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.

[UPDATED 11/22/15: former Youtube video was taken down, replaced with copy below]



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:

43 comments:

  1. Why it only have to do with Africa? I mean, there are many people like them who have the same experience.. So, you're saying that those other testimonies would't be true because they aren't poor or who haven't been sold into slavery? and the doctrine of a trinity of three persons is a falsehood? how can you expect someone to believe that just by comparing two testimonies? I've been reading so many testimonies and this is the first time that someone says that the trinity is false because someone just said that.. where is the truth behind that when Sarah herself says in her testimony that she saw God the Father sitting on his throne? I guess you miss that part because just like what you've said you haven't gone through all the testimony of Sarah Boyanga. Other people who have the same experience as them actually believe in the trinity.. Maybe next time you should read the complete testimony before having a conclusion or comparing their testimonies.. JUST SAYIN!

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  2. Why it only have to do with Africa? I mean, there are many people like them who have the same experience.. So, you're saying that those other testimonies would't be true because they aren't poor or who haven't been sold into slavery? and the doctrine of a trinity of three persons is a falsehood? how can you expect someone to believe that just by comparing two testimonies? I've been reading so many testimonies and this is the first time that someone says that the trinity is false because someone just said that.. where is the truth behind that when Sarah herself says in her testimony that she saw God the Father sitting on his throne? I guess you miss that part because just like what you've said you haven't gone through all the testimony of Sarah Boyanga. Other people who have the same experience as them actually believe in the trinity.. Maybe next time you should read the complete testimony before having a conclusion or comparing their testimonies.. JUST SAYIN!

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    1. Hello Leah,

      Thanks for the comment, let me clarify. I actually did listen to the entire video. And the problem with visions, is that many visions portray things in a visual symbolic manner, and the interpretation is left up to the person receiving the vision. I was going to discuss that piece of the testimony in this blog but left it out as there are several blog entries here on the Trinity. So for example, in another vision (A Journey to Heaven by Richard Sigmund and Emanuel Swedenborg), it was Jesus Christ Himself who sat on the throne. We also have the vision of the baptism by Jesus in which the Holy Spirit is portrayed as a dove, yet obviously that does not mean the Holy Spirit is in fact a dove. Jesus does pray to the Father at times, at other times He speaks as one with the Father. The first statement is when he was in a state of temptation or separation, the second was when he was in a state of union with the Divine.

      So to be clear, there is a Holy Trinity, which resides in one person Jesus Christ. We know that the fulness of the Godhead resides in Jesus Christ bodily (Col. 2:9). We also know that the Father is not a distinct separate person from Jesus, for Philip asked this exact question of Jesus (John 14:7-10). Jesus' response was that the Father resides in Him, and He in the Father. This is obviously not possible if they are two distinct persons.

      Rather than define the Trinity as three distinct persons, in the New Church the Trinity is defined as the Divine itself, the Divine Human, and the Divine proceeding. This exact Trinity is mirrored in each and every person: each person has a trine of a soul, body and spirit. Thus when Jesus said that the Father resided within Him, that is about the same as someone saying that one's soul reside in their body. The body is the image of the soul, just as Jesus is the image of the unseen God (Col. 1:15, John 1:18).

      The Trinity, defined as three separate distinct beings, as defined in a Church Council in the fourth century A.D., is a falsehood. And unfortunately most Christian churches place their foundation on a church council rather than scripture and Divine revelation. Who are we to listen to, the word of God, or a council of men? Jesus had to deal with this in his day, complaining that the Jews made void the word of God by their own traditions (Mark 7:13).

      So the question for every Christian, is that when they say the Lord's prayer, who are they praying to? Is one praying to a being separate from the Father, or is one praying to Jesus Christ Himself? We should be praying to one person, Jesus Christ. For when we say, "Our Father, hallowed be thy name" - what is in fact the name of the Father? The name of the Father is Jesus - that is how he revealed Himself. And that is why when Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the disciples followed this commandment by baptizing in the name of Jesus, as the book of Acts testifies.

