Apocalypse Revealed (Coulsons) n. 839

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839. [To these things I will add this MEMORABLE OCCURRENCE.]

I looked forth into the world of spirits and saw an army upon red horses and black horses. Sitting upon them were visible what looked like apes, with their faces and chests turned to the horses' loins and tails, and the backs of their heads and their backs towards the necks and heads of the horses, while the halters were hanging round the riders' necks. And they were crying, Let us fight against those riding upon white horses' And they kept on jogging the halters with both hands, thus continually pulling the horses back from the fight. At that time two angels travelled down out of heaven and were approaching me and saying, 'What do you see?' And I told of my seeing such a ridiculous riding display, and I asked what it was and who they were? [2] And the angel answered, 'They are from the place that is called Armageddon (Rev. xvi 16), in which up to several thousands have been gathered together to fight against those who are of the Lord's New Church, which is called the New Jerusalem. In that place they used to talk about the Church and religion, and yet there was nothing of the Church with them because there was not any spiritual truth, nor anything of religion because no spiritual good. They used to pay lip service to both of these, but with a view to ruling by means of them. In their youth they learned to confirm faith alone, a Trinity in God and a Duality in Christ (Trinitatem Dei et Dualitatem Christi). When, however, they were promoted to higher offices in the Church they held on to those things for some time; but because they then began to think no more about God and heaven but about themselves and the world, thus not about eternal blessedness and happiness but about temporal eminence and wealth, they cast the doctrinal tenets absorbed in their youth out of the interiors of the rational mind, which are in communication with heaven and consequently in the light of heaven, into the exteriors of the rational mind that are in communication with the world and consequently in the light of the world, and at length relegated them to the sensual natural. Consequently with them the doctrinal tenets of the Church have become things of the mouth only and are no longer matters of thought derived from reason, and still less of an affection derived from love; and because they have made themselves such they do not admit any genuine truth that is of the Church nor any genuine good that is of religion. The interiors of their mind have become comparatively like bottles filled with fragments of iron mixed with a sulphureous powder. If water is poured into this [mixture] there is first a growing hot and then a flame, with the result that the bottles are burst. In like manner when they hear anything about the living water that is the genuine truth of the Word, and this enters through the ears, they are violently heated and inflamed and cast it out as a thing that would burst their heads. [3] These are the ones who appeared to you like apes riding back to front with the halters round their necks upon the red and the black horses; since those who do not love the Church's truths and good out of the Word are unwilling to look at the front parts of any horse, but only at its hinder parts. For a horse signifies the understanding of the Word, a red horse the understanding of the Word destroyed as to good and a black horse the understanding of the Word destroyed as to truth. They clamoured to fight against those riding upon the white horses because a white horse signifies the understanding of the Word as to truth and good. Their being seen to pull back the horses with the neck was because they were afraid to fight, lest the truth of the Word come to many and so come to light. This is the interpretation.

