The Prodigal Son Returns: In the End There Is No Excuse For Not Believing In God.

January 22nd, 2020

“I say to you there will be more Joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance”.
The greater the distance one has to ‘traverse’ to come to God, the greater the joy of salvation. Often those who have lived in relative stability in life and in religion don’t have the same inner joy as those who had to fight to come home. I had a client who wanted me to read the parable of the prodigal son. I did and she identified with the son who stayed home and was upset that his father celebrated his brother who wasted all his money on riotous living. It made sense she favored this one because part of her personality is demanding and superior, (but she is willing to seek). The father in the parable, who represents God, said, ‘It is right to celebrate for he was lost and now he is found’. The prodigal son went to the lowest of the low, and came all the way back humbled. The inner distance travelled opens up new avenues in the soul. Spiritually it is a great change of state. The goal is not to punish ourself but to see and remove hereditary evils in us.
The 99 that have little need of repentance didn’t have to change much. They didn’t have to transform their soul. I worked with a man once who said he couldn’t feel God and I presented various ways to help him feel God. He said, “I am not like you. I didn’t have to suffer getting out of a cult”. While that was probably a dig it’s indicative of an emotional coating that blocks reception. When tragedy almost struck he made his emotional love of his family (the deepest thing he knew) his God and did not appeal to the Lord. Love of family is of course a good thing, but it’s not God. Humans have good, but we are all tainted with evil, and never to be in the place of God. No one gets away with being complacent to God, but we try. That’s the tragedy.
I asked a young man once what his belief in God was and he said something like, “I don’t have a religion, but I am Ok with them all, I am neutral to God’. I felt an abhorrence; his words literally felt like vomit to me. In those words are jadedness, ignorance, arrogance, and hidden in them is hate. No-one gets away with being neutral to God. That is vanity of the worst kind. The deepest need (and source of strength) of every human is to have something to which we can completely humble ourself, and that we can trust – God, who is present with our core self. (These needs are also approached in genuine intimacy and friendship.) In the Bible Jesus says to His disciples who had learned to trust Him “I now call you friend’. We can do this.
There really is no excuse for not coming to believe in God in the end. No matter what has happened to us God is ever present. He is the conclusion of life, nature, man, and the Word. The consequences of not doing so are our own fault.
Jesus is the inner teacher for all of us.

PREPARING OURSELF FOR THE LORD: INTERPRETATION OF THE PARABLE OF THE FAITHFUL SERVANT AND THE EVIL SERVANT (LUKE 12: 35-40)

November 6th, 2019

35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

 

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning”. To desire God is the beginning of perception to see. This verse means what it sounds like, that is, be ready and alert to the urging of God and the needs around you, and persevere in trusting Him. We can then feel the  prompting of God within us, and if we have the desire we can see the movement of God in our community and nation. Then our will is moved to respond to support the people and leaders who are fighting for him.

In the parable of the ten virgins the ones that had oil in their lamps entered the wedding, because they had the union of love and awareness for the Lord in their heart, and so, were prepared to enter heaven. The ones who had lamps but no oil had the form but not the substance, meaning they had faith, but not faith in union with charity. Lamps burning is a powerful image of the union of love and awareness together, – which Mary of Bethany is the greatest example of. Mary was on fire with the love for Jesus and the awareness that He must fulfill His mission and be killed on the cross. This means she knew that He was God and had the power to do what He had been teaching everyone, which is that he would resurrect on the third day. She, no doubt, did not know how or even why, but her love for Him, and what He had done for her, elevated her perception so that she had faith that He would do as he said. The disciples believed he was he Messiah and the son of God, but she was the first to see that he was God Himself. This perception is the most essential of all for faith because it is the truth and brings his presence closest to us. Mary’s action of anointing Him before His burial and her outpouring of love shows she had this awareness. And what show it more than anything is that Jesus memorialized her love, faith and action for all time.

“Like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet”. Wedding in its highest sense refers to the resurrection, because it is the consummation of the Holy marriage; it is the culmination of the glorification process wherein Jesus merged His human body with His divine soul, thus making His human divine and taking it into heaven. ‘Servants waiting for the master’ are those who learned to have faith in His divine, who believe in the resurrection and commit their heart to Him. In Jesus’s time the first to be initiated into this awareness were those who received baptism from John the Baptist, because these showed faith and became receptacles of heaven. The connection with heaven had been lost and this is why Jesus came down. John had to initiate the external baptism as the new correspondences with heaven; John performed the external baptism to pave the way before the internal baptism of Jesus could be received – this process had to take place in this way – because the external is always the foundation of the internal; and, because correspondences are the essential structure that creates the connection between heaven and earth. So those who received John’s baptism were the first who were ‘servants waiting for the master’. The Baptism of John established the new correspondence between heaven and earth. There had to be this correspondence for man to have knowledge of heaven and God; if not mankind on earth would spiritually die. Without a living correspondence mankind would be overrun by evil and spiritually and physically fall into abysmal darkness. The birth of Jesus was the two edged sword that both ended the Jewish nation as the means of correspondence, (as it had existed for centuries in the Old Testament) and established the new Christian church.  Those waiting on the Lord are those in the true new Christian Church.

“So that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him”. The Lord is always turned to us, the door is always open; and we must turn to Him, meaning we have the capability by the faculty of our will to receive him. The will is of love and we use our mind to understand its feelings and guide them intelligently. To the degree we acknowledge the Lord and come to love and understand Him is the degree to which we can receive Him. The relationship between God and man is reciprocal in this way. He influences us to respond to is urging and we must incline our heart and mind to receive it. 