      As for this particular vision from Africa, of course this can happen to anyone across the world if they are ready to receive it. but if a person is set in their religious opinions, and their mind is not open to receiving something new, they would not be open to receive visions. The reason Swedenborg gave Africa a special prominence was that they have not been indoctrinated by the previous Protestant and Catholic churches, and are thus open to receive. I have of course discussed other visions here, you may want to take a look at the other link I provided.

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    1. Hello Glodie - That is very interesting! Back in the 18th century Swedenborg had a waking vision where some revelation was being given by visions to others in Africa. He said "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." Congo is dead center in Africa, and practically has no coastline.

      While the New Church is not popular in the U.S., there is a larger contingent in South Africa.

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    2. Hello, first of all people need to research on where the trinity originated, it isn't in the Holy Scriptures. It originated from the Nicean council in 325 AD, or Catholic church. God's holy word proclaims Him to be one, and not three. There is one God the Father who is Spirit. There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. So, Jesus Christ was the image of that one God in flesh on earth, and for the earth. He is now glorified as that one God back in Spirit. Praise Him!

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  4. Hello, first of all people need to research on where the trinity originated, it isn't in the Holy Scriptures. It originated from the Nicean council in 325 AD, or Catholic church. God's holy word proclaims Him to be one, and not three. There is one God the Father who is Spirit. There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. So, Jesus Christ was the image of that one God in flesh on earth, and for the earth. He is now glorified as that one God back in Spirit. Praise Him!

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  5. Hello, first of all people need to research on where the trinity originated, it isn't in the Holy Scriptures. It originated from the Nicean council in 325 AD, or Catholic church. God's holy word proclaims Him to be one, and not three. There is one God the Father who is Spirit. There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. So, Jesus Christ was the image of that one God in flesh on earth, and for the earth. He is now glorified as that one God back in Spirit. Praise Him!

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    1. Hello Pav,
      Yes you are correct, the definition of the Trinity as three distinct persons came from the council of Nicea in 325 A.D., and also the anonymous "Athanasian" Creed that originated from an anonymous author in France in the late 5th or 6th century A.D. If you look at the Nicene Creed, it is a modified and distorted version of the Apostle's Creed. In the original Christian Church, Jesus was the Son of God born in time to the virgin Mary (see Luke 1:35). The Nicene Creed changed this and invented a Son of God "born from eternity."

      In the New Church, there is a Holy Trinity, but it is a Trinity of soul, body and spirit (see Gen. 2:7, 1 Thes. 5:23) in one person, Jesus Christ. Jesus is Jehovah in human form, it is his human form which is the Son. Stated in another way, the Trinity is the Divine itself, the Divine Human, and the Divine proceeding as the Holy Spirit. That the Trinity is in one person Jesus Christ is shown that although in Matt. 28:19 Jesus commands his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the disciples ALWAYS baptized in the name of Jesus Christ in the book of Acts. Historically, the Catholic Church changed the baptismal formula over time as well. The "name" is Jesus Christ.

      This is discussed at length in this blog, just look at the topic of "Trinity" in the left column of this blog. All who acknowledge God in one person Jesus Christ, and who follow the commandments, are those who belong to the New Church. This was all shown in revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg in the 18th century. The Pentecostal church independently developed a similar theology in the 20th century, however the Ethiopian Pentecostal church follows the doctrine of the New Church more closely as they acknowledge that the human form of the Lord was made Divine when Jesus was glorified.

