True Christianity #508

True Christianity (Rose translation)      

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508. The sixth memorable occurrence. One day there appeared to me a magnificent temple, square in form. The roof was shaped like a crown - it arched upward and was elevated all around. The walls were continuous windows of crystal clear glass. The door was made of a pearly substance. On the southwest side of the interior there was a large raised pulpit, on top of which, to the right, the Word lay open, surrounded by a sphere of light so bright that it engulfed the whole raised area of the pulpit and made it shine. In the middle of the temple there was a sanctuary, with a veil at the front of it that was now lifted up. There an angel guardian, made out of gold, stood with a sword moving this way and that in its hand.

[2] Once I had looked carefully at all of these items, the meaning of each one flowed into my meditation. The temple means the new church. The door made of a pearly substance means our entry into the new church. The crystal clear windows mean the truths that enlighten the new church. The pulpit means its priesthood and preaching. The Word that lay open on the pulpit, lighting up the raised area of it, indicates that the Word's inner meaning, which is spiritual, has been revealed. The sanctuary in the middle of the temple means the partnership between the new church and the heaven of angels. The angel guardian made out of gold, standing in the sanctuary, means the literal meaning of the Word. The sword moving back and forth in its hand means that the literal sense can be turned this way and that, provided the purpose is to apply it to some truth. The fact that the veil in front of the angel guardian was lifted up means that the Word has now been opened to view.

[3] Later on, as I came closer to the building, I saw an inscription above the door: Now It Is Allowed, which means that we are now allowed to use our intellect to explore the mysteries of faith.

Seeing this inscription brought to my mind how extremely dangerous it is to use our intellect to explore any dogma of faith that was constructed by a self-serving mindset and therefore consists of falsities. It is even worse to use statements from the Word to support such dogmas. Doing so shuts down our intellect at its highest level, and gradually shuts it down at lower levels as well, to the point where theological teachings become disgusting to us and are finally obliterated, the way writing on paper is eaten away by worms or wool clothing is consumed by moths. Then the only way in which our intellect still functions is in dealing with political issues that affect our life in the region where we live, with civic issues that affect our jobs, and with domestic issues that relate to our homes. In these arenas we continually embrace the material world and love it for the alluring pleasures it offers, the way idolaters carry their golden effigy close to their heart.

[4] The dogmas of the Christian churches of today have been constructed not from the Word but under a self-serving mindset; as a result they consist of falsities. These dogmas have also been supported by certain statements in the Word. Therefore in the Lord's divine providence the Word was taken away from the Roman Catholic laity; and although the Word was opened up for Protestants, they closed it by their widespread assertion that the intellect has to be held under obedience to their faith.

[5] In the new church, however, the opposite happens. In this church, we are allowed to use our intellect to explore and penetrate all the church's mysteries and also to use the Word to support what we find. The reason this is allowed is that the teachings of the new church are continuous truths revealed by the Lord through the Word. Rational arguments that support these truths cause the intellect to open up more and more at its highest level and to be elevated into the light that the angels in heaven enjoy. That light is essentially truth. In that light, acknowledgment of the Lord as the God of heaven and earth shines in its glory. This is the meaning of the inscription Now It Is Allowed over the door to the temple, and the meaning of the fact that the sanctuary veil in front of the angel guardian was lifted up. It is a principle of the new church, you see, that falsities shut down the intellect but truths open it up.

[6] Afterward I saw someone like a young child overhead, holding a piece of paper in his hand. As he came nearer to me, he grew into a person of medium height. He was an angel from the third heaven, where all the inhabitants appear from a distance like little children. When he was in my presence, he handed me the piece of paper. Because it was written in the curved letters they use in that heaven, however, I handed it back and asked that they express the meaning of the message in words adapted to the ideas in my thinking. He replied, "What is written there is this: 'From now on, explore the mysteries of the Word, which was formerly closed up. All of its individual truths are mirrors that reflect the Lord. '"

(References: Genesis 3:23-24)

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Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

The videos shown here are provided courtesy of our friends at the Swedenborg Foundation. You can find out more about them here: swedenborg.com.


What the Bible Is - Swedenborg and Life

Is the Bible just an outdated book of confusing and contradictory moral lessons? Here’s one spiritual explorer’s philosophy on the hidden meaning of the Word.


What the Bible Is - Swedenborg and Life

Is the Bible just an outdated book of confusing and contradictory moral lessons? Here’s one spiritual explorer’s philosophy on the hidden meaning of the Word.

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 A Temple in Heaven
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 A Temple in Heaven
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Mural of the Nunc Licet Temple
Make a mural or large poster of the Nunc Licet Temple and the gardens around it.
Project | All Ages

 Nunc Licet: Now It Is Permitted
The temple is a vision of a church where people are encouraged to learn more about the Lord and how to love Him and others.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Nunc Licet Temple
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Nunc Licet Temple
An illustration of the Nunc Licet temple from True Christian Religion.
Picture | Ages 4 - 14

 Nunc Licet Temple
Color, cut out and assemble the pieces to make a model of the temple that the Lord showed Swedenborg in heaven.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Nunc Licet Temple
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Nunc Licet Temple Decoration
Use as a table centerpiece, display above or beside the Word in your home or set it on top of a "birthday cake" to celebrate New Church Day.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Nunc Licet Temple with Word
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Nunc Licet Word Find with Answers
Find words related to the New Church.
Activity | Ages 7 - 17

 Quotes: A New Understanding
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Nunc Licet Temple, Retold
A retelling of the story about the Nunc Licet Temple in heaven.
Story | All Ages

 Truths of the Word Mirror the Lord
 As children learn a verse from Scripture, let them glue a piece of reflective material on one of the "mirrors" around the Lord.
Project | Ages 4 - 10


Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for the permission to use this translation.


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