Monday, April 7, 2014

The Hidden Christian Truth of Islam and Muhammed

Was Muhammed a prophet?  Many Christian churches say no, and consider Islam as something evil. This is because most people believe the religion they were born in is the "absolute truth", and every other religion is a false heresy. The reality is that throughout history God's revelations concerning Himself have been progressive, where the complete truth was not revealed, and adaptive, where the truth is adapted to the culture receiving it. Rather than regard Islam as something evil, the New Church view of Islam regards it as a necessary good, but with caveats. In his writings Emanuel Swedenborg revealed that Islam arose due to Divine Providence as a means to wipe out idolatry, and returning people to a monotheistic concept of God. However the revelation was not intended to be complete, as it was adapted for eastern cultures where polygamy was an accepted practice. Thus Islam is not a complete and final revelation, but rather a lower revelation:
That it may be fully known that that religion was raised up from the Lord's Divine Providence, to destroy the idolatries of many nations, it shall be told in some order. ...For the extirpating these idolatries, it was brought about from the Lord's Divine Providence, that a new religion accommodated to the genius of the people of the East should auspiciously begin; in which there should be something from the Word of both Testaments, and which should teach that the Lord came into the world, and that He was a very great prophet, the wisest of all, the Son of God. This was done through Mohammed, from whom that religion was named. It is manifest from this that that religion was raised up, from the Lord's Divine Providence, and accommodated to the genius of the people of the East, as already said, to the end that it might blot out the idolatries of so many nations, and give them some knowledge of the Lord before they should come into the spiritual world, which they do after death. And this religion would not have been received by so many kingdoms, and had such power to extirpate idolatries, if it had not been conformed to the ideas of their thoughts, and especially if polygamy had not been permitted, because the Orientals without that permission would have burned for filthy adulteries more than Europeans, and would have perished (True Christian Religion, n. 833)
The principle division between Christianity and Islam concerns the Trinity:
Mohammedans are hostile to Christians chiefly on account of the belief in three Divine Persons, and the consequent worship of three Gods, so many Creators; and to the Roman Catholics, still further, on account of their kneeling before images. Therefore they call these latter idolaters, and the others fanatics, saying that they make a three-headed God, also that they say one and mutter three (True Christian Religion, n. 831).
Although Swedenborg does not discuss this at length, this was the other purpose of Islam: to fight against the idea that God is a trinity of three persons who are somehow one. In this matter, the New Church and Islam are in perfect agreement, for in the New Church the trinity of three persons is known to be a great falsehood that corrupted much of the Christian church. It began with the Nicene Creed of the fourth century A.D., which invented a "Son of God born from eternity," whereas in the original apostolic church the Son of God was simply Jesus born in time to the virgin Mary. Endless disputes then arose as to the nature of the human body of Jesus. This was then settled in the 5th century A.D. by the Council of Chalcedon, which divided Jesus into a human nature and a Divine nature.

The original Christians of the Middle East opposed the Council of Chalcedon to the last, and were labeled as heretics and given the name "Monophysite" as they held to the original doctrine where Jesus had one nature, the Divine. The Monophysites were then persecuted by the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century. At this exact moment in history Islam arises under Muhammed. In that time, any idea that popped up within the Christian Church which declared God to be one person in Jesus Christ would automatically be declared as a heresy. So the purpose of Islam is twofold: not only to wipe out idolatry, but to fight against the false idea of a trinity of three persons.

The revelation of Islam is a lower revelation, or an incomplete revelation, from the fact that Muslims are not allowed to know the true identity of Jesus Christ. In higher spirituality, polygamy is not allowed and one should only have a monogamous relationship. In the same manner, in ancient Judaism polygamy was allowed and thus they were not given higher spiritual truths. In Christianity only monogamy is allowed, for the marriage of one man with one woman symbolically represents the marriage between Jesus and his church. The other reason why Muslims are only allowed to know Jesus as just a prophet, is it makes Islam more effective in fighting against a trinity of three persons which is ingrained in the false theology of modern Christian Churches.

IS THE QURAN (OR KORAN) DIVINELY INSPIRED?

