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Daniel 7

Afrikaans 1953     

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1 In die eerste jaar van Bélsasar, die koning van Babel, het Daniël 'n droomgesig gesien en gesigte van sy hoof op sy bed. Toe het hy die droom opgeskrywe, die hoofsaak vertel.

2 Daniël het gespreek en gesê: Ek het in die nag in my gesig gesien, en kyk, die vier winde van die hemel het die groot see in beroering gebring;

3 en vier groot diere het uit die see opgeklim, die een verskillend van die ander.

4 Die eerste was soos 'n leeu, en hy het vlerke van 'n arend gehad; ek het bly kyk totdat sy vlerke uitgeruk is en dit van die grond af opgehef en soos 'n mens op twee voete neergesit is en daaraan 'n mensehart gegee is.

5 En kyk, 'n ander dier, 'n tweede, het gelyk soos 'n beer, en is aan die een kant opgerig; en drie ribbes was in sy bek tussen sy tande; en só het hulle vir hom gesê: Staan op, eet baie vleis.

6 Daarna het ek gesien, en kyk, daar was 'n ander een soos 'n luiperd, en dit het vier vlerke van 'n voël op sy rug gehad; ook het die dier vier koppe gehad, en aan hom is heerskappy gegee.

7 Daarna het ek in die naggesigte gesien, en kyk, daar was 'n vierde dier, vreeslik en skrikwekkend en baie sterk, en dit het groot ystertande gehad; dit het verslind en vermorsel en die oorskot met sy pote vertrap; en dit was verskillend van al die diere wat voor hom gewees het, en dit het tien horings gehad.

8 Terwyl ek op die horings ag gee, kom daar 'n ander horinkie tussen hulle op, en drie van die vorige horings is daarvoor ontwortel; en kyk, in hierdie horing was soos mens-, en 'n mond wat groot dinge spreek.

9 Ek het bly kyk totdat trone reggesit is en 'n Oue van dae gaan sit het; sy kleed was wit soos sneeu en die hare van sy hoof soos skoon wol; sy troon was vuurvlamme, die wiele daarvan 'n brandende vuur;

10 'n stroom van vuur het gevloei en voor Hom uit gegaan; duisend maal duisende het Hom gedien, en tien duisend maal tien duisende het voor Hom gestaan; die gereg het gaan sit, en die boeke is geopen.

11 Ek het toe bly kyk vanweë die stem van die groot woorde wat die horing gespreek het; ek het bly kyk totdat die dier gedood en sy liggaam vernietig en aan die verbranding deur vuur oorgegee is.

12 Ook aan die ander diere is hulle heerskappy ontneem, en verlenging van die lewe is aan hulle gegee tot op tyd en uur.

13 Ek het gesien in die naggesigte, en kyk, met die wolke van die hemel het Een gekom soos die Seun van 'n mens, en Hy het gekom tot by die Oue van dae, en hulle het Hom nader gebring voor Hom.

14 En aan Hom is gegee heerskappy en eer en koningskap; en al die volke en nasies en tale het Hom vereer; sy heerskappy is 'n ewige heerskappy wat nie sal vergaan nie, en sy koninkryk een wat nie vernietig sal word nie.

15 Die gees van my, Daniël, is in sy omhulsel verontrus, en die gesigte van my hoof het my verskrik.

16 Ek het nader gekom na een van die wat daar gestaan het, en van hom sekerheid gevra oor dit alles; en hy het dit vir my gesê en die uitlegging van die dinge aan my bekend gemaak:

17 Hierdie groot diere wat vier is--vier konings sal uit die aarde opstaan;

18 en die heiliges van die Allerhoogste sal die koningskap ontvang, en hulle sal die koninkryk in besit neem tot in ewigheid, ja, tot in alle ewigheid.

19 Toe wou ek sekerheid verkry oor die vierde dier wat van al die ander verskillend was, buitengewoon vreeslik, met ystertande en met koperkloue, wat verslind, vermorsel en die oorskot met sy pote vertrap het,

20 en oor die tien horings wat op sy kop was, en die ander een wat opgekom het en waarvoor drie geval het, naamlik hierdie horing wat oë en 'n mond gehad het wat groot dinge gespreek het, terwyl sy gestalte groter was as van die ander.