[4] The angels said further: 'We are [members] of a society of heaven that is called Michael, and we have been sent by the Lord to go down to the place termed "Armageddon" from which the cavalry you saw sallied forth. By "Armageddon" with us in heaven is signified the state and purpose of fighting prompted by falsified truths arising from the love of command and supremacy; and because we perceive a desire with you of knowing about the fight there we will give you an account of it. After our descent out of heaven we drew near to the place termed "Armageddon" and saw several thousands assembled there. We did not, however, go into the assembly, but there were two houses to the south side of that place where there were boys with their masters. When we went in there they made us welcome. We were delighted with their company. They were all good looking, with life in their eyes and eagerness in their conversation. They had the life in their eyes derived from the perception of truth, and the eagerness in their conversation derived from the affection of truth*; on which account also caps had been given to them out of heaven, the borders of these being decorated with gold braid interwoven with pearls. They were also given garments variegated with white and blue. We asked them if they ever looked into the neighbouring place called Armageddon. They said that they did look through a window below the roof of the house, and that they saw a gathering there, but under various shapes, at one time as top-ranking men and at another not as men but as statues and graven images, and around them the assembly kneeling down. These also appeared to us under various forms, now like men, then like leopards, and again as goats; the latter with horns thrust downwards with which they were digging up the ground. We interpreted those transformations, [being aware of] whom they were representing and what they were signifying. [5] But to come to the point: when the assemblage heard that we had gone into those houses they said among themselves, "What are those persons doing with the boys? Let us send some of our assembly to cast them out." They did indeed send them, and when they came they said to us, "Why have you gone into those houses? Where do you come from? We by authority command you to go away." But we replied, "You cannot command this by authority. In your own eyes you are indeed like the Anakim, and those who are here are like dwarfs, but still you have no authority and right here, unless perhaps by cunning you derive it from your three places of diversion here, which, however, will be of no avail. So take back word to your companions that we have been sent to this place out of heaven to see whether there is any religion with you or not; and if not, you will be cast out of this place. Propose, therefore, this question to them, one involving the very essence of the Church and consequently of religion. How do they understand these words in the Lord's Prayer: OUR FATHER WHO ART IN THE HEAVENS, HALLOWED BE THY NAME, THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE AS IN HEAVEN SO ALSO ON EARTH? When they heard these things they said at first, "What is this?" but afterwards that they would propose it. And they went away and related these things to their companions, whose response was, "What kind of proposition is this?" However, they understood what was behind it (intellexerunt arcanum), that they [the angels] wanted to know whether those words confirmed "the way of our faith to God the Father". They therefore said, "The words are clear that prayer should be directed to God the Father, and because Christ is our Saviour that prayer ought to be to God the Father for the sake of the Son." And presently they came indignantly to the conclusion that they would go to us and declare it orally, saying also that they would pull our ears. They also left that place and entered a grove near the two houses in which were the boys with their masters, where there was an elevated level space like a sports arena. And hand in hand they came into that arena. We were there and waited for them. There were mounds of turf there [rising] out of the ground like hillocks upon which they were leaning back, for they said among themselves, "Let us not stand before them, but sit down." And then one of them who could make himself look like an angel of light, on whom it had been enjoined by the rest to speak with us, said: "You have proposed to us to open our mind about the first words in the Lord's Prayer [to tell] how we understand them. I therefore say to you that we understand them this way, that prayer should be directed to God the Father; and because Christ is our Saviour and we are saved by His merit, we should pray to God the Father out of faith in His merit." [6] But we then said to them, "We are from the society of heaven that is called Michael, and we have been sent to see you and find out whether you who are assembled in this place have any religion or not; and we cannot get to know this otherwise than by an inquiry concerning God, for the idea of God enters into everything of religion, and by means of it there is a conjunction and by the conjunction salvation. We in heaven like men on earth recite that prayer daily, and then we are not thinking of God the Father, because He is invisible, but of Himself in His own Divine Human, because in This He is visible. And He Himself in This is called by you 'Christ', but by us 'the Lord', and thus the Lord to us is the Father in heaven. The Lord also taught that He Himself and the Father are one, that the Father is in Him and He in the Father, and that he who sees Him is seeing the Father, also that no one comes to the Father but by Him, and again that it is the Father's will that they should believe in the Son, and that he who does not believe in the Son does not see life, indeed, that the wrath of God abides upon him. From these considerations it is plain that the Father is approached through Him and in Him. And because this is the case He also taught that to Himself has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. It is said in that prayer, HALLOWED BE THY NAME, and THY KINGDOM COME, and we have shown from the Word that His Divine Human is the Father's 'Name', and that the Father's 'kingdom' exists whenever the Lord is approached directly, and not at all when God the Father is approached directly; and therefore also the Lord said to the disciples that they should preach the kingdom of God; and this is 'the kingdom of God'. [7] We instructed them further out of the Word that the Lord came into the world that He might glorify His own Human with the end in view that the angels of heaven and the men of the Church might be united to God the Father through Himself and in Himself; for He taught that those who believe in Him are in Him, and Himself in them; which is as the Church teaches, that they are in 'the Body of Christ'. Finally we informed them that at this day a New Church is being set up by the Lord, which is understood by the NEW JERUSALEM in the Apocalypse, in which the worship will be of the Lord more exclusively (solius), as it is in heaven; and that thus EVERYTHING THAT IS INVOLVED IN THE LORD'S PRAYER FROM BEGINNING TO END WILL BE FULFILLED. All the things that we have said above we confirmed in such abundance, from the Evangelistic Word and the Prophetical Word (ex Verbo apud Evangelistas, et ex Verbo apud Prophetas), that they were tired of hearing.

[8] I. We confirmed that OUR FATHER IN THE HEAVENS is the Lord Jesus Christ from these passages:-

Unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given, and His Name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace Isa. ix 6 [H.B. 5].

Thou O Jehovah, art Our Father, the Redeemer from an age is Thy Name Isa. lxiii 16.

Jesus said, He who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me John xii 45.

If you have known Me, you have known the Father also, and henceforth you have known Him and seen Him John xiv 7.

Philip said, Lord, show us the Father: Jesus said to him, He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how dost thou then say, Show us the Father? John xiv 8, 9.

Jesus said, The Father and I are one John x 30.

All things whatsoever the Father has are Mine John xvi 15; xvii 10.

The Father is in Me, and I in the Father John x 38; xiv 10, 11, 20.

That no one has seen the Father, except the Only Son Who is in the Father's bosom John i 18; v 37; vi 46.

And therefore He also says:-

That no one comes to the Father except by Him John xiv 6;

and that to come to the Father is by means of Him, by virtue of Him, and in Him (per Ipsum, ex Ipso, et in Ipso) (John vi 56; xiv 20; xv 4-6; xvii 19, 23).

But concerning the Unity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, more passages may be seen in the MEMORABLE OCCURRENCE, n. 962.

[9] 'II. That HALLOWED BE THY NAME means (sit) to approach the Lord and worship Him, we confirmed by these passages:-

Who shall not glorify Thy Name? for Thou Only art holy Rev. xv 4;

concerning the Lord.