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  6. Other people have had visions of going to hell and they said God told them that earrings and trousers and make up is a sin and Sarah had vision of hell and is still wearing earrings and make up and weavons. Am really confused

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    1. Hello Ima,
      In the New Church, a distinction is made between interior evils and sins in one's heart, and external evils. Thus hatred and jealousy are internal sins and are harmful, while exterior things, such as clothing, are not as harmful as those are the easier things to correct. So one should dress modestly, in order to not encourage or promote sexual immorality, which is a sin of the heart. Paul recommends that women dress modestly, and again states it is good works with is more important (see 1 Tim. 2:9-10). However I am unaware of any revelation that specifically mentions earrings or trousers. In all things the love in one's heart is what God values most, for God is love, and everything should be done according to love.

      Stated in another way, the exterior things of the body should be made to serve the interior things of the spirit:

      "Those things which are lower ought to serve those which are interior. The lower things are the truths of the church in the natural, which are represented by the sons of Jacob, but that which is interior is spiritual good, which is represented by Israel their father. Because this is interior, or what is the same, higher, it ought to be served by exterior or lower things. For lower things are formed for no other purpose than to be servants, inasmuch as they are formed that the interior may live and act in them and through them, and this in such manner that if the interior be taken away from them, they are nothing but vessels without life and action, thus altogether dead. This is the case with the body in respect to its spirit, and so when the spirit withdraws, the body at once falls dead. And so it is with the external man in respect to the internal, and also with the internal man in respect to the Lord; for the internal man is formed to receive life from the Lord and is nothing else than an organ of His life. Consequently it is formed to serve the Lord for all the uses which love to Him and charity toward the neighbor require, first in the natural world and afterward in the spiritual world." (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 5947)

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  7. So are we to conclude that those who talk about having gone to hell and saw people there on account of wearing earrings and weaveon are lying? Am very confused.

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    1. Hello Enock,
      I am actually not aware of someone who talked about going to hell on account of wearing ear rings and trousers. Can you tell me who said this, and point me to the source where I can read about it? Since you are the second person who brought it up I can take a look at the source. To be on the safe side, women should always dress modestly.

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  8. let us thank the Lord for reavealing to us the hidden secrets and reality of the othet world.

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    1. For a more extensive revelation, check out the work "Heaven and Hell" by Emanuel Swedenborg. The one by Sarah Binayamo Boyanga was brief; but Swedenborg was allowed to explore the realms of heaven and hell for a period of 27 years.

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  9. This is interesting revealing piece. However, I want to understand more on God. Is the God of Christians the same God of Islam and the Jews? What makes one righteous?

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  10. This is interesting revealing piece. However, I want to understand more on God. Is the God of Christians the same God of Islam and the Jews? What makes one righteous?

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    1. Hello Alvinlove,
      The general answer is God is love, and truths from God's love are many, and God's revelations in their external form are adapted to the culture that receives it. In Judaism, the Jews were not ready to receive spiritual truths so God could only reveal Himself in external rituals and symbolic prophecies. In Islam, the Arabs are only allowed to know Jesus as a mere prophet due to their culture allowing polygamy, and polygamy cannot be mixed with a higher religion that only permits monogamy. But in Christianity, despite corruptions from the Catholic and Protestant churches, God has revealed himself in human form, we can now have direct personaly interaction with Him directly instead of through intermediate angels or external rituals. In Jesus Christ God lives in our heart through the Holy Spirit, who cleanses us from our sins, and allows us to live a righteous spiritual life through good and truth which are from Him. Faith is to live by the truth, righteousness is to do His commandments, and all of His commandments are based on love. In love, there is conjunction between God and man in one's heart, as there was a union between the Divine and human in Jesus Christ. Doing good by the truth is righteousness, this is called a "covenant", as in good Jesus lives within us in living a reformed life.

