Monday, January 25, 2016

Jesus (Isa) saves Iraqi Muslim from ISIS

As ISIS has tortured and killed thousands of people, and destroyed ancient Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, there are reports of Muslims having visions and dreams of Jesus.  This seems to be more common in areas of trouble where people do not have access to a Bible, which I discussed in the earlier blog post in Muslim Encounters and Visions of Jesus.  I wanted to share another very personal encounter with Jesus, to show how Jesus continues to act in very direct ways to save individual people.  It reminds us how Jesus desires to know us in a personal way - God loved us so much He became incarnate in human form to save us, and also so that we can know him better.  In the west we often see religion held in derision for the sake of atheism, money and selfish pride.  But in the Middle East, although people are ignorant of the truth we can see how Jesus reaches out to them to touch their heart.

Here is the story of Shirzad, who served in the Iraqi army and he described himself as a very bad man.  He subsequently began work for a cell phone company, and while working in Iraq he was kidnapped by ISIS terrorists who tortured him for 3 days and were going to demand ransom money, if they decided not to kill him.  They would hit him with the butt of an AK-47 - they broke his knee, broke his nose, and damaged his kidney, and had to spend 6 months in the hospital for the injuries they caused him.  They had surrounded him in a room, and one was hitting him the the rifle, and at one moment Shirzad sees a man in white walk into the room.  None of the ISIS fighters took notice.  The man looks at Shirzad and speaks to him in Arabic:

"I am Isa.  Go home."

Isa is the Arabic name for Jesus.  Shirzad then tells him, "Are you serious? Do you see these people who kidnapped me?"

Jesus then sits in the middle of the room, and still the ISIS fighters can't see him.  Jesus then tells Shirzad:

"Go home."

At that very moment a fight breaks out among the ISIS fighters, and one of them takes his rifle and shoots one of his friends.  In the commotion, Shirzad simply gets up, opens the door and walks out to the highway.  A taxi drives by which he then takes to go home.  He is greeted by his wife who asks him where has he been.  He says that he had been kidnapped in tortured by ISIS for the past 3 days.  His wife then tells him when he was gone, Jesus appeared to her in a dream.  In the dream Jesus had told her: "I am Jesus, and I have saved your husband.  He is coming home soon."

Shirzad then calls his cell phone company and tells them he had been kidnapped by ISIS for the last three days.  They asked him how did he escape.  Shirzad then says, "Jesus saved me."  At which of course they all laughed.

Shirzad is now a changed man, saved not only from physical death but more importantly from spiritual death.  Here is the video of his testimony:


Obviously, when someone claims to have an encounter like this it is viewed with skepticism.  And I have forgotten that many readers are not familiar with visionary experiences and do not believe they exist, or seek a natural explanation.  So I will ask the question: is he lying?  He has no reason to lie.  Living in Iraq, if you announce you are Christian you immediately become the target of ISIS.

The fact of the matter is, the Bible which we have would not exist were it not for supernatural visionary and auditory experiences from a higher realm to ours.  In scripture, Paul stopped persecuting the early Christians when he had a visionary encounter with Jesus.  This has happened with some fighters of ISIS as well, who have been brainwashed by religious clerics.  Also in the book of Acts, an angel released the apostles John and Peter from prison.  It happened then, it can still happen now.  These kinds of interventions tend to only occur in life and death scenarios.  They follow a particular pattern, which makes frauds easy to spot.

The other aspect I considered for this testimony is that from Emanuel Swedenborg, we know that every miracle that Jesus performed in the gospels has a spiritual significance, or a more universal meaning.  Consider this: Shirzad was kidnapped and help captive for three days.  This of course is similar to the 3 days that Jesus spent in the tomb before the resurrection.  During this time, Jesus preached to the souls held in captivity in the spiritual world before releasing them, as declared in the epistle of Peter.  Releasing these souls from captivity is the subject of many of the visions of Swedenborg, as well as Anne Catherine Emmerich.  In Heavenly Arcana, Swedenborg also discusses how the symbolism of the story of Exodus pertains to this spiritual captivity.  For further information on this see Jesus the Shaman - Descent into the Underworld.  Again Shirzad is not the only one, this is happening across the Middle East - see Muslim Encounters and Visions of Jesus.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Discovery of Planet X and Ancient Extraterrestrial Contact

