Monday, September 7, 2020

How are the Prophecies of the Second Coming Fulfilled?

Many, when they hear about the Second Coming of Christ, think of His eventually return where He will appear in the clouds of the sky, the world will come to an end, and that there will be a last judgment. However this is a false expectation: by the Second Coming is not meant a physical manifestation of the Lord, but a heavenly revelation from heaven which will take place in vision. The final judgment does not take place on earth, but in the spiritual world. The "end of the world" is not the end of the visible planet earth, but rather, it refers to the end of the age of traditional Christianity that has become corrupted by falsehoods.

That the Second Coming is spiritual, and not observable in a physical manner, is discussed in detail here: Is the Second Coming a Physical Event or Spiritual Event?

That the Second Coming is a spiritual revelation, and not a physical manifestation that appears before everybody at once, we know from Jesus Himself:

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.  (Luke 17:20-23)

Now despite this, there are some that still expect a literal, physical appearance of the Lord. This is not possible, for when Jesus rose from the dead, His human body had transformed into a Divine Human. The Lord could only be seen by those whose spiritual vision had been opened:

"He is not to appear in person, because since He ascended into heaven He is in the glorified Humanity, and in this He cannot appear to any man unless He first opens the eyes of his spirit, and this cannot be done with any one who is in evils and hence in falsities... Therefore when He manifested Himself to His disciples, He first opened their eyes; for we read, And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him, and He vanished out of their sight (Luke xxiv. 31). The same took place with the women at the sepulchre after the resurrection, who therefore then saw angels sitting in the sepulchre and talking with them; and no one can see angels with the material eye. That neither did the apostles see the Lord in the glorified Human before His resurrection with the eyes of the body, but in spirit, which appears, after returning to wakefulness, as if in sleep, is evident from His transfiguration before Peter, James, and John, for it is said that they were then heavy with sleep (Luke ix. 32). It is therefore vain to believe that the Lord will appear in a cloud of heaven in person; but He will appear in the Word, which is from Him and thus is Himself." (True Christian Religion, n. 777)

What happened is that in the 18th century, Emanuel Swedenborg's vision was opened where he would read scripture and its spiritual meaning was explained by the Lord. This is the Second Coming, available to anyone who pays attention and reads the writings: the First Coming was a revelation of the Word made flesh, the Second Coming is a revelation of the spiritual sense of the Word hidden within its literal sense.

This does not preclude future revelations concerning the Second Coming and the book of Revelation - but it must take place in one's spiritual sight, not in the physical world. This is the first step of true understanding.


After death, a spirit is judged and goes either to heaven or hell, which Swedenborg saw were higher dimensions where space and time do not exist, and yet these spiritual dimensions govern our states of mind. What he also discovered was that between heaven and hell groups of souls would gather in an intermediate spiritual world who were not prepared for judgment, which he called the "world of spirits." It is in this area where the last judgment occurs, where souls are judged in mass at the end of a world age. This intermediate world can be compared to purgatory in Catholic tradition, and some of it is known from the "Harrowing of Hell" that took place when Jesus descended into hell in Orthodox tradition. This middle region between heaven and hell is mentioned explicitly in two areas of the New Testament:

"For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison" (2 Pet. 3:18-19)

It is also the area where some good spirits remain, awaiting judgment:

"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Rev. 6:9-11)

The good that remained here were those who had good intentions, but had perhaps been misled by falsehoods or did things out of ignorance. The evil that remained until the last judgment were those who put on an appearance of being good or religious towards others, but inwardly were evil. Jesus had entered this intermediate spiritual world after His death, and He speaks of His fight against hell in order to release spiritual captives in this passage:

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. (Matt. 12:28-29)


In the heavenly revelations received by Swedenborg in the 18th century, it was shown to him that "last judgments" take place periodically in the spiritual world. This has happened three times, one of which he witnessed personally in his waking visions:

  1. A final judgment took place in the spiritual world which is metaphorically described in the story of the flood of Noah.
  2. A final judgment took place in the spiritual world during the time of Jesus, which Jesus does mention briefly but practiced it in His exorcisms of demons.
  3. A final judgment took place in the spiritual world in 1757, due to the corruptions of the Christian churches (primarily by dividing God into three persons, and promoting a religion of belief alone)

The final judgment of the year 1757 opened up a new era of thought, where mankind started to think more freely and began to question religious authority, and follow rational thought. Swedenborg mentions that a new era of free thought would begin:

"The great change which has been effected in the spiritual world does not induce any change in the natural world as to external form, and therefore there will be civil affairs hereafter just as before... the man of the church will hereafter be in a freer state of thinking on the things of faith, thus on the spiritual things which are of heaven, because spiritual freedom has been restored... I have had various conversations with angels concerning the state of the church hereafter, and they said that they know not things to come, because to know things to come is of the Lord alone; but they know that the slavery and captivity in which the man of the church has been hitherto, has been taken away, and that now from restored freedom he can better perceive interior truths, if he wishes to perceive them, and so can become interior, if he wishes to become so; yet they have slender hope of the men of the Christian Church, but much of a people quite remote from the Christian world, and hence removed from infesters, which is such as to be able to receive spiritual light, and to become a celestial spiritual man; and they said that at this day interior Divine truths are revealed in that people, and are also received with spiritual faith, that is, in life and heart, and that they adore the Lord." (Final Judgment, n. 73-74)

This is known as the Age of Enlightenment to historians. The external manifestation of it can be seen in the volumes of writings that Swedenborg wrote to explain the spiritual sense of the Bible. Now completely independent from Swedenborg, those who have studied the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, especially Seventh Day Adventists, understood that there was a 1260 year prophecy beginning with the collapse of the Roman Empire that ended in the 18th century. All that they could figure out was the external historical manifestation of the spiritual event: at this time, the Catholic Church lost its spiritual power, especially with the disbanding of the Jesuits and the separation of church and state due to the French and American revolutions. From the revelation we have now received, the 1260 year period began in 497 A.D. and ended in 1757 A.D. (see The Prophetic Time Periods of Daniel Revealed).

The Seventh Day Adventists speak of a prophecy in Daniel 8 concerning the "cleansing of the temple" which they cannot explain well, but they happen to be close to the mark. It was actually fulfilled in the cleansing of the spiritual world between heaven and hell in 1757. There is a 2300 year prophecy beginning from the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C. which brings us to the year 1762, for which see the previous posts The New Church Prophecy of the 2300 Days, or the Cleansing of the Sanctuary and The Prophecy of Babylon and the Writing on the Wall

So with that introduction, lets explain now what portions of the book of Revelation have been fulfilled, or are happening now...


The letters to the seven churches were written to seven churches in Asia, or modern day Turkey, and they are representative of the older traditional Christian churches as they are now, preceding their awareness of the revelations of the Second Coming.  There are seven different types, and they are explained in detail here: The Symbolism of the Seven Churches of the book of Revelation

Those who separate faith from charity, are described in one aspect of the letter to the church of Thyatira. However most Christians are in an external form of worship, without applying it to their life, and are dead spiritually: these are described by Sardis. Those who do works of charity, or are merit seeking, are described by Pergamos.  All churches, in no matter what state of life, or what state of belief they are, are invited to the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem that descends out of heaven.


