Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Divine Revelation from Africa, concerning Heaven and Hell


I recently became aware of a rather unusual revelation out of Africa, and in celebration of Palm Sunday I thought I would make public what I can of this.  This concerns the reality of heaven and hell, and of the Lord and His angels who are hidden among us. This can be found in scripture, often in the form of parables and symbolic correspondences, but recently they have been made more well known through dreams and visions, fulfilling the prophecy of Joel:
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions (Joel 2:28)
In the 18th century, the scientist Emanuel Swedenborg had his internal vision opened up, and in a complete waking state he was allowed to explore the spiritual realities of heaven and hell and the spiritual world in between. He was given doctrines of the New Church, which can be summed up in two simple principles: that the God of heaven and earth became incarnate in Jesus Christ, and that a spiritual life is one of following God's commandments. This revelation is unknown because it has been opposed by churches who falsely divide God into three persons, and put emphasis on salvation from belief alone.

There are very few prophecies given in the visions of Swedenborg, for it was more important that people do things out of their free will to the best of their ability. As a result of a judgment in the spiritual world men would have more spiritual freedom, which historians now call "the Enlightenment." But the angels told Swedenborg they had very little hope for the spiritual destiny of the western Christian world:
"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." (The Final Judgment Continued, n. 74)
The reason they had slender hope for those within the western Christian world, is that most call themselves that from the mouth only, that religion is just an external appearance, that they have selfish pride, love material things, and above all others from the world practice adultery. The spiritual view is not a flattering one. As a result, the new revelation will not be received by them, but given to others, just as what happened to the Jews in the day of Jesus. The question is who?

A HIDDEN REVELATION IN AFRICA

In visions it was shown to Swedenborg that those out of Africa are better prepared to receive a new revelation than those of the western world: they have the ability to receive a singular view of God as Very Man, do not separate religion from life as Protestants do, and recognize the spiritual origin of true marriage love. But Swedenborg was told something further: somewhere in Africa, people were receiving the same revelation that was given to him via angels in heavenly visions:
"The Africans being such, revelation is therefore made among them at this day, which is spreading round about from the place where it began, but has not yet reached the coasts. They despise strangers coming from Europe, who believe that man is saved by faith alone, and thus by mere thinking and speaking, and not at the same time by willing and doing; they say that there is no man with any worship who does not live according to his religion, and that if one does not, he cannot but become stupid and wicked, because he receives nothing from heaven. Ingenious wickedness they also call stupidity, because not life but death is in it. I have several times conversed with Augustine, who was bishop of Hippo in Africa in the third century. He said that he is there at the present day, and is inspiring them with the worship of the Lord, and that there is hope of the propagation of this new gospel to the surrounding regions. I have heard the angels rejoicing over that revelation, because there is opening by it to them communication with the human rational, hitherto closed up by the universal dogma that the understanding is to be under obedience to the faith of the ecclesiastics." (True Christian Religion, n. 840)
It was because of this revelation that early Swedenborgians became heavily involved in the abolitionist movement against African slavery.  One was Carl Bernhard Wadström (1746-1799), who became involved in the British abolitionist movement after we saw the utter brutality of the slave trade.

Carl Bernhard Wadström and the African prince Peter Panah. Wadström was an active opponent of the slave trade and redeemed Panah from a slave ship in 1789. The portrait was painted by Carl Fredrik von Breda the same year.

