Monday, November 24, 2014

Bible Mistranslation: Confession vs. Thanksgiving




After realizing there is most probably a missing line in Psalms 145 in the Masoretic Hebrew text, which is found not only in the Greek Septuagint but also the Dead Sea scrolls (see Is the Masoretic Text of the Bible the Most Reliable?) I decided to check to see what else, if anything, could possibly be missing. I would say the Masoretic is probably 98% accurate, but I have found other cases where the Septuagint is correct. The odd thing is, the Masoretic and Septuagint tend to diverge (for that small 2% or so) when there is a New Testament quote involved. But I am finding something more disturbing: all English translations of the Bible are inaccurate in their translation. In every single Psalm I am finding mistranslations. Most of the time one may say it makes no difference in meaning, but this comes from an ignorance that each Hebrew word has a significant spiritual meaning different from other Hebrew words (for example, "adversary" has a different spiritual meaning from "enemy.") As such, many of the deeper hidden spiritual meanings of scripture is lost to the modern reader. I am trying to stay as close as possible to the KJV, and when I see an error, I correct and hyperlink it, which some versions have inconsistently noted in marginal notes. This way one can judge the other translations easily.

I wish I never saw that missing line, because this is taking up my spare time, so I have to decide whether to add a blog or proceed through this translation. Its a slippery slope:  I decided to incorporate Swedenborg's comments on the Psalms which helps explain the corrections, and the notes are now more than 400 pages. Swedenborg was a bit more careful, going with a very literal translation from the Hebrew into Latin by Schmidius, but even he makes occasional errors as he did not use a correct translation of scripture.

As I have been translating the Psalms I have found a significant mistranslation in the Bible.  It never says "thanksgiving" or "give thanks."  Yes, quite a shocker. It never says THANKSGIVING or GIVE THANKS in the Bible.


This word that is translated as "give thanks" or "thanksgiving" appears most often in the Psalms.  The Hebrew word is yadah, from which we get the name Judah. In some cases it is mistranslated as "praise," for which there is another Hebrew word.  The word yadah, in a very literal sense means to hold out the hand, and be extension worship with extended hands. It originates from the Hebrew word yad which means hand. We can see this kind of worship in ancient Egypt:

Worship of the Sun god

Worship of Hapi  by Rameses III

Worship of the Sun god

Worship of Osirus

In most ancient times Egypt did worship the one God, and portrayed different aspects of God in different ways. In process of time, it degenerated into polytheism.  When this ancient religion degenerated to such a point where nothing of truth was left, a new revelation was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. But many of the Jewish rituals one can see has a more ancient origin. So notice, in worship, one lifted up one's hands, showing the palms of one's hands. The emphasis here, in the more ancient religion, was in what you did, not what you said. The hands signify the deeds that you have done, and showing the palms symbolized to reveal what you have done.

So what is the proper translation of Hebrew yadah?  In most cases, the proper translation is CONFESSION. In one sense, it is confession of one's sins, which is seen in this passage:
And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to Jehovah God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. (Josh. 7:19)
The same word translated as confession here is translated as thanksgiving in other cases. To show the palms of one's hands means to not hide what one has done. This is a small example, but it shows how in process of time religion degenerates: instead of placing emphasis on how one lives, it degenerates into how one believes or what one says, regardless of life (thus the Protestant concept of faith alone is a big mistake). Does God actually need thanks? No he does not. Do we need to confess? Yes we do. When we confess our specific sins, our sinful nature, that opens our heart for God to come in and dwell inside of us. To confess a sin is much harder then paying lip service to offer thanks. So one does confess, it is much more valuable than offering thanks. Confession is simply not popular among the masses, everyone wants a feel good prosperity spirituality. It is easy to hide, hard to confess, but confession releases one from the power of darkness.

THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF JUDAH AND ISRAEL

As said before, the name Judah is derived from this word meaning confession.  In Biblical history, one can see that eventually the Jews were divided into two kingdoms: Judah in the south, and the kingdom of Israel in the north. Although this is truly historical and did happen in ancient times, there is a hidden spiritual meaning behind this. Everything historical in the Bible has some significance in the spiritual world. The kingdoms of Judah and Israel represent two different levels or planes of heaven: Judah represents the higher heaven, the celestial, in which love predominates. Emphasis is placed on internal confession, which is an internal acknowledgment of the Lord. Israel represents the second or lower spiritual heaven, in which emphasis is placed on truth or praise. This is explained in detail in Swedenborg's work, Heavenly Arcana (aka Arcana Coelestia or Heavenly Secrets.) Thus when commentaries say that Judah means "praise," yet again a mistranslation is hiding a spiritual meaning.