21 Ek het gesien dat hierdie horing oorlog voer met die heiliges en hulle oorwin,

22 totdat die Oue van dae kom en aan die heiliges van die Allerhoogste reg verskaf is en die bepaalde tyd gekom het dat die heiliges die koninkryk in besit geneem het.

23 Só het hy gesê: Die vierde dier--die vierde koninkryk sal op die aarde wees, wat verskil van al die koninkryke en die hele aarde sal verslind en dit sal vertrap en dit verbrysel.

24 En die tien horings--uit daardie koninkryk sal tien konings opstaan, en 'n ander een sal ná hulle opstaan, en hy sal verskillend wees van die voriges en drie konings neerwerp.

25 En hy sal woorde spreek teen die Allerhoogste en die heiliges van die Allerhoogste mishandel; en hy sal probeer om tye en wet te verander, en hulle sal in sy hand oorgegee word gedurende 'n tyd en tye en die helfte van 'n tyd.

26 Maar die gereg sal sit, en hulle sal hom die heerskappy ontneem om dit vir goed te verdelg en te vernietig.

27 Dan word die koningskap en die heerskappy en die grootheid van die koninkryke onder die ganse hemel gegee aan die volk van die heiliges van die Allerhoogste; hulle koninkryk is 'n ewige koninkryk, en al die heerskappye sal hulle vereer en gehoorsaam wees.

28 Hier is die einde van die saak. Wat my, Daniël, betref, my gedagtes het my baie verskrik en my gelaatskleur het verander aan my, maar die saak het ek in my hart bewaar.

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Daniel's First Vision: 4 Beasts and the Little Horn      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Andrew T. Dibb and Rev. Dr. Andrew T. Dibb

Woodcut

This opening verse of the prophecies of Daniel has a resounding similarity to the opening verses of most of the preceding chapters of the book of Daniel. Like them, it places the vision in a context, we are shown the point of our regeneration at which the Lord is directing us: the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon.

In the internal sense, time is an indication of state. This means that the events and prophecies of Daniel do not follow in a strict chronological order, but rather happen on different levels at the same time. While Nebuchadnezzar is king of Babylon, representing selfishness in our inner self, Belshazzar rules our outer self. The work of overcoming selfish motives has to go hand in hand with the removal of that very selfishness in our external—otherwise the exercise is purely intellectual. Daniel’s visions in the last six chapters of the book, indicate the process by which we become aware of the effects of selfishness in our daily lives: when Belshazzar is king.

In spiritual development, we sometimes delude ourselves that change follows effort without delay. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our habits are very powerful—often we are not even aware that we have them. Yet "regeneration" literally means "re-birth," which entails casting out each and every obstacle in the path of our spiritual development. This can only be done by examining the exterior motives in our lives, and getting to the very bottom or root of our behaviors.

Daniel’s vision traces this exploration for us. Each of the four beasts he saw rising up from the sea depict the states of an evil life in us, with the added twist in their relationship to the religious principles a person purports to hold. Each must be examined and rejected. Every detail of the vision, therefore is important.

As with all numbers in the Word, the number "four" has a special meaning vitally important to the exposition. "Four" represents a joining together, and so has the same meaning as the number "two," (Arcana Coelestia 1686, 9103, 9601) which is obvious since "four" is the result of two multiplied into itself.

In a general sense, when the term "four winds" is mentioned in the Word, it means "all things of good and of truth, thus all things of heaven and of the church" (Arcana Coelestia 9642:10) flowing into a person, for "wind" means the influx of life from the Lord (Apocalypse Revealed 343). Thus the Lord breathed life into Adam in the Garden of Eden, and again on His disciples, filling them with the Holy Spirit. In an ideal situation, the presence of the Lord, both in our will and our understanding, in equal measure, indicates a state of regeneration. In that state, we are as "four-square" as the New Jerusalem.

As in so many cases in the book of Daniel, the symbolism needs to be reversed in order to see its full meaning. Daniel is in Babylon, a servant to the king, and thus anything usually relating to the Lord is inverted to relate to the king of Babylon, as selfishness: the opposite of love to the Lord.

The influx then is not goodness and truth, but evil and falsity, specifically love of self and control over others. The "sea" in this vision depicts the great restless tide of selfishness controlling our external being. The book of Daniel is a picture of a person whose conscience is restricted to thoughts and feelings, yet whose behavior, attitudes, and habits still reflect the old states of selfishness (Apocalypse Explained 316). Babylon reigns. In the vision that follows, the states and their effects are revealed.

