Spiritual awareness and insight

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I ask this question because it seems that the work of human salvation is not finished. Thus, there is the spiritual addendum called the “Second Coming.”
Something further seems to be required for things to improve in the world.
Even orthodox Christianity states that the Lord’s act of taking on the sins of the world still requires an individual to go one step further and either believe (through Faith) that Jesus was the Savior or base this same belief on good works. Otherwise the Lord’s life and death affects nothing in our personal lives.
So what did the Lord actually accomplish while on earth? Start a new religion? Make his “Father” take notice?
I now turn to the unique spiritual doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg for the answers.
Swedenborg claimed that Jesus was Jehovah in the flesh! This concept runs counter to the belief that the Divine encompasses three distinct Personalities—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Without offering lengthy arguments to provide evidence for Swedenborg’s monotheistic claim, I will—for now—focus on the rational reasons for the necessity of a divine entity coming into the spacetime arena of human history.The world has many problems. Religion makes the assertion that these problems originate from Hell and the general population’s dismissal of God’s tenets. Swedenborg, taking a scientific approach to faith issues, pointed out that the finite powers of Hell could never directly oppose an Infinite God (there is no ratio between the finite and the infinite). The Hells can only go after finite terrestrial humans. So how can God duke it out with the devil?
The Lord God’s strategy of assuming a finite physical body and being born on earth created the proper medium and battleground for the Hells to attack the Divine. Swedenborg insisted that most of the Lord God’s activities were invisible to human eyesight because Jesus was reorganizing the Heavens and subjugating the Hells through His victories in resisting all possible temptations. (The final temptation was on the “Cross” whereby the Lord stayed put and resisted the flawed, ego-driven desire to rule by dominating through physical force—rather than through Heavenly Truth.)  During this inner battle, the Lord successfully unified his human nature (which he received from his earthly mother) with his Divine nature (Jehovah was the Lord’s soul). This unification was the “Glorification.”
God’s holy warfare did not directly save humankind from sin, but kept the door open for the possibility of salvation. We each must also decide to engage ourselves in a similar inner struggle during our life on earth and ask for the help of the Lord (who alone can—and did—conquer every possible evil allurement). Swedenborg also made the unpleasant claim that if the Lord God had not come into the world and taken on the Hells from an inner—or psycho-spiritual—battlefield, the entire human race would have morphed into gruesome monsters before finally perishing.
As a student of Swedenborg’s ideas (since 1974) I also came across one of his statements that without God storing innocent thoughts and feelings during our infancy to create a plane for angelic influences to gain a psycho-spiritual foothold in our inner world, we would also lose our humanness and morph into monsters of all description. Swedenborg called this inner plane where innocence is stored, the “remains.” (Nowhere else in worldly faith systems and religious doctrine is the idea of “remains” even acknowledged.)
This leads me to conclude that, while on earth, the Lord fought to keep this plane of activity—the remains—intact. Swedenborg also stated that the Lord’s saving activity operates only from a person’s remains because this inner plane acts as the soil for the future and genuine spiritual growth of an individual.
So what the Lord accomplished on earth was to regain top-down control of all universal processes and preserve the potential in all humans for angelic transformation.
The “Second Coming” (which the Lord promised was close at hand) represents the moment an individual allows the Lord to enter into our heart and mind and begin our personal battle against the forces of evil, and the vanities and allurements of the terrestrial globe. With this new inner engagement will come a greater and deeper understanding of the narratives of Holy Scripture—all of which refer to the development of one’s remains during the genuine process of salvation and purification.
In other words, the ball is now in your court.
http://www.provinggod.com

Why the devil cleverly promotes love

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Once upon a time the Devil was happily lying in a lounge chair trying to darken his tan from all the flames around him. Suddenly, one of his most trustworthy henchmen approached him in an absolute panic.

“Lucifer! Lucifer!” cried the evil sidekick, “the end times have arrived! An individual named Emanuel Swedenborg has been directed by the Lord God of heaven to write about the mysteries of faith to the people on earth! We will be exposed! We are doomed!”

Ha! Ha! Ha!” laughed the devil. “Relax, my faithful friend. I have already read Swedenborg’s writings very carefully and have determined that they will have a diminishing affect upon those silly humans on earth. The seeds of God’s truth will be planted in the wrong soil.”

“How can you be so sure?” asked the creepy cohort.

“I perfectly understand human psychology—after all, I helped influence it,” replied the shrewd master of deception. “Every human desperately wants to be seen as being a valuable and good person in society, thanks to a misguided principle of self-worth. So I simply let them have their way and keep them in a delusional trance whereby they will focus their attention on love, usefulness and community—apart from their inner predicament.”

“Isn’t love and compassion the opposite of what we want people to do?” asked the confused ally.

“Noble deeds are destroyed by the desire for affirmation and approval. The human need for affirmation is from the malignant principle of self-love. I am the undisputed leader of self-love, which opposes heavenly love! By helping to convince people that they will find self-importance by becoming more loving and caring, I cause the seeds of God’s teaching to be mis-planted,” said the smiling demonic leader.