We now come to the question: was the Quran Divinely Inspired? When it comes to the Divine Inspiration of the Bible, the writings of Swedenborg are very clear on this point: certain books of the Bible are "Divinely Inspired" by virtue of a symbolic correspondence that is hidden behind its literal sense of scripture, and word by word Swedenborg provides the proof for this. Explicit doctrinal writings, with no symbolism, do not have this correspondence and are not Divinely Inspired. Writings that fall into this category are the epistles of Paul and the apostles, plus the majority of the latter section of the Jewish Old Testament. These writings are historical or doctrinal in nature. Nevertheless, Swedenborg says the epistles were "Divinely influenced" - that is, Divine Providence guided the apostles on what to write in matters of doctrine for the public. If anything, on reading the contents of the Quran, one's first impression is that the contents of the Quran was Divinely influenced to guide people in matters of doctrine.

Opposed to this view of the Quran are literary critics, who will be quick to point out that the original Arabic in the Quran contains many grammatical errors and disjointed sentences. If English translations appear poor, it is because the original Arabic is often written that way. The Quran does contain some obvious historical errors and anachronisms. As Muhammed was illiterate, it is easy to see how these errors could have crept in. From a New Church point of view, an error in the literal sense of a text does not automatically mean the text is not Divinely Inspired. A so-called "error" in the literal sense may actually have a spiritual meaning behind it.

When looking at Swedenborg's statements of the Quran, he never exactly answers the question if its Divinely Inspired or not, but just merely says that "Muhammed wrote the Quran" (technically, orally transmitted until standardized in written form 20 years after his death). The mere statement from Swedenborg that "Muhammed wrote the Quran" implies it is just a Divinely influenced writing similar to the writings of the apostle Paul, but not Divinely Inspired in the same manner as true scripture. So the issue would seem settled, except for one statement concerning Islam that Swedenborg was shown in his visions but he never published it. It is a curious statement, found in his work Last Judgment Posthumous, in which he discussed his encounters with Muslim societies in the spiritual world. Swedenborg wrote this:
It was told me that there is a book among the Mohammedans which is common in their hands, in which some pages were written by correspondences, like the Word with us; from which pages there is some light in the heavens (Last Judgment Posthumous, n. 99).
What in the world is this book? This is the only information we are given. The information is probably valid - see The Confirmed Clairvoyance of Emanuel Swedenborg. Could it be a portion of the Quran? To be "written by correspondences" means it was written in a symbolic fashion, where each word has hidden behind it a spiritual meaning. So it is not likely the Quran, and if it were, he would have been told that. More likely it is some other book - "common in their hands" - known to them, but having no idea about the true spiritual value of the writing. So what could this be referring to? Other than the Quran, here are some of the more popular Islamic writings in the Muslim world (by no means complete):
  1. The Masnavi, by Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi). The Masnavi is a "a six-volume poem regarded by some Sufis as the Persian-language Quran. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry. It contains approximately 27000 lines of Persian poetry." In recent times Rumi has become popular in the west.
  2. The Conference of the Birds, by Farid ud-Din Attar, the mentor of Rumi. It is "is a tale of a journey of a group of thirty birds to the summit of the world mountain, Qaf. An allegory of the Sufi journey to realization of the nature of God, each bird has a particular signficance, a special fault, and a tale to tell."
  3. The poems of Hafez, a Persian poet. "His collected works composed of series of Persian literature are to be found in the homes of most people in Iran who learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings to this day. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-fourteenth century Persian writing more than any other author."
Rumi's works are extensive, but Attar's poem is highly symbolic representing the union of the human with the Divine. The poems of Hafez are not only kept as a book in Iran, but they are also used in Iran in a form of divination known as "Bibliomancy" - a random page will be opened and it will be considered that passage relays some point regarding the future. Some of this poetry is similar to the Song of Solomon.

So which work does Swedenborg possibly refer to as containing some Divine inspiration in it? In the tradition of Sufi mysticism, I am not going to tell you. If you have a guess or suggestion drop me a comment.