“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them”. The soul of man is truly fed in a spiritual way by genuine spiritual principles or truths. Our soul is an organ, a complete spiritual organ in the human form. Just as the eye is an organ that receives light, the soul is an organ that receives love and wisdom from the Lord. Those who learn to have internal faith in Jesus, no matter what they have been through, He will restore them. Truths of the Word, spiritual principles, honesty, trust and humility restore the soul of man. We know that the body receives food to nourish it, and that the food taken in needs to be digested. In a similar way Jesus gradually softens and regenerates our soul with trials of life and true spiritual principles that heal the traumas in our psyche, removes falsities, and brings in light to our mind and love to our heart. 

“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into”. This refers to the universal spiritual principle that we can only receive God to the degree we reject evil. Jesus cannot help us if we don’t actively will to resist, remove and reject evil. We all have hereditary evil from head to toe, which allows us to be tempted. It is our job to resist and He will help us to remove the evil as we become aware of it as best we can. To the degree we entertain and act on evil God cannot enter us. As the Bible says, ‘You don’t put new wine in an old wine skin lest it burst’.

Both the rich and the poor are in heaven. Rich in the Bible in the internal sense does not refer to money but to those who have a lot of information but do not have love for the Lord. When the Bible says ‘it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of an needle’ it means that those who think they know it all and are full of pride block themselves from heaven. Poor refers to those who do not know of the Word and its truths but yearn to know. The Lord providentially provides for those who yearn truly.

The Inner Meaning of the Story of the Tower of Babel

October 4th, 2015

 

Babylon, in general, refers to evil leaders that use religion to deceive and control people from their own lust for power. This takes place in both the spiritual world and on earth.

The religious leaders of the ancient Jews had become mostly power obsessed. They claimed authority to themselves and kept the people under their power with all the strict religious rules. The people themselves though, still learned of God and religion from them, and if they practiced their faith sincerely, even if it had falsities, they received some degree of connection to the Word and heaven. The religious leaders had to act according to the laws and keep up appearances even if inwardly they were evil. In this way the two were inextricably tied together. The leaders served the purpose of religion, even though they had evil motivations, so the Lord could not separate them from the people until the time was right to abolish the representative church. The same kind of thing was taking place in the psuedo heavens in the spiritual world. The leaders were sheltered from the Lord’s immediate judgement because they were serving a religious purpose to the common people, that is, they provided knowledge of the Word to the people and oversaw all the functions of the temple that provided correspondences to heaven. But when the Lord came into the world everything was prepared for all this to change, and each person would receive justice according to their internal state. The captives specifically then are those who were unjustly kept in the psuedo heavens of the spiritual world. This attack and insurrection of evil forces in the world of spirits (that I just describes as the psuedo heavens) is told by correspondences in the story of the Tower of Babel. I will aduce two places in scripture that describe this situation; the first quote is from the book of Revelation, and the second quote is from Isaiah:

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth (Gen. 11:2-4).

And in Isaiah:

Thou mayest take up this parable concerning the king of Babylonia. Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of those having dominion; thou, Lucifer, hast fallen from heaven; thou art cut down even to the earth; thou hast said in thy mind, I will ascend into the heavens; I will exalt my throne over the stars of God, and I sit on the mountain of the assembly, in the sides of the north, I will become like the Most High. Nevertheless thou shalt be cast down into hell, to the sides of the pit; I will cut off the name and residue of Babylon and will cause her to become an hereditary possession of the bittern (Isaiah 14:4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23).

These scriptures tell how evil minded leaders used and abused the power of the Word to set up false heavens and control the people, but were finally taken down in the judgement. Swedenborg describes the inner meaning of the Tower of Babel:

By Babylon are meant all who wish to have dominion by religion. To have dominion by religion, is to have dominion over men’s souls, thus over their very spiritual life, and to use the Divine things, which are in their religion, as the means. All those who have dominion for an end, and religion for the means are in general Babylon. They are called Babylon because such dominion began in ancient times; but it was destroyed in its beginning. Its commencement is described by the city and the tower, the head of which was to be in heaven (AC 54).

The man…who does not acknowledge a God, is under the dominion of infernal spirits. Knowing this, leaders who build Babylonish towers make themselves a name by means of doctrinal and holy things, for otherwise they could not be worshiped, which is signified in what next follows by their otherwise being scattered over the faces of the whole earth, that is, they would not be acknowledged. And from this it follows that the higher such men can lift up the head to heaven, the more they make themselves a name. Their dominion is greatest over those who have some conscience; for these they lead whithersoever they will; but as to those who have not conscience, they rule all such by means of various external bonds (AC 1308).

The story of the tower of Babel is a description by correspondences of how the evil forces would build the false heavens in the world of spirits and infiltrate the natural and spiritual heaven. Babylon is also a general term that refers to an accumulation of power by evil leaders posing as good, and who then control the people. In the above quote the phrase ‘Their dominion is greatest over those who have some conscience’ harkens back to the description I gave on how cults work. Those who have a conscience, those who have some intelligence and want to please, are more readily led astray by ‘mind control’, or what is the same, the mental intimidation of the the religious leaders. These leaders themselves, talented and skilled in the art of deception as they may be, are themselves led by evil spirits from the deepest hells who are much more artful then they. If the process just described had continued without correction, the captives and eventually all of humanity would have lost all freedom at the hand of evil spirits.