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  11. I honestly think the wearing of make up and jewelry , cause the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation about these , including dressing appropriately not to cause others to fall. The holy spirirt revealed that if I don't take off my jewelry , he would take his power from me. And in truth the lord has been working through me to reach out to souls. The Holy Spirit transformed my life, I am so conscious of the way I dress, not wearing cloths that will reveal my body shape that will cause others to fall,the spirit gave me a revelation of a minister in the church that was lusting after me, and I believed it was my dressing pattern. To God be the glory , I am a work in progress in the lords hands, I no longer wear make up , cause he also gave me a revelation concerning makeup and also very high heel shoes. Also Hosea 2:1-2 confirms make up and inappropriate dressing. Apostle Paul also told us in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, about decent dressing and the issue of jewelry. May the good lord open our heart of understanding . May our desire be to please him alone , Worldliness will move us backward, the lord gave me this vision, it is the truth.
    E.K

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    1. Hello E.K. - I can mention here a woman told me that she too was told to dress modestly, and this was from a dream vision. She was wearing a bathing suit that was too revealing, and the desire it created she saw was the fire of hell. In Swedenborg's work "Angelic Wisdom concerning Marriage Love," a life of marriage love leads to heaven, but that of adultery leads to hell. One's spirituality can be determined by how much one values marriage.

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  12. The scriptures you cite (John 14:7-10 and Col. 2:9) are invaluable because they prove that Jesus is God in the flesh, or "Emmanuel" as Isaiah puts it. But though they prove that Jesus and YHWH eternally comprise the one divine being we call "God", there are NUMEROUS scriptures where Jesus and God (or the Father) are referred to as two distinct persons. This proves that Jesus and God (and of course the Holy Spirit) are One but distinct persons in the Godhead. For instance, immediately after saying "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not know me, Philip?" (John 14:9), Jesus says goes on to say a few verses down, "...because I go unto my Father." (John 14:12). The idea that Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are related in a manner somehow akin to spirit, soul, and body does not fit and is inconsistent with numerous scriptures to the contrary, of which the example just given is one.

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    1. Yes, people will often refer to the cases where Jesus prays to the Father and the use of personal pronouns in Greek to conclude we are dealing with distinct persons. In the New Church God is Being itself, who exists in several "states of being." That He is one Being, is shown that He told Moses His name is "I AM" (Ex. 3:14). Jesus is that same Being, as He also declared Himself to be "I AM" (John 8:58, 18:6). Jesus is distinct from the Father in the sense He is the human form of the Divine, whereas the Divine itself, the Father, has been seen by no man. In the ancient world they did not have logical concepts such as "prior" and "posterior," so it was common to define such things as "father" and "son." That they are one, is indicated in Matt. 28 where all power on heaven and earth is given to Jesus, which means He unified His human form with the Divine. If they are two distinct persons, Jesus would have all power and the Father none, which makes no sense.

      So, one does not have to conclude we are dealing with three beings, but rather different states of one being, similar to soul, body and spirit in one person. As for Jesus referring to the Father as someone other than himself, this was due to the fact when under a state of temptation, the Divine appeared as something other than Himself. This is spelled out in the "Doctrine of the Lord":

      "Now, because the Lord had from the beginning a human from the mother, and put this off successively, therefore while He was in the world He had two states, which are called the state of humiliation or of exinanition, and the state of glorification or of union with the Divine which is called the Father,— the state of humiliation so far as and when He was in the human from the mother, and the state of glorification so far as and when He was in the Human from the Father. In the state of humiliation He prayed to the Father, as to one other than Himself; but in the state of glorification He spake with the Father as with Himself. In the latter state, He said that the Father was in Him, and He in the Father, and that the Father and He were one; but in the state of humiliation He underwent temptations, and suffered the cross, and prayed that the Father would not forsake Him: for the Divine could not be tempted" (Doctrine of the Lord, n. 35)

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  13. Hello dear ones. I would like to bring to your attention that the Trinity does exist. I have verses that clearly state so. Kindly refer to Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:2; John 14:26; John 14:16-17; John 1:1-51; Philippians 2:5-8; John 1:14; Matthew 22:4; and many others.