After years of speculation, scientists have finally uncovered solid evidence for the existence of "Planet X" or the ninth planet of our solar system.  Planet X has been the subject of constant speculation and pseudo-science, but the factual evidence behind this discovery is solid.  One of the discoverers is Mike Brown, whose discoveries of Eris and Sedna helped lead to Pluto being demoted to a "dwarf planet."  This is big news - Mike Brown had this to say about this discovery:
“Killing Pluto was fun. Finding Sedna was scientifically interesting,” he says. “But this one, this is head and shoulders above everything else.”  
Here is a diagram of the proposed "Planet X" or "ninth planet":

Planet X has not yet been directly observed by telescopes.  So how do they know it exists?  From the article Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto:
Batygin and Brown inferred its presence from the peculiar clustering of six previously known objects that orbit beyond Neptune. They say there’s only a 0.007% chance, or about one in 15,000, that the clustering could be a coincidence. Instead, they say, a planet with the mass of 10 Earths has shepherded the six objects into their strange elliptical orbits, tilted out of the plane of the solar system. 
The orbit of the inferred planet is similarly tilted, as well as stretched to distances that will explode previous conceptions of the solar system. Its closest approach to the sun is seven times farther than Neptune, or 200 astronomical units (AUs). (An AU is the distance between Earth and the sun, about 150 million kilometers.) And Planet X could roam as far as 600 to 1200 AU, well beyond the Kuiper belt, the region of small icy worlds that begins at Neptune’s edge about 30 AU.
There is other anomalies as well, indicating that there is a ninth planet in our solar system.  The following chart summarizes the history of the evidence:

So, that is the science behind the discovery of Planet X.  The certainty of the discovery has a statistical significance of 3.8 sigma, above the typical threshold of 3 sigma to be taken seriously.


I regard the possible discovery of Planet X significant for another reason.  Back in 2009, I did some research into the symbolic chronology of the 10 patriarchs before the flood, who are said to have lived to incredible ages.  What I discovered is that the ages and chronology of these patriarchs encode within them the orbital periods of the eight planets of the solar system - including Uranus and Neptune.  I summarized the research in the blog post, The Ancient Astronomy of the Bible.  The pattern is at first hard to find: the chronology does not always directly discuss orbital periods, but instead uses periodic transits that occur between the different bodies of our solar system.  One must also have an accurate Biblical chronology in order to recognize the dates of these periodic transits which are marked by events in the Biblical record.  Each patriarch that reigned before the flood of Noah is symbolic of one of the planets in our solar system, as follows:

PatriarchNumberPlanetOrbital Period
Seth2Neptune164.79 yrs
Enosh3Uranus84.3233 yrs
Cainan4Saturn29.6573 yrs
Mahalalel5Jupiter11.8592 yrs
Jared6Mars686.971 days
Enoch7Earth365.2564 days
Methuselah8Venus224.7007 days
Lamech9Mercury87.9691 days
Noah10Moon29.5306 days

The most obvious pattern most will recognize is that the patriarch Enoch lives for 365 years before being taken up into heaven, which is an obvious reference to the 365 days it takes for the earth to rotate around the Sun.  Enoch represents the earth, and as in ancient times many were not aware the earth was a planet in heaven, it was said that Enoch was not found, for he ascended into heaven (Gen. 5:24, Heb. 11:5).  To many of the ancients, earth itself is the invisible body they can't see in the heavens because we observe everything from planet earth itself.