In another passage, Swedenborg states more specifically what was being taught to these Africans in the 18th century by direct revelation:
"Such being the nature of the Africans even in the world, therefore there is at the present day a revelation among them, which from the centre where it began is spreading around, but not as far as to the seas. They acknowledge our Lord as the God of heaven and earth, and laugh at the monks, when visited by them, and at Christians who talk of a three-fold Divinity, and of salvation by thinking only, saying that there is no man who has any worship, that does not live according to his religion; and that if he does not, he cannot but become stupid and evil, because then he does not receive anything from heaven. Ingenious wickedness they also call stupidity, because not life, but death, is in it. I heard the joy of the angels over that revelation, because by it communication is opened to them with the human rational, hitherto closed by the blindness induced by matters of faith. It was told me from heaven, that the things now published in the "Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Concerning the Lord," "Concerning the Word," and in the "Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem," are orally dictated to the inhabitants of that country by angelic spirits." (The Final Judgment Continued, n. 76)
This is quite an amazing claim. However unlikely, I have shown earlier that some other "far out" revelations given to Swedenborg may actually be correct. If true, it shows that God again prefers to give His revelation to those who are treated in the lowest manner - just as a revelation was given through Moses in Egypt to Hebrews who were in slavery, again a revelation will be made to those in Africa who had been sold into slavery by western colonial powers. This is the way the Divine tends to operate, as revelation cannot be received by those who are in the pride of their own self intelligence, for with the pride of self intelligence comes stubbornness and the refusal to change to recognize the truth.

So there the revelation given to Swedenborg stands. The question now is, is this statement accurate?  And if true, where exactly are these African peoples where this revelation was made?  It has been over 200 years, where are they?  It has been an unconfirmed statement that has not been verified. That is, until the year 2012.

THE TESTIMONY OF SARAH BINAYAMO BOYANGA


In the year 2012, one Sarah Binayamo Boyanga started to receive heavenly visitations from the Lord in the mornings, and she was told to write them down in detail. She would go through periods of fasting and prayer. Her testimony is interesting - just as Emanuel Swedenborg was the son of a Lutheran pastor, in a similar manner Sarah is the daughter of a Christian evangelist who comes from Africa. As of yet, I do not know which country but perhaps someone can recognize the African language her father speaks at the end of the video below. They did not ask for this, and they were told at first to keep it private, then to reveal it to their church.  The pastor prayed privately and asked if it was true or not.  Soon after, in one heavenly visitation Sarah was greeted in heaven by a young girl, aged about 4-5 years who gave her a hug. She thought nothing of it at first, but later she and her father realized it was elder sister who had died at the age of 4. A similar event happened to one young boy who had a Near Death Experience, who had met an elder sister of his that his mother had miscarried, of which he knew nothing.

Sarah would have these heavenly visitations in the morning - she would describe it as going out of her body while sleeping.  Swedenborg had his visions while in a full waking state, but on occasion he was allowed to have this kind of visitation as well. There are two experiences he describes: visions while sleeping, and out of the body experiences (OOBE):
"There are two kinds of visions that are not of the ordinary kind, into which I have been let only that I might know their nature, and what is meant by its being said in the Word that men were withdrawn from the body, and that they were carried by the spirit into another place.
"As regards the first, namely, being withdrawn from the body, the case is this. The man is brought into a certain state that is midway between sleep and wakefulness, and when he is in this state he cannot know but that he is wholly awake. All his senses are as fully awake as in the highest wakefulness of the body; the sight, and the hearing, and, what is wonderful, the touch, which is then more exquisite than it can ever be in the wakefulness of the body. In this state, also, spirits and angels have been seen altogether to the life, and also heard, and, what is wonderful, have been touched, and almost nothing of the body then intervened. This is the state of which it is said that they are withdrawn from the body, and that they do not know whether they are in the body or out of it I have been let into this state only three or four times, merely that I might know how it is, and that spirits and angels are in the enjoyment of every sense, and even the touch more delicate and more exquisite than the touch of the body." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1882-1883)
This first kind of vision is the kind Sarah Binayamo Boyanga describes. Here is her full testimony, which took a bit of courage as she was once very shy and had trouble saying hi to other people, She took care to write it all down as she was commanded to do so, so often she reads from her own notes. The main message of her testimony: that heaven and hell are real.



So, can we independently check the testimony of Sarah Binayamo Boyanga?  Indeed, there are several items in her testimony which we can compare with the testimony of Emanuel Swedenborg (for a comparison between the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg and that of a Near Death Experience of a Christian minister, see A Journey to Heaven by Richard Sigmund and Emanuel Swedenborg)

THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL


There is one part of her testimony that caught my attention (around 59 minutes), where she meets the archangel Michael. Michael is so tall, she comes up to him and had to poke him in the leg to get his attention. Finally archangel Michael looks down at her and smiles.