“Please explain,” asked the cruel crony.

“It’s actually quite simple,” said Mr. Devil. “While I keep people’s attention on becoming more loving, they begin to overlook the actual process and lawful steps of spiritual transformation. Goodness and innocence only comes from the Lord God of heaven. Everyone born on earth has a small amount of this angelic goodness placed deep within their natural mind, during infancy. Mr. Swedenborg called this residue of heavenly innocence the ‘remains.’ I can tell you that not much attention is given to this piece of information. This convinced me that I still had room to operate and pursue my craftiness. Now listen carefully. When a person on earth learns of some heavenly truth, either from reading or attending a place of worship, these ideas of truth act like spiritual seeds. But because the average person is so hung up about being a good person and finding approval from others, these theological seeds fail to properly germinate. They never reach their intended soil.”

The Devil stops for a moment to quench his thirst with a swig from his bottle of hot sauce. Then he continues the discussion, “The misstep people take—even those who fervently study Swedenborg’s ideas—is that they rarely consider that these heavenly seeds must be planted in their God-given ‘remains’ to affect anything real.” Since genuine spiritual Love only comes from the Lord God alone, only the growth of one’s spiritual remains permits God’s Love to legitimately grow and change someone’s inner and outer life. So I put all my effort in helping push people into focusing on outward empathy and acts of charity as if this is something that can emanate from their own abilities, rather than from God’s. I have succeeded in making people believe that if they do good things, they will neither have to investigate nor directly deal with their character flaws of self-love—which, thanks to me, they all have in abundance! This oversight ensures that God’s seeds of truth have no place to germinate but in their fantasies. Only self-vigilance and self-conflict allow heavenly seeds of truth to reach a person’s remains or spiritual soil.”

The Devil then looked deeply into his associate’s eyes saying, “If you don’t believe me, ask any Swedenborgian you meet to explain the concept of ‘remains’ to you—even ask their scholars. Few can. But without grasping this important topic, all these sorrowful outward efforts of compassion by humans in the world merely become a form of hypnosis, trance and self-delusion.”

“You are brilliant!” said the Devil’s nasty devotee.

The two evil co-conspirators began laughing uncontrollably and slapping each other’s backs.

http://www.staircasepress.com

The devil and the cross

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The Devil had a serious look of concern on his face. Jesus had been nailed to the cross for several hours and still showed no signs of trying to get off and kick some butt. This is not what the Devil had planned.

While in the desert, the Devil had already failed to entice the Lord into becoming a ruler over the entire earth. The crucifixion was the Devil’s last chance to tempt the Lord into making a big mistake.

If Jesus could just be persuaded to get off that cross to save his own hide and exercise his power over the Roman soldiers and their oppressive rule, the Devil’s devious plan would succeed. For this would mean that Jesus had finally conceded and accepted his offer of earthly dominance.

But the physical pain was not enough to break the Lord’s will.

The Devil knew that as long as Jesus had a human body of flesh and a human disposition, he knew the Lord could be tempted. So the Devil decided to raise the stakes with more serious temptations. He would add psychological pain to crucifixion.

Poor people, oppressed and persecuted people, people suffering all kinds of injustices, punishments and misfortunes were sent to the crucifixion site and pleaded for Jesus to get off the Cross and—with His angelic army—alleviate their suffering and bring justice to the land. This indeed put more pressure on Jesus to do something tangible. Now!

The human side of Jesus yelled out that His Father in heaven was forsaking Him. But this was a final test by which the Lord would gain full control over his flesh and worldly inclinations in order to unify His human nature with His Divine nature. Jesus resisted the vanities and allurements of the earthly kingdom and chose the heavenly kingdom instead.

Jesus died, squashing everyone’s expectations, but was glorified for this painful decision.

The Devil knew he had failed to destroy God’s spiritual integrity. But he did not feel completely defeated. He knew that mortal men’s and women’s minds were still worldly, and if not now, would in the future expect the Lord to make a physical return to set things right on earth.

Rather than seek a heavenly kingdom beyond time and space, people on earth will always demand a terrestrial utopia.

A wicked smile slowly grew across the Devil’s face…

http://www.provinggod.com

Cats

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When some people say that cats aren’t as loyal as dogs, I feel it is because they have never had one of these emotionally complex and devoted creatures as a beloved companion. This is a myth which sadly has prejudiced some people against these courageous and very affectionate animals due to a misconception which isn’t based on actual fact.

Education and knowledge

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Education and knowledge by themselves do not bring inner peace to individuals, families or the society in which they live. But education combined with warmheartedness, a sense of concern for the well-being of others, has much more positive results. If you have a great deal of knowledge, but you’re governed by negative emotions, then you tend to use your knowledge in negative ways. Therefore, while you are learning, don’t forget the importance of warmheartedness.