Is it even possible that the ancients knew of Neptune or Uranus, which are not observable without a telescope?  Consider this statement from the book of Jasher concerning Enosh, who represents Uranus which has an orbital period of 84 years:
And it was in the eighty-fourth year of the life of Noah, that Enosh the son of Seth died, he was nine hundred and five years old at his death. (Jasher 5:1)
I won't go over all the evidence here, I recommend the reader to peruse the article The Ancient Astronomy of the Bible for all the astronomical details.  However anyone reading the article from 2009 can see I hit a problem: there is no planet of the solar system for Adam.  Here is what I wrote:
The father of Seth is Adam, who lives for 930 years. At this point what planet Adam may represent is unclear. Beyond Neptune is Pluto, which was once regarded as a planet – but is now regarded as a dwarf planet. Recently several dwarf planets have been discovered beyond Neptune. Some are too far away to presently confirm whether or not they should be classified as a dwarf planet. What is interesting is that the dwarf planet Makemake has an orbital period of 310 years. Adam lived 930 years, and 930 = 3 x 310. Although it is tempting to associate the orbital period of Makemake with Adam, this does not explain why the death of Adam is associated with a transit of Venus across the Sun in 2971 B.C. More likely, Adam corresponds to the Sun.
However further in the article I decided the Sun does not make sense - Adam must represent a planetary body beyond Neptune.  So I settled for the insignificant dwarf planet Makemake, but even that does not completely fit as it is now known to have an orbital period of 309 years, not 310.

So, lo and behold, at the end of 2015 a huge planet of the solar system with the mass of 10 of our earths is discovered.  The last remaining piece of the puzzle is to determine its orbital period.  Since it has not been observed directly, its orbital period is unknown, and is estimated to be between 10,000 and 20,000 years.  The above article picks the middle and says its orbital period is about 15,000 years.  Once observed, we should be able to determine its orbital period, and it would be very interesting if it should happen to be a multiple of 930 years - one candidate would be an orbital period of 18,600 years, which is 2 x 9,300 years, another is 14,880 years (16 x 930).  Another possibility is once the orbital period is determined, we should then look for a synodic period that is a multiple of 930.  One thing I would look for is perhaps a transit that occurred in 3901 B.C.


So how is this all related to ancient extraterrestrial contact?  One would expect an ancient myth to start from the Sun and number outwards, but this pattern numbers from outside the solar system going inwards - suggesting that in ancient times our civilization was influenced by an extraterrestrial contact from beyond our solar system.  This would be the only explanation for knowledge of Uranus and Neptune, as well as information concerning their orbital periods.  Different versions of this story of Genesis is widespread: in Sumer there are ancient king lists which record 10 antediluvian kings before the flood.  In Egypt there is the Ennead of nine gods, beginning with the god Atum (who is similar to Adam).  In Greece, there is the story of Atlantis and the 10 kings that reigned before it sank into the sea.  Among all the ancient myths, there are traditions that all the sciences and teachings of civilization were given to man from the "gods" who descended from the stars.  Thus many ancient civilizations degenerated into worship of the sun, moon and stars.

This finding would confirm some of the statements of Emanuel Swedenborg, who was told in visions that the first 11 chapters of Genesis is a symbolic representative history.  The embedded astronomical information is just one layer of the story.  Adam was not the first man on earth, but represents the first spiritual race on this planet, which had direct contact with heaven through internal visions and spiritual perception.  The Garden of Eden is symbolic of this state of direct union between heaven and man, from which the race of Adam fell when they began to trust their own knowledge and things that they could observe with the senses.  What better way to represent the fall of Adam from heaven, than to use the planets of the solar system in a progression falling inward towards the center of the solar system?

If and when a ninth planet is finally confirmed, once the orbital period is discovered this will be the final confirmation of this theory concerning the chronology of Genesis and possibly extraterrestrial contact in ancient times.  If discovered, and if it confirms this theory, then I would propose we name the planet "Adam", or perhaps Atum after the first Egyptian god of the Ennead. Wikipedia says this of Atum:
Atum was a self-created deity, the first being to emerge from the darkness and endless watery abyss that existed before creation.
Here is a video discussing the ninth planet, beginning with the statement that the ancients did not know of any planets beyond Saturn until the invention of the telescope:

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Spiritual Battle against Temptation, Sadness and Depression

Love and truth come from God alone, and we are but recipients of that love and truth which flows into our will and thoughts from the spiritual world.  On the other hand, all evils and falsehoods originate from the selfish ego and the pride of our own intelligence.  Love and truth cannot be rooted into our will and mind until evils and falsehoods are first removed, just as a flower cannot grow among thorns.  So when one becomes aware of the spiritual truth of the Lord, and yet one formerly lived in evil and the justification of evil, this can lead to a very severe form of temptation, sadness, anger and depression.  While most everyone would rather not experience these states, these states are necessary to drive out evils we formerly loved and falsehoods we formerly thought were true.