The unsealing of the book of seven seals signifies a phase of exploration of the state of each person in the intermediate world before judgment is executed, for before judgment there is a state of visitation or exploration of one's interior mind.  On a careful read of the symbolism (described in detail in The Apocalypse Revealed and Explained) it matches the progressive decline of the Christian Church until no good or truth remained within it, as described spiritually in Jesus's explanation for the end of the age (see The End of this World Age - the Last Days of Matthew 24). For the sun to turn dark signifies a total lack of love, for the moon to turn blood red signifies truth will be falsified, and for stars to fall from the sky signifies all spiritual knowledge will be lost for the Christian churches on earth. This period of spiritual exploration continued for a period of time before the judgment upon the spiritual world in 1757, until the evil became separated from heaven which is described as heaven departing as a rolled book (Rev. 6:14):
"The reason that it is said that the heaven departed as a book rolled together, is that man's interior understanding and hence his thought is like heaven. For his understanding can be elevated into the light of heaven, and in elevation can think with the angels about God, about love and faith, and about eternal life. But if his will is not at the same time elevated into the heat of heaven, the man is still not conjoined to the angels of heaven, and thus is not like heaven... By this faculty of the understanding, the evil, who are here treated of, were able to be in consociation with the angels of the lowest heaven. But when these were separated from them, their heaven then departed like a book rolled together." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 335)
Another aspect of the spiritual exploration of the intermediate spiritual world is that the good who were present there and yet had not been taken up to heaven had to be marked out and separated from the evil, and this is represented by the sealing of the 144,000 (Rev. 7). This is represented historically in scripture when the angels rescued Lot and his family before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19) and the sealing of the righteous by angels before the destruction of Jerusalem (Ezek. 9). The "winds" that are held back by the angels signifies a stronger Divine influx from the higher heavens into the lower intermediate spiritual world:
"It is to be known, that a final judgment takes place, when the evil are multiplied to such a degree under the heavens in the world of spirits, that the angels in the heavens cannot stand in the state of their love and their wisdom; for they then have no support and foundation. And because this takes place from the multiplication of the evil below, the Lord, therefore, that He may preserve their state, flows in more and more strongly with His Divine; and this is done until they cannot be preserved by any influx, unless the evil below are separated from the good: and this is effected by a lowering and drawing near of the heavens, and hence a stronger influx, until the evil cannot endure it; and the evil then flee away, and cast themselves into hell." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 343)


Following the exploration of those spirits in the intermediate world who were only good in external appearance, or those who were good but had been influenced by falsehoods, next followed an exploration of those who had a higher understanding of Christianity, but had falsified the gospel by separating faith from charity and good works. This mainly affected those of the Protestant persuasion, who believed in scripture and yet had followed an evil life. That this is a false theology, see Is there Salvation from Belief Alone? and The Spiritual Meaning of the word "Works" in Scripture. That this exploration concerned the Protestants, is because when people believe in salvation from belief alone, and that man has power to do nothing, and that nothing a person does has any spiritual value, and that sins are "automatically transferred" on a mere lip confession, they do not practice repentance. And repentance through Jesus Christ is the true path of Christianity. Their exposure, that they lived an evil life, and did not practice repentance, is described in Rev. 9:20-21 which describes those who do not repent of the work of their hands. Their separation from heaven in the spiritual world are described in a symbolic manner, which is more fully explained in The Apocalypse Revealed and Explained.


Revelation 10 describes an angel that descends from heaven with a little book, who then speaks and then seven thunders are uttered, and John is commanded to not write it down.  This concerns a new heavenly revelation that was not revealed to John the apostle, but it has been revealed in the heavenly visions given to Emanuel Swedenborg. The "little book" concerns one major point that has been missed by many within the Christian churches: that Jesus Christ is not a second person of a trinity, but that He is the One God of the universe, who descended and became incarnate in human form, and made His human Divine, until He became a God-Man or Divine Human who can now interact directly with all mankind who had been cut off from heaven. Thus the angel with the little book was fulfilled in the revelation of the Divine Human given to Swedenborg, which is explained throughout the writings and more specifically in the small work, Doctrine of the Lord, which was published in 1763. See the post The Mystery of the Book of Seven Thunders Explained.


Revelation 11 describes two witnesses who prophesy for a period of 1260 days before being slain, and these signify the two principle doctrines of the New Church which are rejected by several churches that teach a false theology of faith alone:
  1. That there is One God in One Being, One Person, who is Jesus Christ, the Divine Human, and,
  2. That one must live by the commandments, turning away from evil as sin
Their rejection, and death, signifies that these two principles are opposed by those who follow a tritheism of three persons, and who believe that one is saved by faith alone and that works effect nothing for one's salvation. This is summarized in the blog post The Identity of the Two Witnesses of Revelation. The two doctrines are summarized in the small works, Doctrine of the Lord (1763), and Doctrine of Life according to the Commandments of the Decalogue (1763), and these are the two witnesses which become rejected primarily by those who follow the false theology of faith alone in the Protestant/Reformed churches (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 515)


Swedenborg was shown a grand vision of a judgment that took place in the intermediate spiritual world in 1757, and assumed that it was the complete fulfillment of all the prophecies in the Apocalypse (Final Judgment, n. 40-44 and Final Judgment Continued, n. 1).  Swedenborg had other confirmed clairvoyant abilities as testimony that he indeed did see a last judgment of the spiritual world in 1757, but Swedenborg had initially incorrectly assumed that his grand vision was the complete fulfillment of the Apocalypse. On a careful read of his writings, it can be seen that it was a precursor, and that there will be more to come.

