Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Prophecy of the Little Horn or the Antichrist



True Christianity is not just belief alone, but living one's life according to the commandments. This is made very clear throughout scripture. Here I will just quote two statements of Jesus:
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matt. 7:24-27
And again:
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15)
Thus the Protestant teaching that teaches one is justified by faith alone is a perversion, based on a distortion of Paul's letters.  For by "works" Paul was not talking about works of doing what is good, but instead he was talking about the works of Jewish ritual law. As Jewish ritual laws were representations intended to represent the internal spiritual truths of Christianity, they were no longer necessary to be observed.

In order to get around scriptural passages that are contrary to justification by faith alone, the next falsehood that is taught is that the will of man is "passive" and that works arise "spontaneously" as "fruits of the Spirit." That the will of man is not passive, that works are not spontaneous, is proven by scripture:
"And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-27)
The most important commandment is love of God, and second to that is love of the neighbor. This involves the heart, the soul, the mind and all of one's strength. The heart is one's will, the soul is one's life, the mind is one's thoughts, and all of one's strength is with all of one's effort. It is a covenant relationship - inasmuch as man does his part, God will do His part by dwelling within our heart.

THE PROPHECY OF THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL

The doctrine of justification by faith alone is not the foundation of True Christianity; such a doctrine destroys and perverts the foundation of Christianity. It was unknown until the 16th century. This was foretold in end time prophecies in the books of Daniel and Revelation which speak of the perversion and fall of the Christian church. The substitute false church that is setup in its place is the Antichrist, for the teachings are a falsehood that are opposed to the essence of True Christianity.

There are two particular prophecies of Daniel which speaks of a "little horn" that arises at the end times, which are set forth in Daniel chapters 7 and 8. The popular interpretation of the "little horn" is one of a future Antichrist that arises in Europe, since in the literal interpretation of the prophecy it speaks of kingdoms that arise after the fall of the Roman Empire. But the spiritual interpretation is this: the little horn is the false teachings of Protestant doctrine that arise after the fall in power of not the Roman Empire, but that of the Roman Catholic Church. This is clearly set forth in the revelations given to Swedenborg for the doctrines of the New Church. Here is Swedenborg's explanation of Daniel chapter 7:
"Here in the internal sense the perverted state of the church is treated of. The things which were here seen by Daniel, as the beast, the teeth of iron, the horn in which were eyes, and the horns that spoke, and those which made war with the saints, and that which spoke against the Most High, signify the state of falsity and of heresies within the church. That horns signify falsity powerful and prevailing, may be evident only from this, that eyes are attributed to them, that is, understanding (n. 2701); and that they spoke, and even against the Most High. By the kingdoms and kings are not signified kingdoms and kings, but the teachings of falsity; as may be evident from their signification in the Word, as the teachings of truth, and in the opposite sense the teachings of falsity (see n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 2547)." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2832.13)
The "little horn" is explained further in this passage from Apocalypse Explained - it is called a horn from power, and it is "little" because so few are able to see its falsehood:
"Here evidently "horns" means the falsities that destroy the truths of the church, or the power of falsities against truths; "the beast coming up out of the sea" signifies the love of self out of which spring all evils; here the love of ruling over heaven and earth, to which things holy serve as means; it is such a love that is meant by "Babylon" in the Apocalypse. This beast was seen "coming up out of the sea," because the "sea" signifies the natural man separated from the spiritual; for the natural man is then of such a character that he desires nothing so much as to have dominion over all, and to confirm that dominion by the sense of the letter of the Word. "The ten horns" signify falsities of every kind, for "ten" means all; therefore it is further said, that "the ten horns are ten kings," for "kings" signify truths, and in a contrary sense, as here, falsities. "The little horn that came up among them, before which three of the former horns were plucked up by the roots," signifies the complete perversion of the Word by the application of the sense of its letter to confirm the love of dominion. This horn is called "little," because it does not appear that the Word is perverted; and what does not appear before the sight of man's spirit, or before his understanding, is regarded either as nothing, or as little. In the spiritual world such is the appearance of things that are apprehended by a few only. "The three horns that were plucked up by the roots before it," signify the truths of the Word there that have been thus destroyed by falsifications; these truths are also signified by the "three kings" that were humbled by the horn, "three" not meaning three, but what is full, thus that truths were completely destroyed. As that "horn" signifies the perversion of the Word in respect to the sense of its letter, and as this sense appears before the eyes of men as if it were to be understood thus and not otherwise, and therefore not to be gainsaid by any one, it is said of this horn, "that in it there were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things," "eyes" signify understanding, and "eyes like the eyes of a man" an understanding as if of truth, and "mouth" signifies thought and speech from that understanding. From this it can now be seen what is meant by all and by each of the particulars here mentioned; as by "the beast coming up out of the sea, who had ten horns and teeth of iron, and devoured and brake in pieces;" by "the little horn that came up among them, before which three of the horns were plucked up by the roots, in which were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things;" also by "it made war with the saints and prevailed against them," and "it spake words against the Most High;" and "the horns were so many kings."" (Apocalypse Explained, n. 316.15)
For Daniel chapter 8, Swedenborg gets more specific: the little horn refers to those who separate faith from charity:
""out of one of them came forth a little horn" signifies justification by faith, for this is born of the principle of faith alone; it is said to be "little" because it does not appear as a falsity. That this horn "grew exceedingly towards the south, and towards the east, and towards beauty, and grew even to the host of the heavens, and cast down some of the host to the earth, and trampled upon them," signifies that it destroyed all the truths and goods of the church; "the south" meaning where truth is in the light, "the east" and "beauty" where good is in clearness through truth, "the host of the heavens" all truths and goods of heavens and the church; "to cast down the host to the earth, and to trample upon them," signifies to destroy utterly; that "even to the prince of the host it magnified itself," and that "the dwelling place of his sanctuary was cast down," signifies the denial of the Lord's Divine Human, and the consequent vastation of the church; "the prince of the host" is the Lord in respect to the Divine Human, because from that proceed all the truths and goods that constitute the church; "the dwelling place of the sanctuary" is the church where these are; this plainly means the truths destroyed by falsities, for it is said, "it cast down truth to the earth."" (Apocalypse Explained, n. 316.16)
This is repeated again in more detail in the work Doctrine of Faith (found in Doctrines of the New Jerusalem as well as The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem) in which it is explain that following the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, a new revelation of Christianity would be given, described as the "morning" after a period where the sanctuary (the church) is trampled down:
"The ram which had the two high horns, of which the higher came up last, signifies those who are in faith coming from charity. His pushing with the horn westward, and northward, and southward, signifies the dispersion of evil and falsity. That he made himself great, signifies increase. The he-goat which came from the west, on the face of the whole earth, signifies those who are in faith separate from charity, and the invasion of the church by them; the west denotes the evil of the natural man. Which had a horn between his eyes, signifies his own intelligence: his running at the ram in the fury of his power, signifies that he fought vehemently against charity and its faith: his breaking his two horns, throwing him to the ground, and stamping upon him, signifies that he wholly dispersed both charity and faith; for he who disperses the one disperses the other also, since they that the great horn of the he-goat was broken, signifies the non-appearance of his own intelligence: the coming-up of four horns in its place, signifies applications of the sense of the letter of the Word in confirmation: the coming forth of a little horn from one of them, signifies reasoning that no one can fulfil the Law, and do good of himself: the growth of that horn toward the south, toward the east, and toward what was pleasant, signifies its rising-up against all things of the church: and even to the host of the heavens, and it cast down unto the earth [some] from the host and from the stars, and it trampled them, signifies that so were destroyed all the cognitions of good and of truth, which belonged to charity and to faith. That he raised himself up even to the prince of the host, and from him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the dwelling-place of his sanctuary was cast down, signifies that thus he laid desolate all things belonging to the worship of the Lord and to His church: that he cast the truth to the ground, signifies that he falsified the truths of the Word. By the evening, the morning, when the holy place will be justified, is signified the end of that church, and the beginning of a new one." (Doctrine of Faith, n. 67)
For a further assessment of the prophecies in Revelation related to the book of Daniel, see The Prophecy of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet and The Spiritual Meaning of the Woman of the Apocalypse.