This is a spiritual battle: when one is being reformed and regenerated into a new spiritual being, a battle takes place in the spiritual world between angels and demons which we experience as temptation, depression and sometimes even anger.    This is the origin of our free will: to Swedenborg it was revealed that at birth, two angels and two evil spirits are assigned to us, one each pertaining to our will, and another for our thoughts.  Moreover, even while in the body we belong to a spiritual society, and this society may belong to heaven, to hell, or the spiritual world in between:
"There are at least two evil spirits and two angels with every man. Through the evil spirits a man has communication with hell; and through the angels, with heaven. Without communication with both a man cannot live a moment. Thus every man is in some society of the infernals, though he is unaware of it. But their torments are not communicated to him, because he is in a state of preparation for eternal life. The society in which a man has been is sometimes shown to him in the other life; for he returns to it, and so into the life that he had in the world; and from thence he either tends toward hell, or is raised up toward heaven. Thus a man who does not live in the good of charity, and does not suffer himself to be led by the Lord, is one of the infernals, and after death becomes also a devil." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 667)
While angels infuse thoughts of love and truth with forgiveness and understanding, evil spirits love to accuse of us of our faults and bring us down:
"Temptations are nothing else than combats of evil spirits with the angels who are with a man. Evil spirits call up all the wrong doings of a man and even the thoughts which he has had from infancy, thus both his evils and falsities, and condemn him — than which nothing is more enjoyable to them. The very enjoyment of their life consists in this. But through angels the Lord guards the man, and restrains the evil spirits and genii from ranging beyond bounds, and inundating the man beyond what he is able to bear." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 741)
Evil spirits will often infuse thoughts, real and unreal, to make it the subject of accusation:
"The diabolic spirits desire nothing more than to find some falsity; indeed it is common with them to induce a falsity from themselves, and then at the same time to make it the subject of accusation." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1917)
Even Jesus experienced this to a very severe degree, beyond what any human could handle as He fought against all of hell.  Some details of this are described in The Last Temptations of Jesus: the accounts of Swedenborg and Emmerich.  Catherine Anne Emmerich, a Catholic nun, was given several details, and one particularly severe devil tried to bring Jesus down by making him responsible for the death of innocent children by being born at Bethlehem, at which time His mind was flooded with awful visions.

The important thing here is to keep negative thoughts external.  Recognize them as being infused by something external to you, and do not make it your own by accepting them.


There are two kinds of temptation: those of the thought, which are light; and those of the will, which are severe:
"There are two kinds of temptations, one as to things of the understanding, the other as to those of the will. When a man is tempted as to things of the understanding, evil spirits call up only his evil deeds that he has done... and accuse and condemn him; they do indeed also call up his good deeds... but pervert them in a thousand ways. ...But this temptation is light, and is perceived only by the recalling of such things to mind and a certain anxiety therefrom. But when a man is tempted as to things of the will, his thoughts and doings are not so much called up, but there are evil genii... who inflame him with their lusts and the filthy loves with which he is imbued, and thus fight through the man's own lusts — which they do so maliciously and secretly that it could not be believed to be from them. For in a moment they pour themselves into the life of his lusts, and almost instantly invert and change an affection for good and truth into an affection for evil and falsity, so that the man cannot know but it is done of his own self and comes forth of his own will. This temptation is most severe, and is perceived as an inward grief and tormenting fire." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 751.2-3)


For those who lived a former evil life, when they come into the knowledge of spiritual matters of good and truth and accept them, it is normal to then go through states of sadness and despair:
"Every temptation carries with it some sort of despair; otherwise it is not a temptation; and therefore consolation follows. He who is tempted is brought into anxieties, which induce a state of despair about the end. The very combat of temptation is nothing else. He who is sure of victory is not in anxiety, and thus is not in temptation." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1787)
"In temptations there are vastations and desolations, and there are states of despair, and thence of grief and of indignation, besides other interior painful emotions; and this with variety and alternation, according to the states of evil and falsity which are excited by evil genii and spirits, and against which there is combat." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1917)
It is thus important to know that these states are normal, and necessary, for spiritual progression.  One should not seek to escape from them, but to fight against them.