Jesus said, Father glorify Thy Name, and there came a voice out of heaven, I have both glorified it and will glorify it John xii 28.

The Father's Name that was glorified is the Divine Human.

Jesus said, I come in My Father's Name John v 43.

Jesus said, He who receives this boy in My Name receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him Who sent Me Luke ix 48.

These things have been written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His Name John xx 31.

As many as received Him to them He gave authority to be the sons of God, to those believing in His Name John i 12.

Whatsoever you ask in My Name, this will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son John xiv 13, 14.

He who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the Name of God's Only-begotten Son John iii 15, 16, 18.

Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them Matt. xviii 19, 20.

Jesus said to the disciples that they should preach in His Name Luke xxiv 47;

besides elsewhere where "the Name of the Lord" is mentioned, by which is understood Himself as to His Human, as Matt. vii 22; x 22; xviii 5; xix 29; xxiv 9, 10; Mark xi 10; xiii 13; xvi 17; Luke x 17; xix 38; xxi 12, 17; John ii 23; from which it is plain that the Father is hallowed in the Son, and by angels and men through the Son, and that this is "Hallowed be Thy Name", as is more fully established in John (xvii 19, 21-23, 26).

[10] III. That THY KINGDOM COME means (sit) that the Lord reigns, we confirmed by these passages:-

The Law and the Prophets were until John, since then the kingdom of God is being preached (evangelizatur) Luke xvi 16.

John preaching the gospel of the kingdom said, The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God has drawn near Mark i 14, 15; Matt. iii 2.

Jesus Himself preached the gospel of the kingdom, and that the kingdom of God drew near Matt. iv 17, 23; ix 35.

Jesus commanded the disciples to preach and evangelise the kingdom of God Mark xvi 15 Luke viii 1; ix 60.

In like manner [He spoke of the gospel of the kingdom] to the seventy whom He sent out (Luke x 9, 11); besides elsewhere, as Matt. xi 5; xvi 27, 28; Mark viii 35; ix 1, 47; x 29, 30; xi 10; Luke i 19; ii 10, 11; iv 43; vii 22; xvii 20, 21; xxi 30, 31; xxii 18. The kingdom of God that was being proclaimed (Evangelizabatur) was the Lord's kingdom, and thus the Father's kingdom. That this is the case is plain from these passages:-

The Father has given all things into the Son's hand John 35.

The Father has given to the Son authority over all flesh John xvii 2.

All things have been delivered to Me by the Father Matt. xi 27.

All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and on earth Matt. xxviii 18.

And further from these:-

Jehovah Zebaoth is His Name, and [thy] Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole land shall He be called Isa. liv 5.

I saw, and behold one like the Son of Man, to Whom was given dominion and glory and the kingdom, and all peoples and nations shall worship Him; His dominion is the dominion of an age that shall not pass away, and His kingdom is one that shall not perish Dan. vii 13, 14.

When the seventh angel sounded loud voices were produced in heaven saying, The kingdoms of the world have become our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall reign for ages of ages Rev. xi 15; xii 10;

which kingdom of the Lord is treated of in the Apocalypse from beginning to end; and into it are going to come all who will be of the Lord's New Church, which is the New Jerusalem.

[11] IV. THY WILL BE DONE AS IN HEAVEN SO ALSO ON EARTH, we confirmed by these passages:-

Jesus said, This is the Father's will, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life John vi 40.

God so loved the world that He gave His Only-begotten Son, that every one who believes in Him may not perish, but have eternal life John iii 15, 16.

He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him John iii 36;

besides elsewhere. 'To believe in Him' is to go to Him and have faith that He will save because He is the Saviour of the world. Besides, it is known in the Church that the Lord God Jesus Christ reigns in heaven. He Himself says also that His kingdom is there. When therefore the Lord in like manner reigns in the Church, then the Father's will is done as in heaven so also on earth.

[12] Finally we added these things: It is said in the whole of Christendom that those who are in the Church make 'the Body of Christ' and are 'in His Body'. How then can the man of the Church approach God the Father except through Him in Whose Body he is? If otherwise, then he must go entirely out of the Body and approach.

[13] Having heard these and still more things out of the Word, the Armageddonists wanted to interrupt our discourse and to quote such things as the Lord spoke with His Father in the state of exinanition, but then their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths, since it was not permitted them to contradict the Word. But when at length the restraint on their tongues had been relaxed they cried out, "You have spoken against the doctrine of our Church, which is that God the Father is to be approached directly, and that belief should be in Him. Thus you have made yourselves guilty of a violation of our faith. Leave this place, therefore; and if not, you will be cast out." And with their minds (animus) inflamed they tried to carry out their threats. Whereupon with the power given to us we struck them with a blindness. As the result of this, not seeing us, they rushed forth into the level space, which was a wilderness; and the ones who appeared to you like apes upon horses are some of those who were seen by the boys out of the window as statues and idols before which the rest knelt down.' * The Original Edition has veri (of truth), but probably boni (of good) was intended. Sec TCR 113:4.

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