She says: "You are Michael, the one whom God ordered to throw Satan out of heaven."

Michael replied, "Yes I am. I did it with the power the Lord gave me, not by my own strength."

When Michael said this, Sarah says she was shocked, as she thought it he would have said it was by his own power. She reflected on this, and as angels glorify God in heaven, so should we when we ar given the ability or freedom to do anything. This shows she has received information adapted to her understanding from an external source, for it was not according to what she expected. And it just so happens this is exactly what Swedenborg said concerning the angels he encountered, as shown from the following passages:
"...angels have not the least power of themselves — as indeed they confess — but from the Lord only, " (Heavenly Arcana, n. 300)
"That there were angels with the Lord when He fought against the hells, is evident from the Word; as also from the consideration that when He was in combats of temptations, it could not be otherwise than that angels should be present; to whom the Lord from His own power gave strength, and as it were power, to fight with Him; for all the power that the angels have is from the Lord." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1752)
"It is to be known, however, that angels have no power at all from themselves, but that all their power is from the Lord; and that they are only so far powers as they acknowledge this. Whoever of them believes that he has power from himself, becomes instantly so weak that he cannot even resist one evil spirit; which is the cause that angels attribute nothing at all of merit to themselves, that they are averse to all praise and glory on account of anything done, and that they ascribe the praise and glory to the Lord. (Heaven and Hell, n. 230)
"God has all power, and men and angels have none at all, because God alone is life, and men and angels are only recipients of life, and life is that which acts, and the recipient of life that which is acted upon." (Apocalypse Explained, n. 1134.2)
All power, Swedenborg was shown, originates from the Divine truth which flows throughout heaven, and angels have this power inasmuch as they can receive it.  One point of difference, however, is that Swedenborg was shown that the archangel Michael does not in fact refer to an individual angel, but to a society of angels that perform a certain function or role, for all names in heaven are given according to function:
"In no case does an angel in heaven have a certain name; but it is good and truth from which names are given. Michael and the other angels in the Word, are not angels with such names; but they bear these names from the office that they fill, whatever it may be." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1752) 
"In the Word also angels are mentioned by name, as Michael, Raphael, and others. They who do not know the internal sense of the Word believe that Michael or Raphael is an individual angel who is supreme among his associates; but by those names in the Word is not signified an individual angel, but the angelic function itself, thus also the Divine of the Lord as to what is of the function." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 8192.3)
So although Sarah has in her mind the conception of a single individual angel who is called Michael, one point should be mentioned here: she sees the archangel Michael as a giant, standing in front of a whole army of angels. She may in essence have seen the society of angels of Michael, represented as one giant angel, as Swedenborg himself saw:
"...the Lord leads all who are in the whole heaven as if they were one angel, and in like manner those who are in each society. Hence an entire angelic society sometimes appears as a one, in the form of an angel, as I have been given by the Lord to see. ...From this it is that the Lord in the Word is called an angel, and that an entire society is so called. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are no other than angelic societies, so named from their functions." (Heaven and Hell, n. 52)
CHANGE OF CLOTHING

At the beginning of each visitation Sarah is asked to change from her earthly garments and put on heavenly garments.  Swedenborg also saw angels in a variety of clothing, each according to the state. But why change her clothing each time? Swedenborg explains the spiritual significance of this:
"And purify yourselves, and change your garments. That this signifies that holiness was to be put on, is evident from the signification of being purified or cleansed, as being sanctified — to be explained in what follows; and from the signification of changing the garments, as putting on, here putting on holy truths; for in the internal sense of the Word by garments are signified truths. That changing garments was a representative received in the church, is plainly manifest; but what it represented no one can know, unless he knows what garments signify in the internal sense (see n. 2576)." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4545)
This is the reason why she is asked to put on heavenly garments: she was being instructed in heavenly truths.  The removal of earthly garments means to be withdrawn from the senses, and could also represent withdrawing from material things thus she was asked to fast during this time.