WHAT OF OTHER TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATIONS?

The traditional interpretation of the prophecies of Daniel is that they successively describe different kingdoms of the Middle East that ruled over Judea: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, the Roman Empire, and then a future kingdom of 10 kings. Prophecy has a dual nature, sometimes a short term literal fulfillment comes to pass to signify a larger spiritual event. For an example of this, see The Prophecy of Daniel 11-12 Explained. Historical events are thus used to symbolically represent the internal spiritual states of not only the Jewish church, but of the Christian church that followed it:
"The subject here is the state of the church in general, not only the state of the Jewish Church, but also that of the following, which is the Christian Church; for the Word of the Lord is universal. The he-goat of the goats, in respect to the Jewish Church, signifies those who made nothing of internal truths, but accepted external truths so far as they favored their loves, which were that they might be the greatest and the wealthiest. For this reason they recognized the Christ, or Messiah, Whom they were expecting, simply as a king, who would exalt them above all the nations and peoples in the whole world, and would make these subject to them as vilest slaves: this was the source of their love for Him. They did not at all know what love toward the neighbor was, except that it was conjunction through participation in such honor, and by gain.
"But the he-goat of the goats in respect to the Christian Church signifies those who are in external truths from enjoyments, that is, who are in faith separate; for these also care nothing for internal truths; and if they teach them, it is only that they may thereby win reputation, be exalted to honors, and acquire gain. These are the enjoyments which are in their hearts while truths are in their mouth. Moreover by sinister interpretations they force the truths which belong to genuine faith, to favor their loves. It is plain from this what is signified in the internal sense by the above words in Daniel — namely, that by a he-goat of the goats are signified those who are in faith separate." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4769.2-3)


In the work Heavenly Arcana, the symbolism of scripture is explained in more detail, proving that the horn that arises out of the he-goat are those who create falsehoods out of the external literal sense of the Word. However instead of trusting what is taught in many churches, read the scriptures for yourselves. For the Antichrist does not come from outside the Christian Church, it comes from within the church, and is worshiped as what is holy - this is the "abomination of desolation" which stands "within the holy place" (Matt. 24:15). That the end times are here, one can easily see in the decline of Christianity in society, as well as its loss in influence over the ideas that are accepted as true. This is because of the inherent falsehoods within some teachings that have destroyed the truths from within. But the good news here is there is a new revelation given, which is the doctrines of the New Church, and this revelation is the fulfillment of the Second Coming as it reveals the internal spiritual sense of the Word.

FOR FURTHER READING:

The Spiritual Meaning of Daniel's Prophecy of the Statue of Nebuchadnezzar

The Spiritual Meaning of the Abomination of Desolation

The Prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation (part 1)

The Prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation (part 2)

The Prophecy of the Last Judgment

The Prophecy of Babylon and the Writing on the Wall

The New Church Prophecy of the 2300 Days, or the Cleansing of the Sanctuary

Is the Second Coming a Physical Event or Spiritual Event?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

What is the Little Book of Seven Thunders?



The book of Revelation speaks of an angel descending from heaven, holding a little book open in his hand, who then cries out and seven thunders utter their voice. The apostle John was about to write what the seven thunders uttered, but is commanded not to reveal them, and they would only be revealed in the days of the seventh trumpet. He is then commanded to eat the little book, after which he is commanded to prophesy (Rev. 10).

The identity of the little book, and the revelation of the seven thunders, has puzzled many. As explained in The Mystery of the Book of Seven Thunders Explained, it was revealed to Swedenborg that the the content of the little book was concerning a teaching in scripture that few have observed: Jesus Christ is Jehovah in human form, and that His human form is Divine, a Divine Human.

The book was kept sealed, as at this day the majority of Christians understand the Son of God as a second person of a trinity, a form of tritheism. This teaching, plus one is saved by belief alone without regard to works (how one lives one's life according to the commandments) is described as the dragon, the beast and the false prophet: see The Prophecy of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet.

In regards to the little book of the seven thunders, Swedenborg gets more specific: the content of the little book was actually the same as the contents of The Doctrine of the Lord, which focuses on a study of scripture that shows that Jesus is Jehovah in human form, and that His human form is actually the Son of God. The Divine exists within Him as the soul exists in the body. As He was born of a virgin, He calls God "Father." But the idea of three persons is a false one invented by men. Thus following the revelation of the little book, the book of Revelation describes a religious conflict between those who follow the revelation (the 2 witnesses and the 144,000) and those who follow the dragon, the beast and the false prophet.

When one reads Swedenborg's explanation of the little book of Revelation 10, he offers little support for the conclusion. In most cases he will reference scripture, and in other cases he will reference a dialogue with angels in a heavenly vision. But here he does neither. Is there any evidence of support?

PSALM 29 AND THE SEVEN THUNDERS

I have been working on a work of the Psalms that explains the numeric significance of its poetic structure, paying attention to the number of the Psalms, the number of verses, words and even letters. The Jews knew this but the knowledge has been generally lost in Biblical studies. I have restored the number of verses according to the Hebrew poetic parallelism, and to my surprise discovered that verse, word and letter counts of scripture are actually significant, and can help explain or reinforce the actual text. I have been using a computer program to find counts that are significant, and came across this find, among many others:
  • In Psalms 29-70 there are exactly 700 poetic verses. The number 70 corresponds to 700.
  • In Psalms 73-150 there are exactly 1400 poetic verses, which is 2 x 700.
This pattern is hidden until one restores the proper verse counts. The 700 verses in Psalms 29-70 caught my attention. I at first ignored it, as Psalm 70 is not in any way related to the content of Psalm 29. However I then realized that the numbers were reinforcing one unnoticed fact about Psalm 29: Psalm 29 mentions a word for thunder exactly seven times:
  1. The thunder of Jehovah is upon the waters (v. 3)
  2. The thunder of Jehovah is with power (v. 4)
  3. The thunder of Jehovah is with grandeur (v. 4)
  4. The thunder of Jehovah breaks the cedars (v. 5)
  5. The thunder of Jehovah hews the flames of fire (v. 7)
  6. The thunder of Jehovah makes the wilderness to travail (v. 8)
  7. The thunder of Jehovah makes the hinds to calve (v. 9)
The word for "thunder" (Heb. qowl or qol) is unnoticed in all Bible translations as it is translated as "voice" - both translations are allowable, depending on context. One reason it is translated as "voice" is that there is another word for "thunder" in verse 3. But it is unmistakable: Psalm 29 is the little book of seven thunders.

Even with this insight, most who read Psalm 29 will not know what it means, except understood in its spiritual sense. It is an unusual Psalm, and some scholars simply presume it was borrowed from an earlier hymn dedicated to a Canaanite god of thunder. However here we will explain it in the spiritual sense, as published in my other work, The Symbolism of the Psalms.

THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF PSALM 29 AND THE SEVEN THUNDERS

Psalm 29 begins as follows: Give unto Jehovah, ye sons of gods (Ps. 29:1).

In the spiritual sense, "sons of God" are those who are in the the truths of the Word, are who follow spiritual truths. But in the highest sense it is telling all who are in spiritual truths to acknowledge the one Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah as to the Divine truth in human form. In the revelations of the New Church, the title "Son of God" is used for Jesus to refer to His Divine Human. The human is that which was born to the virgin Mary in time, not a Son of God "born from eternity" which is a falsehood invented by the Nicene Creed.

But what about the rest of Psalm 29? Most will pass it off as "figures of speech" not worthy of attention. But in the New Church, every word of scripture is significant and has a spiritual meaning. In a general sense, the subject of Psalm 29 is as follows, which Swedenborg recorded in his summary of the spiritual meaning of this Psalm:
"The power of the Divine truth from the Word dissipates falsities and reforms the natural (v. 3-9) which is from the Lord alone (v. 10-11)."
This is what it means in the spiritual sense. The cedars of Lebanon are the thoughts of the human rational mind, the hinds that calve are the affections of the natural man.  But in the highest celestial sense, it refers to how Jesus Christ made His human form Divine. This took place in gradual stages, as his human form had inherited a sinful nature from his mother Mary by which Jesus could be tempted (despite what the Roman Catholic Church say on this matter, they are incorrect and have distorted the truth of Christianity). This is summarized in seven principles in The Doctrine of the Lord by Swedenborg:

I. The Lord from eternity is Jehovah.

II. The Lord from eternity, or Jehovah, took on the Human to save men.

III. He made the Human Divine from the Divine in Himself.

IV. He made the Human Divine by temptations admitted into Himself.

V. The full union of the Divine and the Human was effected in Him by the passion of the cross, which was the last of the temptations.

VI. He successively put off the human taken on from the mother, and put on the Human from the Divine in Him; and this is the Divine Human and the Son of God.

VII. Thus God became Man, as in first principles so also in ultimates. (Doctrine of the Lord, n. 29)

Also, the union of the Divine with the human took place in gradual stages, until Jesus Christ became the Divine Human, Jehovah Himself in natural visible form:

"That the Lord made His Human Divine from the Divine in Himself may be evident from many passages in the Word, of which those will now be adduced which prove,

1. That this was done successively; which are these: Jesus grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him (Luke ii. 40). Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (verse 52).

2. That the Divine operated by the Human, as the soul by the body. This is evident from these: The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He seeth the Father do (John v. 19). Of Myself I do nothing; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. He that sent Me is with Me: He hath not left Me alone (viii. 28, 29; v. 30). I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father Who sent Me, He gave Me commandment what I should say and what I should speak (xii. 49, 50). The words which I speak to you, I speak not of Myself: the Father Who abideth in Me, He doeth the works (xiv. 10). I am not alone, because the Father is with Me (xvi. 32).

3. That the Divine and the Human operated with unanimity appears from these: What things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise (John v. 19)" (Doctrine of the Lord, n. 32)

THE TEMPLE AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD

As further evidence that Psalm 29 is the little book of seven thunders, confirming Swedenborg's statements concerning the little book of seven thunders in the book of Revelation (see Apocalypse Revealed), we have this statement in Psalm 29:

And in His temple every one says, the glory of Jehovah (Ps. 29:9)

This particular verse, however, is slightly mistranslated, although it is allowable, with the shifting of the name of Jehovah to the following verse:

And in His temple every one says, glory (Ps. 29:9)

That the name Jehovah should be shifted to the previous verse I had previously discovered by analyzing the numerical poetry of Psalm 29, which I will explain in an upcoming work. That the phrase "glory of Jehovah" is correct, can be seen in parallel passages where the phrase "glory of the LORD (or Jehovah)" is mentioned in scripture:
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (Ex. 40:34-35)
In the spiritual sense, "the glory of the LORD" is the Divine itself, and the tabernacle or temple is human form of Jesus Christ. That this is so, can be seen from the following passage:
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple,  and will you raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body
. (John 2:18-21)
So in the hidden spiritual sense, Psalm 29 speaks how Jehovah made His human Divine, and commands all who follow the truth to acknowledge this. After Swedenborg had written The Doctrine of the Lord, he was probably told this by angels who recognized it described the same spiritual truths that is described in Psalm 29. Swedenborg also stated that the little book of seven thunders also concerns how Jesus made His human Divine by admitting and conquering temptations due to assault between the Divine and all of hell, which is the general subject of the Psalms in general.

So, the work that has been done on the numerical poetry of the Psalms is bearing fruit, which is confirming the internal revelation of scripture as revealed to Emanuel Swedenborg. This one took me by surprise, so I thought I would share this in this blog while I continue editing this work on the Psalms for publication. I could not cover the entire spiritual meaning of Psalm 29; for the details of every single word mentioned therein see the work The Symbolism of the Psalms.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The True Spiritual Meaning of Atonement



Atonement is the removal of sins, and there are two systems of thought as to how atonement is effected:
  1. Atonement, the removal of sins, is effected by repentance and turning away from evil, and/or
  2. Atonement is the removal of sins and reconciliation of God and man through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Most understand the need for repentance, but few understand how that is related to the coming of Jesus Christ. Many who practice true spirituality by living one's life according to God's commandments fail to understand who Jesus Christ is and how He is involved in one's spiritual life. On the other side of the coin, many religious people just believe and rarely practice a life of repentance.

So how is a life a repentance and self examination related to the coming of Jesus Christ, and why was His coming necessary? Here, a rational and comprehensive answer is provided in the theology of the New Church which is explained in detail in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

ATONEMENT IS THROUGH REPENTANCE

The Christian life as explained in the theology of the New Church is simple: turning away from evil because they are sins against God, and doing that which is good. Before good can be done, before the Holy Spirit can enter into one's life, evils must be removed. The removal of one's evils is atonement. This can only happen through internal struggles known as temptations, and repentance. It must be preceded with an acknowledgment of truth, and self examination. It begins with an acknowledgment that the source of one's evils is one's self, and that any good originates from God alone. One must identify specific sins, and turn away from them. This is how sins are removed, and how one begins a spiritual life.

ATONEMENT IS PROTECTION FROM EVIL

In the original Hebrew, the word "atonement" means "cover." It first appears in scripture in the instructions to Noah on how to build the ark:

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.  Make rooms in the ark, and pitched it inside and out with pitch (Gen. 6:14)

The word "pitch" is from the word that is also translated as atonement. And from this many have invented false teachings to explain the meaning, such as, when one converts God "covers up" one's sins so that He does not see them. This is a false perverted teaching that has destroyed the essential teaching of Christianity: it is used as an excuse for a life of evil and it goes against a life of repentance. In the work Heavenly Arcana Swedenborg offers a rather interesting spiritual insight into the meaning of this word when commenting on the story of Noah's ark:
"In the original text it is not indeed said that it was to be pitched with pitch, but a word is used which denotes protection, derived from expiate or propitiate, and therefore it involves the same. The expiation or propitiation of the Lord is protection from inundation of evil" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 645)
The words "expiation" and "propitiation" are synonyms for the word "atonement." This is one of the first surprises for me when I encountered the theology of the New Church, as this is not what is taught by most churches. When one withdraws from evil, one withdraws from the influence of evil spirits, whose temptations are represented by the flood of waters that attempt to flood the ark. The ark with its different compartments represents one's will and mind. When one withdraws from evil, then one opens the door to heaven, and the Lord then withholds and protects the one who has followed Him from the influence of evil.