The vision of the four beasts coming up from the sea tells our story when we cynically misuse truth to live selfishly, until evil completely takes over and would destroy us (Apocalypse Explained 556, Apocalypse Revealed 574). Evil will succeed unless the power of the truth, in our conscience, overcomes evil and allows us to reject it.

The first of these beasts was like a lion with eagle’s wings. Lions are mentioned many times in the Word, and usually describe the power of truth to destroy falsity and evil (Apocalypse Explained 556). But in this vision, describing Babylon, the lion takes on the opposite meaning: the lion represents the power of the love of self (Arcana Coelestia 6367), and the power of falsity to destroy truths.

The eagle's wings, representing human reason, were taken away from the lion, and he was made to stand on his two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to him. A person engrossed in selfishness loses their ability to appreciate religion, and weighted down by their own contrary thoughts, find themselves alienated from the truth.

Next, Daniel saw a bear raised up on one side. This posture indicates our eagerness to misinterpret the Word to suit our own means (Arcana Coelestia 781). This a vision of the human state when self love (Nebuchadnezzar) rules our internal being, and the expression of that selfishness (Belshazzar) controls our daily actions. The bear is the pleasure of justifying evil with our own 'superior' reasoning.

It is easy to be kind, while manipulating other people for our own benefit. It is easy to present oneself as a spiritual being in order to deceive other people. In such a life, charity is a dead form. Thus the bear had three ribs hanging from its mouth.

Daniel never tells who commanded the bear to 'arise, and devour more flesh,' but perhaps the urging comes from deeper states of selfishness which control our external actions. Whatever its origin, these words give voice to the heart of a person misusing the Word for his or her own gain.

A leopard is "a ferocious beast" which loves to "kill harmless animals." Its very appearance, black spots on white, illustrates the effect of falsity on truth (Apocalypse Revealed 57). But the leopard in Daniel also had four wings like a bird. As in the case of the lion which had the wings of an eagle, the wings here also signify our intellect destroying the truth. The four wings on the leopard depict "confirmations of what is false" (Apocalypse Revealed 574).

The leopard not only had four wings, but also four heads. This is a depiction of human degradation when falsity rules. It is a state of spiritual insanity, for when a selfish internal acts with a falsified external, there is nothing to prevent a person engaging in all kinds evil (Arcana Coelestia 1944:3). In this state, the conscience is enslaved, powerless to stop the madness.

The fourth beast, whose appearance is not described, signifies the "destruction of truth and good" (Apocalypse Revealed 574). Once a person reaches this state of degeneration, they stop at nothing to destroy any restraining influences. Falsity is used to destroy truth through denial or twisting it to suit one’s own ends. This process is described as "teeth like iron" devouring and breaking in pieces (see 1 explanation of Daniel 2 for a description of 'iron')(Apocalypse Revealed 556).

'A horn' is usually a symbol of power, and in the highest sense, the power of truth against falsity. But again, in this story the opposite sense applies, and the power here is of falsity for evil (Apocalypse Explained 316). These ten horns depict the complete power falsity has over the way we act.

The whole sordid description of the four beasts culminates on a little horn. This is the complete perversion of anything good and true drawn from the Word, and so represents the final profanation. If there was no counter-balancing conscience, a person would be irrevocably in hell.

The casting out of the three horns depicts the power of evil and falsity to destroy and remove the truths of the Word (Apocalypse Explained 316). The number "three" represents fullness or completeness, and thus the power of evil when brought into action to destroy all truths. Hence, the old saying 'when you break one of the Commandments, you break them all,' takes on a more powerful meaning.

The next image shifts: we see the thrones "cast down" signifying the falsities (Arcana Coelestia 8215) from the beasts, judged by the truths of the Word forming our conscience. All judgment begins with truth, for truth provides the balances upon which our lives are measured.

In the image of God’s throne, symbolizing judgment, it is important to remember that His judgment is always a product of love and mercy. But the Lord’s love should not be confused with license: just because He loves the human race, individually and collectively, this does not mean evil is permissible. Evil interferes with a person’s reception of the Lord, putting barriers between Him and ourselves. For the most part, the Lord permits evils, but does not will them, because they are useful reminding us to turn away from them (Divine Providence 275, 278). Yet there are times when human beings overstep the mark.

