June 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
June 19th, 1770 is one of three very special dates in the New Church. These dates involve three important spiritual events, that are essential for the salvation of the human race and the establishment of a new Christian Church.
The first is the Last Judgment which took place in the spiritual world. It began at the end of 1756 and was mostly completed by the middle of the April 1757.
THE LAST JUDGMENT HAS TAKEN PLACE
It was shown in the chapter on this subject above [28-32] that the Last Judgment is not to take place on earth, but in the spiritual world, where all are gathered who have lived since the beginning of creation. This being so, no human being could possibly be aware when the Last Judgment took place. For everyone expects it to happen on earth with everything in the visible sky and on the earth being changed at the same time, and affecting human beings on earth. So to prevent people in the church living with that belief out of ignorance, and those who think about the Last Judgment perpetually waiting for it, which would eventually result in people disbelieving what the literal sense of the Word says about it; and to prevent more people losing their faith in the Word, I have been allowed to see with my own eyes that the Last Judgment has now taken place. I have seen the wicked cast into the hells, and the good raised to heaven, thus restoring all to order and so re-establishing the spiritual equilibrium between good and evil, or between heaven and hell. I was allowed to see how the Last Judgment took place from beginning to end; and also how Babylon was destroyed, and how those who are meant by the dragon were cast into the abyss; and then again how the new heaven was formed, and the new church meant by the New Jerusalem was set up in the heavens. I was allowed to see all this with my own eyes so that I could bear witness. This Last Judgment started at the beginning of last year, 1757, and was fully completed by the end of the year. (LJ 45)
The second is the Lord’s Second Coming, which took place in 1769 with the publication of The Brief Exposition of the Doctrine of the New Church.
7 When BRIEF EXPOSITION was published the angelic heaven, from east to west and from south to north, appeared purple colored with the loveliest flowers; this happened before my very eyes and before those of the kings of Denmark, and others; on another occasion it appeared as if it were on fire, and beautiful.
8 ‘The Coming of’ the Lord was written on all the books in the spiritual world; by command I therefore wrote this in the same place in two copies in Holland. (Ecc Hist 1)
And the third was June 19, 1770, which marks the formation of the the New Christian Church in the heavens. The Church has to begin in heaven before it can descend into the world and be established there.
NOTE. – After this work [True Christian Religion] was finished the Lord called together His twelve disciples who followed Him in the world; and the next day He sent them all forth throughout the whole spiritual world to preach the Gospel that THE LORD GOD JESUS CHRIST reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages and ages, according to the prediction in Daniel (7:13, 14), and in Revelation (11:15).
Also that blessed are those that come to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9).
This took place on the nineteenth day of June, 1770. This is what is meant by these words of the Lord:
He shall send His angels and they shall gather together His elect, from the end of the heavens to the end thereof (Matt. 24:31). (TCR 791)
I find it interesting and noteworthy that before the apostles were sent out to gathered the spirits and angels who would form the New Christian Church in the heavens, they were called by the Lord to be with Swedenborg while he wrote these words:
Men ought to believe, that is, have faith, in God the Savior Jesus Christ, because that is a faith in a visible God within whom is the invisible; and faith in a visible God, who is at once Man and God, enters into a man; for faith in its essence is spiritual but in its form is natural; consequently with man such a faith becomes spiritual-natural. For anything spiritual, in order to be anything with man, must have a recipient in the natural. The naked spiritual does indeed enter into man, but it is not received; it is like the ether, which flows in and out producing no effect, for to produce an effect there must be perception and consequent reception, both of these in his mind; and no such reception is possible with man except in his natural. But on the other hand merely natural faith, or faith destitute of a spiritual essence, is not faith, but only persuasion or knowledge. In externals persuasion emulates faith; but since there is in its internals no spirituality, neither is there anything saving in it. Such is the faith of all who deny the Divinity of the Lord’s Human; such was the Arian faith, and such also is the Socinian faith, because both reject the Lord’s Divinity. What is faith without an object toward which it is determined? Is it not like gazing into the universe, where the sight falls, as it were, into vacuity and is lost? It is like a bird flying beyond the atmosphere into the ether, where, as in a vacuum, it ceases to breathe. The abiding of this faith in man’s mind may be compared to that of the winds in the wings [halls?] of Aeolus, or of light in a falling star. It rises like a comet with a long tail, and like it passes over and disappears.  