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    1. To clarify, a trinity OF THREE PERSONS does not exist. There is only one God, Jehovah, and Jesus Christ is Jehovah in human form. There is a trinity of soul, body, and spirit in each person (see 1 Thes. 5:23, Gen. 2:7), and when Jehovah became incarnate in human form this became a holy Trinity in one person.

      It is important to realize that the son Jesus born to Mary in time is the Son of God, which Luke 1;31-35 declares: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35) In the fourth century the Nicene Creed invented a Son of God "born of eternity," which was unknown to the early church. It is this false invention which has led to confusion.

      Focus and pray to Jesus alone, He alone is Lord.

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  14. Victory in the name of Jesus. Jesus loves all of us and he will always show the way to us. So have faith in Jesus and keep praying in his name.

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  15. Can anybody please clarify the exact differences between soul ,spirit, mind and conscience. Thank you

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    1. The soul is the spiritual body that survives after the death of the physical body, and is in complete human form. The spirit is similar, it is the outflowing of life from the soul through the body, and changes according to one's love and thoughts. Soul, body and spirit form the tripartite of man, and in Jesus Christ this is the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

      In another context, the soul is one's spiritual life of the understanding, and the heart is one's spiritual life of the will. The mind is not just the brain, but it is directly related to the spiritual life of the understanding. One's thoughts of the mind are derived from the understanding of the soul.

      Conscience is the inner guide that tells us what is right and wrong. This in fact is our inner perception of the Divine flowing into our soul, and the Divine is always leading us towards what is good. We experience this as "conscience," and psychologists will have a variety of opinions of it, but in the revelations Swedenborg received it is directly stated that conscience is spiritual in origin. In earlier times man had a more direct form of communication with heaven - as much of this is lost, we now only have conscience.

      So that is a summary of the answer, but the works of Swedenborg go into much more detail than what I have just said.

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  16. Thanks Doug. Is the spirit of man similar to will power of human which drives us towards either to positive or negative i.e. heaven or hell. Please clarify this

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    1. Well that is a complicated answer. The drive towards positive or negative is free will, and free will is spiritual in origin. Man is in a spiritual state between heaven and hell. Assigned to each person are two angels who lead a person to good and truth, and two spirits that lead a person to evil and falsity. Man is in between, and this in fact is the origin of free will. Animals do not have this spiritual state, only humans do, and it is what makes us human. The two angels are more commonly known as one's guardian angel, which has a long tradition before Swedenborg was given open revelations about them. One's final spiritual state in heaven or hell is determined by one's free will, what one chose to do in their life.

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  17. According to Swedenborg devil or satan are logical names. If it is so then how Adam and eve were deceived? Because God had created them and we know only truth, love and light is from him so how did sin (i.e. greediness for fruit of knowledge) enter in them?

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    1. The terms "devil" (adversary) and "satan" (accuser). A devil is an evil spirit that attacks and tempts through the will, it is evil that enjoys destroying what is good. A satan is an evil spirit that enjoys falsifying the truth. Collectively, these spirits are known as "the devil" and "Satan," but there is in reality no single individual that is the Devil or Satan. These are collective terms for the hell of evil and the hell of falsehood, which are distinct. All demons were formerly human who lived an evil life. Likewise, all angels were formerly human who lived a good life.

      Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden represents man's first original spiritual state, where they were in direct contact with heaven. There was no need for external religion for they knew it within from perception, and acted directly from love and charity. In this state of perception they had all things from the Lord and heaven. The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" was the desire to know things from one's own self instead of the internal perception from heaven. When ancient man did this, he fell from heaven, as he turned away from heaven towards trusting his own self over that of heaven. Ultimately the antediluvians sinned by regarding themselves as gods, and thus were wiped out when contact with heaven was completely broken. This came about gradually, and the different gradual states are described by the names of the 10 patriarchs before the flood.