The judgment in this chapter must be seen in its context, which is in the reign of Belshazzar. It is the story of both the beasts and the fact that Belshazzar was weighed in the balances, found wanting, and killed by Darius. That in essence is a judgment on the external’s of our lives, on our behavior. and attitudes which have their origin in the Nebuchadnezzar states of our inner being.

Here, however, we see the origin of truth as "the Ancient of Days," sitting on the throne of judgment, heralding the destruction of one state and the beginning of another (Apocalypse Revealed 574). The "Ancient of Days" is an image of the love of the Lord (Arcana Coelestia 9470), and in a sense is the Divine counterpart to the love we are led to by means of truth. The object of all truth is to lead one to a love of God, and a love of the neighbor, and a life expressive of both. Our love for God is a reflection of His love for us.

In the Word, a garment corresponds to truth one knows and which forms a part of a person’s mind. Thus the garment of the Ancient of Days represents the truth veiling over the Divine Good. This truth is truth in our minds, in our conscious minds (Arcana Coelestia 9470, Apocalypse Explained 67). These garments were as white as snow to show us the quality of the intelligence and wisdom we can have from the Lord (Apocalypse Explained 195:18).

'Hair' means the most external parts of our lives—the natural thoughts and feelings we have which prompt us into action, all perfectly conscious. While we are in this world, this very external part of us seems to be vitally important, but in fact it is only driven by the inner things. If these are from the Lord, then our external will also appear as virgin wool.

The fire of the throne is the appearance of the Lord's love. The wheels represents the wisdom and intelligence we have from the Lord, which are full of love and so are described as "burning."

All judgment is done by the Lord. The Lord’s birth in Bethlehem was the beginning of a last judgment on the ancient churches, and that judgment from love by means of wisdom, came about through the life and death of Jesus Christ, the Divine Human of the Lord.

In Daniel’s vision, there is a similar relationship between the Ancient of Days, seated on His throne, and the Son of Man to whom was given all power. The Ancient of Days represents the Lord, and in that vision we saw the unity of the Divine love and Divine wisdom in the fiery throne upon which He sat.

Once the presence of the Lord has been established in us by the overthrow of evil and falsity, we will continue to develop in goodness and truth. This spiritual growth is described in the words that 'the Son of Man was given an everlasting dominion,' a theme repeated in verses 18 and 27. The kingdom of the Son of Man extended over "all peoples, nations and tongues," representing the different states of the human mind which will be made subject to truth from the Word. "Peoples" are the truths of doctrine—in this case, the false ideas which affect our behavior to be judged against the truth introduced into our minds by the conscience. "Nations" mean the evils of life, overthrown in the process of judgment (Apocalypse Revealed 483, Apocalypse Explained 175, 455). Thus in the process of judgment, both our habitual thoughts and feelings will be confronted by truth, and replaced by feelings drawn from the goodness and truth of the Lord. Finally, "tongues" signify the actions drawn from evil feelings and false thoughts—these too will be brought down in our personal "last judgment."

The "time, times, and half a time" are the states of temptation and combat we need to go through in order to regenerate. Yet each minute of that combat is a temptation, and temptation only takes place within the framework or regeneration. Thus a person being tempted, who resists the evil, sits in judgment on that evil, and from the power of the Lord will eventually prevail over it.

These final verses are a vision of things yet to come. This is before our entrance into the Lord’s kingdom, before the power of falsity is broken. We still have growing to do. There are still states we need to face and overcome. Even with this marvelous promise of ultimate victory, Daniel found that his thoughts still troubled him.

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Footnotes:

http://newchristianbiblestudy.org/bible/story/daniel-interprets-nebuchadnezzars-dream/king-james-version

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Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326, 10455

Apocalypse Revealed 748

De Verbo (The Word) 5

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 178

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 49, 934, 1066, 1607, 1990, 2547, 2832, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 24, 36, 47, 49, 101, 166, 229, ...

Conjugial Love 26, 81, 193

Divine Providence 134

The Lord 4, 6, 10, 26, 42, 48, 52

Sacred Scripture 49, 86

Life 61

Heaven and Hell 171

True Christian Religion 1, 113, 157, 223, 251, 262, 288, ...


