search everything at Heavenly Doctrines.

That the Second Coming is a spiritual event, a spiritual revelation from heaven, is shown in the blog post Is the Second Coming a Physical Event or Spiritual Event?

So the obvious conclusion is that the period of 1260 years lasts from 497 A.D. to 1757 A.D. So what happened in 497 A.D.?  By that time, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed became firmly established in the west, even declaring in the creed itself that although there are three persons one should not verbally say "three gods" but "one God" even though the religion became one of tritheism in the mind. Since this could not be rationally defended, rational thought is then suspended. Europe then fell into the Dark Ages. With the year 1757 we have the Age of Enlightenment, in which rationality became primary over traditions and rule of authority.

More specifically, the year 497 A.D. fell within the period of time known as the Acacian Schism. To sum up a lot of theological gibberish: the west declared the original Christians of the east heretics because they believed Jesus Christ had one Divine nature. The western Popes declared he had a dual nature of Divine plus human, so that they could stand in his place and declare themselves as the Vicar of Christ. This, in Biblical prophecy, is known as the "abomination of desolation" standing in the "holy place." Don't look for a future Jewish temple, the falsehood and error resides within the traditional theology of Christian churches that many think is the foundation of truth.

So, the 1260 years is from 497 to 1757 A.D. And this leads us to another interesting set of time periods from Daniel in the following prophecy:
And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. (Dan. 12:11-12)
Using the day for year principal, we have the following literal fulfillment of the prophecy:

  • 1260 years = 497 - 1757 A.D.
  • 1290 years = 497 - 1787 A.D.
  • 1335 years = 497 - 1832 A.D.
So what happened in 1787 A.D.?  The first New Church based on the theology of the revelations given to Swedenborg was established in England.

And what about 1832 A.D.?  This was the year that the New-England Anti-Slavery Society was established. Many Swedenborgians became involved in the Abolitionist movement, which resulted in the end of slavery in the United States after a huge Civil War. In the revelations given to Swedenborg, in the future the New Church will grow out of Africa and among the African peoples.

In a spiritual sense, one can make an argument that the three time periods fulfilled in the literal historical sense correspond to the feast days of Passover (liberation of souls from Limbo in the spiritual world), Pentecost (establishment of the Church) and finally the Feast of Tabernacles (when good is finally established - in this case - social activism, applying truth to one's life).

The prophecy is thus fulfilled, the Second Coming is here. Hopefully more will begin to notice and be brought into the light of the new revelation that restores true Christianity.