ATONEMENT IS REPRESENTED BY ANIMAL SACRIFICES

It is well known that animal sacrifices in the Jewish religion represented the rite of atonement. These animal sacrifices were symbolic, where the blood was withdrawn from the animal before its body was burned on the altar. The body or flesh represent one's lower desires, and the blood that was offered represented what was holy:
"In the rituals of the Jewish Church blood had no other signification than the holy proceeding from the Lord's Divine Human, wherefore when they were sanctified, it was done by blood — as when Aaron and his sons were sanctified, blood was sprinkled upon the horns of the altar, the remainder at the base of the altar, also upon the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot, and upon his garments (Exod. xxix. 12, 16, 20; Lev. viii. 15, 19, 23, 30). And when Aaron entered within the veil to the mercy-seat, blood was also to be sprinkled with the finger upon the mercy-seat eastward seven times (Lev. xvi. 12-15)." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4735.11)
When one repents from evil, one turns away from the desires of the ego and the lower self, represented by the flesh of the animal. Only after that could the priest enter the Holy of holies, which signifies that communion with the Divine of heaven is only possible once sins or evils are removed by repentance. It is affected by knowledge of the truth, thus in many Jewish rituals one is cleansed by the washing of water, and in the Christian Church it is the ritual of baptism, since water signifies the truth by which one reforms one's way of life.

ATONEMENT IS EFFECTED BY DIVINE TRUTH

Atonement, which is the removal of sins and the liberation from the bondage of evil, is effected by Divine truth, and this is represented by blood in the Jewish rituals, as well as by water. Blood in itself effects nothing, it is a symbolic representation of the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord:
"blood in the Word is signified Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of the Lord, and by this truth all purification is effected; for truth teaches man what is good and how he should live, and when man knows this, then first can affection or love of good be implanted, and thus he be regenerated. For knowledge must precede before man can have faith and live the life of faith, which is the life of good" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 10026)
Those who have no knowledge of the truth live in darkness, and the way they live will be influenced by their lack of knowledge and tend towards favoring the selfish ego and desires.

JESUS CHRIST IS THE DIVINE TRUTH IN HUMAN FORM

And here is where we get to the point how Jesus Christ is related to purification from evil through atonement: Jesus is the Divine truth in human form, thus He is called the Word in the flesh. There is a false teaching that states that such animal sacrifices represented a "substitutionary" or "vicarious" atonement where someone else suffers for the punishment of one's sin. This is again a false teaching, a late development in Christianity that began in the 11th century and is now popular in Catholic and Protestant thinking. So why was the coming of the Divine in human form necessary? The human race had become separated from heaven, and it is from heaven that Divine truth flows into the minds of the human race. Thus it became necessary for the Divine to descend in human form to subjugate the power of hell over the human race:
"They who have no knowledge of the internal sense of the Word, thus who do not know that by blood is signified Divine truth, and that by this from the Lord is effected purification, believe that man is purified by the blood of the Lord, by which they understand His passion of the cross. But let them know that by the Lord's passion of the cross, thus by His blood, no one is purified, but by a life according to His precepts, as He Himself teaches in many places. The passion of the cross was the last of the Lord's temptation, by which He fully glorified His Human, as He Himself also says in Luke: Ought not Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory? (xxiv. 26.) For the Lord came into the world that He might subjugate the hells and bring back all things into order, even in the heavens, which was effected by temptations admitted to Himself; and the passion of the cross was the last of His temptations, by which He fully conquered the hells, and set the heavens in order, and at the same time glorified His Human, and unless He had done this, no man could have been saved" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 10026.2)
This is described further in another passage:
"It is a common belief at this day that the burnt offerings and sacrifices signified the Lord's passion, and that by this the Lord made expiation for the iniquities of all, indeed, that He drew them away upon Himself, and thus bore them; and that those who believe are in this manner justified and saved, provided they think, though but in the last hour before death, that the Lord suffered for them, however they may have lived during the whole course of their life. But the case is not really so: the passion of the cross was the extremity of the Lord's temptation, by which He fully united His Human to His Divine and His Divine to His Human, and thus glorified Himself. That union is itself the means by which those who have the faith in Him which is the faith of charity, can be saved. For the Supreme Divine Itself could no longer reach to the human race, which had removed itself so far from the celestial things of love and the spiritual things of faith, that they no longer even acknowledged them, and still less perceived them. In order therefore that the Supreme Divine might be able to come down to man who was such, the Lord came into the world and united His Human to the Divine in Himself; which union could not be effected otherwise than by the most grievous combats of temptations and by victories, and at length by the last, which was that of the cross" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2776)
With the union of the Divine with the Human in the Lord, communion is thus now available where one may receive the truth through the Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the Lord. In such a manner the coming of Jesus Christ was necessary for mankind to continue to be liberated from the dominion of hell through a life of repentance. Belief alone does not save, nor does faith alone save -- only by following the truth and turning against one's evils is one liberated to live a life according to the Divine will, which is a life of eternity that continues in heaven.

If any teaches otherwise, then Quit the Old Church, and Join the New.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Quit the Old Church, and Join the New



Here is an interesting article: a pastor is telling people to quit church: I'm a pastor and I want you to quit church. Now! He is recognizing a fact: church attendance is shrinking, apathy is growing, and there is a lot of doubt about core beliefs. And yet he is completely blind as to the root cause.

But here is the point he is missing: the core foundational beliefs of the church are simply false. True Christianity over the centuries has been falsified.  Instead of a belief in one God, there is a belief in three gods. And since it cannot be explained, ministers don't attempt to, but keep emphasizing a blind faith. And this goes against the modern age of enlightenment, where true spirituality is in agreement with reason, and not just blind belief based on tradition and authority.

What those within the traditional churches fail to see is that the religion from within is dying. The theology is inconsistent and not rational. Swedenborg pointed this out over 200 years ago:

"The rulers of the church insist that the understanding is to be kept under obedience to faith, nay, that faith, properly speaking, is a faith in what is unknown, which is blind, or a faith of the night. This is their first paradox; for faith is of truth, and truth is of faith; and truth before it can become an object of faith, must be seen in its light and understood; otherwise what is false may be believed as true. The paradoxes flowing from such a faith are many, as that God the Father begat a Son from eternity, and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both, and that each of these three is a Person by Himself and a God: that the Lord, both as to His soul and body, was from the mother: that the above three Persons, consequently three Gods, created the universe; and that one of them descended, and assumed human nature, to reconcile the Father, and thus to save mankind; and that they who by grace obtain faith, and believe these paradoxes, are saved by the imputation, application, and translation, of His righteousness to themselves; and that man, at his first reception of that faith, is like a statue, a stock, or a stone, and that faith comes by the mere hearing of the Word; that faith alone without the works of the law, and not formed of charity, is saving; and that it produces the remission of sins without previous repentance; and that, merely by such remission of sins, the impenitent man is justified, regenerated, and sanctified; and that afterward charity, good works, and repentance, spontaneously follow: besides many other like paradoxes, all which, like offspring from an illegitimate bed, have issued from the doctrine founded on the idea of three Gods." (Summary Exposition, n. 54)

And since this theology cannot be explained in a rational manner, it is simply avoided by the ministers:

"the tenets of the present church cannot be learned and retained without great difficulty, nor can they be preached or taught without using great care and caution to conceal their nakedness, because sound reason neither discerns nor receives them." (Summary Exposition, n. 58)