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 36, 63, 67, 70, 175, 195, 199, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 41

Canons of the New Church 37

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 3

De Verbo (The Word) 10, 15, 25

An Invitation to the New Church 10

Marriage 0, 1, 113

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Vysvětlení slova/fráze

gesien
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

gesê
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

kant
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

drie
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...


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sit
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

wit
'White' relates to truths, because it originates in the light of the sun.

wiele
'Wheels,' as in Exodus 14:25, signify the power of proceeding and divine intelligence. 'Wheels,' as in Isaiah 5:28, signify the doctrine of natural truth. 'Wheels,'...

geopen
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

ewige
It is hard for us to conceive this, but time does not exist in spiritual reality. Time is an aspect of physical reality that no...

opstaan
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

spreek
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

wet
All laws, even civil and judicial laws, which are in the Word, correspond to the laws of good and truth, which are in heaven.

onder
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

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White      

Napsal(a) New Christian Bible Study Staff

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'White' relates to truths, because it originates in the light of the sun.

(Odkazy: Apocalypse Revealed 167)

Ze Swedenborgových děl

 

True Christian Religion # 113

True Christian Religion (Chadwick translation)      

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113. The fourth experience. 1

I looked out into the world of spirits and saw an army mounted on chestnut and black horses. Those who sat upon them looked like monkeys, their faces and chests turned towards the hind quarters and tails of the horses, the backs of their heads and bodies towards the horses' necks and heads; the reins hung loosely about the necks of the riders. They raised a shout against those who rode on white horses, and pulled on the reins with both hands to keep their horses away from the battle, and they kept on doing this.

Then two angels came down from heaven, and on approaching me said: 'What do you see?' I described this ridiculous cavalry and asked: 'What is this, and who are they?'

The angels replied: 'They come from the place called Armageddon (Revelation 16:16), where some thousands have gathered to do battle with the members of the Lord's new church, which is called the New Jerusalem. They were talking there about the church and religion; yet there was not a trace of the church in them, because they were without any spiritual truth, or any trace of religion, because they were without any spiritual good. There was much talk there on their lips about both subjects, but their motive was to exercise power by their means.

[2] 'As young men they had learned to believe in faith alone, and they knew a little about God. After being promoted to the higher offices of the church, they retained their beliefs for a while. But since they then began to think no more about God and heaven, and only about themselves and the world, and so abandoned blessedness and everlasting happiness for temporal distinction and wealth, they pushed the doctrines they had learned in youth out of the interiors of the rational mind, which are in contact with heaven and so illuminated by its light, and banished them to the exteriors of the rational mind, which are in contact with the world and are illuminated only by its faint beams. They ended by relegating those doctrines to the level of the natural senses. This made them treat the doctrines of the church merely as formulas to be repeated, and no longer thought about rationally, much less affectionately loved. By making themselves like this, they do not receive the Divine truth which the church provides, nor any real good which comes from religion. To use a simile, the interiors of their minds have become like leather bags filled with a mixture of iron filings and powdered sulphur; if then water is poured in, there is first heat generated, and then flame, which makes the bags burst. In like manner, when these people hear anything about living water, which is the real truth of the Word, and it penetrates through their ears, they become furiously heated and angry, and reject it as something which would burst their heads.

[3] 'These are the people who appeared to you like monkeys riding back to front on chestnut and black horses with the reins about their necks. This is because those who do not love the truth and good which the church has from the Word, are unwilling to look towards the front of a horse, but only its hinder parts. For 'horse' means the understanding of the Word, 'a chestnut horse' understanding of the Word bereft of good, 'a black horse' understanding of the Word bereft of truth. The reason why they yelled to do battle against the riders on white horses is that 'a white horse' means the understanding of the truth and good of the Word. They seemed to be holding their horses back by the neck because they were frightened of fighting, for fear the truth of the Word might reach many people and so come to light. That is the interpretation.'

