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AR Chapter 19
AR 839. I looked forth into the world of spirits, and saw an army upon red and black horses. They that sat upon them appeared like apes, with their faces and breasts turned towards the loins and tails of the horses, and with the backs of their heads and their backs towards the necks and heads of the horses; and the reins hung around the necks of the riders. And they cried out, "Let us fight against them that ride upon the white horses." And they pulled the reins with both hands, and thus pulled back the horses from the fight; and this continually. Then two angels descended from heaven, and drew near to me, and said, "What do you see?" And I related that I saw this ludicrous company of horsemen, and asked what it was, and who they were. And the angels answered, "They are from the place which is called Armageddon (Apoc. 16:16), where they have been gathered together to the number of some thousands, to fight against those who are of the Lord’s New Church, which is called the New Jerusalem. They spoke in that place concerning the church and religion; and yet there was not anything of the church with them, because there was not any spiritual truth; nor anything of religion, because there was not any spiritual good. They spoke there on both subjects with the mouth and with the lips, but for the reason that by means of them they might have dominion. They learned in their youth to confirm faith alone, the Trinity of God, and the duality of Christ; and when they were promoted to more eminent offices in the church, they retained those things for some time; but as they then began to think no more about God and heaven, but about themselves and the world, and thus not about eternal happiness and felicity, but about temporal eminence and opulence, they rejected the doctrinals acquired in their youth from the interiors of the rational mind, which communicate with heaven, and hence are in the light of heaven, into the exteriors of the rational mind, which communicate with the world, and hence are only in the light of the world; and at length they thrust them down into the sensual natural; whence the doctrinals of the church have become with them things of the mouth only, and are no longer of the thought from reason, and still less of the affection from love; and because they have made themselves such, they do not admit any genuine truth which is of the church, nor any genuine good which is of religion. The interiors of their minds have become comparatively like bottles filled with iron filings mixed with powdered sulphur, into which if water be poured, there first arises a heat, and afterwards a flame, by which the bottles are burst. In like manner, when they hear anything about living water, which is the genuine truth of the Word, and this enters through the ears, they are violently heated and inflamed, and reject it as a thing that would burst their heads. These are they who appeared to you like apes riding, with the body turned round, upon red and black horses, with the reins around their necks; since they who do not love the truth and the good of the church from the Word, will not look at the forward parts of any horse, but at his hinder parts; for `a horse‘ signifies the understanding of the Word; `a red horse’ the understanding of the Word destroyed as to good, and `a black horse‘ the understanding of the Word destroyed as to truth. The reason why they cried out to fight against those riding upon the white horses, is that `a white horse’ signifies the understanding of the Word as to truth and good. They were seen to pull back the horses by their necks, because they feared the combat, lest the truth of the Word should come to many, and so into the light. This is the interpretation." The angels said further, "We are from the society in heaven which is called Michael, and were commanded by the Lord to descend into the place called Armageddon, whence the company of horsemen was seen by you to burst forth. By `Armageddon,‘ with us in heaven, is signified the state and purpose of fighting from falsified truths, arising from the love of command and supereminence; and because we perceive with you the desire of knowing about the combat there, we will tell about it. After our descent from heaven, we approached the place called Armageddon, and saw there some thousands gathered together. Nevertheless we did not enter into that assembly; but there were two houses on the southern side of that place, where there were boys with their masters. We went in thither, and they received us kindly. We were delighted with their company. Their faces were all handsome, from the life in their eyes, and from the zeal in their discourse. The life in their eyes was from the perception of truth, and the zeal in their discourse from the affection of truth; on which account also caps had been given them from heaven, the borders of which were ornamented with bands of golden threads interwoven with pearls; and garments were also given, variegated with white and blue colors. We asked them whether they looked into the neighboring place, which is called Armageddon. They said that they did so through a window under the roof of the house, and that they saw there a congregation, but under various figures, now as tall men, and now not as men, but as statues and carved idols, and an assembly around them bending the knees. They also appeared to us under various forms; now as men, now as leopards, now as goats; the latter with horns bent downwards, with which they dug up the ground. We interpreted those metamorphoses, whom they represented and what they signified. But to the point: They that were gathered together, when they heard that we had entered into those houses, said among themselves, `What are they doing with those boys? Let us send some from our assembly to cast them out.’ And they sent, and when they came, they said to us, `Why have you entered into those houses? whence are you? we command you by authority to depart.