New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 16

The Descent of the Holy City A Sermon by the Rev. Eric H. Carswell Lessons: Revelation 21:1-5, 9-11, 22-27; 22:1-5; True Christianity 187 A Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2) lmost 275 years ago the book commonly known by the English title Apocalypse Revealed was published anonymously in Amsterdam by Emanuel Swedenborg. This 629-page book explains how the last book of the New Testament, Revelation, can be seen as a prophecy about the future of the church Jesus Christ founded with His first coming. It describes how the choices of human beings resulted in the clear message of the Gospels being twisted and destroyed. It describes how human organizations created alternative sets of ideas that not only didn’t lead people to the Lord and living a good and useful life according to what He teaches. It actually led them away from worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ and focused their minds on ideas about salvation that didn’t require living a good and useful life. But this volume also shows that the Lord was completely aware of this future. He foretold what was going to happen centuries before it occurred. He also foretold how He would, with patience and mercy, wait until the right time to end the darkness of the church. He would bring about a judgment on False-Christians in the World of Spirits, intermediate between heaven and hell, and remove their power and the corrupting influence they were having on so many. The images of destruction in the Book of Revelation are in reality the Lord shining the light of heaven on fantasies, revealing them as they really are. The second lesson from the True Christian Religion illustrates how the light of heaven transformed a magnificent shrine with a statue of a woman dressed in scarlet into a falling-apart house with a dragon-headed dummy hanging in it. That reality had always been there but had been hidden by a twisted view of reality from false explanations of the Word. The Lord alone can bring the light we need to recognize what is true and genuinely useful. It was His prophecy that was written in the Book of 192