This leads to a spiritual dilemma to those who can discern it: that there is something not quite right in what the church is teaching. They just want you to blindly believe and follow without understanding. Because they themselves do not see the truth. This is prophesied by Jesus as what will happen near the end of the age:

Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8)

And so ministers, who are blinded by their own faith, cannot see the source of the problem. They wonder why people attend church and do not apply it to their lives. Because they themselves teach faith alone saves, which to them is but a belief in the memory and empty words in the mouth. The paradoxes that are taught are many:

"They teach that faith without good works, as being alive, justifies; and at the same time, that faith without good works, as being dead, does not justify. They teach that faith is neither preserved nor retained by good works; and at the same time, that good works proceed from faith, as fruit from a tree, light from the sun, and heat from fire. They teach that good works being adjoined to faith make it perfect; and at the same time that being conjoined as a marriage, or in one form, they deprive faith of its saving essence. They teach that a Christian is not under the Law; and at the same time that he must be in the daily practice of the Law. They teach that if good works are intermixed in the business of salvation by faith, as in the remission of sins, justification, regeneration, vivification, and salvation, they are hurtful; but that if not intermixed they are profitable. They teach that God crowns His gifts, which are good works, with rewards even of a spiritual nature, but not with salvation and eternal life, because He crowns faith with these, without works." (Summary Exposition, n. 59)

So the answer?  Quit the old traditional church, and join the New Church.  The New Church corrects the many errors that have entered Christianity through the traditions and teachings of men. And the New Church is founded on direct revelations from Jesus Christ. The tenets of the New Church are simple:

1. Worship one God in one person, who revealed Himself in incarnate form as Jesus Christ, and,
2. Shun evils as sins, and do what is good.

Which Swedenborg says in his own words:

"But do you, my friend, snatch yourself from such contradictions, and shun evils as sins, and do good, and believe in the Lord, and saving justification will be given you." (Summary Exposition, n. 59)

True faith is living by the truth, according to God's word, and worshiping Jesus Christ as the One God of the universe. It is not a blind belief where the rational understanding is suspended. Even the apostle Peter stated we should be ready to give a rational argument:

"but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect" (1 Pet. 3:15)

And if you can't make a rational defense to a devil's advocate, something is wrong. Of course you cannot share your faith if you can't justify it.  Before making a defense, examine the teachings yourself: is what your church teaching true or false?  There are two kinds of people: those who believe what they are told, and those who examine what they are told to determine if they are true or not, by reading scripture themselves.

And if you want to take a shortcut, and avoid the long arduous path of searching, examine the theology of the New Church in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. It will answer all your questions, but you must be ready for one thing: be ready to admit that the way you think, what you believe, may be wrong.

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and when you see it, you will quit the old church and join the new. And there is no turning back. So yes, quit the church, but for a completely different reason then what this pastor is saying: reject what is false and follow what is true. For this is the truth of the Second Coming, revealed from heaven.

And then you will have a new personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and acknowledge Him as the One Person you should pray to. For He is the One, and there is no such thing as a second or third person. For within Him the Divine itself is the Father, His human form is the Son, and the Divine proceeding from Him is the Holy Spirit. And in the teachings of the New Church, the true spiritual meaning of scripture will be opened, where one will see the light of heaven to apply it to one's daily life, to live a new life and to turn away from the old way of death, which the masses blindly follow.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Clairvoyant Dream of a Swedenborgian Golden Buddha


Last night someone had a clairvoyant dream about me, and I thought I would briefly share a portion of it here as I have been neglecting this blog lately.  The reason for the hiatus is I am working on a book that reveals a hidden numerical structure behind the poetry of the Psalms.  Hidden within the Hebrew structure of the Psalms, there is a definite numerical pattern in the verses, words and even the letters.  The evidence is conclusive, and opens up another layer in interpreting the scripture of the Psalms.  And within the Psalms there are hidden numbers which present the mathematical value of pi to a high degree of accuracy, which was left in there as a "Divine signature" of authorship. The initial discovery of the numerical design was quite by accident when analyzing the Hebrew poetry of the Psalms in preparing my other book The Symbolism of the Psalms for publication. The evidence is surprisingly conclusive, but the editing of the work is taking more time than I thought. Some of you have seen the initial research of this in an earlier publication, but it has expanded considerably.

In the dream, a group of coworkers came to visit me at my house. They saw that the flooring was of tile instead of wood or carpet, which was easier to clean. They then thought that is what they expected of me: simple and practical. But hidden within the house there were other treasures, or things they were not able to see. From the outside it looked like a simple house, but inside it was bigger than they thought, but one had to go exploring within the house in order to see it. One man was able to see the value, who was blonde and possibly of Russian ancestry. Inside the house, there was a large golden statue of a Buddha, and a small golden statue of a cat. The two items were gifts from someone, and the golden statue of the Buddha represented me, and the cat represented another woman. The woman was upset that someone thought she represented a cat. She did not see the value in either item, but when someone tried to take them, she realized they had value and decided to keep them.

So out of curiosity, I decided to look up "golden Buddha" to figure out if it had any special meaning. And indeed it does: there is this large golden statue known as the Golden Buddha of Wat Traimit in Thailand. It was made out of 5.5 tons of gold in the 13th -14th centuries. In order to hide its value, it was plastered over in stucco. And so it remained hidden for several centuries, at one time residing under a simple tin roof. And then it was moved in 1955, when the ropes dropped it and cracked the plaster, revealing the gold underneath. The statue, long forgotten, was rediscovered. Here is a picture of it:


The article on this statue can be found here: Golden Buddha. And that is why the dream is clairvoyant: it reveals facts unknown to the dreamer, presented as people thinking the house was small and ordinary but in fact it was quite big, but requiring exploration. The part I found interesting was this portion:

The Buddha is represented in the traditional pose of Bhumisparsha Mudra (touching the earth with the right hand to witness Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment at Bodh Gaya). The original statues of Sukhothai sit on a common pedestal form. The flame that crowns the ushnisha is an innovation of Sukhothai that symbolises the splendour of spiritual energy.

This would represent how Swedenborg's vision was opened to reveal the hidden secrets of Christianity, revealing the spiritual sense of scripture which is the fulfillment of the Second Coming. Here is a closer view of the head of the statue:


In symbolic visions, gold represents the highest form of Divine love, loving others for the sake of God and to make others happy. The plaster covering the gold represents the lowest level of truth, which is the literal sense of scripture. But hidden behind it there a higher spiritual truths. There are three levels of scripture - the literal or natural level, the spiritual level, and then the celestial level which is that of love represented by gold. These spiritual truths are kept hidden in order to protect it from the evil who would desire to pervert or profane them, and are revealed only to those who approach the Lord for enlightenment.

Buddhism has many similarities to Christianity. Now what is really bizarre, is unknown to the dreamer is that a Zen scholar named D.T. Suzuki compared the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg to Buddhism. The theology as revealed in visions to Swedenborg has been a life long study for me. He wrote a work called Buddha of the North:


In addition to this, there is this online essay that compares Swedenborg to Buddha: 

Swedenborg: A Modern Buddha?

Like the statue which was plastered in the 18th century around the time of Swedenborg, the article states that Swedenborg is little known to the world:

Swedenborg fell into obscurity, and today he receives relatively little attention from scholars of religion, particularly American religion. (He fares better among scholars of modern European literature and Western esotericism.)