The lower self thinks of nothing but the self, and lower corporeal pleasures, and things of the pride of the ego.  To conquer this, to come under the dominion of good and truth, one must go through temptations:
"Temptations, therefore, have for their end that the externals of man may be subdued and thus be rendered obedient to his internals — as may be evident to every one from this, that so soon as man's loves are assaulted and broken — as during misfortunes, sickness, and grief of mind — his lusts begin to subside, and he at the same time begins to talk piously; but as soon as he returns to his former state, the external man prevails and scarcely thinks on such subjects. The like happens at the hour of death, when corporeal things begin to be extinguished; and hence every one may see what the internal man is, and what the external; and also what remains are, and how lusts and pleasures, which are of the external man, hinder the Lord's operation through the internal man. From this it is also plain to every one what temptations, or the internal pains called the stings of conscience, effect — namely, that the external man is made obedient to the internal. The obedience of the external man is nothing else than this, that the affections for what is good and true are not hindered, resisted, and suffocated by lusts and the falsities therefrom." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 857.2)

How to fight against temptations?  Through knowledge of the truth, the truth that God is love and wants every person to inherit a life in heaven.  Thus what Jesus said is very true:
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)
Jesus, who is Divine truth incarnate, had to first subdue and conquer the lower infirm human nature his body inherited from Mary:
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. (John 17:19)
Divine truth is now available through the Holy Spirit flowing from Jesus.  Knowledge of the truth is merely the first step, once one knows the truth, if one begins to recognize areas of one's life that is not in accordance with God's will, then temptation begins.  It is a battle between truth and falsity:
"It is the truth that is first in combat, for combat is from truth; for from truth it is known what falsity is and what evil is; on which account such combats do not exist before the man has become imbued with the knowledges of truth and good both external and internal." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1685)
Systems of thought such as atheism and naturalism are essentially used as excuses for one to live in denial of the truth, for such want an easy life where they do not want to acknowledge their own sins.  Those who live in falsehood are in bondage to their evils, and this can only be broken through the acknowledgment of spiritual truth.

Another truth of temptations: during these times, it is the Lord alone who fights against the hells for each person, just as He fought against them alone during His life.  When we go through temptations, we should always call upon the Lord to help and fight for us as we resist, so that He can act through us:
"It is the Lord alone also Who fights in men who are in the combats of temptations, and Who overcomes. Man from his own power can effect nothing at all against evil or infernal spirits; for they are so connected with the hells that if one were overcome, another would rush in, and so on forever. They are like the sea which presses upon every part of a dike; if the dike should be broken through by a cleft or a crack, the sea would not stop, but would burst through and overflow, till nothing would be left standing. So would it be unless the Lord alone sustained the combats of temptations in man."(Heavenly Arcana, n. 1692.2)

While temptations against sins and falsehoods are states of sadness and despair, in which one supposes the Lord to be absent, he is fact very present:
"So long as temptation continues, man supposes the Lord to be absent, because he is disturbed by evil genii, and to such a degree as sometimes to be reduced to such despair that he can scarcely believe there is any God. Yet the Lord is then more intimately present than he can ever believe. When however temptation ceases, then he receives consolation, and then first believes the Lord to be present" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 840)
There is a very wise story which speaks of this truth, known as Footprints in the Sand:

So, don't give up, states of temptation, and sad and tough times, are often necessary lessons in life.  It is from temptation, and out of it, that one is born again: one is given a new will to do good, and one has a new spiritual understanding of the truth.  This good comes not from the self, but from the Lord:
"But no one can of himself be in this good, for it is the celestial itself which flows in from the Lord. This celestial flows in continually, but evils and falsities stand in the way of its being received. Therefore, that it may be received, it is necessary for man to remove evils, and as far as he is able falsities also, and so dispose himself to receive the influx. When man on the removal of evils receives the influx, he then receives a new will and a new intellectual; and from the new will he feels enjoyment in doing good to the neighbor from no selfish end, and from the new intellectual he perceives enjoyment in learning what is good and true for its own sake and for the sake of the life. Because this new intellectual and new voluntary exist by influx from the Lord, therefore he who is regenerated acknowledges and believes that the good and truth with which he is affected is not from himself but from the Lord, and also that whatever is from himself, or of his own, is nothing but evil." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5354.2)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Did Jesus Abrogate or Nullify the Ten Commandments?

