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  • Glorification and Redemption

    Worship Service: Children & Adult - 31 Oct, 2010

    Jacob's Ladder and how the Lord changed everything (Arcana Coelestia 4075; John 14:27; True Christian Religion 418, 610, 599; Genesis 28:10-17) "When the Lord made the Human within Himself Divine, He too had communities of spirits and angels around Him; for it was His will that everything should be accomplished in keeping with order. But He chose for Himself the kind of communities that would be of service, and changed them as seemed good to Him. Yet He did not take any good or truth at all from them and apply it to Himself, but only from the Divine. And by acting in this way He also restored to order both heaven and hell; He restored them step by step until He had glorified Himself completely." (Secrets of Heaven 4075) "In the conflicts or temptations of men the Lord works a particular redemption; as He wrought a total redemption when in the world. By conflicts and temptations in the world the Lord glorified His Human, that is, made it Divine; in like manner now with man individually, when he is in temptations, the Lord fights for him, conquers the evil spirits who are infesting him, and after temptation glorifies him, that is, renders him spiritual. After His universal redemption the Lord reduced to order all things in heaven and in hell; with man after temptation He does in like manner, that is, He reduces to order all the things of heaven and the world that are in him. After redemption the Lord established a new church; in like manner He also establishes what pertains to the church in man, and makes him to be a church in particular. After redemption the Lord bestowed peace upon those who believed on Him, for He said: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you (John 14:27). Likewise He gives to man after temptation a sense of peace, that is, gladness of mind and consolation. From all this it is clear that the Lord is the Redeemer forever." (True Christian Religion 599) | By John Odhner, Ivyland New Church, PA

  • Our Communication with Spirits and Angels

    Doctrinal Class - 18 Aug, 2010

    | By Jeremy Simons, Bryn Athyn Cairnwood Village

  • Bringing Good Out of Evil

    Worship Service: Children & Adult - 8 Aug, 2010

    The Lord allows the hells in the next life to lead the good into temptation, consequently to introduce falsities and evils. But at that time the Lord Himself is present directly - and by means of angels indirectly - with those undergoing temptation and is offering resistance by refuting the falsities of the spirits from hell and dispersing their evil. From this come renewal, hope, and victory. In this way the truths of faith and forms of the good of charity present with those who are governed by the truths of good are implanted more deeply and strengthened more firmly. The spirits who bring about temptations intend nothing but evil. But the Divine turns that evil into good, in accord with order existing from eternity; and life is thereby imparted to those governed by the truths of good. For it should be recognized that the spirits from hell who are allowed to attack the good in that way intend nothing but evil. They wish with all their might to drag them down from heaven and cast them into hell; for to destroy anyone's soul, thus to destroy him forever, is the sheer delight of their life. But they are not allowed by the Lord to do anything at all except for the sake of the end that good may come out of it, that is to say, so that truth and good may be made firmer and stronger with those who undergo temptation. In the entire spiritual world there reigns the end in view, emanating from the Lord, that nothing whatever should take place, not even the smallest thing, except in order that good may come out of it. This is why the Lord's kingdom is called a kingdom of ends and useful purposes. (Heavenly Secrets #6574) | By Brian Keith, Ivyland New Church, PA

  • Be Still & Go Forward

    Worship Service: Children & Adult - 25 Jul, 2010

    What to do at the edge of the sea, spiritually (Exodus 14:13-15; Joshua 1:9; Arcana Coelestia 8184, 10416) The meaning of 'dividing that sea' is dispersing the falsities arising from evil that are present in hell; for the falsities there are seen as waters. When the pillar of angels in which the Lord is present passes through that hell the falsities depart, and as a consequence the waters there, which are the falsities, are parted asunder. From this it is evident that 'dividing the sea' means dispersing the falsities belonging to the hell that is represented by 'the Sea Suph' (the Red Sea). (Heavenly Secrets #8184) The desire to celebrate resides inwardly in a person's feeling of freedom, and all feeling of freedom comes as a result of love, when nothing exists to frustrate it. Since outward things are used in the Word to describe inward ones, times of play and dancing are used to describe those of joy and gladness present in a person inwardly. Because of this, Miriam and the women went out with timbrels after the Egyptians had been drowned in the Sea Suph (the Red Sea) and started dancing. (Heavenly Secrets #10416) | By Thomas Rose, Ivyland New Church, PA

