Redemption: The Third Memorable Occurrence

From far away I saw five halls. Each one was surrounded with light from heaven. The first hall was surrounded with crimson light like the light in the clouds just before sunrise on earth. The second hall was surrounded with a yellow light like the light of the dawn after the sun has come up. The third hall was surrounded with a bright white light like the light in our world at midday. The fourth hall was surrounded with a half light as when daylight begins to mix with evening shadows. The fifth hall stood in the shadow of evening itself.

These halls in the world of spirits are buildings where educated people meet to discuss various deep questions that serve to develop their knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

Once I spotted these halls, a strong desire to go to one of them came over me. I went in my spirit to the one that was surrounded with a half light. I entered the hall and saw a group of educated people who had gathered. They were discussing with each other the implications of the statement that since being taken up into heaven the Lord sits at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19).

Many of the participants said that it should be taken to mean just what it says—the Son sits next to the Father. When they were asked why, some said that the Father placed the Son on his right side because of the redemption that the Son had brought about. Some said that the Son sits there because of love. Some said that he sits there because he is the Father’s adviser and the angels honor him. Others said that he sits there because the Father had allowed him to rule in his place—the Word says that he was given all power in heaven and on earth. A large part of the group, however, said he sits there so that he can hear the people on the right for whom he intercedes; all people in the church today go to God the Father and pray that he may have mercy for the sake of his Son; this has the effect that the Father turns to the Son to receive the Son’s mediation. Some others said that it is only the Son of God from eternity who sits to the right of the Father. He sits there in order to share his divinity with the Son of Humankind born in the world.

On hearing these statements, I felt utterly astounded that these well-educated people were still so ignorant about heaven, even though they had already spent some time in the spiritual world. I became aware of the reason, though: because of their confidence in their own intelligence, they had not let themselves be taught by the wise.

So that they would no longer remain in ignorance about the Son sitting at the right hand of the Father, I raised my hand and asked that the participants lend their ears to a few things I desired to say on the subject. Because they agreed, I said, “Don’t you know from the Word that the Father and the Son are one, and that the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father? The Lord openly says so in John chapter 10, verse 30, and chapter 14, verses 10 and 11. If you don’t believe these statements you divide God into two. Once you have done that, you cannot help thinking about God in a way that is earthly, limited to your senses, and even materialistic. This type of thinking has been occurring in the world ever since the Council of Nicaea, which introduced the idea of three divine persons from eternity. With that idea, the Council turned the church into a stage with painted drop curtains where actors perform new plays.

“Surely everyone knows and acknowledges, however, that there is one God. If you acknowledge this in your heart and your spirit, all the ideas you uttered a moment ago will spontaneously disperse and bounce off you into the air like nonsense off the ear of a wise person.”

Many of them blazed with anger when they heard that. They had a burning desire to twist my ears and demand silence from me. Instead the leader of the gathering said indignantly, “This is not a discussion about unity and plurality in God. We believe in both. This discussion concerns the meaning of the fact that the Son sits at the right hand of his Father. If you know anything about this, say it.”

“I will,” I answered, “but please stop all the noise. Sitting at the right hand doesn’t mean literally sitting at the right hand! It means the omnipotence God has through the human manifestation he took on in the world. Through that human manifestation God became the same on the lowest level as he is on the highest. Through that human manifestation he entered the hells, dismantled them, and gained control over them. Through that human manifestation he restructured the heavens. It was through that human manifestation, then, that he redeemed both people and angels, a redemption that will last forever.

“If you consult the Word, and you are in a condition that allows for enlightenment, you are going to perceive that the right hand there means omnipotence. For instance in [Isaiah and] David: ‘My hand founded the earth, and my right hand hammered out the heavens’ (Isaiah 48:13). ‘God has sworn by his right hand and by the arm of his strength’ (Isaiah 62:8). ‘Your right hand sustains me’ (Psalms 18:35). ‘Pay attention to the Son whom you have strengthened for yourself. Your hand is for the man on your right. You have strengthened yourself for the Son of Humankind’ (Psalms 80:15, 17).

“From these passages it is clear how we should understand another passage: ‘Jehovah said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a footstool for your feet.” Jehovah will send the rod of your strength out of Zion to rule in the midst of your enemies’ (Psalms 110:1, 2). The whole of Psalm 110 is about the Lord’s battle with the hells and the process of gaining control over them. Because the right hand of God means omnipotence, the Lord says that he is going to sit at the right hand of power (Matthew 26:63, 64), and at the right hand of God’s strength (Luke 22:69).”

The group shouted disapproval; but I said, “Be careful now. Perhaps the hand will appear from heaven. When it appears—and I myself have seen it—it strikes unbelievable terror into you because of its power. That hand convinced me that the right hand of God means omnipotence.” No sooner had I said this than the hand appeared in the sky just above us. It was huge. When they saw it, it struck so much terror into them that they rushed in throngs to the doors. Some ran to the windows to throw themselves out. Some collapsed, fainting because they could not breathe. I was not terrified, though. I walked out slowly behind them.

When I was at a distance I turned around and saw the hall covered in a dark cloud. Word came to me from heaven that the cloud was there now because the participants had been speaking from a belief in three gods; but the light that had been around the hall before would return when saner people were meeting there.

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 136

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