First, the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are ultimately rejected, killed, and after three and a half days are raised and are caught up into heaven, and Swedenborg's visions . This signifies the revival of the New Church, and its preservation by heaven:
"And after the three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet, [Rev. 11:11] signifies that the two essentials of the New Church, at the end of the former, when the New Church is beginning and advancing, are vivified by the Lord with those who receive them. By the three days and a half is signified to the end and beginning... and thus from the end of the church which as yet is, to the beginning of the new; here with those among whom the New Church commences and is progressing: because it is now said of the witnesses, that the spirit of life entered into them, and they stood upon their feet. By the spirit of life from God spiritual life is signified; and by standing upon the feet is signified natural life agreeing with the spiritual life, and thus to be vivified by the Lord." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 510)
This speaks of the utter rejection of the New Church, especially by those who follow a false theology of salvation by belief alone, for they reject salvation by repentance and reforming one's life.  Swedenborg had one vision that showed that the revelations given to him were the fulfillment of this prophecy, and he saw that in the spiritual world it was vehemently opposed by spirits who believed in faith alone. The ascension of the two witnesses into heaven signifies that the New Church will be preserved and protected by heaven against those who oppose it. And after this, the Apocalypse describes a judgment upon the evil that opposed the revelation:
And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth part of the city fell, signifies that a remarkable change of state then took place with them, and that they were torn away from heaven and cast down into hell. In that hour signifies the time when they beheld the two witnesses go up into heaven, and yet remained fixed in their falsities, as just above (n. 514); for the two witnesses prophesied, that is, taught them (vers. 3). And after they were slain, and came to life again, and they also saw them ascend into heaven, and still did not recede from their falsities, then that great earthquake took place... By an earthquake a change of state is signified (n. 331); here their destruction... By falling is signified to sink down into hell, which takes place when they are torn away from heaven. For the cities in the world of spirits which are in evils and falsities, — after they who are there have been visited, informed, and admonished, and still persist in their evils and falsities, — are shaken by an earthquake; and thereby a gulf is opened, into which they sink down...  And there were slain in the earthquake names of men seven thousand, signifies that in that state all those who professed faith alone, and therefore made the works of charity of no account, perished. By being slain is signified here as before to be spiritually slain, which is to perish as to the soul. By the earthquake is signified a change of state with them, and their destruction... And the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven, signifies that they who joined any goods of charity to their faith, when they saw the destruction of those, acknowledged the Lord, and were separated. By the remnant are here meant those who adjoined to faith any goods of charity... Because these, through fear, acknowledge the Lord, they were separated, that they might be explored as to the origin from which they did good, whether from themselves or from the Lord." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 515-7) 
In the book of Revelation, this is the second time a spiritual judgment is mentioned. The first was at the opening of the sixth seal where there is a great earthquake (Rev. 6:12-17) and this involved those within the intermediate spiritual world who were outside of the Christian church. The second is after the ascension of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:13), and this involved a judgment upon those of the Protestants or Reformed who separate faith from charity. And this is similar to how the last judgment of 1757 in the spiritual world proceeded:
"And it was done in this order: first, upon those of the Papal religion; then upon the Mohammedans; afterward upon the Gentiles; and lastly upon the Reformed." (Final Judgment, n. 47)
Rev. 6-7 speaks of the general judgment upon the spiritual world, and this is followed by a judgment on the Protestants of faith alone in Rev. 8-11. When the judgment of 1757 took place in the spiritual world, it manifested as an earthquake, and there was a separation between the good and evil, before the evil were cast down to hell:
"Destruction is effected after visitation; for visitation always precedes. Visitation is a process of exploration as to quality, and also a separation of the good from the evil; then the good are removed and the evil are left. When that was done, there were great earthquakes, from which they perceived that the final judgment was at hand; and trembling also then seized them all." (Final Judgment, n. 61)
"These changes of their state were accompanied with various concussions of their dwellings and lands, followed by earthquakes, mighty according to their perversions. Here and there also were made chasms toward the hells, which were under them, and thus communication was opened with them: then exhalations were seen ascending like smoke mingled with sparks of fire." (Final Judgment Continued, n. 25)
In city that is destroyed by earthquake in Rev. 11:13 is spiritually called "Sodom and Egypt." And Swedenborg saw that those who were in faith alone, and yet lived an evil life, in the spiritual world behaved exactly like those of Sodom right before their judgment:
"Visitations were also made by angels; for before any ill-conditioned society perishes, visitation always precedes. The angels exhorted them to desist; foretelling their destruction if they did not. Then they also sought out any good spirits that might be intermingled with them, and separated them. But the crowd, incited by their leaders, treated them with insults, rushing upon them to drag them into the market-place and treat them abominably, just as was done in Sodom. The most of these were of faith separate from charity, and there were also some who professed charity and still lived wickedly." (Final Judgment Continued, n. 26)
In Revelation, the earthquake and destruction is followed by the seventh trumpet:
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Rev. 11:15)
Compare this to what Swedenborg saw concerning the judgment upon those of faith alone in the spiritual world in 1757:
"The Lord was seen in a bright cloud with the angels, and a sound was heard thence as of trumpets, which was a sign representative of the protection of the angels of heaven by the Lord, and of the gathering together of the good from every side." (Final Judgment Continued, n. 28)
Unfortunately, not many in the New Church have made this connection, taking Swedenborg's opinion that everything of the Apocalypse has been fulfilled on face value.  Swedenborg had also made the decision to make an account of his vision of the last judgment in the work Final Judgment, separate from his massive work on the explanation of the Apocalypse (see The Apocalypse Revealed and Explained.) When we read the commentary on Rev. 11:15, Swedenborg confirms that it refers to the last judgment that he saw in 1757:
"And the seventh angel sounded, signifies the exploration and manifestation of the state of the church after its consummation, when the coming of the Lord and of His kingdom takes place. By sounding the trumpet is signified to explore and make manifest the state of the church after its consummation, when the coming of the Lord and of His kingdom takes place. The reason is, because this is signified by the seventh angel sounding; for by the six angels and their trumpets sounding, the explorations and manifestations of the consummated church have been signified, as is manifest from the preceding chapter, where only its consummation is described. But that its state after consummation is now treated of, which is the coming of the Lord and of His kingdom, is manifest from these things that follow in this verse and afterwards: in this verse, And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall reign for ever and ever, etc. This manifestation was made by the sounding of the seventh angel, because seven signifies the same as a week; and six days of it are days of labor and of what belongs to man, and the seventh is holy and the Lord's." (Apocalypse Revealed, n. 519) 
Also Swedenborg explicitly states that this was fulfilled by the last judgment of 1757 (Apocalypse Explained, n. 674). Moreover, when he completed his work True Christian Religion, he saw this take place in the spiritual world:
"After this work was finished the Lord called together His twelve disciples who followed Him in the world; and the next day He sent them all forth into the whole spiritual world to preach the Gospel that the Lord God Jesus Christ reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages of ages, according to the prediction by Daniel (vii. 13, 14), and in the Apocalypse (xi. 15); and that Blessed are they who come to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Apoc. xix. 9). This took place on the nineteenth day of June, in the year 1770. This is meant by these words of the Lord: He will send His angels, and they shall gather together His elect from one end of the heavens even to the other (Matt. xxiv. 31)." (True Christian Religion, n. 791)
This was written in the year 1770, which not only fulfilled Matt. 24:31, but again he quotes Rev. 11:15 which is the sounding of the seventh trumpet. This indicates that the judgment that took place in the intermediate spiritual world in the year 1757 was a precursor to future events in the development of the New Church, with the end goal of communion with the Lord described in Rev. 19:9. 


The slow formation of the New Church on earth is described by the woman giving birth to a child in Revelation 12, which signifies the Doctrine that the Lord's human is Divine, a Divine Human, and that His human form is the Son and not a second person of a fictional trinity of three persons.  That the doctrines of the New Church will be hard to accept, and occur with difficulty, is signified by the woman who labors to give birth to the child. That the woman has to flee to the wilderness, means that for a long time the New Church will be among the few, and in obscurity. This is due to the strong persuasion of the false theology that God is three persons and that one is saved by faith alone. That a false theology of three personal beings would arise is signified by the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (see The Prophecy of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet).

One reason for the slow development on earth, is that the heavens have to be organized first before the New Church will completely manifest on earth:
"It is in accordance with Divine order that the new heaven should be formed before the new church on earth; for the church is internal and external, and the internal church makes one with the church in heaven, and thus with heaven; and the internal must be formed before the external, and the external must afterward be formed by means of the internal; that this is so is known among the clergy in the world. Just so far as this new heaven, which constitutes the internal of the church with man, grows, so far does the New Jerusalem, that is, the New Church come down from that heaven. This, therefore, cannot take place in a moment, but it takes place as the falsities of the former church are removed; for what is new cannot enter where falsities have been previously implanted, unless these are uprooted, which will take place with the clergy, and so with the laity; for the Lord said, No one putteth new wine into old bottles; else the bottles break and the wine runneth out; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved (Matt. ix. 17; Mark ii. 22; Luke v. 37, 38)." (True Christian Religion, n. 784)
This gradual formation can be seen somewhat in modern times: many are leaving the traditional churches behind, and identifying themselves as "spiritually independent." For those who have removed themselves from the falsehoods of the older churches, there is an opportunity to learn of the rational spirituality of the New Church: one that declares that there is One God in One Person Jesus Christ, and that a true spiritual life is to live by the decalogue of the 10 commandments. In one of his private letters, Swedenborg wrote this:
"The New Heaven of Christians out of which the New Jerusalem, will descend from the Lord (Rev. 21:1, 2) is not yet fully established..." (Docu. 230, dated Sept, 25, 1766)
And the key to establishing the New Church, is instruction of a new set of ministers, who are not constrained by the older false teachings:
"The Lord is at this time preparing a New Heaven of those who believe in Him, acknowledge Him as the true God of heaven and earth, and look to Him in their lives, which means to shun evil and do good; for from that heaven the New Jerusalem is to come down (see Rev. 21:2.). I daily see spirits and angels, from ten to twenty thousand, descending and ascending and being set in order. By degrees, as that heaven is being formed, the New Church likewise begins and increases. The universities in Christendom are now first being instructed, whence will come new ministers; for the new heaven has no influence over the old (clergy) who deem themselves, too learned in the doctrine of justification by faith alone" (Docu. 234, II., dated Stockholm, February 1767.)
So it is obvious: not everything in the book of Revelation or the Apocalypse have been fulfilled yet, there are present and future spiritual developments in the formation of the New Jerusalem here on earth.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Divine Signature of the Genetic Code

From the revelations of the New Church, it is revealed that God is life itself, and all life forms are recipients of that life which they receive through spiritual influx. We also know from the revelations, that all natural forms, especially forms of life, are symbolic representations of spiritual ideas and concepts. Now lets take this further: all of life is based on the genetic code of living cells. The genetic code is composed of codons, which is a sequence of three nucleotides, a specific type of organic molecules. In DNA we have guanine, adenine, cytosine and thymine. Within the genetic code there are exactly 20 amino acids, and these are known as the "canonical" amino acids among the 500 or so amino acids found in nature, and are the foundation of all life.