[4] The angels went on to say: 'We are from the community in heaven named Michael, and we have been ordered by the Lord to go down to the place called Armageddon, from which the cavalry you saw had broken out. Armageddon for us in heaven means the state of wishing to fight with falsified truths, which arises from the love of controlling and surpassing all others. Since we perceive you have a desire to learn about that battle, we will tell you something about it. After coming down from heaven we approached the place called Armageddon and saw several thousands of people gathered there. However, we did not go into that assembly, but there were some houses on the south side where there were boys with their teachers; we went into these, where we were made welcome, and we enjoyed their company. They were all good-looking because of the liveliness of their eyes and the animation of their conversation. The liveliness in their eyes came from their perception of truth, the animation of their conversation from their affection for good. Because of this we presented them with hats, the brims of which were ornamented with bands of gold thread intertwined with pearls, and also with clothes of a white and dark blue pattern.

'We asked them whether they had looked towards the neighbouring place called Armageddon. They said they had done so through the window they had under the roof of their house. They said they had seen a great gathering of people there, who took on varying appearances. At one time they resembled tall 2 men, at another no longer people at all, but they looked like images and carved statues, and around them was a crowd kneeling. These too seemed to us to have varying appearances,- some looked like human beings, some like leopards, some like goats, and these had downward-pointing horns, which they used to dig up the ground. We were able to interpret their transformations, and know whom they represented and what they meant.

[5] 'But to return to the story; when the people assembled heard that we had gone into those houses, they said to one another: "What are they doing, going to see those boys? Let us send some of our number to turn them out." They did so, and when they came they said to us: "Why have you gone into those houses? Where do you come from? We have authority to tell you to go away."

'But we replied: "You have no authority to tell us that. In your own eyes you may be like the Anakim, and the people here like dwarfs, but still you have no power or right here, except through trickery, and that will not work. So go back and report to your people, that we have been sent here from heaven to investigate whether there is any religion among you or not; if not, you will be thrown out of the place you occupy. So set before them the following question, which touches the very essence of the church and religion, what is the meaning of these words from the Lord's Prayer: Our Father, who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come."

'Their first reaction on hearing this was indignation, but then they agreed to put the question. So they went away and told their people what had happened, and they replied: "What does this question mean and what sort of a question is it?" But they understood the concealed point, that the questioners wished to know whether these words favoured the way their faith approaches God the Father. So they said: "These words clearly mean that we should pray to God the Father, and because Christ is our mediator, that we should pray to God the Father for the sake of His Son."

'Then in their indignation they resolved to approach us and to assert this face to face, saying too that they would tweak our ears. They actually left the place where they were, and went into the park adjacent to the houses where the boys were with their teachers. In the middle of the park there was a raised platform like an arena, and holding one another's hands they went into the arena where we stood waiting for them. There were small mounds of earth there covered with turf, and they sat on these, saying to one another: "In such company we will not remain standing, but sit down."

'Then one of them who had the trick of making himself look like an angel of light, and who had been appointed by the rest to act as their spokesman, said: "You have asked us to reveal our opinion on how we should understand the first words of the Lord's Prayer. So I beg to inform you that we understand them like this: we should pray to God the Father; and because Christ is our mediator, and our salvation depends upon His merit, we should pray to God the Father trusting in Christ's merit."

[6] 'Then we told them: "We are from the community in heaven known as Michael. We have been sent to visit you, and enquire whether you who are gathered here have any religion or not. For the idea of God enters into every part of religion, and it is this which establishes a link with God, and that link is the means of salvation. We in heaven recite that prayer every day, just as people on earth do; but then we do not think of God the Father, since He is invisible, but we think of Him in His Divine Human, since in this He is visible. In this you call Him Christ, we call Him the Lord; thus the Lord is our Father in the heavens. The Lord too taught that He and the Father are one, that the Father is in Him and He is in the Father; that he who sees Him, sees the Father; and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. He also taught that it is the Father's will that people should believe in the Son; that he who does not believe in the Son will not see life; rather the wrath of God remains upon him. From these passages it is clear that the Father is to be approached through the Son and in Him. For that reason too He also taught that all power in heaven and on earth was given to Him. The Prayer says, "Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come," and we have proved from the Word that the Father's name is His Divine Human, and that the Father's kingdom comes when the Lord is directly approached, and not at all when God the Father is directly approached. So too the Lord told His disciples to preach the kingdom of God, and this is what is meant by the kingdom of God."

[7] 'On hearing this our opponents said: "You quote many passages from the Word. We may have read such things there, but we do not remember them. So open the Word in our presence, and read us those passages from it, especially the ones which say that the Father's kingdom comes when the Lord's kingdom does." Then they told the boys to fetch the Word, and when they did so, we read to them from it the following passages:

John 3 preaching the Gospel of the kingdom said, The time has come, the kingdom of God is at hand, Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 3:2.