The article discusses those who explored the relationship between Swedenborg and Buddhism. One was Albert J. Edmunds who made this interesting observation:

Edmunds also claimed that Swedenborg had predicted the early twentieth-century discovery of the massive cache of Buddhist texts at Dunhuang. In two books, Swedenborg said he had spoken with spirits from “Great Tartary,” a region that in his time was understood to encompass the entire East Asian continent. These spirits, Swedenborg said, carefully preserved and guarded ancient scriptures and religious practices predating the Hebrew Bible. This so-called “Ancient Word” provided the basis for later Judaism and Christianity. Edmunds argued that Swedenborg had actually conflated two separate visions: one concerning discoveries of ancient Hebrew texts, and one concerning future discoveries of Buddhist texts. Thus, the pre-Israelite “Ancient Word” to which Swedenborg’s vision referred was actually esoteric Buddhism.

Whether I agree with that assessment I don't know, my view is that the spirits of Great Tartary are the Jews of the Khazar kingdom, who would later preserve the ancient book of Jasher in the form of a Hebrew midrash (see The Lost Book of Jasher, the Exodus, and Emanuel Swedenborg). The article also discusses Suzuki's observations between Swedenborg and Buddhism:

In the Eastern Buddhist, Suzuki drew several parallels between Swedenborgian and Buddhist teachings. For example, Swedenborg’s most famous doctrine is that phenomena in the material world correspond to phenomena in the spiritual world, and one who can “read” this world correctly can discern corresponding divine truths. Suzuki likened this correspondence to the Mahayana teaching of emptiness, in which the world of samsara, correctly perceived, is nirvana. He also compared it to the Shingon practice of mudras, in which one identifies with the qualities of various Buddhas by visualizing them and adopting their characteristic gestures. Suzuki compared Swedenborg’s notion of innocence with the Pure Land teaching that one must utterly relinquish self-power

The author concludes that the comparison between Swedenborg's revelations and Buddhism remains "largely unexplored" and that further studies would reveal other connections providing a broader spiritual understanding to both groups.

So a remarkable dream, exploring a hidden area of the revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg related to Buddhism.  Here is a youtube video for those of you wishing to dive in deeper into this matter, and hopefully if any Buddhists read this they can help shed more light on this subject.

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Clairvoyant Angelic Dream of Japanese Anime



Occasionally people have clairvoyant dreams, which is caused by a spiritual influx into our minds from the spiritual world. Although most just have dreams reflecting one's daily life or problems that one needs to address, occasionally some are spiritually significant. Swedenborg describes the different origin of dreams in his work Heavenly Arcana, and how to distinguish between ordinary dreams and dreams that are spiritual in origin. He describes one dream that is symbolic in nature, and upon waking he mentioned it to some angels in a waking vision, who then stated that the dream described in a symbolic fashion the subject of their conversation. Symbolic dreams often will take a subject familiar with a dreamer in order to convey a more spiritual message.

Recently I had been watching a Japanese anime, and someone I know had a couple of clairvoyant dreams that happened to describe in detail a few episodes of a Japanese anime I had been watching the day before. On this occasion I had been watching an anime series called Fairy Tail, and she had not been aware of this nor had ever seen this particular anime series. As I listened to the dreams I realized the dreams began to describe in detail the plot of the anime. When I looked at it in more detail, I could see the subject matter of the dream was selecting portions of the anime that were spiritual in nature.

The anime series of Fairy Tail is geared towards teenagers, it starts off bad with elements of goofiness but it does gradually get better. The first season has about 177 episodes and after a while it does gets repetitive. It does have good elements of humor as well as character development as the story progresses, and a fair amount of plot twists.

The target audience of Japanese anime ranges from children all the way to adults, covering all genres with some covering themes that are quite mature in nature. However the good ones are hard to find, and as Japanese anime does not follow the American rating system the storyline can veer off into a subject matter or plot twist one did not expect. As Fairy Tail isn't exactly the best example of good anime, if you leave a comment I will provide a list of Japanese anime that are my favorites that I can personally recommend. One has to get through a lot of fluff in Fairy Tail to arrive at the episdodes described by these clairvoyant dreams.

In this blog post I will first describe the two dreams as they were initially described to me. This will be followed by a description of the some of the episodes of the anime I had been watching the day before. At first I didn't see the point and thought this person had somehow just telepathically connected with my mind, but in the end I saw that there was a certain amount of spiritual significance in the subject matter. It should be kept in mind that the person who had the dream was completely unaware of the anime I had been watching, and had never seen it. When she started to describe it to me, myself and another person who had seen it both started to laugh, we were amazed at how the dream described this anime we had both seen the day before.

THE FIRST CLAIRVOYANT DREAM

In the first dream, the dreamer is travelling by camel through a desert to go on vacation to another place. Travelling with her is a girl who at first looks like her sister but then changes in appearance to her guardian angel (this female guardian angel tends to appear in dreams that are significant). They are travelling to an island. The island has trees, with very little buildings or people. The dreamer has an unusual ability: she had the capability to fly into the trees, and wanted to teach her brother how to fly. However to do this they had to get some height, and needed to find a tree that was taller than the others. Her brother then pointed out a tree that was taller than the others. At this point the dreamer finds a curtain, pulls it down, and behind it sees a circular marketplace of food and dancing. It is surrounded by a couple of steps. The dreamer then flies off of the steps towards the tree, but then she sees that at the base of the tree there is a door. The brother passes through the door. She goes through the door into the tree, and inside the door there is a maze. The maze is full of puzzles that need to be solved. The maze is square with four passages and at the four corners there were switches that needed to be activated, and once the switch was activated it would reveal another portion of the puzzle in the maze.

At this point, she realizes that this is a "video game" and then jumps ahead in the game to someone else's game progress where the dreamer was able to skip ahead. In this progress all the puzzles of the maze have been solved, and her brother is thankful to her for the her help in clearing out the maze. At this point she realizes the tree is for "crazy people." Out of the door of the tree comes out this old couple, where the old man is leaning on the old lady. The old man is wielding a knife, and comes close to the dreamer.

THE ANIME EPISODES OF TENROU ISLAND

This dream, for any of those who have actually watched Fairy Tail, corresponds to the arc of stories known as Tenrou Island, covering episodes 97-122. In this story a guild of wizards travel to Tenrou island to compete in several trials to become a higher class wizard. And Tenrou island, believe it or not, is this island with one huge singular tree growing out of the middle:


The dream begins with the dreamer travelling there by camel through a desert. However in the anime they travel by ship. However in the spiritual dream world, camels and ships have a similar meaning, as they were both means of conveying and transporting goods. In the spiritual world, as well as scripture, riches are knowledges that serve to lead to spiritual things; camels signify these knowledges in the lower natural person. For the gospels to state that it is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for rich man to enter into heaven means that it is impossible to explore the mysteries of faith through outward knowledges derived from the self; one must be guided and led by the Lord. Ships are similar, they signify doctrines drawn from the Word:
"ships [signify] doctrines from the Word. That ships have such a signification is because they pass through seas and rivers, and carry things useful for life; for by seas and rivers are signified knowledges outward and inward; the useful things of life which they carry, are the doctrines and also truths themselves from the Word, which are signified by ships — as is plain from the following passages: The isles shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them (Isa. lx. 9). Here ships of Tarshish are doctrines and truths from the Word, wherefore it is said that they should bring their sons, their silver and gold; for by sons are signified those who are in truths, by silver the truth itself, and by gold good. Every one may see that ships of Tarshish are not here meant, nor sons, silver, and gold" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 6385)
In the dream, the dreamer pairs up with her brother to fly into the tree. In the trials at Tenrou island, two wizards pair up with each other - one is to become a higher class wizard, the other is there to help them achieve their goal. Here the brother and sister correspond to the characters of Natzu, a fire dragon wizard, and Lucy Heartfilia, a celestial wizard who can summon celestial spirits of the sky to her aid.