As confession can mean confession of sin, it can also mean an internal confession of the Lord, for an acknowledgment of one's sin is also an acknowledgment that all good that one does originates not from self, but from God:
Whoso offers confession glorifies Me, 
And to him who sets his way, I will show the salvation of God. (Ps. 50:23)
In most translations confession is mistranslated as praise and set's one way is mistranslated by the KJV as conversation for some reason. This shows some Hebrew parallelism: the second line repeats what the first line already said. However different words are used: offering and confession relate to the will of the heart.  To set one's way is related to living by the truth, for removing falsity is ordering one's way. Without truth one will go the wrong way. This shows up consistently in scripture.  It is by truth one achieves salvation, for truth liberates one from falsity. Thus "God" is mentioned in the second line, and "God" (or Elohim) is always used in reference to Divine truth, and the name Jehovah is always used in referent to Divine love. The Divine love is to Divine truth as a father is to a son, for truth flows from love. Love and truth must always be conjoined together, thus one has the phrase "Jehovah God" (or LORD God) throughout the Old Testament.

Confession is thus a higher order of spirituality than just knowing or living by the truth: it is a deeper acknowledgment of one's sin, and opens one up one's will to God's will. Here is one passage from Swedenborg which describes it well, for many do not distinguish between one's internal will and one's internal thought:
"In David: I will confess to Jehovah according to His justice, and I will sing praise to the name of Jehovah Most High (Ps. vii. 17). Again: When I shall go . . . to the house of God, with the voice of joy and of confession, with a multitude who keep a festival (Ps. xlii. 4). Again: I will confess unto Thee O Lord among the nations, I will sing praises unto Thee among the peoples, for Thy mercy is great, even to heaven (lvii. 9, 10).
"From these passages it is manifest that confession has reference to the celestial of love, and is distinguished from what relates to the spiritual of love; for it is said confession and the voice of joy, confession and the voice of them who make merry, I will confess unto Thee among the nations, and I will sing praises unto Thee among the peoples — confession and confessing being what is celestial, and the voice of joy, the voice of them who make merry and sing praises, being what is spiritual. It is also said, confess among the nations, and sing praises among the peoples, because nations signify those who are in good, and peoples those who are in truth (see n. 1416, 1849, 2928) — that is, those who are in celestial love, and those who are in spiritual love. In the Word, with the Prophets, two expressions for the most part occur, one having reference to the celestial or good, and the other to the spiritual or truth, in order that there may be a Divine marriage in every part of the Word, thus a marriage of good and truth (n. 683, 793, 801, 2173, 2516, 2712, 3132). From this it is also manifest that confession involves the celestial of love, and that genuine confession, or that which is from the heart, can only be from good, the confession which is from truth being called the voice of joy, the voice of them who make merry, and that sing praises." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 3880.3-4)
Here is a song Confess by a new band The Wanted. Note the hand postures, closed fist, or hands in pocket, as opposed to an open hand seen in ancient Egyptian murals, popularizing "bad" behaviour as opposed to opposing it with humility. From a popular song one can determine what is popular in society. One must subdue one's own pride, not elevate it. It shows you can often observe someone's internal attitude or values from the external postures of the body (see A Visitation of Jesus and Prophecies of Russia and America for a visitation of Jesus on hand postures, where it is important to have an open hand and not a closed fist in all that one does):



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Telepathy, Synchronous Dreams, Prayer, and Extraterrestrials



In a round about way I discovered one of the readers of this blog claimed to have been in close contact with extraterrestrials, under a setting involving the U.S. military.  However this person is not allowed to discuss details as there were certain security oaths signed. This person mentioned something strange: when one comes close to an extraterrestrial, communication can begin to take place through telepathy. For them, non-verbal communication through telepathy is the norm. So I thought I would discuss the matter of telepathy and related phenomenon, such as synchronous dreaming and prayer. For thoughts are not just thoughts, they have a spiritual reality and the thoughts we accept as truth has the power to change one's life. For without exception, we all act according to the truth that we know and accept. You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

If this sounds unlikely, this is the age of the internet, and it now becomes possible to get in touch with people from across the world, and one or two people who have had a face to face encounter have gotten in touch with me through this blog.

Another related phenomenon to telepathy, perhaps the same, is synchronous dreaming. People have found who share their dreams, that often in the same night they would have the same dream on the same subject.  As in dreams we shutdown our external senses, it is more likely that telepathy would occur more often during this time of sleep. It sounds bizarre, but if you remember your dreams, and share them with friends and family who do the same, you will find this is quite common.