STATEMENTS ON THE BIBLE BY THE QURAN

One problem in any dialogue with Muslims, is that they are taught from childhood that the Bible has been corrupted over time. This is repeated over and over to them so that they do not read it, and even if they do, they regard it with skepticism. Not only is this teaching false and not supported by Biblical manuscript evidence, but this teaching goes against the very Quran itself. For example, oddly enough, the Quran states that the Torah (the first five books of the Bible, but perhaps referring to the Old Testament in general) and the Gospels are Divinely Inspired:
It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). (Sura 3:1-3)
And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. (Sura 5:46)
If only they had stood fast by the Law, the gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: but many of them follow a course that is evil. (Sura 5:66)
Say: "O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord." It is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord, that increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. (Sura 5:68)
The above quotes are from Yusef Ali. There is another modern translation by Abad, who adds to the above verses "what remains" of the law and gospel. The words "what remains" are added because these statements are a bit problematic to the teaching that the Bible was corrupted. The Quran speaks of corruption of the former revelation, but this does not mean the manuscripts themselves were not preserved. The manner in which scripture is distorted is through the teachings of the Jews and the Catholic Church, where certain passages of scripture are just simply ignored or distorted. But that the Bible itself was preserved and not corrupted is explicitly stated by the Quran itself:
Say: "Shall I seek for judge other than Allah. - when He it is Who hath sent unto you the Book, explained in detail." They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it hath been sent down from thy Lord in truth. Never be then of those who doubt. The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all (Sura 6:114-115).
And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him. (Sura 18:27).
There is no doubt in the New Church, and among Muslims, that the former Christian revelation was distorted. But unlike Islam, in the visions of Swedenborg he was shown that the Bible was preserved and the scripture remains intact, and has not been distorted in the text which is what most Muslims have been taught. Another interesting comparison between the New Church and Islam is that of the New Testament, the Quran only mentions the Gospels. This is quite significant, for it was shown in the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg that among the books of the New Testament, only the four Gospels and the book of Revelation are Divinely Inspired. The writings of Paul were added later, slightly changing the original gospel of Jesus in that Paul emphasizes faith over that of works, which ultimately got further distorted by Protestant theology. So in this sense, the other statements of the Quran which talk about the distortion of scripture are stating the truth.

STATEMENTS ON THE TRINITY BY THE QURAN

The statements by the Quran against the doctrine of a trinity of three persons held by modern Christian churches are correct and true, and this is one of the main reasons why Islam was brought about. The falsification and corruption of Christianity begins with the formulation of the Nicene Creed, which declared that the "Son of God" was "born from eternity" - which is utterly false. The Son of God is Jesus, born in time to the virgin Mary. This is what the original apostolic Church taught, and it is what is taught in the New Church and perhaps Pentecostal Churches as well. In Islam, the trinity of three persons is regarded as blasphemy:
They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them (Sura 5:73).
In the Bible in the book of Daniel and Revelation, there are prophecies which speak of a "false prophet" that arises and "utters blasphemy" against the Most High. Both speak of the "abomination of desolation." This has puzzled many Christian Churches, some falsely assuming this speaks of the desecration of a future Jewish temple. If one examines the time periods of Biblical prophecy, the abomination of desolation speaks of the desolation of truth in the Christian Church, which begins when the church made a trinity of three persons "orthodox" and any varying opinion as "heresy."

In the New Church, based on revelations received by Emanuel Swedenborg, the Trinity is not that of three persons or beings, but rather the unknowable Divine itself, the Divine in the human, and the Divine proceeding or the Holy Spirit. This emanation of the Divine became manifest in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, for in each human being there is a trinity of soul, body and spirit which makes one person. And surprisingly, this view of the trinity is supported by the Quran, although unknown to most Muslims:
O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not "trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah. Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs. (Sura 4:171)
Note the statement well: Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (1) an apostle of Allah, and (2) His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and (3) a spirit proceeding from Him. The phrase "no more than" is added by the translator. You have a hidden trinity within the person of Jesus Christ, which is exactly what was revealed in visions to Emanuel Swedenborg! For the Father - whom Muslims call Allah - resided in Jesus as the soul does the body. In the Christian revelation, Jesus is the Word of God incarnate. And after he was glorified and rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit proceeding from his body became available to all men.