  • Where Does Freedom Come From

    Worship Service: Children & Adult - 4 Jul, 2010

    Where Does Freedom Come From - The Lord's greatest gift to the human race (John 8:31-32; Arcana Coelestia 1937, 1947; Heaven and Hell 603) "The freedom which is in keeping with love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, consequently with the love of what is good and true, is true freedom, being the freedom that exists in heaven. "This freedom that exists in heaven originates in the Lord. All angels in heaven possess it. It goes with love to the Lord and with mutual love, and so with the affection for what is good and true. The nature of this freedom becomes clear from the fact that everyone who possesses it communicates from inmost affection his own blessedness and happiness to another, and that to him it is also blessedness and happiness to be able to communicate these things. "And what is remarkable, the one type of freedom is so much the contrary of the other that for good spirits the freedom which goes with self-love and love of the world is hell, while conversely for evil spirits the freedom that goes with love to the Lord and with mutual love is hell. "Since no one can be reformed unless he is in freedom, freedom is never taken away from a person, so far as the person himself is concerned. For it is an eternal law that everyone should be interiorly in freedom, that is, that his affections and thoughts should be in freedom, so that the affection for good and truth may be implanted within him." (Heavenly Secrets #2870-2876) | By Thomas Rose, Ivyland New Church, PA

  • The Ark of the Covenant - Lost and Found

    Worship Service: Children & Adult - 27 Jun, 2010

    Holding and preserving the Lord's truth I Samuel 4:1 - 7:1, parts; AR 529 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. (Rev. 11:19) This symbolizes the New Heaven, in which the Lord is worshiped in His Divine Humanity, and where people live in accordance with the Ten Commandments, which constitute the two essential elements of the New Church that are the means of conjunction. The temple of God symbolizes the Lord in His Divine Humanity in heaven where angels dwell. The ark in the temple means the Ten Commandments, for the ark had as its sole contents the two tables on which the Ten Commandments were written. The temple's being opened means, symbolically, that these two, the Divine Humanity and the Ten Commandments, which are the two essential elements of the New Church, are now visible. The ark is called the ark of His covenant in His temple because a covenant symbolizes conjunction. (Apocalypse Revealed #529) | By Thomas Rose, Ivyland New Church, PA

  • Be Still, and Know That I Am God - A Memorial Day Sermon

    Worship Service: Children & Adult - 30 May, 2010

    2 Samuel 1:19-26; Psalm 46; John 15:7-17; Arcana Coelestia 1664 O mountains of Gilboa, Let there be no dew, nor let there be rain upon you, Nor fields of offerings. For the shield of the mighty is cast away there! How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan was slain in your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan..." (2 Samuel 1:19-26) Wars in the Word mean in the internal sense nothing other than spiritual conflicts, which are temptations. Wars waged by men can have no place whatever in the internal parts of the Word, for such things as wars are not the spiritual and celestial things which alone constitute the Word. It is a constant truth that Jehovah alone, that is, the Lord, fights and overcomes the devil present with a person when he is involved in the conflicts brought by temptations, even though to that person this does not appear to be so. For evil spirits have no power at all to exert the slightest influence on man unless they are permitted to do so, and angels cannot act to avert anything at all unless enabled to do so by the Lord. (Heavenly Secrets #1664) | By Thomas Rose, Ivyland New Church, PA

  • The Angels with the Lord

    Worship Service: Family (may include music) - 21 Feb, 2010

    | By John Odhner, Bryn Athyn Cathedral

  • Angels Appearing

    Worship Service: Sermon only - 20 Dec, 2009

    Near death experiences. Lessons read by Cassidy Synnestvedt. | By Glenn Alden, Tucson, AZ

  • The Lord's Vision and Our Reality: Problems Caused by the Gap

    Class - 21 Jan, 2008

    A four-part presentation given at Eldergarten, "Celebrating the Age of Wisdom". Subject: Readers of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg encounter powerful teachings about the vision of marriage, of the New Church, and of people acting more like angels so that heaven comes to earth. There is a gap between these visions and where we are in a culture that works against them. These sessions explore what we can do about this gap, studying the doctrines related to marriage, the church, and regeneration. 4 CD set. | By Rt. Rev. Peter Martin Buss, Jr. , Boynton Beach, FL