As for flying into the tree, in episode 98 the trials begin as the ship begins to approach the island.  Instead of swimming, Natzu attempts to fly there using his flying cat:


Yes, that's a flying cat with wings (Japanese anime as I said is a bit odd and creative). Two other wizards also fly from the ship to Tenrou island:


In the dream, the dreamer did not fly into the dream. Instead she had to go through a door at the base of the tree. And indeed, in the trial at Tenrou island, each wizard must choose a door at the base of the island:


As in the dream, each door leads to an underground maze.  In the maze each wizard must face a trial, and once the trial is completed they are allowed to leave the maze.  In the dream there were four paths, in the anime episode I believe there were eight doors or paths. In the above screenshot when the doors are first shown, it shows four doors have been chosen (marked with a red X) and four remain open. This perfectly matches the clairvoyant dream.

A trial and maze here signify one's spiritual journey, and in one's journey we all must face trials and temptations. One cannot achieve true spirituality without first going through a period of temptation, as one faces one's own sins. This is part of the cleansing process, a state of temptation is what we experience when good angels fight against evil spirits to influence which direction we shall take. And that is represented in this anime by the fights these wizards must go through. Natzu, as it turns out, faces a very powerful wizard for his trial: Gildarts:


Natzu is very self-confident and head-strong, who tends to think he has no limits on his power. But here with Gildarts he faces one of his first failures. And here he has a hard time acknowledging his limits and weakness. The dialogue between Gildarts and Natzu is of particular interest, when Natzu realizes fails to know his limit and to know that he has failed:
Gildarts: I don't know if you'll want to keep this up once I have unleashed my full power. In order to walk the path of magic, it eventually reaches its peak. There is one thing you still lack. Let me show you.
And then Gildarts transforms:


In the face of overwhelming power, Natzu experiences fear for the first time in his life, and bows down on his hands and knees. He accepts defeat, and begins to cry, for now he knows he has limits.


Gildarts: A wise choice. I applaud anyone who has the courage to stand up and face their enemies. However, the wizards who are the most courageous are those exceptional few, who know when to stand down. Remember Natzu, there is nothing wrong with feeling fear. After all, how else are we to come to know our own weaknesses? You need to know them, in order to become stronger, and a gentler person.
This is the central message of the trial. And in our spiritual journey, we become spiritually stronger when we acknowledge and face our own weaknesses, and humble ourselves before God. The lowering of one's ego and pride is signified by bowing down. In fact, in scripture, the "worship" is a translation of a word that simply means "bow down."  And when faced and confronted with power from the Divine, one experiences true fear, a fear that eventually becomes transformed into a fear of obedience, and then a serving fear done out of pure love and joy. But without humbling one self, and rejecting one's pride, one cannot pass the test.

The end of the dream had an old man and woman come out of the door of the tree, with him wielding a knife threatening to attack the dreamer. This converges two parts: one there is a major battle in the tree involving Erza, another wizard who tends to wield a powerful sword. The other is that the island is approached by a group of evil wizards, who use a flying ship to approach the tree. They are headed by an old bearded wizard known as Hades, which is the Greek word for hell:


Which again has a remarkable correspondence with the clairvoyant dream. This conveys the spiritual meaning that these trials are a spiritual journey involving a war between heaven and hell in our trials. The tree on Tenrou island gives the wizards of Fairy Tail their special power, and here it corresponds to the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, representative of heaven.

THE SECOND CLAIRVOYANT DREAM

A second dream followed the first, which is not as extensive but is related. In this the dreamer participates in a game trial, where she must hit other students on the head with a ball. Either she must solve a puzzle, in which case the other players have to freeze in their place, or she could just immediately start throwing the ball. She pretends to be indecisive about her choice, everyone thinks she will choose to solve the puzzle, but instead she reacts quickly and immediately throws the ball. She hits the most people and wins the game. As a reward, she gets an hour glass. She soon realizes that this hour glass has a special property: it gives the ability of the holder to go back in time. She accidentally realizes this when she goes back in time 5 minutes. Other students begin to realize its power, and then start to ask her to go back in time to different points in time, especially to retake a test, or to experience a happy moment in their life. The timelines start to get confusing, but then later the teacher decides to reward the hour glass to another student who tied with her but had opted to solve the puzzle. She returns the hour glass. The teacher puts the hour glass on a gold table, the sand changes into a blue color and magical colors emanate from the hour glass. She begins to cry that she had to give up her hour glass, and the teacher told her to accept it as it is the Lord's will. She leaves and goes to another class where the teacher does not like her. In the class the desks are all piled together, and the teacher decides to show her a folder of the "worst student ever" meaning herself. She looks at the folder, she does not see her name, but instead sees the game of Farmville. The dream ends.

FAIRY TAIL: TENROU ISLAND CONTINUED

The second dream actually describes a series of subsequent episodes of Tenrou Island in Fairy Tail, where a flying ship of evil wizards headed by Hades approaches the island. Makarov, the leader of Fairy Tail, grows into a giant to protect the island:


Makarov then attacks the ship, and it begins to fall apart tilting to one side. However Hades has a mysterious woman at his side, named Ultear:



Hades: Now, Ultear!

Ultear: Sir. ARC OF TIME. Restore.


Time then goes backward a few seconds, and the ship is completely restored. Just as in the dream, where the hour glass gave the wielder the ability to go back in time to correct one's mistakes.

So there is time travel, what about the game involving a ball in which the goal is to hit other people in the quickest amount of time?

Ultear goes to the island of Tenrou to retrieve an evil black wizard known as "lord Zariph" that had wandered onto the island, who is even more powerful than Hades. She must subdue and capture him, not kill him. This particular wizard has this strange ability... to create these deadly black balls that he throws at her which swallow everything in their path:


Lord Zariph launches several black balls at Ultear. Ultear counters by reversing or fast forwarding time using her power. She fast fowards time, trapping Zariph in a tree that grows around him. Zariph has a spell of depression that comes upon him, which causes everything around him to immediately die in this black cloud that emanates from him, including the tree that traps him. Ultear, faced with death, uses her crystal ball of time to absorb the cloud of death:


The crystal ball turns black, and then cracks and crumbles.  Just as in the dream, where the dreamer lost her hour glass.  However Ultear then uses her arc of time spell to restore the crystal ball.

Later, Natzu encounters Ultear on the island. Ultear attacks him by using her arc of time spell to cause a seed of a tree to rapidly sprout underneath his feet, throwing him off.