STATEMENTS CONCERNING JESUS BY THE QURAN

Most Muslims regard Jesus as just a prophet. That he was a prophet is true, but not the complete truth. Even in his day Jesus was regarded as just a prophet, for he kept his identity secret. But there are some interesting statements regarding Jesus in the Quran. In this first statement, the word "raise" can mean raised to heaven, or in fact raised from the dead:
Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. (Sura 3:55)
In the Gospels, Jesus was crucified for blasphemy, for he made himself equal with God. So how could Jesus be cleared of blasphemy? If what he was saying was true. If Jesus rose from the dead, then the other statement of the Quran that says he was not killed by crucifixion is essentially true - he died, but rose from the dead. And now we have this odd statement:
They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah. there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him). (Sura 9:31)
Note, the words "they take as their Lord" is added by the translator. This verse essentially says:
in derogation of Allah and Christ the son of Mary
In this statement, the Quran has no problem with worshiping Jesus Christ as Lord. This is from Yusef Ali, here is another translation by Pickthal:
They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no god save Him. Be He glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)! (Sura 9:31)
The debate on this one will probably never be settled, considering the odd grammar in the original Arabic of the Quran. Is it possible there is a hidden truth of Christianity in the very Quran itself? Notice this statement, which compares Jesus to the first man Adam:
The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was. (Sura 3:59)
Even the apostle Paul compares Jesus Christ to Adam:
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Cor. 15:45)
So what is the point here? Those who know the Quran know my point. In the second Sura of the Quran, Allah commands all angels to bow down and worship Adam:
And behold, We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam" and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith. (Sura 2:34)
Iblis here is Satan who refuses to bow down and worship Adam. Commanding angels to bow down before a created human being in the Quran? That is certainly contrary to its principles of worshiping any human being. The Quran commands that one should bow down before God only:
Those who are near to thy Lord, disdain not to do Him worship: They celebrate His praises, and bow down before Him. (Sura 7:206)
But what if this story concerning Adam in the Quran a symbolic parable? A parable that one should bow down before the new Adam, Jesus Christ, in whom dwells the Divine itself? For in the revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg, he was shown that when Jesus Christ rose from the dead, he had eliminated the human created element he had inherited from Mary, and had been glorified in a Divine human body. So in essence, by worshiping Jesus Christ, whose body was made Divine in the resurrection, Christians do not worship something created, but the Creator, who has chosen to reveal Himself in human form. It explains why Jesus did not reveal his identity until then: up until that time they knew him as a prophet, who had been executed for committing blasphemy. But after that Jesus then said "all power on heaven and earth has been given to me." Not as another person, but now his human form had become united to his Divine. Thus the Quran confirms, in the form of a parable, the following statement of Paul:
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11)

8 comments:

  1. Adam was the Son of God.

    "The Genealogy of Jesus
    (...) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of (......................................................................................)
    the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God."
    http://biblehub.com/kjv/luke/3.htm

    Excellent that you noticed that God ordered the angels to bow for Adam, while one should only bow for God. Iblis refused because he had not recognized God in Adam. And Adam stands for all of humanity...

    Taking on the human experience meant also taking on the fall and all the painful consequences that brought with it. Well understood incarnating is the crucifixion and death to God. And in God we have are true Being.

    God willed to share His happiness with others, so also they would enjoy knowing that Who they really are has and is infinite altruistic Charity. That in truth the One Who gave His life for the humans is their true Identity.

    God would not enjoy Himself anymore until also we would. It is God Who is reading this now in human disguise, to begin to remember and come to Himself also in you.

    But for as long as God believes He is but a human -even a worm (Psalm 22)- He will find Himself as the human not worthy of this lofty Self-recognition.

    Yet it is still God Who experiences everything you experience, including being you.

    This is the resurrection, the promised second coming. This time it is for everyone. That is why we are told to not believe anyone who claims "I am the Christ" -excluding everyone else- nor to follow anyone saying "He is here, or He is there" excluding him- or herself and the rest of us.

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    1. One can take it as a parable. One thing I did not mention here, is that Muhammed probably borrowed the story from the Yazidi religion, which is slightly different:

      "Yazidi accounts of creation differ from that of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They believe that God first created Tawûsê Melek from his own illumination (Ronahî) and the other six archangels were created later. God ordered Tawûsê Melek not to bow to other beings. Then God created the other archangels and ordered them to bring him dust (Ax) from the Earth (Erd) and build the body of Adam. Then God gave life to Adam from his own breath and instructed all archangels to bow to Adam. The archangels obeyed except for Tawûsê Melek. In answer to God, Tawûsê Melek replied,

      "How can I submit to another being! I am from your illumination while Adam is made of dust."

      Then God praised him and made him the leader of all angels and his deputy on the Earth. (This likely furthers what some see as a connection to the Islamic Shaitan, as according to the Quran he too refused to bow to Adam at God's command, though in this case it is seen as being a sign of Shaitan's sinful pride.)"

      Muslims can take it or leave it, or treat it as a parable. It is probably confusion between the two stories that have caused ISIS to persecute the Yazidis.

      In one sense Adam can stand for all humanity, as in scripture in many instances "man" is simply a translation of Adam. In Genesis, Adam is symbolic of not of the first man, but the first race of men on earth who were truly spiritual - spiritual to the point where the body and material things were accounted as nothing, and had direct contact with heaven. This direct contact was broken off when this ancient church began to think that they themselves were "god." This led to our separation from heaven.

