- from the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg
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Editor's Notes: The following are excerpts from the writings of Emamuel Swedenborg relating to the Four Ages which have taken place during humanity's existance on this earth.
These ages are known in many religions throughout the world, and were described in the Greek and Roman myths. Several Native American traditions indicate a similar progression of humanity. So this picture of the Ages is not unique to the Judeao or Christian cultures, but is only written in their cultural language. What is unique to the message is that the Creator has used this vehicle to manifest Himself in Person and to describe most fully the nature of His Life and of humanity's existence.
This does not mean that the people who carried this vehicle are unique. Indeed, too many atrocities have been committed in the name of God - in all religions; but true spiritual knowledge belongs to all of us, regardless of how it was delivered.
So now we are entering into the Fifth Age, the Age of the Lord's Second Coming. An Age for all religions, to unify all religions - not under a single culture, but under the common love for true charity. Differences of faith will be secondary in favor of the standards which all nations and religions can recognize: acknowledgment of God and a life according to Golden Rule (Matt 7:12, Luke 6:31).
The following excerpts are taken from Arcana Coelestia (Heavenly Secrets), Divine Providence, Coronis and The Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem, written by Emanuel Swedenborg in the Eighteenth Century.
These are only a few passages on the subject of the Four Ages. If your interest is
sparked, you may want to explore more passages or subjects. Contact your local libraries
or refer to the Spiritual Frontier HomePage for more references.
It is evident from the Word that on our earth a church has been set up four times, of which the first was the Most Ancient Church, which was before the flood; the second was the Ancient Church, which was after the flood; the third was the Israelitish and Jewish Church; and lastly there was the Christian Church. The period of each Church, from beginning to end, is "an age;" moreover after this last mentioned Church, a new one will begin.
There have been four churches on this earth from the day of its creation: the First, which is to be called the Adamic; the Second, the Noachian; the Third, the Israelitish; and the Fourth, the Christian. That four churches have existed on this earth since the creation of the world, manifestly appears in Daniel; first, from the statue seen by Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, and, afterwards, from the four beasts rising up out of the sea.
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