If God is life, and is the source of all life, is there any "signature" or mathematical pattern found in the genetic code?  The answer is yes. The pattern is statistically significant and there are no known natural laws that explain it; nor is it random; nor does the mathematical symmetry seem to be a necessity for the biological processes of the genetic code itself. Two scientists discovered evidence of an artificial mathematical code embedded into our genetic DNA, which cannot be explained by evolution and is not random. Their findings were published in the peer reviewed scientific journal Icarus in 2013. From ET Genetic Code May Be Found In Human DNA, According To Kazakhstan Scientists' Biological SETI Theory
"Two scientists in Kazakhstan believe humans may have an extraterrestrial "stamp" embedded into our genetic code, a mathematical message that would not be explained by Darwin's theory of biological evolution.
The scientists are suggesting that an advanced alien civilization "seeded" our galaxy eons ago with an ET signal that eventually found its way to Earth, implanting a genetic code into humans... Physicist Vladimir I. shCherbak of al-Farabi Kazakh National University of Kazakhstan and astrobiologist Maxim A. Makukov of the Fesenkvo Astrophysical Institute refer to this far-out concept as "biological SETI."
The article is entitled The "Wow! signal" of the terrestrial genetic code, and can be found here: They proposed that this genetic signal was due to panspermia from millions of years ago. One biologist refuted it, stating they did not properly rule out the "operations of natural law." From Panspermia:
"This claim has been refuted by biologist PZ Myers who said, writing in Pharyngula: Unfortunately, what they’ve so honestly described is good old honest garbage ... Their methods failed to recognize a well-known functional association in the genetic code; they did not rule out the operation of natural law before rushing to falsely infer design ... We certainly don’t need to invoke panspermia. Nothing in the genetic code requires design. and the authors haven’t demonstrated otherwise."
The authors of the original article then published another subsequent peer reviewed article, where they test the probability that the pattern was due to naturally occurring laws, applying statistical methods. And they arrived at the same conclusion as the original paper: this is not due to any naturally occurring law. Their paper addressing the criticisms can be found here: SETI in vivo: testing the we-are-them hypothesis.

So what did they find? Based on the codons, and the amino acids formed from the codons, and the nucleons in each amino acid, there are mathematical symmetries that reveal the following numbers using base 10: 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 777, 888, 999. The number are formed by mathematical symmetries, and the foundation of it is the 74 nucleons in the uniform part of the 20 amino acids in the genetic code.  See the following two videos which explain the findings in a graphical manner, as the articles are hard to follow:


I think the article reveals a significant mathematical pattern of high order. It is a "signal," but not from extraterrestrial panspermia - that would have us believe that some alien race managed to be the origin of all life. More likely it is an elegant mathematical pattern, similar to the atomic table, but of higher order since this natural form is a recipient of life. And as God is life, it provides us with a Divine signature. It is not a message from an extraterrestrial race, it is a message embedded on the fundamental building block of life, from the originator of all life.

The reason why I think this is a Divine signature is that I found some of these exact same numbers in the numerical symbolism of the Psalms.  I had already published my findings in the book, The Secret Code of the Psalms:

I discussed this previously in the post The Secret Code of the Psalms, where I state that hidden within the numerical structure of the Hebrew poetry, there are fractional representations of the number pi to a high degree of accuracy. One of these convergent fractions is 333/106, and 333 appears in the numerical structure of the genetic code. The reason why these numbers were considered sacred is that they represent the circle or disk, and in the ancient near east the circle or disk of the sun was seen as a representation of God. The Jews for the most part removed themselves from this physical representation to separate from idolatry, but the mathemetical symbolism was retained. And we know from the revelations of the New Church that all numbers have a spiritual meaning - see Spiritual Meaning of Numbers, or Numerology

Now, returning back to the numerical pattern in the genetic code, where the researchers kept finding multiples of 111.  They note that all of the numbers are multiples of the prime number 37.  And, as already described in my book, Psalms 37 and 111 are both acrostic Psalms. Each verse begins with a Hebrew letter. And just as codons are composed of three nucleotides, most Hebrew words originate from a semitic root of three consonants. Coincidence? And the reason for the emphasis on multiples of 111 is to direct us to 333/106, which is one of the convergent ratios of pi (the others, up to 3 digits, are 3, 22/7 and 355/113). And if we look at Psalm 37, it has this statement in it:
The law of his God is in his heart (Ps. 37:31)
In the spiritual sense, it means a man of God has love in his heart. But the law, in the strictest sense, refers to the 10 commandments, and isn't it odd that the genetic code for all of life has a signature founded on base 10 mathematics?  And isn't it odd that the genetic code has 20 amino acids, which is 2 x 10? Maybe minor coincidences, but add this to the pattern already found by the scientists who had no knowledge of the Divine signature hidden in the Hebrew poetry of the Psalms.

The elegant numerical pattern found in the genetic code serves no functional purpose, but it is there, like a signature, letting us know that someone is there - someone who is the origin of all living things as we know it in the universe.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Is there Salvation from Belief Alone?

Many Christians, especially newly converted Christians, think that salvation comes by merely believing in Jesus Christ and being baptized.  And that's it.  It's a one time event, and then one is done: even worse, some think what you do in life is of no account. But is this true? Is this what scripture teaches? The answer is a definite no: for the word translated as "belief" is more accurately translated as "faith," and faith is not a mere belief in factual knowledge but rather, it is living by the truth, which is turning away from sin and in doing charity to others or being useful in life.

There are some verses that do in fact seem to teach the above teaching, but one has to also ignore a host of other scripture that teaches against belief alone. Jesus spoke very strongly against those who were in a religion of belief alone, or those who heard His words, and did not do them:
“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 it gets worse: Jesus said those who just say "Lord, Lord" and pray and yet live an evil life will be condemned (Matt. 7:22-23, 25:31-46).  You cannot just believe and live an evil life, without considering your sins. For all will be judged according to their works (Matt. 16:27, Rom. 2:6, Rev. 22:12). And we are talking here about the works of charity, or the effects of doing from good intent, and the work of turning against evil - NOT the external works of the Mosaic ritual law which is what Paul focused on in his letters to the early church.


There are a few passages that seem to confirm that all one has to do is believe to be saved. So lets take a look at them. The first comes from Mark:
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Matt. 16:16)
So how do we reconcile this passage with what Jesus said earlier? The issue here is that this verse is not just mentioning baptism by water: baptism by water is merely an external ritual that in itself does nothing. What it is talking about is spiritual baptism: dying to your old self and beginning a new life, which is effected by repentance, or turning away from sin, and doing what God commanded. Baptism signifies a washing away by the truth, for it is from truth that we know that we should fight against sin and turn away from it. That we are not talking about mere water baptism, but a spiritual baptism, we know from the gospel of Mark itself:
I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8)
For when we turn away from sin, putting our trust in Jesus Christ, He fills our heart with the Holy Spirit. That Mark is talking about spiritual baptism, which is spiritual regeneration by turning away from evil, we know from this when James and John asked that they sit at his left and right hand in the kingdom:
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” (Mark 10:38-40)
Obviously Jesus is speaking figuratively. To drink the cup is to experience temptation, which we can see in Jesus' prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane:
“Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)
To be baptized is to undergo spiritual regeneration by turning away from sin after having been tempted, through which we receive the Holy Spirit. This is done through Jesus who experienced the most severest of temptations from all of hell. And note that to sit with Jesus is not something Jesus can just give to those who want it: it is given to those who live a life of service and charity, which Jesus explains in the verses following (see Mark 10:41-45). So is salvation a "free gift"?  No, not according to Jesus. We have to undergo temptation ("drink the cup"), turn away from evil ("be baptized"), and live by His commandments in charity and usefulness (be a servant).