THE DWELLINGS OF ANGELS


Much of Sarah's testimony concerns the magnificent golden palaces, with rooms prepared for each person in heaven.  Jesus showed her that each place was prepared for each individual, that they could have everything they ever wanted, so that their happiness would be a thousand-fold of anything experienced here on earth.  Like Swedenborg, Sarah experienced incredible happiness and joy during these visitations, for the Lord is in fact the origin of all true happiness which is based in love.  Like Sarah, Swedenborg was allowed to see the incredible dwellings of the angels in heaven:
"Dwellings were shown me of those who were of the second and third posterity of this Most Ancient Church. They are magnificent, extending to a great length, and diversified with beautiful colors of purple and blue. For angels have most magnificent dwellings, such as cannot be described, which I have often seen." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1116)
"All the angels have their own dwellings, where they are, which are magnificent. I have been there, and have sometimes seen and admired them, and have there spoken with the angels. They are so distinct and clearly seen, that nothing can be more so. The habitations on earth are scarce any thing in comparison. They also call those which are on the earth dead, and not real; but their own, living and true, because from the Lord. The architecture is such that art itself is from it, with variety that knows no limit. They said that if all the palaces in the whole world should be given to them, they would not change their own for them. What is made of stone, clay, and wood is dead to them; but what is from the Lord, and from life itself and light itself, is living; and this the more, because they enjoy them by every sense." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1628)
The main point that Jesus wanted to get across is that His desire was for each individual to be as happy as possible to eternity, and Sarah saw how it pained and saddened Jesus when people turn away from Him, by following what they thought was right and turning away from His commandments.

JESUS AS THE LORD GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH


In Doctrine of the Lord, Swedenborg proves from scripture that God is one being and thus one person, who became incarnate in human form. Jesus is thus the Lord God of the universe, and the doctrine of a trinity of three persons is a falsehood. He was told in vision that this was one of the teachings being given to those in Africa in his day.  And this indeed is what Sarah sees in her vision: Jesus on the throne of heaven, being worshiped by all the angels of heaven. Moreover she was shown how the earth was created - Jesus would just simply point His finger at something and say "let it be" and it would come forth.

THE REALITY OF HEAVEN AND OF HELL


Another main point of the testimony: sin leads to eternal death. The reality of heaven and hell are as real as good and evil, for good and evil originate from heaven and hell in the spiritual world which flows into us via angels or evil spirits. During our life we walk a road in between the two. Anyone who goes to hell does so of their own will, for all know what they are doing is right or wrong - it is innate in us. Swedenborg makes a simple point of how one can determine, right now, whether one is on the path to heaven or on the path to hell - this is what he said to those who thought they were justified by faith alone:
"Is not God good itself, and the devil evil itself? Who in the whole world that has any religion does not know this? And is not acknowledging and loving God this—to do good, because it is God's and is from Him? And is not shunning and hating the devil this — not to do evil, because this is of the devil and is from him? Or what is the same, does your faith in act, which you call faith fully justifying and saving, or what is again the same, your act of justification by faith alone, teach the doing of any good which is of God and is from Him? And does it teach the shunning of any evil which is of the devil and from him? Not in the least; because you maintain that there is nothing of salvation in either." (True Christian Religion, n. 389)
One thing I observed in the testimony of Sarah, and later he father, is that they emphasized repentance after examining one's conscience, turning away from evil as sin, confession, and recognizing temptations. All of these are related to turning away from evil in one's life, and this is the way to heaven. This is perhaps one of the reasons why they were given these heavenly visitations: they were teaching the right message. With the promise of heaven, there is a stark warning of the reality of hell. Like Swedenborg, some of the scenes that Sarah was allowed to see were quite horrifying. At one point she saw those who rejected the Lord were wearing dark cloaks, in chains, headed on their way towards a pit leading downward to hell. And yet they had no idea of the danger they were in.  Again, even in this matter, Swedenborg explains the significance of chains in thee spiritual world:
..."to be bound with chains" signifies to be tied by falsities so that truth cannot come forth. (Apocalypse Explained, n. 652.26)
I haven't gone through all the testimony of Sarah, but wanted to mention just the main points here. For anyone who has these kinds of experiences, it is very hard to come forward and publicize them. But I am glad she did, it shows also how God can do great things with the small and humble. Its not the best marketing presentation perhaps, but the testimony seems honest. I have been keeping an eye out for something like this out of Africa for a long time:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Hidden Secrets of Heaven