Jesus Himself preached the Gospel of the kingdom, and said that the kingdom of God was at hand, Matthew 4:17, 23; 9:35.

Jesus ordered His disciples to preach and proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God (Mark 16:15; Luke 8:1; 9:60); likewise the seventy whom He sent out (Luke 10:9, 11)

And many passages besides, such as Matthew 11:5; 16:27-28; Mark 8:35; 9:1, 47; 10:29-30; 11:10; Luke 1:19; 2:10-11; 4:43; 7:22; 17:20-21; 4 Luke 21:31; 22:18. The kingdom of God, the good news of which they were to proclaim, was the Lord's kingdom, and so the Father's kingdom. This is plain from the following passages: The Father gave all things into the Son's hand (John 3:35); The Father gave the Son power over all flesh (John 17:2).

All things are handed over to me by the Father, Matthew 11:27.

All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth, Matthew 28:18.

Further from the following:

Jehovah Zebaoth is His name and the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, He shall be called the God of the whole earth, Isaiah 54:5.

I saw and behold, one like the Son of Man, to whom was given dominion, glory and the kingdom; and all peoples and nations shall worship Him. His dominion is a dominion for ever, which will not pass away, and His kingdom one which will not perish, Daniel 7:13-14.

When the seventh angel sounded, mighty voices were heard in the heavens saying, The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever, Revelation 11:15; 12:10.

[8] 'In addition we instructed them from the Word that the Lord came into the world not only to redeem angels and men, but also so that they might be united with God the Father through Him and in Him. For He taught that He is in those who believe in Him and they are in Him (John 6:56; 14:20; 15:4-5). On hearing this they asked: "How then can your Lord be called Father"? We said: "It follows from the passages we have read, and also from these:

A child is born for us, a son is given to us, whose name is God, Hero, the everlasting Father, Isaiah 9:6.

You are our Father, Abraham does not recognise us, neither does Israel acknowledge us; You, Jehovah, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name, Isaiah 63:16.

Did He not say to Philip, when he wanted to see the Father.

Philip, do you not know me? He who sees me sees the Father, John 14:9; 12:45.

What other Father then is there, than the one whom Philip saw with his own eyes?"

'To this we added the following. "It is said throughout the Christian world that the members of the church constitute the body of Christ, and that they are in His body. How then can any person in the church approach God the Father, except through Him in whose body he is? Otherwise he would inevitably leave the body to approach Him." Finally we informed them that at the present time a new church is being established by the Lord, which is meant by the New Jerusalem in Revelation. In this church worship will be directed to the Lord alone, as it is in heaven, and thus all will be accomplished which the Lord's Prayer contains from beginning to end.

'We proved everything from the Gospels and the Prophets in the Word, and from Revelation, which deals from beginning to end with that church, and went on at such length that they became tired of listening.

[9] 'The Armageddon party listened with indignation, and wanted repeatedly to interrupt our speech. Eventually they broke in and cried: "You have spoken against the doctrine of our church, which states that God the Father is to be approached directly, and is to be believed in. You have thus become guilty of violating our faith. So begone from here, or you will be thrown out." Their tempers were so roused they passed from threats to attempted action. But then by the powers we had been given we struck them blind, so that, being unable to see us, they broke out and ran blindly in all directions. Some fell into the abyss described in Revelation (Revelation 9:2), which is now in the southern quarter towards the east; this is where those are to be found who are convinced that justification is effected by faith alone. Those there who prove that doctrine by quoting the Word are cast out into a desert, where they are driven to the edge of the Christian world and mix with the pagans.'

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Footnotes:

1. The first part of this section is repeated from Apocalypse Revealed 839.

2. The Latin has 'leading men' (proceres), but the following reference to giants (Anakim) shows that this must be a misprint for 'tall men' (proceros).

3. Apparently a slip for 'Jesus'; John is mentioned earlier in the verse.

4. This reference was inserted in the author's copy.

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(Odkazy: Matthew 6:9-10)

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Odkazy z vydaných prací:

True Christian Religion 116


   Související pasáže:

Apocalypse Revealed 839

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 Michael's Army Faces the Dragon's Army
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.


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