There are several other verses that mention "belief" as necessary for salvation or eternal life, all from the gospel of John: John 3:12,15-16,18,36; 6:40,47; 8:24, 11:25-26. The word "belief" here is not mere belief, the exact same word can be translated as "faith" which is to live by the truth: by repentance with utter focus on Jesus to work through us, and to do what He said. This is what "believing the Son" means, it is not mere factual knowledge of the memory. We know it is not mere belief, for Jesus Himself asks:
Who then is that faithful and wise steward? (Luke 12:42)
The word "faithful" comes from the same root word that is translated as "belief." The one that is faithful is the one who does according to what Jesus says, which is described in the parable that follows the question (see Luke 12:42-48). We also know that Jesus considered "belief", or more accurately "faith" - is to do God's will, from the parable of the two sons (see Matt. 21:28-32).

The one who believes, and yet does not put the words into practice in one's life, is compared to a plant that grows from seed in rocky soil quickly, but withers away when the hardship of temptation comes:
The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. (Luke 8:13)
To have no root is to not apply the Word to one's life, that is being "rooted" in the Word. Whereas the ones who received the Word, and live by it, are the ones that grow and bear fruit (Luke 8:15).

So can someone claim to follow Jesus, and yet lie, commit adultery, and steal?  Is that what Jesus taught?  No, and you have been taught this, someone is lying to you.  If you claim to follow Jesus, read the scriptures and follow what Jesus said.
"Knowing is not believing, and that believing is internal; and that it cannot be given except in affection for good and truth, and accordingly to none but those who are in the good of charity toward the neighbor." (Heavenly Arcana, 4319.2)
"A man's life after death is the life of his love and the life of his faith. Hence such as his love and such as his faith had been when he lived in the world, such is the life that awaits him for eternity. It is the life of hell to those who have loved themselves and the world above all things, and the life of heaven to those who have loved God above all things, and the neighbor as themselves. The latter are those who have faith, but the former are those who have not faith." (New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrines, n. 227)

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Angelic Orb caught on Security Camera, and a Revelation on the One God Jesus Christ

 With the increased usage of security cameras, there is evidence that some security camera footage have caught the light of an angelic or supernatural being on video tape. I discussed one previously, which involves a healing: see Light of an Angel Caught on Video Tape. And here is another: the minister Charles Shelton heard a thought that he should wake up and start to pray around 3:30am in the morning, and while in prayer he was told to look at the security camera footage. And this is what he saw:

Further video footage is here: the ball of light enters twice into the room where the minister was praying, passing through the wall: Angel Captured on Camera by Minister.

It is better to see spiritual truths internally and rationally, rather than to look for external miraculous evidence. But the reason why I bring this up is that in the 18th century the Christian mystic Emanuel Swedenborg reported seeing an angelic orb.  For a period of 27 years he was given the gift to communicate with heaven to reveal the internal spiritual meaning of scripture. On one occasion, he woke up from sleep to mediate - just like the minister Charles Shelton - and reports seeing an oval of light. And then afterwards heaven is opened and he begins a dialogue with angels, concerning his thoughts on God and the Trinity:
"Once having awakened from sleep I fell into profound meditation concerning God; and when I looked up, I saw above me in heaven a bright white light in oval form; and when I fixed my gaze upon the light, it receded to the sides and passed into the circumference. And then, lo, heaven was opened to me, and I saw magnificent things, and angels standing in the form of a circle on the southern side of the opening and talking together; and because I had an ardent desire to hear what they were saying, it was therefore given me first to hear the tone, — which was full of heavenly love, and afterward the speech, which was full of wisdom from that love. They were talking together about the One God, and about conjunction with Him, and thence salvation. They spoke ineffable things, most of which cannot fall into the words of any natural language; but because I had sometimes been in company with angels in heaven itself, and then in similar speech with them because in similar state, I was therefore able now to understand them, and to select from their conversation some things which may be rationally expressed in the words of natural language." (True Christian Religion, n. 25)
Swedenborg often reported that much of the angelic ideas were so high above our human concepts that it did not fall into something that could be described in our spoken language, which in itself is an approximation of the meanings we sometimes wish to convey. The apostle Paul had a similar experience to what Swedenborg has described:
"I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter." (2 Cor. 12:2-4)
For Paul it was a one time affair. For Swedenborg, he was able to experience this heavenly communication over a period of 27 years. Most Christians wonder what Paul meant by "third heaven" and Swedenborg explains the three levels of heaven in detail in his works Heaven and Hell and Heavenly Arcana.

Returning to the angelic orb, what exactly were the angels discussing? They were essentially discussing the One God, how He is One Divine Being, One in Essence (Latin Esse), who cannot be divided into multiple beings or persons:

"They said that the Divine Esse is One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible. This they illustrated by spiritual ideas, saying that the Divine Esse cannot fall to several, each of whom has the Divine Esse, and still itself be One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible; for each one would think from his own Esse from himself, and singly by himself; if then also from the others and by the others, unanimously, there would be several unanimous Gods, and not one God; for unanimity, because it is the agreement of several, and at the same time of each one from himself and by himself, does not accord with the unity of God, but with a plurality — they did not say, of Gods, because they could not; for the light of heaven from which was their thought, and the aura in which their speech was uttered, resisted it. They said also that when they wished to pronounce the word Gods, and each one as a Person by himself, the effort of pronouncing fell instantly into One, yea, to the Only God."
Moreover, they said, God cannot produce another, for does He exist with another, and there is no such thing as a Son of God born from eternity, which is an utter falsehood:
"To this they added that the Divine Esse is a Divine Esse in Itself, not from itself; because from itself supposes an Esse in itself from another prior; thus it supposes a God from God, which is not possible. What is from God is not called God, but is called Divine; for what is a God from God? thus, what is a God born of God from eternity? and what is a God proceeding from God through a God born from eternity, but words, in which there is nothing of light from heaven?"
Moreover, God is love and truth itself, and inasmuch as we are in a state of love and truth, so God is present with us:
"God is the Itself, because He is love itself and wisdom itself, or because He is good itself and truth itself, and thence life itself, which, unless they were the Itself in God, would not be any thing in heaven and the world, because there would not be any thing in them having relation to the Itself. Every quality draws its quality from that which is the Itself, from which it is, and to which it has relation that it may be such as it is. This Itself, which is the Divine Esse, is not in place, but is with those and in those who are in place, according to reception; since of love and wisdom, or of good and truth, and thence of life, which are the Itself in God, yea, God Himself, place cannot be predicated, nor progression from place to place; whence is omnipresence: wherefore the Lord says that He is in the midst of them; and also that He is in them, and they in Him." (True Christian Religion, n. 25-26).
What is most interesting is that to them, the angels, God appears as the central sun in heaven. This brilliant light has been reported by multiple witnesses who have had a Near Death Experience:
"But because He cannot be received by any one such as He is in Himself, He appears as He is in His essence, as a sun above the angelic heavens; the proceeding from which as light is Himself as to wisdom, and the proceeding as heat is Himself as to love. That sun is not Himself; but the Divine love and the Divine wisdom first emanating from Him round about Him, appear to the angels as a sun." (True Christian Religion, n. 25-26).
Moreover, within that sun of heaven God is Man, and is identical to Jesus Christ who appeared to us in human form, and God was within Jesus as a Divine soul just as the soul is within the body of each person - Jesus is not another person or being separate from God, but is God Himself:
"He within the sun is Man; He is our Lord Jesus Christ, both as to the Divine from which He came forth, and also as to the Divine Human; since the Itself, which is love itself and wisdom itself, was a soul to Him from the Father; thus the Divine life, which is life in itself. It is otherwise in every man; in him the soul is not life, but a recipient of life. The Lord also teaches this, saying, I am the way, the truth, and the life; and in another place, As the Father hath life in Himself, so also hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John v. 26). Life in Himself is God. To this they added that those who are in any spiritual light may perceive from these things that the Divine Esse, because it is One, the Same, the Itself, and thence Indivisible, cannot be in more than one; and that, if it should be said to be, manifest contradictions would result." (True Christian Religion, n. 25-26).
And as Swedenborg was listening in on this communication, the angels detected in his ideas the ideas of three persons, which was in utter opposition to the primary principle of One God, or Monotheism:
"When I heard these things, the angels perceived in my thought the common ideas of the Christian Church, concerning a Trinity of Persons in unity and their unity in the Trinity, in regard to God; and also concerning the birth of the Son of God from eternity; and then they said, "What are you thinking? Do you not have those thoughts from natural light, with which our spiritual light does not agree? Wherefore unless you remove the ideas of that thought, we close heaven to you and depart." But then I said, "Enter, I pray, more deeply into my thought, and perhaps you will see an agreement." They did so and saw that by three Persons I understood three proceeding Divine attributes, which are Creation, Redemption, and Regeneration; and that they are attributes of one God; and that by the birth of the Son of God from eternity I understood His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time; and that it is not above what is natural and rational, but contrary to what is natural and rational, to think that any Son was born of God from eternity; but not so, that the Son born of God by the Virgin Mary in time is the only Son of God, and the only begotten; and that to believe otherwise is an enormous error. And then I told them that my natural thought concerning the Trinity of Persons and their unity, and concerning the birth of a Son of God from eternity, I had from the doctrine of faith in the church, which has its name from Athanasius." (True Christian Religion, n. 25-26).
And the angels answered thus:
"Then the angels said, "Well." And they asked me to say from their mouth that, if any one does not go to the very God of heaven and earth, he cannot come into heaven, because heaven is heaven from this only God; and that this God is Jesus Christ, who is the Lord Jehovah, from eternity Creator, in time Redeemer, and to eternity Regenerator; thus who is at once the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that this is the Gospel which is to be preached. After these things the heavenly light, which was before seen over the opening, returned, and gradually descended thence, and filled the interiors of my mind, and enlightened my ideas concerning the trinity and unity of God." (True Christian Religion, n. 25-26).

Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Divine Revelation of the Biblical Canon

What is the true Biblical Canon of the Christian Church, and how is it Divinely Inspired? It is important, as the Word of God should form the basis of all doctrine, and is the foundation of how we should live our life. All of the teachings of Jesus were based on the Word of God, and as He is the Word of God made flesh, His words also became part of the Biblical canon.
The Biblical canon evolved over a long period of time, beginning with the Hebrew canon of the Jewish Church. The basic criteria of the early church of the first four centuries was to gather valid documents of witness testimony concerning the teachings of Jesus. But which books are Divinely inspired? Which Biblical canon is correct among the different churches? Which should be treated as the Word of God, and those that are the words of men?
For answers, let us simply look at what Jesus had to say on the matter, and then follow this with the revelations on the Biblical canon given to the New Church. For Jesus is the one authority from Whom we should seek guidance:

You are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.  And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.  (Matt. 23:8-10)

Let's start with the Hebrew canon of scripture which preceded the Christian church. The Hebrew canon, also known as the Tanakh, is divided into three main sections:
1. The Law, or the Law of Moses, also known as the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
2. The Prophets, also known as the Nevi'im: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and The Twelve Prophets (the 12 minor prophets)
3. The Writings, also known as the Ketuvim: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehehiah, Chronicles.
The first two sections of the Hebrew canon, the Law and the Prophets, are directly referenced by Jesus and are definitely part of the Biblical canon:
Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. (Matt. 5:17)
Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them — this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matt. 7:12)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands. (Matt. 22:37-40)
Among these statements, there is even a more specific statement from Jesus concerning the Prophets:
For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John; if you’re willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come (Matt. 11:13)
I single out this particular quote, because here Jesus states that John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy that Elijah would return before the coming of the Messiah. This is the very last prophecy in the book of Malachi:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Mal. 4:5-6)
This is not only the final passage in the book of Malachi, but also Malachi is the last book in the Prophets of the Hebrew canon. There is a similar confirmation given by Jesus in another passage:

Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. (Matt. 23:34-35)
Abel was murdered by his brother Cain in Genesis, but who is Zechariah the son of Barachiah? Several commentators identified him with the high priest Zechariah ben Jehoiada, whose death is recorded in 2 Chron 24:20:21, the last book in the Writings in the present day Hebrew canon. This is incorrect, as his father is recorded as Jehoiada, not Barachiah. Jesus here is referencing the prophet Zechariah, the second to last prophet right before Malachi: the prophet Zechariah is declared to be "son of Berechiah" (Zech. 1:1). His manner of death is not recorded. To "shed blood" does not just mean to kill, but in the spiritual sense signifies to profane and distort the truth, which the Jews had done with scriptures leading to their denial of Jesus Christ.


Jesus, so far, affirms the Hebrew canon in regards to the Law and the Prophets as it exists now among the Jews. However there is one exception, and this concerns the book of Daniel. Jesus quotes from Daniel as a prophet:

“So when you see the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand), “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains!" (Matt. 24:15)
This shows that the book of Daniel was once included among the Prophets in the Hebrew canon, but was moved out among the Writings. Why? The theory of modern scholars is that portions of Daniel were written later during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes IV in the second century B.C. However Josephus records that the book of Daniel was shown to Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C., and several copies were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls dating from the 2nd century B.C. (see Josephus on Alexander the Great and the Book of Daniel). Moreover, the apocryphal book of Enoch, written around this time, borrowed some of its material from Daniel. Moreover, Aramaic scholars indicate that the Aramaic of Daniel dates from the period of 700-200 B.C., rather than the later period of 200 B.C.- 200 A.D. (see Aramaic and the Old Testament - Part 1). The problem here is with the scholars who are rather ignorant or in denial of prophetic visions.

Perhaps Daniel was placed among the Writings, which were regarded as a lesser authority, because a large portion was written in Aramaic instead of Hebrew, and Hebrew was considered the sacred language. This would have to ignore the fact that Gen. 31:47 and Jer. 10:11 are written in Aramaic. And indeed I found evidence that is the case. In the Talmud, specifically Megillah 3a, there is a story of some rabbis who began to translate Hebrew into Aramaic, and then were forbidden to do so as God's secrets were only allowed to be known among the Jews, or that Aramaic would begin to reveal some hidden secrets (there is actually a good example of this in Psalms 2:12 which has puzzled scholars - see Psalm 2:12 | Kiss the Son or Embrace Purity? - the correct answer is "Kiss the Son"). Aramaic translations of scripture played an important role around this time for rabbinic Judaism. The translator had translated the Law and the Prophets, but was not allowed to translate the Writings (Ketuvim) because it contained the book of Daniel. The Talmud then gives an interesting answer as why this is the case:
"What is the reason that he was denied permission to translate the Writings? Because it has in it a revelation of the end, when the Messiah will arrive. The end is foretold in a cryptic manner in the book of Daniel, and were the book of Daniel translated, the end would become manifestly revealed to all."
This is rather interesting - Daniel chapter 9 is a 490 year prophecy beginning in 457 B.C. and ending in 34 A.D., predicting the coming of the Messiah in 31 A.D. As the Talmud was compiled in the 4th-5th centuries A.D., it is quite possible that even the Jews could not deny that the book of Daniel predicted the coming of Jesus Christ. And thus they decided to move the book of Daniel from the Prophets to the Writings, using the excuse that a portion of it was written in Aramaic instead of Hebrew. This section of the Talmud also gives a weak explanation of why Daniel was not a prophet compared to Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, the last three prophets. The reason? Unlike other prophets Daniel did not send his message to the Jews. More likely, the Jewish scribes wanted to lower the priority of the book of Daniel due to its Messianic prophecies fulfilled in Jesus. We now know from the revelations of the New Church that indeed a judgment occurred in the spiritual world upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, fulfilling the prophecies that the Jews study hours on end without knowing the meaning. So this statement from the Talmud is remarkably accurate.