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  18. Thanks Doug. You have said that evil spirits or daemons were humans with evil deeds. So, we can assume that during the days of Adam and Eve there were no evil spirits and before Adam, Eve ate the fruit from tree of knowledge they did not have the knowledge of good and bad as they were the first humans created by the lord God. Hence, they must had been filled with truth and love , light. Therefore, how did the desire for knowledge enter in them if they were not provoked by any external entity(i.e. Satan or Devil or the Serpent)? Because we know any desire for disobedience is not from the almighty.

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    1. In order for love to exist there must be free will. It is in allowing for free will, that one can turn to one self away from love. So that is the answer - God is love, and desires to love those outside of Himself, but in so doing must allow for free will, which in turn creates the potential for the selfish ego to turn to itself away from God. But as God is love, He is always trying to turn and bend back man's will to Himself through love, even for those who are evil.

      However one correction here, in the revelations given to Swedenborg he was shown that earth is not the only inhabited planet. In fact, in heaven he saw that those who entered there from our own planet were a small minority, he saw there were many entering there from other worlds. So that's a whole other subject, and there are of course controversies surrounding those particular revelations which requires discernment. But the point here is that even in the time of Adam and Eve there were angels and evil spirits. But if you go back in time ad infinitum, the ultimate origin of evil comes from the gift of free will that were given to humans.

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  19. Ok if Adam and Eve were not first creatures as you have pointed out that there may be other planets. So, my question is how did the evil originated? because if you don't know what is desire you'll never desire. If you don't know what is greed you'll never become greedy. Hence ultimately some impurity must be there inside oneself so that he can act evil. When God created his creatures he gifted them free will but how did the negative originate?Because without the knowledge of good and evil no one can choose his way. So, my question is how did the evil i.e. the impurity itself originate? Thank you.

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    1. Evil originates from man who is in free will. Here I will quote from Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Providence:

      "THE ORIGIN OF EVIL IS FROM THE ABUSE OF THE FACULTIES WHICH ARE PROPER TO MAN, AND ARE CALLED RATIONALITY AND LIBERTY.

      By rationality is meant the faculty of understanding truths and thence falsities, and goods and thence evils; and by liberty is meant the faculty of thinking, willing, and doing these things freely. From what precedes it may be evident, and from what follows will be further established, that every man by creation, and thence by birth, has these two faculties; and that they are from the Lord; and that they are not taken away from him; and that from them is the appearance that man thinks, speaks, wills, and acts as from himself; and that the Lord dwells in these faculties with every man; and that man from that conjunction lives to eternity; and that through these faculties, and not without them, man can be reformed and regenerated; also that by these faculties man is distinguished from beasts.

      That the origin of evil is from the abuse of these faculties will be shown in this order:

      I. A bad man enjoys these two faculties equally with a good man.

      II. A bad man abuses them to confirm evils and falsities, and a good man uses them to confirm goods and truths.

      III. Evils and falsities confirmed become permanent in a man, and come to be of his love and thence of his life.

      IV. Those things which have come to be of the love and life are engendered in the offspring.

      V. All evils, both hereditary and acquired, reside in the natural mind." (Divine Providence, n. 264-265)

      Swedenborg then discusses the points listed above in order. In free will, God has created a sort of randomness in which man has choice, and when Swedenborg was shown the spiritual nature of free will, it was a bit hard for him to describe but I can't find the passage at the moment. Spiritual freedom arises when one compels oneself to do good, and to resist evil. So again, the origin of evil comes from free will, and a person's abuse of the freedom he or she has been given.

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    2. I have only just found this site, and have read some of the posts here. Is there someone that responds to this site and with whom one might discuss some things? Thank you for your responses in advance in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord

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    3. Yes I am monitoring this blog - you can leave comments on blogs, or just use the comment form to the left which goes to my email.

      Sincerely,
      Doug

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  20. Who inspires u

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  21. You seem to speak a lot about faith alone as the way of the 'older' churches.

    But that's not true. That came with the Reformation. The Orthodox and Catholic, two examples, never taught and don't teach this.