At this time I thought I would share a synchronous dream experience: after I published the article The Extraterrestrial Christianity of UMMO, I had this very strange dream. I saw a man, who looked human. He looked at me, and began to rapidly shift between different forms of communication, first telepathic, then he opened his mouth, and the noises were very strange. He was speaking in languages I never heard of, some were in very high pitched noises and it was very strange. It was when he opened his mouth to speak I then realized he was not from this earth. The thought in his mind was that he was trying to determine if I myself was just an ordinary human, or extraterrestrial. He seemed to lose interest at the end of the dream when I did not understand or respond.

A strange dream, and would have forgotten about it, but that very day another person told me her dream: a voice came to her as the dream was showing various people in American neighborhoods. The voice said, or thought, "Do not be upset with them, for they are not human." And by that the voice meant that many people in the U.S. have lost their humanity, they have lost any love or interest they have in other people. Their entire thought was self absorbed interest. They only interact or show interest in others if they have self-gain from the relationship. The thought came to her that these people were just superficial flat images, all they do is eat and poof, eat and poof. They were not truly human.

So, not exactly about human and extraterrestrials, but both dreams concerned trying to determine if someone was human or not. What is humanity anyway? It is said that God created man in his own likeness and image. When Swedenborg read this passage, he was shown that in the spiritual sense it meant we are God's image and likeness insomuch as we do good according to His will, from the thoughts according to the truth. Inasmuch as we act according to His will, we become His image. It has nothing to do with someone's external appearance.

So, a synchronous dream. Coincidence? My thoughts coming into her thoughts or vice versa? Ot telepathy perhaps?

PROOF OF TELEPATHY

So is there any proof that telepathy exists? I had earlier written about a Scientific Proof of Biological Precognition. Also, there is a remarkable case of a subject retrieving information written on a paper by having an out of body experience during sleep - see Astral Projection and Out of the Body Experiences (OOBE).  A friend of mine, who often teaches classes on ancient symbolism and dream interpretation, decided to do an experiment of his own. He had a person step out of the class, go somewhere, and stare at an object intensely to communicate it back to the class. Then he told the entire class to write down on a piece of paper the first thing that popped into their mind. After 10 seconds, he said STOP. The amazing thing, each student was able to describe a different aspect of what this other student saw. Not only that, but each pair of students sitting next to each other seemed to have almost exactly the same information - for one pair it was color, for another pair it was shape, etc. It was as if some hidden angel was controlling what each pair of student received in their head.

So what about a scientific controlled experiment? One in fact took place on the psychic Uri Geller. From Physicists Test Telepathy In a 'Cheat-Proof' Setting:
Scientists at the Stanford research Institute who conducted experiments with a number of persons, including Uri Geller, the magician and purported psychic, report that Mr. Geller, and probably most people. have an ability to send and receive information by some "as yet unidentified perceptual modality."
Despite the publicity that as been given to Mr. Geller's contention that he has the ability to bend metal or move objects by mental power alone, the researchers said in the generally conservative journal Nature that they were unable to confirm the authenticity of such feats under conditions that eliminated the possibility of deception.
Although several professional magicians have duplicated many of Mr. Geller's feats by using sleight-of-hand techniques, the S.R.I. scientists said in a telephone interview that their current report was based on experiments in which trickery would seem to be unlikely.
The scientists said they had consulted professional magicians in designing their experiments to be as "cheat proof" as possible.
Mr. Geller was seated in a room with metal walls capable of insulating it from external sights, sounds and radio waves, the scientists said.
Random Selection.
Outside that room, the researchers opened a dictionary at random, looked down the list of entries for the first word that could be depicted graphically and then drew a picture corresponding to the word.
Mr. Geller's task was to draw a similar picture. The researchers said he was never told who would select the picture or how it would be done.
In nine such experiments, Mr. Geller produced seven drawings or sets of drawings. All of Mr. Geller's responses, which were published in the Nature article alongside the researchers' drawings showed some degree of correspondence to the target pictures. Most showed remarkable similarity.
In the two instances in which Mr. Geller did not produce a drawing, he had been fitted with brain wave recording electrodes that, he said, interfered with his ability.
In a 10th experiment, the drawing was placed in the sealed room before Mr. Geller's arrival. Later, when asked to reproduce the drawing he was unable to do so.
In three additional experiments, images that could be displayed by computer were stored in the machine's memory, known only to the programer. Mr. Geller, in the sealed room during the selection and programing of the image, produced drawings that all bore some degree of similarity.
From these experiments, among others, the scientists, Russell Targ and Dr Harold Puthoff, concluded that Mr. Geller did indeed possess telepathic ability.
Here is a copy of some of the target and response drawings by Uri Geller:


TELEPATHY BY DREAMING

In another experiment, scientists attempted to test the existence of telepathy during the dream state while people were sleeping. From Scientists Demonstrate Remarkable Evidence Of Dream Telepathy Between People:
In the mid 1960’s, Montague Ullman, MD, began a number of experiments at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York to test the hypothesis that sleeping people could dream about randomly selected material that they were targeting to dream about. In other words, they could choose what they wanted to dream about, some examples include artwork, movies, photographs and more. Shortly after these experiments began, she was joined by Stanley Krippner. Krippner is a PhD., and professor of psychology at Saybrook University, he has a very impressive background when it comes to the scientific study of dreams, psychology and parapsychology.
The experiments they conducted lasted a span of more than 10 years, and “yielded statistically significant results.”
During the experiments, there was usually a “telepathic sender” and a “telepathic receiver.” They met in the laboratory for a short period of time before being placed in completely separate rooms just before they went to sleep. The “telepathic” sender had an envelope waiting for them in the room in which they’d sleep. The envelope would contain something like a picture or a drawing. The “receivers” were then purposely awakened shortly after Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM) and the researchers took a dream report.
So how "statistically significant" is significant?  The results go beyond coincidence. In one session, the target was the picture School of Dance by Degas:


The "receivers" - the people dreaming in the session reported this:
According to Krippner, the “receivers” dream reports included such phrases as “I was in a class made up of maybe half a dozen people, it felt like a school,” and “There was one little girl that was trying to dance with me.” These results are extremely fascinating, the idea that one can influence another’s dream is quite remarkable. Although we might not understand the process behind the transfer of information, and we can’t see this transfer take place from mind to mind, the phenomenon was well documented and real, yet void of any scientific understanding or explanation. This is quite common when we examine scientific studies that have evaluated parapsychological phenomena. It’s real, observed, yet we don’t quite understand ‘how.’
Now I am beginning to wonder about that synchronous dream that I had. I was completely unaware of this experiment.

EXTRATERRESTRIAL CONTACTEE TELEPATHY

If we look at reports of extraterrestrial contacts, especially some in the early 1950s, it becomes apparent that not only are they far advanced in technology but also at the mental and spiritual level. For them, communication via telepathy is the norm, and verbal communication may be awkward. For us, the thought of someone reading our thoughts may be a bit uncomfortable. Not only for us, but probably for them as well.  One group had said something like, "If you come into contact with us, think good thoughts."  It may get to the point where it could become unbearable for them, for so many have negative and jealous thoughts.  Dannion Brinkley had a Near Death Experience after he survived from being struck by lightning, and found that for a period of time after he realized he had picked up an ability to read people's thoughts. And so many thoughts were thoughts of negativity and depression.

In report after report of contactees, the concept of telepathy as a form of communication comes up. And this is just bound to make government officials who wish to keep state secretes a bit uncomfortable. Bob Dean, retired from the U.S. military, mentions one meeting where U.S. Generals were shocked to discover that among the UFOs there were four races who had been observing us, one of them was human just like us. They even thought of scenarios where they could be walking up and down the halls of the Pentagon or even the White House and no one would no it. I will mention one account of an encounter with a high level British official, from Eisenhower and His Alien Contacts: Part 2:
The reported UK alien contact was made with Air Marshall Sir Peter Horsley who had been Deputy Commander-in-Chief, RAF Strike Command. In this key position Horsley would have had a key control role related to the nuclear weapons held by the British. At the time of the alien contact he was in the employ of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as equerry.Part of Horsley’s job was to receive UFO reports at the main operations center at the Department of Defense. He reported that gave some of these reports to the Prince Philip who had developed an interest in the subject.It was late in his life that Horsley related that his involvement with UFOs involved much more than reports. He told researchers about what he believed to be a 1954 direct alien encounter. He recounted the experience in his autobiography Sounds from Another Room.The meeting was set up by a mysterious General Martin who told Horsley he believed “the aliens were here to warn us of the perils of nuclear war.” The General told him that a Mr. Janus had a “message of the utmost importance” that needed to be discussed with Horsley in person.When Horsley arrived at the appointed meeting spot General Martin was not there but there was a Mrs. Markham at the apartment who welcomed Horsley and introduced him to a Mr. Janus.Janus asked Horsley what he knew about UFOs and after many questions Horsley asked Janus what his interest was. “I would like to meet the Duke of Edinburgh,” came the reply.As Horsley began to tell Janus that this would not be easy he became convinced that the man seated across from him was able to read his mind which disturbed him.Asked why he wanted to meet with the Prince, Janus replied that the Prince “is a man of great vision…who believes strongly in the proper relationship between man and nature which will prove of great importance in future galactic harmony.”
Janus went on to tell Horsley that mankind was “now striving to break his earthly bonds and travel to the moon and the planets beyond…the earth is going through a Dark Age at the moment where material possessions count more than a Man’s soul…”Janus spoke of the “dreadful specter of (mankind) blowing up his world” which was the other thing that really disturbed Horsley. In conversations with Tim Good Horsley recalled that this extraordinary man “knew all Britain’s top-secret nuclear secrets,” and “by the end of the meeting, I was quit disturbed, really.”
Horsley prepared a verbatim report of the meeting and presented it to Buckingham Palace. Prince Philip’s private secretary thought it was a joke, but the prince had an open mind about the event. The fact that Janus knew all Britain’s nuclear secrets made the Palace consider the situation a security risk and Horsley was sent back to talk to Janus again. When he arrived at the flat where the meeting had been the flat was abandoned, which really disturbed Horsley. Horsley never saw General Martin, Mrs. Markham, or Janus again. It led Horsley to conclude the man he had met with was an alien.Although Horsley recorded the incident in his autobiography, the official file of the event remains classified and unavailable.
In many of these reported contacts, these extraterrestrials invent names for themselves. The name "Mr. Janus" is quite interesting.  Completely independent from this account a family with their children were abducted one night from their car by a flying saucer, which was piloted by humans like us. This also took place in Britain, but in the late 1970s. They reported that they came from a planet that had died, and the name of their planet was JANOS. See Stephen Hawking and the Extraterrestrial Janos Affair.

