Redemption: The Second Memorable Occurrence

One morning after I woke up, the sun in the spiritual world appeared to me in its splendor. Beneath it I saw the heavens as far away from that sun as our earth is from our sun. Then from the heavens I heard individual words that would be impossible for me to convey, which came together to form a statement that could be expressed as follows: There is one God, he is human, and his dwelling place is in that sun. This utterance came down through the middle heavens to the lowest one. From there it came into the world of spirits, where I was.

The angels’ idea of one God gradually turned into an idea of three gods as it came down—I could sense it. So I went over to speak with spirits who were thinking three gods.

“What a heinous idea!” I said. “Why did it ever occur to you?”

“We are thinking three from our mental image of a triune God,” they answered, “but this does not come down into words when we speak. Out loud we always say that God is one. If there is a different idea in our minds, so be it, as long as it does not flow down and break up the oneness of God in what we say. From time to time, though, our idea does in fact flow down, because it is there inside us. If we happened to speak at that point we would be saying three gods; but we are careful not to say that so that we are not laughed at by people who hear us.”

Then they openly voiced their real thinking and said, “Aren’t there three gods, though? There are three divine persons, each of whom is God. What else can we think when the leader of our church, drawing on the treasury of the church’s sacred dogmas, ascribes creation to one divine person, redemption to another, and sanctification to the third? Worse yet, when our leader assigns them activities, he gives each person its own activity and says that that activity cannot be shared by the other persons. The activities are not only creating, redeeming, and sanctifying, but also assigning spiritual credit or blame, mediating, and putting things into effect. In that case surely there is one who created us, who also assigns us credit or blame; a second who redeemed us, who also mediates for us; and a third who gives us our assigned and mediated credit or blame, who also sanctifies us.

“Everyone knows that the Son of God was sent into the world by God the Father to redeem the human race. That’s why he became the One who purges, mediates, appeases, and intercedes. Because he is the same as the Son of God from eternity, there are two persons that are distinct from each other. And because the two of them are in heaven, the one sitting on the other’s right-hand side, there has to be a third who carries out in the world the decisions the other two made in heaven.”

When they finished I kept quiet, but I was thinking to myself, “What idiocy! They have no idea what the Word means by mediation.”

Then the Lord commanded three angels to come down from heaven and become connected to me so that I could draw on deep perception as I talked to the spirits who had the idea of three gods, particularly on the topics of mediation, intercession, appeasement, and ritual purging. The spirits I was talking to attribute those activities to the second person, the Son, but only after he became human. Yet he became human many ages after creation. In the meantime those four means of salvation did not exist: God the Father had not been appeased, the human race had not been ritually purged, and no one had been sent from heaven to intercede or mediate.

Then I spoke to them from the inspiration that came over me at that point. I said, “Come near, all who are able, and hear what the Word means by mediation, intercession, ritual purging, and appeasement. They are four activities attributed to the grace of the one God in his human manifestation.

“No human being can ever get close to God the Father. Neither can God the Father get close to any human being. He is infinite. He is in his underlying reality, which is Jehovah. If he came close to any of us with that underlying reality he would consume us the way fire consumes a piece of wood and leaves nothing but ashes. This is clear from what God said to Moses when Moses wanted to see him: God said that no one can see him and live (Exodus 33:20). The Lord says, ‘No one has ever seen God except the Son, who is close to the Father’s heart’ (John 1:18; Matthew 11:27). The Lord also says, ‘No one has heard the voice of the Father or seen what he looks like’ (John 5:37).

“Admittedly, we read that Moses saw Jehovah eye to eye and spoke with him face to face [Exodus 33:11; Deuteronomy 34:10]; but an angel was involved as an intermediary. The same with Abraham and Gideon. “Now, because this is the true nature of God the Father, it pleased him to take on a human manifestation and give people access through it so that he could hear them and talk to them. This human manifestation is what is called the Son of God. This is what mediates, intercedes, appeases, and ritually purges.

“Let me, therefore, give the meaning of these four activities carried out by God the Father’s human manifestation:

Mediation refers to his human manifestation as the medium through which we can get closer to God the Father, and God the Father can get closer to us and teach and lead us so as to save us. This is why the Son of God, meaning the human manifestation of God the Father, is called the Savior, and in the world was called Jesus, which means salvation.

Intercession refers to ongoing mediation. Absolute love, with its mercy, forgiveness, and grace, constantly intercedes; that is, it mediates for the people who do its commandments, the people it loves.

Ritual purging refers to the removal of the sins that we would quickly fall into if we turned to Jehovah without mediation.

Appeasement refers to the actions of mercy and grace that prevent us from causing our own damnation through sin and also protect us from desecrating what is holy. This has the same meaning as the mercy seat over the ark in the tabernacle.

“It is known that God uses appearances when he speaks in the Word: for example, the appearance that he is angry, takes revenge, tests people, punishes them, throws them into hell, and damns them. Indeed, the appearance is that he does evil. Nevertheless, he is angry at no one, does not take revenge on, test, or punish anyone, throw anyone into hell, or damn anyone. To do this would be as far from God as hell is from heaven—in fact, infinitely farther. Therefore these are expressions of an appearance. In a sense, ritual purging, appeasement, interceding, and mediating are also expressions of an appearance. They mean activities through God’s human manifestation that provide us access to God, and to grace from God. “Because people have not understood these qualities they have divided God into three and have founded every teaching in the church on these three. By doing so they have falsified the Word. The result is the abomination of desolation foretold by the Lord in Daniel [11:31; 12:11], and later on in Matthew chapter 24[:15].”

After I had spoken, the group of spirits withdrew from around me. I noticed that the spirits who were still thinking three gods were looking down toward hell. The spirits who were thinking that there is one God within whom there is a divine Trinity and that the Trinity is in the Lord God the Savior were looking toward heaven. To the latter group the sun in heaven appeared, where Jehovah exists in his human manifestation.

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 135

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