      God wishes to dwell in us through love. We are not that love, we are recipients and participants of that love. God is life. We are not life itself, but recipients of life.

      God was able to end the separation by becoming incarnate as a human. And as you recognize in Ps. 22, he progressed back towards his Divinity in stages. This progression from humanity back to his Divinity occurred in stages, and is described in detail in "Heavenly Arcana" by Emanuel Swedenborg. There are indications, that at an early stage, Jesus may have forgotten who he was until it was later revealed to him.

      As for the Second Coming, the second coming is not a visible return of Jesus in the clouds of sky, but rather a revelation of the Divine Truth in heavenly visions - and this was the revelation given to Swedenborg showing how scripture is Divinely inspired, which again is shown extensively in his work "Heavenly Arcana." So now, knowing the revelation, we can experience the Divine Truth directly within ourselves, our very lives, by understanding the spiritual sense that was hidden behind the literal sense of scripture. This is the Second Coming, as taught in the New Church. It comes when one comes to that inner realization of the spiritual truth, so you are very close.

      That the Second Coming has taken place in a new revelation concerning how scripture is Divinely Inspired, is also described in detail in Swedenborg's work, "The Final Judgment." The resurrection is when those caught between heaven and hell were judged, and either taken up to heaven or cast to hell. For the last judgment does not take place on earth, but rather in the spiritual world.

      That is the summary of teachings on the last judgment, the Second Coming, and the ressurection as revealed in the New Church, but I have not blogged extensively on that matter.

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  2. You probably know that Satan did not believe Job's love of God was disinterested. He thought that Job loved God only because of the goodies God was giving him, including protecting him from harm and unhappiness with all His gifts. God of course knew His love, that it was perfectly unselfish, even altruistic. And that thus was His love in Job.

    But to prove that Satan was mistaken, God allowed Satan to use all Job had received from God against Job. So that instead of those things making Job happy, they would cause him great suffering.

    Satan believed that Job would no longer love God -and even curse Him- if God no longer seemed to give Job the things that made Job happy. So the test began. Satan had received full control over what Job would have as experience. Only Satan was not allowed to touch Job's soul. For the soul had to remain free to choose the love God or not. Otherwise the test would not be valid.

    After that all hell broke loose. Even his wife called Job a fool for still loving God even though God seemed to give Job nothing but miserly. But Job kept blessing God.

    Thus Satan was proven mistaken in the quality of God's love in Job. So instead of continuing to give Job hell, he ended up cooperating with God to make Job happy, reason it is written that Job received more than he had had before.

    Who is Satan? God when He is angry at His humanity. Meaning Himself as a human. For as long as God is under the impression and believe He is but a human, He will not truly love Himself as that human. At least not consciously. He will always think that someone else -a God somewhere "up there"- is good, but not Himself as a human.

    That's why Jesus says to a man who called him "Good master", "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God."

    Satan and the anger of God:

    "Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel."
    1 Chronicles 21:1
    http://biblehub.com/1_chronicles/21-1.htm

    "Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go and take a census of Israel and Judah."
    2 Samuel 24:1
    http://biblehub.com/2_samuel/24-1.htm

    Jesus as man no good, meaning that God does not considering Himself in His human appearance good compared to His Divine Self:

    "Why do you call Me good?" Jesus asked him. "No one is good but One--God."
    Luke 18:19
    http://biblehub.com/luke/18-19.htm

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    1. Interesting comparison between Chronicles and 2 Samuel. Firstly, the Chronicles belong to the "Writings" in the Jewish canon and are separate from the Law, Prophets and Psalms. All of the books of the Writings are not considered Divinely inspired by the New Church (except Daniel and Lamentations), much of the books having been compiled by Ezra after the Jewish return from Babylon - see "Which books are Divinely Inspired" at http://dream-prophecy.blogspot.com/2012/11/what-books-are-divinely-inspired.html - the book of Jasher also contains the same story concerning Satan as found in the book of Job.

      As for the many passages of the Bible which says God was "angry" - this is only an appearance of truth in scripture. God appears "angry" to those who are in evil - in reality God is love itself, but when man turns away from him in evil, he begins to be in the punishment of his own evil - and to this person God appears "angry." Those who fall into evil come under the influence of evil spirits, so the passages of Chronicles and 2 Samuel are both correct, from different points of view.