There is evidence that the U.S. military is quite aware of this telepathic communication, and have in their military people serving that are "telepathic sensitives." One of them was Sergeant Clifford Stone who served in the military until 1989. See the following clip, in which he reports of his encounters of extraterrestrials, among whom there is a group of extraterrestrials who look human like us. The only difference he could discern was that in a dark room they would be able to tell you the color of an object that could not be seen:



EMANUEL SWEDENBORG AND HIS EXTRATERRESTRIAL CONTACTS

Telepathy and extraterrestrials are topics that became well known only in the 20th century.  Yet in the 18th century, Swedenborg spoke freely about both topics, which were revealed to him in waking visions.  For extraterrestrials, contact was initiated by him in a manner similar to telepathy. The ones he came into touch with were human in form like us. But more often than not, communication with them was non-verbal. Swedenborg does not mention the word telepathy, but seems to describe something very close to it. Among the ones he contacted he thought they lived on Venus and Mars, which at first seems like false information. There is no way humans could have independently evolved on those planets. But that is a separate a long story, for which see Extraterrestrial Contact from Tau Ceti, Venus and Mars. In several contacts they have said human history goes back much longer than we think, and many civilizations have come and gone before this present one.
"Exterior speech is that of articulate sound finding its way to the external membrane of the ear, whence it is conveyed, by means of little organs, membranes, and fibres which are within the ear, into the brain. I was permitted to know from this, that the speech of the inhabitants of Mars was different from that of the inhabitants of our earth, that is to say, in being not sonorous, but almost tacit, insinuating itself into the interior hearing and sight by a shorter way; and being such, it was more perfect, and more full of the ideas of thought, thus approaching nearer to the speech of spirits and angels. The very affection of the speech is also represented with them in the face, and its thought in the eyes; for the thought and the speech, also the affection and the face, with them act as one. They regard it as wicked to think one thing and speak another, and to will one thing and show another in the face. They do not know what hypocrisy is, nor what fraudulent pretence and deceit are." (Earths in the Universe, n. 87, in The Final Judgment)
Hypocrisy and deceit, common on earth, is unknown to them. Thus it is perhaps due to sin that we have become separated from the spiritual world - according to Swedenborg this very form of tacit communication used to be common among ancient man before the fall of Adam and the flood (see The Hidden Meaning of Noah's Ark and the Flood, in which the same thing was said in another contact.)  But the above account is perhaps one of the earliest - from the 18th century - which associates telepathic communication with those of extraterrestrials.

HIGHER DIMENSIONS AND THE SPIRITUAL WORLD

So what is the explanation for such things as telepathy and clairvoyance? The answer to that is that there are higher dimensions than space-time, where space-time disappears and there is only similarity of state. In fact, in higher physics it almost becomes necessary to have higher dimensions to solve some intractable mathematical problems. For the beginning of the universe, it is now acknowledged by scientists that it began from a point of singularity, after which space and time were created. In Newtonian physics, space and time were absolutes, but now science recognizes that space and time are created things. If these higher dimensions exists, being physical beings, these higher dimensions are present inside of us.

In the 18th century, when Swedenborg's internal spiritual vision was opened, he saw that in the spiritual world there was no such thing as space and time - they did not exist.  Instead of space and time, there were states of love and thought. The closer you feel to a person, the closer you will appear to that person in the spiritual world. The more distant you feel to a person, the more distance would appear in the spiritual world. In other words, instead of space and time, it is all a matter of internal states of mind and feeling. This is what I guess is the origin of telepathy - interaction must be initiated by one's interest or love for the other person. If there is no love, one's mind will remain closed. For we are spiritual beings clothed in an external spiritual body, but for many of us, we have become so immersed in our external senses that our internal senses have become lost to us.