When we look at how Divine revelation has proceeded over many centuries, there are some important observations to make:
1.  Revelation is progressive, occurring in periodic dispensations 
2.  Revelation is adapted to the culture of the time for it to be received 
3.  If a certain truth cannot be received, it is withheld and kept secret.  This is done through symbolic "layers of truth."  If the truth is known, it is only given to initiates. 
4.  The secret is often maintained for posterity through symbolic rituals, stories or myths
5. When a religion becomes corrupt, the secrets are then revealed to start a new dispensation. 
THE SECRET IDENTITY OF JESUS

As an example, Jesus hid his identity while walking among us in His human form, and would not tell people who He was, it was a hidden secret until the advent of Christianity. This drove some of the Jewish leaders nuts:
"So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep." (John, 10:24-26)
Here Jesus answers the question if He is a "reincarnated" prophet, and the answer is a definite no; not only that, once the apostles are told who He is he tells them to keep it secret:
"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. ...Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ." (Matt. 16:13-17,20)
The above passage is interesting, because in Peter's response there is a hidden reference to the Trinity in one person, Jesus Christ: the "Christ" or anointed one represents the Holy Spirit proceeding from Jesus, the "Son" of course His human form, the "living God" the Divine soul which dwelt in His human form. Even the gospels of Mark and Luke do not provide the full answer, and it is only given in the gospel of Matthew.

Jesus met many demoniacs in His time, for at that time hell had risen and at that time demons had the power to take control of the human body in certain cases.  Jesus would cast them out, but as these were spirits in the spiritual plane, they could easily see who He was. He again commanded them not to reveal His identity:
"And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ." (Luke 4:41)
It is because of this spiritual situation for mankind that it is often not permitted to engage in spiritual contact, for there are many in the spiritual world that will purposely lie and deceive. One must be spiritually prepared, but this is another topic.

WHY DID JESUS KEEP HIS IDENTITY SECRET?

At the time, many Jews were not ready to receive this truth. They were unprepared, for they had so literally read the scriptures that they expected an earthly king or Messiah who would let them rule the world. Some attempted this, even Judas, but Jesus withdrew from them. Others who recognized Jesus for who He were driven from the synagogues. When Jesus was forced to reveal His identity at His mock trial, He was crucified for blasphemy.

So truth must be protected, thus Jesus would speak in parables, and only revealed the inner meaning to the apostles.  Otherwise the truth would be corrupted and profaned:
"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." (Matt. 7:6)
Much of scripture is written in symbolic form, for even the descendants of Jacob were not ready to receive truth in its internal spiritual form. Even the Christian church was not ready - some truths were revealed, but not all of them. In the present day, many are now in doubt if the Bible is even Divinely inspired, and some so-called scholars try to sow doubt that Jesus even existed. With so much doubt and darkness clouding people's minds, a new revelation has taken place, in which Jesus gave a revelation which shows how and why scripture is Divinely inspired, and this is spelled out in detail from waking heavenly visions in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (for which see Heavenly Arcana, aka Arcana Coelestia, "Heavenly Secrets").