Jesus, so far, affirms the Hebrew canon in regards to the Law and the Prophets. In addition to this, Jesus affirms that the book of the Psalms is also a part of the Word of God:

These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. (Luke 24:44)
This should come as no surprise as Jesus often quoted from the Psalms as scripture, and is one of the most often quoted books in the New Testament.


So what about the rest of the books in the Writings? Initially I thought Jesus had only quoted from the Psalms. I researched all quotations of the Old Testament in Index to Old Testament Quotations, and to my surprise, Jesus quoted from Proverbs. Here is a puzzling quote:
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:38)
What book is Jesus quoting? This has puzzled scholars. A note in the ESV says Jesus may be alluding to Isa. 58:11, Ezek. 47:1-12, or Zech. 14:8. Others have suggested allusions in Jer. 2:13, 17:13 and Ps. 63:1. However none of these passages fit. Jesus may be paraphrasing, and if so He probably was referencing this verse, which is the only one that speaks of waters flowing out of a person:
The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters, a flowing river, a fountain of wisdom. (Prov. 18:4)
Jesus, however, was not quoting this passage directly, but rather He was referencing the book of Proverbs as a whole. Nowhere in the verse does it say "Whoever believes in Me." However the book has these verses at the beginning:
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. (Prov. 1:20-23)
The word for "pour" is the same Hebrew word for "flowing" in Prov. 18:4 which Jesus paraphrased, and Prov. 1:23 and 18:4 are the only two verses that use the word in this manner, and it appears only two other times in Proverbs with a different meaning. This suggests that Jesus conflated the two verses in a paraphrase. Wisdom is personified crying out for people to listen, which is a representation of the Word made flesh. However one other aspect of Jesus' quote is that He mentions water flowing out of the heart. This comes from another verse in Proverbs:
Counsel in a man’s heart is deep water; but a man of understanding draws it out. (Prov. 20:5)
Again, the phrase "deep water" is mentioned only in Proverbs  18:4 and this verse. This leads me to believe Jesus had memorized the whole book, and unified verses that mentioned the same Hebrew words.
There are two additional references to Proverbs from Jesus. We have this passage:
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Matt. 16:27)
And this is based off another verse from Proverbs:
Will he not repay man according to his work? (Prov. 24:12)
And one other:
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (Rev. 3:19)
Which is based on this verse:
The LORD reproves him whom he loves (Prov. 3:12)


If we look across all the quotes of the Old Testament, among the Writings only Psalms and Proverbs are quoted or referenced by Jesus. If we expand our search to quotes by the apostles, Paul quotes Job three times and Job is referenced in James 5:11. However for the book of Job there is a direct reference in the book of Ezekiel, including a reference to the prophet Daniel (Ezek. 14:14,20). Jesus not only considered Ezekiel among the prophets, but directly quotes the book of Ezekiel (Mark 8:18 quotes Ezek. 12:2 and Mark 6:34 references Ezek. 34:5).


The Writings in the Hebrew canon includes several other books, neither quoted by Jesus nor the apostles.  This is where we get into a grey area. When Jesus mentioned the Psalms among the Law and the Prophets in Luke 24:44, some misinterpret this as a reference to the entirety of the Writings since in the present day Bible the Psalms is the first book of the Writings. But this is a false argument. The Jews never actually settled the exact order of the Writings in the time of Jesus: the book of Psalms was not always the first book. According to the article Ketuvim:
"The Babylonian Talmud (Bava Batra 14b–15a) gives their order as Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Daniel, Scroll of Esther, Ezra, Chronicles. In Tiberian Masoretic codices, including the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex, and often in old Spanish manuscripts as well, the order is Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, Ezra."
The book of Ruth was most likely written around the time of Ezra in the 5th century B.C. as it deals with intermarriage, an issue that arose during that time  (see Ezra 9:1, Neh. 13:1). Although Ecclesiastes has been attributed to Solomon, internal language indicates it was also written around the time of Ezra at the earliest. Scholars examining the book of Esther now know that it was likely written in the 4th century B.C. and was most likely intended as a historical novel. Also among the Writings is the book of Lamentations, which according to tradition was written by Jeremiah.
By the time of the first century A.D., however, the collection of books in the Writings was somewhat fluctuating as Josephus mentions that the Biblical canon contained 22 books instead of 24, indicating two of the books in the Writings were not yet considered canonical. We also know that certain books among the Writings were debated among the Jews in the first century A.D. From Development of the Hebrew Bible Canon:
"The Mishnah, compiled at the end of the 2nd century CE, describes a debate over the status of some books of Ketuvim, and in particular over whether or not they render the hands ritually impure. Yadaim 3:5 calls attention to a debate over Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes."
The Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek in the 3rd and 2nd centuries A.D., due to the fact that Greek became a de facto language during the Greek empire and was widely known. Unfortunately, the Septuagint added additional books to the canon, as well as spurious additions that were never part of the Hebrew scriptures. Thus early on the Jewish rabbis rejected the Septuagint. These books, however, entered into the Biblical canon of the early church, and were not removed until the Reformation. They are now known as the "Apocrypha." Other works added in other branches of the church that were never part of the Hebrew scriptures are more generally known as "Deuterocanonical" works. The Septuagint also mixed up the order of the Biblical canon, and for the most part is the main determining factor for the order of the books of the Old Testament as we have it today, which unfortunately mixes the Prophets with the books of the Writings.

Up until now, I have referenced Jesus as the primary authority for determining which scriptures should be considered canonical or referenced as the Word of God. But problems remain, and the main problem that is in front of most in modern times is why one book is Divinely inspired over another?

In the 18th century, the scientist Emanuel Swedenborg received a series of waking visions over a period of 27 years that revealed the internal spiritual sense of the Bible, where it was revealed that scripture has multiple levels of meaning: the natural or most literal sense, then a more symbolic spiritual sense, and higher than that, the celestial sense. These waking visions occurred after he had an encounter with Jesus, and part of his mission was to reveal how and why the Bible was Divinely Inspired. The proof for which books are Divinely inspired is laid out in full in several volumes. So which books of the Bible are Divinely inspired? They are those that contain an internal spiritual sense, for when reading them the scripture connects our external minds to the thoughts of angels and to the ultimate Divine. Swedenborg spelled it out in the following passage:
"The books of the Word are all those which have the internal sense; books which do not have it are not the Word. The books of the Word in the Old Testament are: The five Books of Moses; the Book of Joshua; the Book of Judges; the two Books of Samuel; the two Books of Kings; the Psalms of David; and the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 10325)
So how does the above list compare with what Jesus definitely declared as scripture?  It includes every book of the Law and the Prophets, and the book of Daniel is recognized as belonging among the Prophets as well. Among the Writings it acknowledges the Psalms, as well as the book of Lamentations indicating it was indeed written by Jeremiah according to long standing tradition. Thus the list matches exactly what Jesus said when referencing the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).