Ultear uses her crystal ball to attack Natzu, constantly pummelling him by throwing the crystal ball at him. The crystal ball then multiplies into several balls, each reflecting a different aspect of Natzu:


Ultear: Each one of these crystal balls contains a different possible future for you. Parallel worlds. I have the ability to create an infinite number of futures. And then, compress them into a single future.
Ultear then start pummeling Natzu again with multiple crystal balls as the different possibilities compress into a single ball:


And this explains the ball game of the clairvoyant dream, in which the objective was to hit the opposing player in the quickest amount of time. So what is the meaning?  One, this particular dreamer has at times the ability to see into the future with her dreams. The other, is that in the spiritual world time has no meaning:
"That angels know nothing about time, though all things move onward with them as in the world, without any difference at all, is because in heaven there are not years and days, but changes of state; and where there are years and days there are times, but where there are changes of state there are states... Since angels have no idea from time, like men in the world, neither have they any idea about time and matters of time. They know nothing of the terms of time, such as year, month, week, day, hour, today, tomorrow, yesterday. When they hear them from man — for angels are always associated with man by the Lord — in place of them they perceive states and what belong to states. Thus man's natural idea is turned into a spiritual idea with angels. For this reason times in the Word signify states, and the terms of time, as named above, signify spiritual things corresponding to them" (Heaven and Hell, n. 163, 165)
So what about the final part of the dream, where the dreamer enters a classroom where the teacher hates her? This has to do with the history of Ultear, where her mother abandoned her as a child to a special school that could control and develop her magical power. However they used her for nefarious ends, corrupting her towards evil. Ultear developed a hatred for her mother, but it was based on false lie. This falsehood led her down the path of evil, but ultimately Ultear comes to realize the truth about her mother, that she had been lied to.  This leads to her changing her life, when she acknowledges the truth. She must fall into water to retrieve the truth of her mother, similar to the ritual of baptism. Again, a spiritual message about transformation.

Finally, in the first dream the dreamer thinks she sees her sister, but she looks like her guardian angel. This angel has appeared in multiple dreams, and I was at first uncertain but given the correspondence between the dream and this anime it look like this angel is real. In the past she has shown her intelligence and sometimes humor, and this dream was rather clever. The dream only selected the portion of this anime that had spiritual significance. Angels have the ability to read thoughts and implant them in our minds. This particular guardian angel has golden hair and blue eyes, and towards the end when the wizards lose all hope, a guardian angel with blonde hair and blue eyes appears on the island:


This particular angel has revealed her name to this dreamer, but until now I did not have enough confirmation to show indeed that this guardian angel is real, and in this case used a Japanese anime I had been watching to convey a spiritual dream to another person.  Swedenborg does indeed describe how angels often have delight in creating spiritual dreams:
"The angelic spirits, who are at the entrance to the paradisal scenes, are they who insinuate such dreams; and to them is also entrusted the duty of watching over certain men when they sleep, lest they should then be infested by evil spirits. They enter upon this duty with the greatest delight, so that there is rivalry among them as to who shall attend, and they love to affect the man with the enjoyable and delightful things which they see in his affection and genius. They who have become angelic spirits are from those who, in the life of the body, delighted and loved to make the life of others enjoyable by every means and effort. When the hearing is opened so far, there is heard from them, as from a distance, a sweetly modulating sound, as it were of singing. They said that they do not know whence such things, and representatives so beautiful and pleasant, come to them in a moment; but it was said that it was from heaven. They belong to the province of the cerebellum; for the cerebellum, as I have been informed, is awake in the time of sleep, when the cerebrum sleeps. From this source the men of the Most Ancient Church had their dreams, with a perception of what they signified; from whom, in great part, were the representatives and significatives of the ancients, under which were set forth things deeply hidden" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1977.2)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Spiritual Meaning of "Let us make man in our image" (Gen. 1:26)



What is the true spiritual meaning of the passage Let us make man in our image (Gen. 1:26)? In traditional Christianity, this passage is used as one of the proof texts for the concept of a trinity of three persons, a doctrine that was invented in the 4th century A.D. to combat Arianism.  The doctrine came from men, and has no support from scripture as the doctrine is utterly foreign to the monotheism of scripture, except if one takes passages from the New Testament in a very literal manner, ignoring the numerous passages where God is described as not only one personal Being, but as Being itself:
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”1  And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Ex. 3:14)
The phrase "I AM" is a title of Divinity, and Jesus claimed this title for Himself (John 8:58) as He is Jehovah incarnate in human form.  The name Jehovah comes from a Hebrew word that means "He is." Thus God is one personal being, and beside Him there is no other god:
Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. (Isa. 44:6).
Jesus also claims the title of first and last (Rev. 1:17, 2:8). The concept of a trinity of three persons is thus foreign to scripture.  As for Gen. 1:26, the ancient Jewish interpretation is that this refers to God among His congregation of angels in heaven. It in no way indicates a plurality of persons in the Godhead, for such a belief is none other than polytheism.

THE SPIRITUAL INTERACTION BETWEEN ANGELS AND MAN

The Jewish interpreation that the plurality of Gen. 1:26 refers to God and his angels is confirmed in the revelations received by Emanuel Swedenborg, who takes the concept further. Our lives are dependent on the influx of spiritual life, which flows into us through angels and spirits:
"Man does not know at all that he is governed of the Lord by means of angels and spirits; and that with every man there are at least two spirits, and two angels. Through spirits communication of man with the world of spirits is effected, and through angels with heaven. Without communication through spirits with the world of spirits, and through angels with heaven, and so through heaven with the Lord, man can by no means live. His life entirely depends on that conjunction. If the spirits and angels should withdraw, he would perish in a moment." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 50)
This spiritual psychology of the human soul goes against the modern concept of the individual self, that it is the self alone that is the origin of our being and thought. To make man in our image, means God's influence over man through angels to regenerate us into a spiritual being:
"While man is unregenerate, he is governed quite otherwise than when regenerated. While unregenerate there are evil spirits with him, who so domineer over him that the angels, though present, are scarcely able to do any thing more than just to guide him so that he may not plunge into the lowest evil, and bend him to some good — in fact to bend him by means of his own desires to good, and through the fallacies of the senses to truth. He then has communication with the world of spirits, through the spirits who are with him, but not so much with heaven, because evil spirits rule, and angels only avert their rule.
"But when man is regenerated, angels rule, and inspire him with all goods and truths, and with fear and horror of evils and falsities. The angels indeed lead, but only as ministers, for it is the Lord alone who governs man by angels and spirits. And because it is done through the ministry of angels it is here first said, in the plural number, Let us make man in our image; and yet, because the Lord alone governs and disposes, it is said in the following verse, in the singular number, God created him in His own image." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 50.2-3)
In ancient times the spiritual communication was more direct, but it was cut off due to our separation due to the love of self and ruling over others. Thus man is merely natural, and spiritual communication is opened through the Lord who appeared in human form, as well as through scripture which is the Divine truth in written form. There are occasions when this is opened up, often through dreams, and for one personal experience see the blog posts A Clairvoyant Dream of an Angel and a Celtic Fairy Tale as well as An Angelic Visitation at Death and a Funeral.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF IMAGE AND LIKENESS?

In the literal sense the meaning of image and likeness is that God is anthropomorphic.  This is partly true: in the New Church revelation God is Man, and we are but his images, for in order to be understood God has revealed Himself in human form. But in more spiritual sense, a human becomes an image or likeness of God inasmuch as does what is good according to the truth, for Good and Truth are the two primary aspects of the Divine:
"And God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him. The word image is twice used here, because faith, which is of the understanding, is called His own image; and love, which is of the will — and which in the spiritual man comes after, but in the celestial man precedes — is called the image of God." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 53)
To give God glory is to acknowledge that the good we do and the truth we think is not from our self, but from God alone, for the selfish ego is the source of nothing but evil:
"By giving to the Lord glory and honor nothing else is meant in the Word but to acknowledge and confess that all truth and all good are from Him, and thus that He is the only God; for He has glory from the Divine truth and honor from the Divine good" (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 249; see also the work The Symbolism of the Psalms)
Thus the purpose of the worship of God, giving Him glory, is not for the sake of God, but for the sake of ourselves and our salvation, for in honoring and worshiping God we withdraw from the self-glorification of our own ego. And inasmuch as we withdraw from the selfish ego, that is as far as we will become an image and likeness of God in good and truth in a life of usefulness.