In an interesting passage, Swedenborg discusses why in the Old Testament God is known under the name of Jehovah, but in the New Testament Jehovah is nowhere named but instead is called "Lord," and why Jesus Himself, who was Jehovah hidden in human form, commanded His apostles to call Him Lord:
"Among the hidden causes of their calling Jehovah the Lord, were the following: if at that time it had been said that the Lord was the Jehovah so often named in the Old Testament (see n. 1736), men would not have accepted it, for they would not have believed it; and further, because the Lord did not become Jehovah as to the Human also, until He had in every way united the Divine Essence to the Human Essence, and the Human to the Divine (see n. 1725, 1729, 1733, 1745, 1815, 2156, 2751). The full unition was accomplished after the last temptation, which was that of the cross; and for this reason after the resurrection the disciples always called Him Lord (John xx. 2, 13, 15, 18, 20, 25; xxi. 7, 12, 15-17, 20; Mark xvi. 19, 20); and Thomas said, My Lord, and my God (John xx. 28). And because the Lord was Jehovah, Who is so often named in the Old Testament, He therefore also said to the disciples, Ye call Me Master and Lord, and ye say well, for I am (John xiii. 13, 14, 16); and these words signify that He was Jehovah God. In the last passage He is called Lord as to good, and Master as to truth. That the Lord was Jehovah, is also meant by the words of the angel to the shepherds: Unto you is born this day a Saviour who is Christ the Lord (Luke ii. 11). He is called Christ as the Messiah, the Anointed, King; and Lord as Jehovah; Christ in respect to truth, Lord in respect to good. One who does not closely study the Word would not know this, for he would think that our Saviour was called Lord, like others, from the common title of reverence; when yet He was so called because He was Jehovah." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2921.6)
Two main reasons: first they would not have accepted it, and secondly, when He was first born to the virgin Mary He was as to His human form not yet completely Divine but human like us. He progressively overcame sin and temptation, until after the resurrection He had completely transformed His human so that it was Divine. In essence, after the resurrection, His human form was no longer the son of Mary nor of the seed of David. And this explains the hidden meaning of the following passage:
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (Matt. 22:41-46)
Jesus quoted from the passage of Psalm 110. Some of it is lost in translation, instead of "The Lord said to my Lord" it should say "Jehovah said to my Lord." Jehovah being the Divine itself, the Lord here the anointed one, or the Divine in human form. The enemies here is all of hell, which was conquered in His human form.

THE PROTECTIVE LAYERS OF TRUTH


So, things are not always as they seem.  Sometimes we accept a truth, and it is only an appearance of truth. One of my favorite series of movies is actually an old one, entitled The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan. It begins as a mystery, then gets highly symbolic, and once one sees the end, like doubting Thomas the reaction is, "Oh, now I get it." Then one has to watch the whole thing over again. I just discovered there is a modern remake of this one:


The final episode "Fall Out" received a Hugo Award nomination, but lost out to 2001: A Space Odyssey. I won't reveal the ending, that would spoil things. Best one discovers things for themselves. We are all spiritual beings, imprisoned by a three dimensional reality. But here is the End of Episode 1: The Arrival.  My favorite line is "We are all pawns, my dear. Your move." The Prisoner cant excape the island due to being chased by a giant white ball or balloon, one has to wonder why he did not just take a pin and pop it:



LAYERS OF TRUTH AND INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES

Intelligence agencies, especially those that try to keep a secret, learn how to create different layers of truth.  The more protective layers there are, the more the inner truth is protected.  One example of this is the Valerie Plame affair.


Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA operative who assumed a role of a NOC (Non Official Cover) which means she took a role that had no official ties to the government. Her focus overseas was in nuclear proliferation. This was done by setting up "front companies" - which is a false layer of truth to cover up the true intent to extract intelligence. One focus was on nuclear proliferation in Iran, another was breaking into the nuclear proliferation network of A.Q. Khan in Pakistan. At one point Khan was tracked when making a trip to Africa, specifically Niger which has uranium deposits. Plame sent her husband there to investigate, but such a sale of uranium was considered highly unlikely. Later, the Bush administration began making the claim that Iraq went to Niger to obtain uranium for "weapons of mass destruction," which is now known to be an outright lie in order to justify war against Iraq. Again, Plame sent her husband to investigate the claim, and no evidence of this was turned up. This was made public. In revenge, the Bush administration revealed the identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent - a blatant treasonable offense, compromising security for a very important area for world safety.

APPLICABILITY TO THE DIVINE

If one recognizes how intelligence agencies operate in trying to keep a secret, or the identities of their agents secret, one can learn a bit of how the Divine operates:

It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. (Pro. 25:2)

God and His hidden angelic agents are concealed, so as not to interfere with human free will. For to be human is to stand midway between heaven and hell, and make a choice from reason whether to follow good or evil.  How we make our choices determines our eternal destiny.