In a word, faith in an invisible God is actually blind, since the human mind fails to see its God; and the light of that faith, not being a spiritual-natural faith, is a fatuous light; which light is like that of the glow-worm, or like that seen above marshes or sulphurous glebes at night, or like the phosphorescence of rotten wood. From that light nothing comes except what pertains to fantasy, which creates a belief that the apparent is the real, when yet it is not. Faith in an invisible God shines with no other light than this, especially when God is thought to be a Spirit, and spirit is thought to be like ether. What follows but that man regards God as he does the ether? Consequently he seeks God in the universe; and when he does not find Him there, he believes the nature of the universe to be God. This is the origin of the prevailing naturalism of the day. Did not the Lord say,
That no one ever heard the Father’s voice or saw His shape? (John 5:37);
That no man hath seen God at any time, but that the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father hath revealed Him (John 1:18).
No man hath seen the Father, save He who is with the Father, He hath seen the Father (John 6:46).
Also that no one comes unto the Father, but through Him (John 14:8).
That He who sees and knows Him sees and knows the Father (John 14:7-12).
 But faith in the Lord God the Savior is different; He, being God and Man, can be approached and be seen in thought. Faith in Him is not indeterminate, but has an object from which and to which it proceeds and when once received is permanent, as when anyone has seen an emperor or king, as often as the fact is recalled the image returns. That faith’s sight is like one’s seeing a bright cloud, and in the midst of it an angel who invites the man to him, so that he may be raised up into heaven. Thus does the Lord appear to those who have faith in Him; He draws near to every man so far as man recognizes and acknowledges Him, which he does, so far as he knows and keeps the Lord’s commandments, which are, to shun evils and do good; and at length the Lord comes into man’s house, and together with the Father who is in Him, makes His abode with man, according to these words in John:
Jesus said, He that has My commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me; and he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him (14:21, 23).
The foregoing was written in the presence of the Lord’s twelve apostles, who were sent to me by the Lord while I was writing it. (TCR 339)
We are nothing but evil
June 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
The Lord tells us over and over again in the Heavenly Doctrines that we are nothing but evil, and that there is “none good but one.” This is not a truth we enjoy. Our egos much prefer thinking we are good, and that we are smart.
Shunning evils as sins is so much easier when we acknowledge the truth that we are nothing but evil, and that all good and truth in us is the Lord’s; for then we are not giving up a part of ourselves, but the evil and falsities which are flowing into us from the hells.
In the passage below, we learn that if we acknowledge this truth that we are nothing but evil, then evil spirits associated with us cannot attack us and induce us to sin.
SE 4067. What it is to be nothing
I heard when the most deceitful ones overhead were speaking among themselves, even wanting to destroy me, that they said they could not, because “he” is nothing, and if he were something, they would be able to. Then I realized that to be something as something of one’s own – that it was then so portrayed that they could attack and destroy it, and that then the most deceitful ones would have that right. But when it was represented that I was nothing, then it seemed to them that they had no power over what was then seen to be nothing, for then they did not have anything to attack. Thus he is safe who having the truth of faith, believes himself to be nothing. 1748, 25 Nov.
Why Faith Alone Prevails
June 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
‘He was mighty in hunting before Jehovah’ means that he persuaded many people. This is clear from the fact that faith separated from charity is such, and also from the meaning of ‘hunting’ in the Word. Faith separated from charity is such that people are easily persuaded. The vast majority of mankind do not know what internal things are, but they do know what external are. The vast majority are also given to sensualism, low pleasures and desires, considering only themselves and the world, and are therefore easily captivated by that kind of religion. (AC 1178)