God's revelations to mankind have passed through several ages or "dispensations."  The dispensation of the gospel, or that of Christianity, followed the dispensation of the law or that of Judaism, and this is stated in several instances of the New Testament (John 1:17, Matt. 11:13, Rom. 5:14, 6:14, Eph. 2:15, Col. 2:14).  These dispensations occur when the church of the previous age has become corrupted due to falsity.  So does this mean that Jesus Christ abolished or nullified the ten commandments contained in the law of Moses?  No it does not.  As explained in the The Fallacy of Salvation and Justification by Faith Alone, just as there are different meaning to the word "works," so there are different meanings to the word law, as follows:
1.  The law refers to the entire Word or scripture, or
2.  The law refers to the first 5 books of Moses, known as the Torah, or
3.  The law refers to the 10 commandments, or
4.  The law refers to the external rituals of the Mosaic law, otherwise known as statutes or ordinances.
There are some who whenever they see the word "law" in scripture they think it refers to any work that one does, which is not true.  The portion of the law that was abrogated are the external rituals of the Mosaic law, #4 in the list above.  Paul uses the word "ordinances" (Eph. 2:15, Col. 2:14) when speaking of the laws that were abrogated, and Paul uses a similar word to describe Jewish rituals elsewhere (Heb. 9:1, 9:10; Rom 2:26).  Jesus also confirmed that it was the external rituals of the law of Moses that were abrogated (Mark 7:14-19, John 4:21-23).  The reason this was so is that the Jews were given many symbolic rituals that were prophetic of the Christian dispensation, or as Paul states, "shadows of things to come" (Heb. 10:1, Col. 2:17).

In the Old Testament these laws are distinguished into commandments, judgments, and statutes.  When one looks at the word statutes in scripture, it is clear that these refer to the external rituals which were abrogated by the coming of Jesus and dispensation of Christianity, which Swedenborg confirms in his analysis of scripture:
“In many passages in the Word, "judgments," "commandments," and "statutes" are mentioned; and "judgments" there signify civil laws, "commandments" the laws of spiritual life, and "statutes" the laws of worship. That "judgments" signify civil laws, is evident from Exodus (xxi., xxii., xxiii.), where the things commanded are called "judgments" because according to them the judges gave judgments in the gates of the city; nevertheless they signify Divine truths, such as are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom in the heavens, for they contain these in the spiritual sense; as can be seen from the explanation of them in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 8971-9103, 9124-9231, 9247-9348). …"commandments" mean the laws of life, especially those contained in the Decalogue, which are therefore called the Ten Commandments; while "statutes" mean the laws of worship which related especially to sacrifices and holy ministrations; and "judgments" mean civil laws; and as these laws were representative of spiritual laws, they signify such Divine truths as are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom in the heavens.” (Apocalypse Explained, n. 946.4)
The ten commandments or Decalogue do not belong among the statues or external rituals, and are not abrogated or nullified by the coming of Jesus.  In fact, Jesus confirmed the 10 commandments when he stated that the two great commandments were to love God and love one's neighbour (Matt. 22:36-40): the first four commandments of the Decalogue concern love towards God, and the last six commandments concern love of the neighbour.  Thus the 10 commandments were put on two tables of stone.  It sums up the Christian life, for Jesus said if one loves him, they would follow the commandments (John 14:15).  Paul confirmed this when he said only the doers of the law are justified (Rom. 2:13, 10:5) and that love is the fulfillment of the law (Rom. 13:8).  Those who say we are justified by faith alone, without doing anything, are greatly mistaken (see also The False Theological Definition of the word "Grace").