Another reason why God keeps Himself secret, is that is it impossible for finite minds to even comprehend the infinite Being known as God.  But God has a desire to make himself known, adapted to our understanding so that we can receive Him, to have communion with His presence.  In order for the infinite to make itself known to the finite, it has to descend in "layers" - where each discrete "layer" is an appearance of truth, adapted to our understanding.  For sake of example, let the Divine be something comparable to a sphere. However we live in a two dimensional world and cannot understand a sphere. For the sphere to make itself known to our flat world, it needs to project itself onto the plane as a circle:


The circle thus becomes an image to us of the unseen sphere. Likewise, God projected Himself into our reality by becoming incarnate in human form; Jesus is thus the image of the unseen God. In reality, all of creation is a projection of some aspect of the Divine, it just so happens the human form is the most comprehensive "projection," for the human form is a microcosm of the universe and heaven. How all of creation is symbolic in nature I had discussed earlier in blogs labeled as "Universal Order of Design." Creation is designed in discrete layers of order, each building up on the previous layer.

Layers of truth can also be seen in religious dispensations: truth is adapted to that age and culture for people to receive it.  But symbols and rituals will contain within them inner spiritual truths, for those who are willing to seek them out.

Creating layers of truth, was a method of extracting information in the movie Inception. Create enough interest, one can receive things in dreams:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Angels who watch over Children


Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.  (Matt. 18:10)

A few days ago a 25 year old mother, Lynn Groesbeck, died in a car crash at night when he car went over an embankment and ended up upside down in an ice cold river.  Over 10 hours later, the car was spotted and reported, there were no signs of life in the car.  Four first responders on the scene then heard a distinct female voice: "Help."  They quickly went into the ice cold river, risking hypothermia, and turned over the car. The mother in the driver's seat was dead. But in the back they saw an 18 month year old baby, Lily Groesbeck, who has been suspended upside down in her car seat. Luckily when the car turned, the baby was submerged in the water but her head was inches above the surface allowing her to breathe. She is now at home doing fine. Here is a video of the officers who arrived at the scene who describe hearing the audible voice:



In case that video gets removed here is another one:



There are several cases of this when a child is close to death. Here is another more dramatic case, involving a miraculous healing, and a bright flash of light that was caught emanating from the hospital room on a security camera, previously discussed in The Light of an Angel caught on Video Tape:



There are other cases of angels having visible manifestations, which were seen over Coptic Churches in Egypt: see Angel Appears before thousands on top of a Coptic Church.  But for cases of angels coming to intervene to save children's lives, nothing is more dramatic perhaps then a case where a couple of terrorists with a bomb came into a school classroom and took a whole class of children hostage - in fact, they took 153 children and teachers and packed them into one classroom. The bomb exploded in the classroom which should have killed everyone - but somehow it only killed the two terrorists. People who investigated were puzzled, but then the children began reporting that they had been saved by angels. Parents were skeptical, but one decided to carefully record the testimony of his child using police techniques. This one is hard to explain away, as there were multiple witnesses:



At least two children later saw pictures of their relatives that they had not seen before, and recognized them as they had appeared to them in the classroom right before the bomb exploded.

THE ORIGIN OF ANGELS

While some theologians speculate on the origin of angels before the creation of mankind, the revelations given to Swedenborg give a very simple answer: all angels originate from the human race, which explains their human form:
"In the Christian world it is quite unknown that heaven and hell are from the human race, for it is believed that angels were created from the beginning and of them was formed heaven; and that the devil or satan was an angel of light, but because he became rebellious he was cast down with his crew, and of them was formed hell. Angels wonder exceedingly that there should be such a belief in the Christian world, and still more that nothing at all should be known about heaven, when yet that is the primary thing of doctrine in the Church; and because such ignorance prevails, they rejoice in heart that it has pleased the Lord now to reveal to mankind many things respecting heaven, and also hell, and thereby as far as possible to dispel the darkness which is daily increasing, because the Church has come to its end. They wish for this reason that I should declare from their mouth, that in the whole heaven there is not one angel who was so created from the beginning, nor in hell any devil who was created an angel of light and cast down; but that all, both in heaven and in hell, are from the human race; in heaven those who lived in the world in heavenly love and faith, in hell those who lived in infernal love and faith; and that hell taken as a whole is what is called the devil and satan." (Heaven and Hell, n. 311).
THE AUDIBLE VOICE OF ANGELS