‘ But we answered, `You cannot command that by authority. You are, indeed, in your own eyes, like Anakim, and they who are here like dwarfs. But still you have no power and right here, unless perchance by cunning from your three places of diversion here, which, however, will not avail. Wherefore take back word to your companions, that we were sent hither from heaven, to ascertain whether there is any religion with you, or not; and if not, that you should be cast out of this place. Wherefore propose to them this, in which is the very essential of the church, and thence of religion, How they understand these words in the Lord’s Prayer: `Our Father who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done as in heaven so also upon the earth.‘ On hearing this, they said at first, `What is this?’ and then that they would propose it. And they went away, and told these things to their companions, who answered, `What is this proposition and its nature?‘ Yet they understood the arcanum, that they wished to know, whether those things confirm the way to God the Father according to our faith; wherefore they said, `The words are clear, that one must pray to God the Father; and because Christ is our Saviour, that we must pray to God the Father for the Son’s sake.‘ And they soon concluded in indignation, that they would go to us, and declare it orally; saying also, that they would pull our ears. They also went out of that place, and entered a grove near the two houses in which these boys were with their masters; where was a level place elevated like a gymnasium. And they took hold of each other’s hands, and entered into the gymnasium, where we were, and were waiting for them. There were there sods cut from the ground like hillocks; upon them then they reclined; for they said among themselves, `Let us not stand before them, but sit.‘ And then one of them, who could make himself appear like an angel of light, on whom it had been enjoined by the rest to speak with us, said, `You have proposed to us to open our mind concerning the first words in the Lord’s Prayer, how we understand them. I say to you, therefore, that we understand them thus: that we must pray to God the Father; and because Christ is our Saviour, and we are saved by His merit, that we must pray to God the Father from faith in His merit.‘ But we then said to them, `We are from the society of heaven which is called Michael, and we were sent to visit and inquire, whether you that are gathered together in this place have any religion or not; and we cannot know this otherwise than by questioning concerning God; for the idea of God enters into the whole of religion, and by it conjunction is effected, and by conjunction salvation. We in heaven read that Prayer daily, like men on earth; and we do not then think of God the Father, because He is invisible; but we think of Him in His Divine Human, because in this He is visible; and in this He is called by you Christ, but by us the Lord; and thus to us the Lord is the Father in heaven. The Lord also taught that He and the Father are one; that the Father is in Him and He in the Father; and that he who seeth Him seeth the Father; also that no one cometh to the Father but by Him; and likewise that it is the will of the Father, that they should believe in the Son; and that he that believeth not in the Son, cannot see life; yea, that the anger of God abideth upon him. From which it is manifest, that the Father is approached through Him and in Him. And because it is so, He also taught that all authority is given unto Him in heaven and in earth. It is said in that Prayer, "Hallowed be Thy name, and Thy kingdom come;" and we have demonstrated from the Word that His Divine Human is the Father’s name; and that the Father‘s kingdom is then come, when the Lord is immediately approached; and not at all when God the Father is approached immediately; wherefore also the Lord said to the disciples, that they should preach the kingdom of God; and this is the kingdom of God.’ Moreover we instructed them from the Word, that the Lord came into the world, that He might glorify His Human, for the end that the angels of heaven and the men of the church might be united to God the Father through Him and in Him; for He taught that they who believe in Him are in Him, and He in them; which is as the church teaches, that they are in the body of Christ. Finally we informed them, that at this day a New Church is being established by the Lord, which is meant by `the New Jerusalem‘ in the Apocalypse; in which will be the worship of the Lord alone, as it is in heaven: and that thus everything which is contained in the Lord’s Prayer from beginning to end will be fulfilled. All the things which we have said above we confirmed from the Word in the Evangelists, and from the Word in the Prophets, in such abundance that they were tired of hearing. "First. We confirmed that `our Father in the heavens‘ is the Lord Jesus Christ, from these passages:--
Unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
Thou, O Jehovah, art our Father, the Redeemer from everlasting is Thy name (Isa. 63:16).
Jesus said, He that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me (John 12:45).
If ye have known Me, ye have known the Father also; and henceforth ye have known Him, and have seen Him (John 14:7).
Philip said, Lord, show us the Father; Jesus said unto Him, He that seeth Me, seeth the Father; how sayest thou then, show us the Father (John 14:8, 9)?
Jesus said, the Father and I are one (John 10:30).
All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine (John 16:15; 17:10).
The Father is in Me, and I in the Father (John 10:38; 14:10, 11, 20).
That no one hath seen the Father, except the Only Son who is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18; 5:37; 6:46).
Wherefore He also says, that:--
No one cometh to the Father, but by Him (John 14:6).
And that to come to the Father is by Him, from Him, and in Him (John 6:56; 14:20; 15:4-6; 17:19, 23).