The other point Swedenborg saw is that the spiritual world itself originates from Divine consciousness, which is everywhere present.  Thus if telepathic contact is available between two people, it is available between each person and the Divine. This Divine is constantly flowing into our mind and manifests in us via good in the will and truth in the thoughts, but it is blocked by love for material things:
"This may also be known by every one, if he reflects, from his own experience; for, as far as he is removed from corporeal and worldly things, he is so far in a spiritual idea, that is, is elevated toward heaven; as is the case when he is in any holy worship, when in any temptation, also when in misfortune or in sickness. That corporeal and worldly things, that is, the loves of them, are then removed, is known. The reason is what has been stated, that what is heavenly and spiritual from the Lord continually flows in; but evil and thence falsity, and falsity and thence evil, which flow in from corporeal and worldly things, are what hinder its being received." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2411.2)
If one withdraws from outward material things, and start to pay attention to one's internal thoughts and intuitions, and dreams, withdrawing inward, away from self and love towards others, one will be surprised with the insights one may receive.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Visitation of Jesus and Prophecies of Russia and America



It is better to see the truth in an internal spiritual light, then to see things manifest before our eyes. For when we see the truth internally and accept it, and live by it, it lives stronger in our life. Miraculous appearances do not have the same effect. Thus after Jesus rose from the dead, we have the story of doubting Thomas, who would not believe unless he had touched the wounds of Jesus in his hands and in his side. Later Jesus appeared again among Thomas and the disciples
And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:25-29)
So why is it, that it is better not to see with one's eyes and believe, than to first see and then believe? It is all due to free will: for what we do by free will remains with our life, more so than if we were compelled to believe:
"Faith merely natural is the faith which is introduced by an external and not an internal way, as sensuous faith, which consists in believing a thing to be so, because the eye hath seen, and the hand hath touched. This is the faith concerning which the Lord said to Thomas, Because thou hast seen [Me], thou hast believed: blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed (John xx. 29); also as the faith of miracles, which consists in believing a thing to be so merely from the miracles, concerning which faith see above (n. 7290), also as the faith of authority, which consists in believing a thing to be so, because another, to whom credence is given, has said it.
"But spiritual faith is faith which is introduced by an internal and at the same time an external way; the introduction by an internal way causes it to be believed, and then what is introduced by an external way causes it to be confirmed. The spiritual of faith is affection for charity, and from this affection for truth for the sake of good use and for the sake of life; these make faith to be spiritual. The introduction of faith by an internal way is effected by the reading of the Word, and by enlightenment at the time from the Lord, which is granted according to the quality of the affection, that is, according to the end sought in learning the truth." (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 8078.2-3)
Thus Swedenborg kept all clairvoyant experiences to himself and private, as it would be better for one to see the truth by examining the revelations contained in what he wrote. It is better to take the truth and put them into active use and service. Nevertheless, I thought I would share another story of an encounter with Jesus, because I was a bit struck with what was said. I had shared some other encounters in Muslim Encounters and Visions of Jesus, which I strongly recommend if one has not read that yet. What this encounter shows, is that God is a God of love, not one of anger. If we see God as "angry" - it is because of some sin we have committed, and the disaster that befalls us is to turn us away from our ways. Bad events not only happen to us on an individual level, but on a national level as well.

THE STORY OF LARRY RANDOLPH


This summary comes from an interview with Larry Randolph with Sid Roth, who has a prophetic ministry and has periodic prophetic visions. I checked up on his story - he had one vision in which he saw an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which would become an ecological disaster. He told several people about this event before it happened. He even called Homeland Security in Washington D.C., and their response was they asked if it was going to be a terrorist event. His reply was no. This was fulfilled in April 2010 with the Gulf oil spill by the BP oil company.


There is also an online video given by Larry Randolph at the end of the year 2010, in which he received several visions in which America was in the middle of "the eye of the storm" and was about to enter the surrounding storm. When he has these visions he does not always know what they mean beforehand. No one has commented on that speech, but I think it is pretty clear he had received prophetic warnings concerning Hurricane Sandy, which hit the east coast in October of 2012. For another possible vision of Hurricane Sandy, see A Prophecy of September 11, Fanatical Terrorism (ISIS), Russia and America.

NOAA Satellite image, Oct 27, 2012

In the following encounters, there may be more, I am probably just enumerating some of them from what I have seen Larry Randolph talk about in some interviews. Similar to Emanuel Swedenborg, he has had his vision opened to the spiritual world while in a full waking state, but not to the extent and level of detail that Swedenborg experienced. 

FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS

Larry had a visitation with Jesus in his twenties, after he had decided to commit his life to the Lord and was wondering what he should do with his life. This was in Arkansas, where he was sleeping in a room next to an open window letting the fresh air come in. It was autumn, and then he heard the crunching of leaves of someone walking around the house. He was at first gripped with fear, thinking a robber was approaching the window. As the footsteps get closer, he feels an inner peace, and somehow knows he is about to have a visitation. Finally a figure approaches the window, and it is bathed in white light. He cannot see the figure as it is in a cloud, but he knows its Jesus. The the cloud turns red, and the red cloud envelopes him. Larry described it as "red agape love," or "liquid love," which emanated from his face and body. Everything not clean, not right with him just disappeared. He experienced the incomprehensible love of God. He felt unconditional love. This became a tipping point in his life. He was aware that he would make some mistakes, aware that no matter what he did Jesus loved him unconditionally. He then thinks to himself, "Jesus paid the price no matter what I have done."  Wow, unconditional love...

So at this point in the interview, it is clear that Larry has had a life altering experience.  What is also clear is that he has an idea of "vicarious atonement" in his head, where it does not matter what one does, Jesus paid the price. This comes primarily from a Protestant theology, and I have covered the error of vicarious atonement in previous blog posts (see for example The Fundamental Error of the Protestant Faith. And Jesus reads his thoughts, so what does Jesus say? What Jesus says next I thought was just absolutely brilliant, because it is so simple. And it was because of this, not the prophecies, that I immediately saw that this encounter that Larry Randolph reported was probably valid.

Jesus said, "Larry, look at your hands. Why do you think I put hands on your arms?"

Larry starts to think. To play guitar, to preach,..he's looking at his hands. Then he says, "Lord, I don't know."

Jesus then tells Larry, "I put hands on your arms because human hands are an extension of my heart. They are an extension of heaven." And then Jesus taught him how he should use his hands.

Then Jesus said, "Now I want to show you something about who you are. This is what you are to do with your hands. You are never to hit, never to smite. You are to have an open hand, not a closed fist. Live a life with an open hand. You are to affirm with your hands, love with your hands, touch with your hands, bless with your hands." Jesus then taught him how he healed people with his hands.

Jesus then said something interesting: "Now look at your fingertips." So Larry looked at his fingertips.

Then Jesus asked him, "Does anyone else have the fingerprint that you do?"

Larry then responded, "No, I am the only one." Then Larry remembered a passage from the Psalms stating, you are fiercely and awesomely made. Each person is a unique reflection of the craftsmanship of God. God is an artist of maximum diversity, and is incapable of repetition. Each person has a unique Divine destiny and purpose. The message here is: be yourself, and don't conform to others. If you conform to others, then the world will pass without seeing some unique reflection of God.

A SECOND ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS

In another encounter, Jesus appeared at the foot of his bed, and then sang a song, Have I told you lately that I love you? And then Larry wept at feeling God's love. He loved him because he was a unique reflection of God.

Then Jesus said, "Larry, I have to ask you a question. If you found out tomorrow from the doctor that you had a terminal disease, how would you live the rest of your life?

This was a hard question, and Larry said he would love people more, he would encourage people more, I would tell his wife that he loved her more, he would have a softer heart, he would forgive more easily, he would not live with a closed fist but an open hand... he went through a long list of things, including he would hold babies, and even at the end he said would dance more, he would dance with his wife.

Then Jesus said to him, in a very strong voice, "Larry, I want you to live the rest of your life like you were terminal, tomorrow." Then he realized we are in fact all terminal. We just do not know when.

A THIRD ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS

Jesus appeared again to Larry. And this time he said, "You are going to be seeing me pretty soon, and I want to ask something from you, a favor from you. I want you to live a zero regret lifestyle. When you come to see me, I want you to come to me with no regrets. Because I do not want to have to wipe tears from your eyes." Larry then thought, the tears we have in heaven are from not living the way God wanted us to be.

Then Larry asked, "What do you mean by that Lord?"

Jesus then said, "I want you to maximize every inch of creative space and talents I put in your life. I want you to forgive those who hurt you. I want you to live your life with zero regrets. When you come to me you can smile with no tears, and I can say to you, well done, good and faithful servant."

Larry then concludes with some other messages he received - gifts are given, and character is grown while we are in this life. Jesus had told him when one comes to see him, one cannot bring his or her gift with them. The only thing you can bring with you to heaven is your heart. You live in a world where your gift is bigger than your heart. In heaven your heart becomes bigger than your gift. To sum up:

LIVE YOUR LIFE TO ITS FULLEST POTENTIAL

YOU ARE IN INSTRUMENT OF GOD'S LOVE

YOU ARE A UNIQUE CREATION. BE YOUR SELF. 