All ten commandments of the Decalogue are repeated in the New Testament, showing that they are not abrogated.  Here is a list (see also The Ten Commandments in the New Testament):

Old TestamentNew Testament
1. Worship the Lord, and none otherEx. 20:2-3;
Deut. 5:6-7
Matt 4:10, 22:37-38; Mark 12:29-30; Luke 4:8
2. No idolatryEx. 20:4-6;
Deut. 5:8-10
Acts 15:20, 21:25; Rom. 2:22; 1 Cor. 5:10-11; 6:9-10; 10:7, 14; 12:22 Cor. 6:16Gal. 5:19-20Eph. 5:5; Rev. 9:20
3. Do not take God's name in vainEx. 20:7;
Deut. 5:11
Matt. 5:33-37; 12:31; Mark 7:22; 1 Timothy 6:1; James 2:7
4. Keep the Sabbath Day HolyEx. 20:8-11;
Deut. 5:12-15
Matt. 24:20Luke 4:16, 31, 13:10; Acts 17:1-2; 18:4
5. Honor ParentsEx. 20:12;
Deut. 5:16
Matthew 15:4-9; 19:19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Rom. 1:29-30; Eph. 6:1-3
6. Do not murderEx. 20:13;
Matt. 5:21-22; 19:18; Mark 7:21; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Rom. 1:29-30; 13:9; Rev. 9:21
7. Do not commit adulteryEx. 20:14;
Matt. 5:27-28; 19:9, 18; Mark 7:21; 10:11-12, 19; Luke 16:18; 18:20; Rom. 2:22, 7:2-3, 13:9
8. Do not stealEx. 20:15;
Deut. 5:19
Matt. 19:18; Mark 7:22; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 13:9; Eph, 4:28;1 Peter 4:15; Rev. 9:21
9. Do not lieEx. 20:16;
Deut. 5:20
Matt. 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Acts 5:3-4; Rom. 13:9; Eph. 4:25
10. Do not covetEx. 20:17;
Deut. 5:21
Matt. 19:21; Mark 7:22; Luke 12:15; Rom. 1:29; 7:7; 13:9; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3, 5

In the New Church, following the 10 commandments is one of its main pillars of doctrine, the other worshiping one God in one person, Jesus Christ.  There are other Christian organizations that emphasize the 10 commandments: these include the Seventh Day Adventists, Messianic Jews, the Worldwide Church of God, and other Christian organizations known as "Sabbatarian" (see Sabbatarianism).  And this leads us to a very interesting question...


The Sabbath day is Saturday (to be precise, it is Friday evening to Saturday evening), and it is part of the 10 commandments.  So was it abrogated or not?  It is is an interesting question, for it is part of the 10 commandments or Decalogue, and yet many of the Jewish feast days were part of the statutes which were abrogated (see Col. 2:16).  And if it is not abrogated, should we stop Sunday worship?  It has become part of an endless debate between Sabbatarians and those who worship on Sunday.  The argument between the two is unnecessary, and I will explain why.

