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.
 '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.
 '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.'
 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.
 '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."
 '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."
 '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:
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.
 '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.
 '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.'
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.