LIVE A LIFE OF ZERO REGRETS.

BRING YOUR GIFT TO THE WORLD IN THE WAY YOU KNOW BEST.

So with that summary, lets take a step back, and see how this compares with the New Church teachings as given to Emanuel Swedenborg.

ASSESSMENT FROM A NEW CHURCH PERSPECTIVE

What this encounter with Jesus is teaching in a very simple way, has expressed in simplicity some of the doctrines of the New Church as revealed in the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg. For the primary doctrine of the New Church is that love is primary, faith and belief are secondary. The reason for religious divisions is everyone has put their attention on faith, and not on love, or a life of service. The truth of the matter: all are saved who do the good by the truth that they know.  This is expressed in the maxim, "Live your life to its fullest potential." Don't hold back because of some stupid fear.

Another point that is made very clear by Jesus: how you live your life is what matters, more so than your belief.  In the visions of the afterlife that Swedenborg received, he saw that we are all judged according to our life. We are not judged according to our beliefs, but according to our will. All our actions are judged by their intent.

Another point that Jesus makes in a very simple way: in heaven, all we can bring is our heart, more so than our gift.  In the afterlife, Swedenborg saw that it is our own will, our own desire, which will determine where we go.  In the afterlife we have a spiritual body, with the different that our external memory of the physical events that we have gone through in this life are withdrawn, until we reach a higher spiritual state of thought, one that is in accordance with our will.  If one's heart was full of hatred, one will go to a place of hatred. If one's heart had love, one will go to a place where there is love. There we will go to a place where our happiness can grow to eternity, and we will be with the ones we love the most.

Hands are a symbol of power. We are all given a unique responsibility over certain things in our life. Do your responsibility to the best of your ability. I thought this encounter with Jesus was interesting, because it contrasts with doubting Thomas. Instead of Thomas examining the hands of Jesus, here Jesus has us examining our own hands.

Another point here is that whereas most encounters of Jesus see him in a cloud of white light, this is somewhat unique in that the cloud turns red. According to Swedenborg, there are two primary colors in heaven: white, which is a symbol of truth, and red, which is a symbol of love. In this encounter Larry Randolph immediately understands the symbolism of red, and many of the teachings he received were concerning love. Divine Love and Divine Truth are at the core of all of the teachings of the New Church.

A PROPHETIC VISION OF RUSSIA, ISRAEL AND AMERICA

Given the above confirmations, I would say that the reported encounters of Jesus by Larry Randolph did indeed happen. The teachings are true, and offer good advice on how we should live our lives. Nevertheless, there is more by way of other prophetic visions.

In one vision, Larry Randolph was taken around the globe and saw what would happen in the future. For Russia, he saw a giant angel come down and plunge a sword into the heart of Russia.


As he sees the sword, he hears a voice say, "THE THOUGHTS AND PLANS OF MAN WILL COME TO NOTHING." As for what that meant, he did not know, but stated that one should distinguish between what he saw and his own interpretation of what he saw. He interpreted that as the plans that Russia would have for Ukraine would come to nothing. Ukraine would fall into a "stalemate."

So I am going to add my own comment to that vision. The plans of certain western nations over Ukraine will come to nothing. And this will happen by fighting against it by the truth, for a sword is a symbol of truth.  On this matter, see CIA Blowback in Ukraine, and Love your Neighbor and A Prophetic Dream of Flight MH17: Another False Flag? MH17 was shot down by Ukraine and western intelligence agencies know it, and there is plenty of direct and circumstantial evidence to back that up.

In the same vision, when Larry comes across the land of Israel, from the dust of the ground of Israel he sees a form rise up and become an image of king David with a sword. He sees this warring Davidic spirit then run to take the enemies of Israel down. The voice then said, "THE SAFETY OF ISRAEL SHALL NOT BE COMPROMISED."

This vision does not in any way absolve Israel from the racist crimes they have been performing against Palestinians (see The Suffering of Palestinians under Apartheid Israel).  Larry stated that the vision reminded him of David confronting Goliath, who ultimately cut his head off.  This is more of a vision against the Islamic State, or ISIS. Terrorism is not the answer, peaceful resistance is. Deal with Israel in the way apartheid was dealt with in South Africa: boycott and sanctions.

Next, for the United States, he saw that the very highest levels of government down to the bottom were due to be humbled. And this was no ordinary humbling, but a humbling beyond embarrassment. The Lord had decided to answer the blood of the forefathers of this nation, and the intercessors who pray for this nation. 

So how is the United States to be humbled? Larry did not give an answer, but I will give one. It is the direct result of American foreign policy that we now have ISIS, a radical terrorist organization.  That to me, is quite a shameful embarrassment to the U.S. Government.