"But concerning the Unity of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, more may be seen in the Relation (n. 962). "Second. That `Hallowed be Thy name,’ is to approach the Lord and worship Him, we confirmed by these passages:--
Who shall not glorify Thy name, for Thou alone art holy (Apoc. 15:4).
This is concerning the Lord:--
Jesus said, Father, glorify Thy Name; and there came forth a voice from heaven, I have both glorified it and will glorify it (John 12:28).
"The name of the Father which was glorified is the Divine Human.
Jesus said, I am come in My Father‘s name (John 5:43).
Jesus said, He that receiveth this boy in My name, receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me, receiveth Him that sent Me (Luke 9:48).
These things were written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life in His name (John 20:31).
As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, to them that believe in His name (John 1:12).
Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:13, 14).
He that believeth not, is judged already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God (John 3:15, 16, 18).
Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt. 18:19, 20).
Jesus said to the disciples, that they should preach in His name (Luke 24:47).
Besides other places, where `the name of the Lord’ is mentioned, by which is meant Himself as to His Human (Matt. 7:22; 10:22; 18:5; 19:29; 24:9, 10; Mark 11:10; 13:13; 16:17; Luke 10:17; 19:38; 21:12, 17; John 2:23): from which it is manifest that the Father is hallowed in the Son, and by angels and men through the Son; and that this is meant by `hallowed be Thy name‘; as is further evident in (John 17:19, 21-23, 26). "Third. That `Thy kingdom come’ means that the Lord reigns, we confirmed by these passages:--
The Law and the Prophets were until John, since that time the kingdom of God is evangelized (Luke 16:16).
John preaching the gospel of the kingdom, said, The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God has approached (Mark 1:14, 15; Matt. 3:2).
Jesus Himself preached the gospel of the kingdom, and that the kingdom of God has approached (Matt. 4:17, 23; 9:35).
Jesus commanded the disciples to preach and evangelize the kingdom of God (Mark 16:15; Luke 8:1; 9:60).
In like manner to the seventy whom He sent forth (Luke 10:9, 11; Matt 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; 21:30, 31; 22:18). `The kingdom of God which was evangelized,‘ was the kingdom of the Lord, and thus the kingdom of the Father. That it is so, is manifest from these passages:--
The Father hath given all things into the hand of the Son (John 3:35).
The Father hath given to the Son power over all flesh (John 17:2).
All things are delivered unto Me by the Father (Matt. 11:27).
All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth (Matt 28:18).
Further also from these:--
Jehovah of Hosts is His name, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called (Isa. 54:5).
I saw, and behold, one like the Son of man, to whom was given dominion, and glory, and the kingdom; and all peoples and nations shall worship Him; His dominion is the dominion of an age which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not perish (Dan. 7:13, 14).
When the seventh angel sounded, there were voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become our Lord’s and His Christ‘s, and He shall reign for ages of ages (Apoc. 11:15; 12:10).
Which kingdom of the Lord is treated of in the Apocalypse from beginning to end; into which all will come who will be of the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. "Fourth. `Thy will be done as in heaven so also upon the earth,’ we confirmed by these passages:--
Jesus said, This is the will of the Father, that everyone that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life (John 6:40).
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believeth in Him may not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:15, 16).
He that believeth on the Son, hath eternal life; but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the anger of God abideth upon him (John 3:36).
To believe in Him is to go to Him, and to have confidence that He saves, because He is the Saviour of the world. Besides, it is known in the church, that the Lord Jesus Christ reigns in heaven. He says also that His kingdom is there. When, therefore, the Lord reigns in like manner in the church, `then the Father‘s will is done as in heaven so also upon the earth.’ "To these things we finally added the following: It is said in the whole Christian world, that they who are of the church make the body of Christ, and are in His body. How then can the man of the church approach God the Father, except through Him in whose body he is? If otherwise, he must go entirely out of the body, and approach. "On hearing these and still more things from the Word, the Armageddons wished now and then to interrupt our discourse, and to adduce such things as the Lord spake with the Father in His state of exinanition. But their tongues then adhered to their palates, as it was not permitted them to contradict the Word. But the bridles of their tongues being at length loosened, they cried out, `You have spoken against the doctrine of our church, which is, that God the Father is to be approached immediately, and that we must believe in Him. You have thus made yourselves guilty of a violation of our faith: therefore go out from here; and if not, you shall be cast out.‘ And their minds being inflamed from threats, they endeavored to do it. But, by power then given us, we smote them with blindness; owing to which, not seeing us, they rushed forth into the plain, which was a wilderness; and those who appeared to you like apes upon horses, were the same as were seen by the boys out of the window like statues and idols, before whom the rest knelt."