Missing from the list of books that have an internal spiritual sense are the books of Job, Proverbs and Song of Solomon. Despite this, in several passages Swedenborg does occasionally quote from Job and Song of Solomon as scripture. So why did he exclude them?  Swedenborg used the following three criteria for the Biblical canon:
  1. The book must be focused on the Lord and His church.
  2. The book must contain within it an internal spiritual sense.
  3. The internal spiritual sense must be written in a sequential series.
The first criteria is easy to see to everyone, and it is because of this criteria that there was debate among the Jews concerning the Song of Solomon. It is also true for the book of Job:
"That the book of Job is a book of the Ancient Church is manifest, as has been mentioned, from its representative and significative style; but it is not of those books which are called the Law and the Prophets, because it has not an internal sense which treats solely of the Lord and of His kingdom; it is this alone which makes a book of the genuine Word." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 3540)
However in other passages, Swedenborg notes that the book of Job contains an internal spiritual sense (Apocalypse Explained, 740.15). Thus it is quoted as support in explaining certain passages of scripture. The Song of Solomon is similar and is also quoted as scripture, but like Job it is a collection of sayings rather than written in a cohesive series (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9942.5, 3942.2).

As for the book of Proverbs it is not mentioned directly by Swedenborg, but it falls into the same category as Job and Song of Solomon: it is a collection of sayings but they are not written in a cohesive series. It is only implicitly referenced where he says "we are told in the Word that a person will be judged according to his works" (Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 281). This is mentioned in Matt. 16:27, which in turn references Pro. 24:12.

With the exception of Daniel, Psalms and Lamentations, what is apparent is the Writings was perhaps originally intended to be considered as "Ancillary Writings" to be used in support of scripture, provide additional historical context, or preserve an ancient Hebrew writing. But among these the books of Job, Proverbs and Song of Solomon have a higher status as they contain individual sayings that contain an internal spiritual sense that are useful in support of genuine scripture.

In addition to the book of Job, there is another work of the Ancient Church known as the book of Jasher, which is referenced as scripture in Josh. 10:12-13 and 2 Sam. 1:17-18. In the visions received by Swedenborg, he was told in the 18th century that this book was not lost but was still intact. In my research I discovered that this work has probably remained intact in a later manuscript, the book of Jasher written in Rabbic Hebrew, which unfortunately has later additions. But there is internal evidence that this work is indeed based on an ancient copy. For this research, see the following prior blog posts:
And lastly, for internal evidence that it is indeed a copy of an ancient account, see The Astronomy of the Birth of Abraham. In terms of its canonical status, I would include it as scripture, with caveats. Ideally we would need a critical edition that would point out to the reader what are probably the later additions to the work.


For the New Testament, the words of Jesus are the Word of God and should be considered higher priority than those of the Apostles. In the revelations given to the New Church, it was shown only the four Gospels and the book of Revelation have an internal spiritual sense, and thus should be considered genuine scripture (Heavenly Arcana, 10325).
So what about the letters of the apostles? These are written in a different style, and provide useful doctrinal teachings for the church. Thus by their nature they are of lesser authority than the words of Jesus. Since they do not have an internal spiritual sense, they are not Divinely inspired in the way that genuine scripture is. In his private diary, Swedenborg indicated that the letters of Paul, although not having an internal spiritual sense, were "Divinely influenced" in terms of their overall subject matter:
"...the Lord spoke from Divine Wisdom Itself, by correspondences, exactly as He also spoke by the prophets, consequently from His own Divine; and that Paul indeed spoke from inspiration, but not in the same way as the prophets, to whom every single word was dictated but that his inspiration was that he received an influx, according to those things which were with him, which is quite a different inspiration, and has no conjunction with heaven by correspondences." (Spiritual Diary, n. 6062)
In a private letter to Harley Swedenborg explains this further:
"With reference to the writings of the Apostles and Paul I have not included these in ARCANA COELESTIA, and this for the reason that they are doctrinal writings, and so are not written in the style of the Word as are the Prophets, David, the Gospels, and the Revelation. The style of the Word wholly consists of correspondences, on which account it effects an immediate communication with heaven. In the doctrinal writings, however, there is another style which indeed communicates with heaven, but mediately. That they were so written by the Apostles was in order that the new Christian Church might commence through these, on which account doctrinal matters could not be written in the very style of the Word, but in a manner that might be more clearly and more directly understood. Nonetheless, the writings of the Apostles are good books for the Church, maintaining the doctrine of charity and its faith as strongly as ever did the Lord Himself in the Gospels and in the Revelation, as can be clearly seen and observed if one attends to the matter while reading those writings."
So in other words, the writings of the apostles should be considered as ancillary writings, in the same way that the Jews created another section of scripture called the Writings or Ketuvim. And there is actually another hidden reason for this, from Divine Providence: these ancillary writings protect the most holy scriptures from being profaned by falsehoods:
"That the Epistles of Paul have not an internal sense is known in the other life; but it is permitted that they may be in the Church, lest those who are of the Church should work evil to the Word of the Lord, in which is the internal sense. For if man lives ill, and yet believes in the holy Word, then he works evil to heaven; therefore the Epistles of Paul are permitted, and therefore Paul was not permitted to take one parable, not even a doctrine, from the Lord, and to expound and unfold it; but he took all things from himself. The Church, indeed, explains the Word of the Lord, but by means of the Epistles of Paul; for which reason also it everywhere departs from the good of charity, and accepts the truth of faith; which, however, the Lord has taught, but in such wise that the good of charity should be the all." (Spiritual Diary, n. 4824)
This actually solves quite a few issues. There are some doctrinal issues with the letters of Paul, where he can easily be taken out of context. In the quote of Rom. 3:10-18, Paul actually quoted from the Septuagint version of Psalm 14 which includes a spurious addition. And note: Paul admitted that at times he gave his own opinions, that were not from the Lord:

"To the rest I say (I, not the Lord)" (1 Cor. 7:12)"(I speak as a man)" (Rom. 3:5)
"I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh" (Rom. 6:19)
"That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting." (2 Cor. 11:17)
"(I speak foolishly,)" (2 Cor. 11:21)
"(I speak as a fool)" (2 Cor. 11:23)
"Brethren, I speak after the manner of men" (Gal. 3:15)

So according to Paul himself, he sometimes speaks from himself, sometimes from the Lord.

In addition to this, the letter of Jude, and the epistles of Peter, reference the apocryphal book of Enoch as scripture, which was written around the second century B.C. If it is understood that there are different levels of inspiration, and that these are doctrinal writings, then readers can have a more nuanced understanding of the texts. Quotations by apostles have lower authority that quotations of scripture by Jesus (see comment below).


To conclude, here is a summary of the Biblical canon as discussed in this article, with a tentative proposal as to its order:
  • The Law: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
  • The early Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings
  • The latter Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, the Twelve Prophets
  • The Psalms: Psalms
  • Poetic Writings: Job, Proverbs, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Sirach
  • Historical Writings: Jasher, Ruth, Chronicles, Esther, Ezra-Nehemiah, 1 Maccabees
  • Gospels and Revelation: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Revelation
  • Apostolic Writings: everything else as we have it now in the New Testament
In this arrangement, Lamentations and Daniel are moved out of the Writings and back among the Prophets.

The book of Psalms is followed by the Writings, which is divided into poetic, historical and fictional sections. The Psalms is immediately followed by Job. Ezekiel mentions Noah, Daniel and Job in two passages (Ezek. 14:14,20). Noah is mentioned in the Law, Daniel is in the Prophets, and Job here represents the third section of scripture which can be classified as "Psalms and Poetry." These prophets were used signify the entirety of the Word as testimony against the Jews. In its spiritual sense, Swedenborg confirms that these three men signify all the truths of the Word (Apocalypse Explained, 724.28).

Although the book of Jasher can be placed between Deuteronomy and Joshua, to be conservative I have placed it in the historical Writings since it does include later additions.

After further consideration, I decided to add a couple of works that are among the "Deuterocanonical" works in the Catholic canon to the Writings, noted in italics above: Sirach and 1 Maccabees.  Maccabees covers important historical events that partially fulfilled the prophecies of Daniel. There is evidence portions of Sirach were referenced in the New Testament.  For the New Testament, two other books that may be useful to the church is the epistle of Clement as well as the Shepherd of Hermas.