      As for the question: Who is Satan? All evil spirits originate from the human race. Those who are evil, become devils or satans, and those who are good, are destined to become angels. Collectively, all of the inhabitants of hell are called the Devil or Satan. Those who are in evil, are called the "devil," while those who incite falsehoods or accusations, are called "Satan." These are those who elevated their own selfish ego above that of God.

      Jesus, as the Divine Truth incarnate, was born as human as you and I, and at the time of the statement his humanity had not been completely reunited back with the Divine - which is good itself. Jesus at times, in his humiliation, prays to God, and makes himself below his Father. But in his states of glorification, when he was in a state at one with the Divine, made himself equal to God. The difference with Jesus was that as to the human he could be tempted, but his soul was Divine and could in no wise submit to any temptation. This is how the Lord fought against and subdued all of hell.

      That Jesus was in a state of humiliation, that is, in his humanity when he made the statement of Luke 18:19, is shown that in other cases, he makes himself equal with God when he was in a state of unity with his Divine. For example, Jesus also said this:

      "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

      If he is the "good shepherd", how could he not be the "good teacher"? Or vice versa? Jesus progressed from a very low human state back to his Divine state, thus we have contrary statements in the gospels during this spiritual progression. These two states are described in the "Doctrine of the Lord" (part of "Doctrines of the New Jerusalem" - and his progression of states from childhood to resurrection are described in detail in "Heavenly Arcana."

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    1. Interesting analysis of the Quran. It should be noted that the astrological signs and planets themselves can be considered as symbols of internal spiritual states of each person; some of these are represented in the 12 tribes of Israel. The spiritual symbolism of this is described in detail in Swedenborg's work, Heavenly Arcana (meaning Heavenly Secrets), which also discusses the spiritual symbolism of Noah's Ark as he discusses the spiritual symbolism of Genesis and Exodus word by word. You can see something similar to your work in the blog post The Ancient Astronomy of the Bible

      For a reference to the seven heavens of the Quran, see The Universal Order of Design - symbolism of the atomic world, which is based on the work of Arthur M. Young.

      In one blog you reference how Abraham destroyed the idols of his father Terah, and how king Nimrod cast him into a fire. These stories, in much more detail, are found in the lost book of Jasher, which predated the Quran. See The Lost Book of Jasher, the Exodus, and Emanuel Swedenborg

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  4. Hi, I realize I'm dropping by a bit late to this article, but I was wondering as to how much of Swedenborg's overall credibility rests with his understandings of Islam and the spiritual role it plays as you've described? Are any of his beliefs in any way linked to the visions that formed the basis behind his more fundamental teachings? I ask because it's entirely possible that Swedenborg may have been mistaken as far as Islam's teachings are concerned (he was certainly so when he claimed that Muslims accept the Sonship or Christ), but he may have also been mistaken if he believed, as you remarked in this article, that one of the roles Islam played was to help dispel misunderstandings of the Trinity.

    A massive and monumental study Quran has been recently published, the first of its kind, and exhaustively labored on for many years by the world's most distinguished and prominent Islamic scholars. Their commentaries on verses that appear critical the Trinity seem to affirm that these verses are actually criticizing Christians who view the Trinity in polytheistic terms, and in no way is explicitly condemning the orthodox understanding of the Trinity that views God as one in three persons.

    So if Swedenborg is wrong about Islam...is it a big deal?

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    1. I should clarify that Muslims accept the Jesus is the son of God inasmuch as He was born of a virgin. This is what Swedenborg talks about. Of course Muslims reject a "Son of God born from eternity," which was a false invention of the Nicene Creed of the fourth century A.D. Swedenborg stated that most outside of the church who reject Christianity do so on the basis of the trinity of three persons alone, which was also a later invention.

      While Islam rejects the trinity of three persons, it does not completely dispel the falsehoods within Christianity in the same way that the revelations given to Swedenborg does. Islam is a "partial revelation," in the same way that Judaism was also a partial revelation. Higher level truths were not revealed to a culture where polygamy was permitted.

      All of Swedenborg's teachings come direct from Jesus Christ, whom he saw dwelling in the central light of heaven, and he was taught through an inner perception of the truth while reading scripture in a waking visionary state. He was not permitted to draw any teaching from any spirit or angel, much less himself. One can see a dramatic difference between the unpublished "Word Explained" and his first work, "Heavenly Arcana."

      What study of the Quran are you referring to?

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