The external form of Jewish observance of the Sabbath, which was merely a day of idleness and no work, has been abrogated.  The Sabbath, under true Christian worship, is now changed into a day of instruction and doing good towards others.  That the external form of the Jewish worship on the Sabbath was abrogated, is clearly taught by Jesus (see Matt. 12:1-13, Mark 2:23-3:5, Luke 6:1-10).  But throughout the gospels it is clear that for Jesus the Sabbath is a day of instruction in Divine things, and doing good towards others.  Jesus healed on the Sabbath many times (see Luke 13:15-16, 14:1-6, John 5:9-10, 7:22-23, 9:14), which in the spiritual sense means to become spiritually healed by removing evils.  Jesus did not just heal on the Sabbath just to annoy the Jews; he did it to show the spiritual meaning of the Sabbath.  Sabbath means rest, and spiritual rest and peace is achieved when one conquers from laboring against evil and falsity during temptation, and was ultimately fulfilled the day Jesus rested before He rose from the dead.  This is explained by Swedenborg when discussing the spiritual sense of these passages, and is summed up in his work True Christian Religion:
"The six days represented His labors and combats with the hells, and the seventh day His victory over them and thus rest. And because that day was representative of the close of the Lord's whole work of redemption, therefore it was holiness itself. But when the Lord came into the world, and the representations of Him therefore ceased, that day became a day of instruction in Divine things, and thus also a day of rest from labors, and of meditation on such things as relate to salvation and eternal life; as also a day of love toward the neighbor. That it became a day of instruction in Divine things is plain from this, that the Lord on that day taught in the temple and in synagogues (Mark vi. 2; Luke iv. 16, 31, 32; xiii. 10); and that He said to the man who was healed, Take up thy bed and walk; and to the Pharisees, that it was lawful for the disciples on the Sabbath day to gather the ears of corn and eat (Matt. xii. 1-9; Mark ii. 23-28; Luke vi. 1-6; John v. 9-19); by each of which particulars in the spiritual sense is signified to be instructed in doctrinals. That that day became also a day of love toward the neighbor, is evident from what the Lord did and taught on the Sabbath day (Matt. xii. 10-14; Mark iii. 1-9; Luke vi. 6-12; xiii. 10-18; xiv. 1-7; John v. 9-19; vii. 22, 23; ix. 14, 16). From these and the former passages it is plain why the Lord said that He is Lord also of the Sabbath (Matt. xii. 8; Mark ii. 28; Luke vi. 5); and because He said this, it follows that that day was representative of Him." (True Christian Religion, n. 301)
As the Sabbath is now a day of instruction, it becomes a day of rest, but resting from work is not the primary purpose of the Sabbath as it was among the Jews.  In another passage Swedenborg lists those commandments which are binding, those which are optional if considered "useful," and those which have been abrogated (see Heavenly Arcana, n. 9349.4).  The commandment to literally do no work on the Sabbath is one listed as optional if considered useful.  Likewise, the feasts of the Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles are considered optional if seen to be useful.  Thus in the Christian church, Passover is now celebrated as Easter, and Pentecost is celebrated as the day when the Holy Spirit was given.  The feast of the Tabernacles did not become celebrated within Christian tradition, as many do not know that this feast day actually marks the day when Jesus was born, who "tabernacled" among us (John 1:14).


Many are probably surprised that Saturday, not Sunday, is the Sabbath.  Does that mean we should stop worship on Sunday?  No.  In the early Christian church, there was Sabbath instruction followed by a day of worship on Sunday, which was called the "Lord's Day"  which is mentioned in the Apocalypse (Rev. 1:10).  That the early church met on the Sabbath for a day of instruction, followed by a day of worship on Sunday as the Lord's Day, is documented historically in the first four centuries of the Christian church (see the article Lord's Day, and Acts 20:7).  It was only later that church councils stopped Sabbath days of worship.  Thus the argument between Sabbatarians and those who worship on Sunday I see as unnecessarily divisive.  Both days should be honored.

Within the Roman Catholic Church, the apparitions of Mary at Fatima Portugal support the idea of honoring both the Sabbath and continuing to honor the Lord's Day on Sunday.  The angel mentioned a practice to restore a form of Saturday worship once a month in the Catholic Church:
“I shall come to ask... that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.”
Reparation involves confession, communion, the rosary and meditation.  These practices are given by way of permission to the Catholic Church, and other churches should use their free will in their form of worship.  In the New Church, the Sabbath is known to be a symbolic representation of the Divine Human, as well as a state of rest from temptation from evils, but it is also taught it should be a day of instruction.  For instruction to happen, dedicated time must be set aside - and it should be the Sabbath.  Worship honoring the Lord's day on Sunday should continue as well, as it did in the early church.


By the time Jesus came, the power of hell had gained control over humanity, and the entire human race was threatened with damnation as it had become corrupted to the point where it was losing its capacity to do good, as contact with heaven was being cut off by the power of hell.  This is why Paul calls the law one of "sin and death," for mankind was losing its spiritual capacity to fulfill it as it was under the power of hell.  There was no transference of sins, but rather Jehovah took upon a human form to fight against all of hell through the temptations He endured through the human form, until He conquered and reordered heaven and hell.  In such a way, the power of hell was subdued, and God's power through the Holy Spirit became available to mankind.  Through the Holy Spirit, we now live in the spirit through Jesus Christ to live by the 10 commandments.  Thus Jesus fulfilled the law, and did not destroy it (Matt. 5:17-18); and through a spirit of love, the 10 commandments are fulfilled:
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31:31-34)
This is the true faith: to live by the 10 commandments, through the grace of the spirit we have now in Jesus Christ.