It is permissible at times for angels to speak directly with man, but this is rare at this time, and typically only happens in times of urgent need. In the age of the prophets, angels were used to communicate directly with men, at which time they were invested with the presence of God, albeit temporarily. With Jesus it was different: the conjunction was permanent, as God directly dwelled within Him, and made his human Divine:
"An angel sometimes speaks, not from himself, but from the Lord, and he then does not know but that he is the Lord; but then his externals are at rest. It is otherwise when his externals are active. The reason is, that their internal man is the Lord's possession; and so far then as there are no obstructions of their own, it is the Lord's and is the Lord. But in the Lord, a plenary conjunction or an eternal union with Jehovah was wrought, so that His very Human Essence also is Jehovah." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1745.3)
I bring this up for those who have fallen in the error to declare that Jesus was just an angel in human form, or just a teacher, or reborn avatar. The Christian truth is He is the Divine incarnate, otherwise His teaching makes no sense. He spoke directly to his apostles and speaks to the Church through the Holy Spirit, but in ancient times, communication through heaven was done via angels. This was heard as an audible voice, as the prophets would often say "the word of the Lord" came to them. Moreover, when the Jewish priests sought an answer from the Lord through the Urim and Thummim, it was again revealed through an audible voice:
"...it is to be known that when the shining forth appeared, then at the same time a response to the subject of inquiry was given in an audible voice. This was done through angels, to whom by such a shining forth this answer was revealed by the Lord; for, as already told, Divine truths which are answers appear in this manner in the heavens." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9905)
In ancient times, this audible voice was the method of revelation, but this was closed off due to sin and disobedience. It is still the method of Divine revelation on other planets, who have no knowledge of scripture:
"On every other earth truth Divine is revealed orally through spirits and angels, as has been shown in the preceding chapters where the inhabitants of the earths in this solar system have been described; but this takes place within families; for mankind on most of the earths live distinct according to their families. Wherefore Divine truth thus revealed through spirits and angels is not conveyed far beyond the families, and unless a new revelation is constantly succeeding, what has been revealed is either perverted or perishes. It is otherwise on our earth, where truth Divine, that is, the Word, remains in its integrity for ever." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9358)
For us, the Divine revelation is ever present in scripture, which is written in a highly symbolic manner, where spiritual concepts lay hidden in the literal sense of every word and story.

THE CHILDREN OF HEAVEN

At times, children do die, and its devastating to their parents.  Swedenborg was shown that all children, without exception, go to heaven as they have not reached the age of reason:
"It is the belief of some that only children who are born within the Church come into heaven, but not those who are born out of the Church; because, they say, children within the Church are baptized and by baptism initiated into the faith of the Church. They do not know that no one has heaven or faith by baptism; for baptism is only for a sign and memorial that man is to be regenerated, and that he can be regenerated who is born within the Church, since there is the Word in which are the Divine truths by which regeneration is effected, and there the Lord is known from Whom regeneration is.[a] Let them know, therefore, that every child, wheresoever he is born, whether within the Church or out of it, whether of pious parents or of impious, when he dies is received by the Lord and is educated in heaven, and according to Divine order is taught and imbued with affections for good, and through this with knowledge of truth; and afterward, as he is perfected in intelligence and wisdom, he is introduced into heaven and becomes an angel. Every one who thinks from reason may know that no one is born for hell, but all for heaven, and that man himself is in fault, that he comes into hell; but little children cannot as yet be in fault." (Heaven and Hell, n. 329)
For an interesting dream, concerning some angels who were taking care of children who died recently in the Middle East, see What is the Way to Heaven?