    I am presently listening to the works Swedenborg on youtube. Very interesting and really enjoying.

    But most of it is not new. Even in Scripture we are told there is 'faith, hope and love and the greatest is love.' Paul speaks about all the gifts - being able to do, think, speak as angels - have faith could move mountains - but without love it's not worth much of anything. Isn't it kinda what Paul means too when he says that without resurrection - faith is pointless. Daily resurrection/s to new life in all kinds of ways when we believe.

    That whole faith v works argument is such a crock of you know what and a real waste of energy. So many of those theologians were lawyers. Who'd trust a lawyer. :)

    We don't need to be rocket scientists to realise that - what Paul calls - 'the more excellent way' - love - is a fruit of faith.

    Enjoying reading about your blog too Doug. Thank you.

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    1. You are correct, faith alone was never part of the Orthodox or Catholic churches, that came along in the 16th century. However I probably mention it more because most of the opposition to the New Church comes from that false theology. One thing I have mentioned elsewhere is that the New Church reveals that the theology of vicarious atonement is also false, and provides a rationale for salvation that is in line with the Orthodox faith, otherwise known as "Christus Victor" or the Lord's victory over the dominion of the hells. However so, it is a mystery to most of the Orthodox.

      Where the New Church shines is its revelation of the Trinity as the Divine itself, the Divine Human, and the Divine proceeding - all revealed in one person, Jesus Christ. The definition of a trinity of three persons is a falsehood, an invention of man. Due to that error, Islam took over much of the Middle East.

      Another aspect where the revelation of the New Church shines, is that the revelations reveal how scripture is Divinely inspired. This has been kept hidden until now. Reasons are given for what were formerly called "mysteries of faith." Since these revelations are now available, there is no need for a false faith to shut down one's rational and spiritual understanding. And there is no need to follow false traditions of men, for they have now been exposed.

      Would like to get back to blogging soon, but working on completing edits on a spiritual commentary of the Psalms.

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  22. In the new testament our lord Jesus says about peace and love. However, in the old testament we can see lots of slayings by israelites and those were ordered by God. This seems to be contradicting with each other. God is almighty and he can punish any evil so why did he use mere humans to slay the evil doers?

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    1. The short answer is that the ancient Jews were barbaric and evil. They were not a church, but a representative of the church, and some of the commandments given to them were given by way of permission to restrain their evil nature. In other words God could not stop them from being evil. However what could be done is they could be representative of a church, thus the nations they were commanded to destroy represents the expulsion of evil from the church by the Lord.

      An example of a commandment given by way of permission are the animal sacrifices, which are completely unnecessary. However the ritual of animal sacrifices are representative of spiritual regeneration. When the Lord came, these representative laws were abrogated.

      Swedenborg comments on this:

      "That the Jewish nation were in the external without the internal, and therefore believed truth to be falsity, and falsity truth, is very evident from their teaching, that it was allowable to hate an enemy; and also from their life, that they hated all who were not of their religion. They even believed that they were pleasing and serving Jehovah, when they treated the Gentiles with barbarity and cruelty, exposing their bodies after they had been slain to be devoured by birds and wild beasts, cutting them in two while alive with saws, lacerating them with harrows and axes of iron, and making them pass through the brick-kiln (2 Sam. xii. 31). Moreover, it was in accordance with their teachings, to treat in almost the same way a companion who for any cause was declared an enemy. Thus it may be plainly evident that there was nothing internal in their religion. If any one had then said to them that such things were contrary to the internal of the church, they would have replied that this internal was false. That they were merely in externals, were wholly ignorant of what the internal is, and led a life contrary to the internal, is plain also from what the Lord teaches in Matthew (v. 21-48)." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4903.2)

      So its a large subject: we need to understand that God adapts the truth to those who receive it, and some things are given by way of permission to slowly bend evil towards the good. Thus Divine revelation is progressive and comes in dispensations.

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Comments, questions, corrections and opinions welcome...