We live in a period of time during which the evolution of the world is exhibiting a very serious tendency. The remnants of former primitive moral concepts that stimulate or promote coercive regimes, national displays of force, the desire to conquer, militarism and the glitter of the parade-ground and so on, are undergoing a strong renaissance. It is quite natural that this system of absolute monarchy from the middle ages with its total lack of censorship offer a perfect opportunity for the despotic people in power to manifest the primitive tendencies in their consciousness. Who would dare to fly in the face of capital punishment by contradicting "absolute monarchs"?
We see that primitive tendencies of consciousness such as intolerance, racial hatred, religious persecution, imprisonment or the death sentence for all "unauthorised" opinions or views are therefore also, to a large extent, gaining ground and have actually found refuge within the power zones of dictators, where they are looked upon as ideals. It is certain that with the spread throughout the world of factors of power such as these, all work in favour of international peace and understanding between people will stagnate, along with all the democratic aspirations towards a seat of judgment common to all peoples, an international Supreme Court that has the authority and the power to wipe out the anarchy that all nations still find themselves in the midst of, or threatened by, and at the same time it is certain that mankind is being more impoverished by the madness of amassing weapons than ever before. Illness, despondency, revolution, murder, suicide, killing and mutilation, mental deficiency, mental illness, destitution and depression are all factors that especially characterise large sections of twentieth century mankind. And the situation is made no better by the afore-mentioned upsurge of the former, primitive powers being concentrated in Europe, which is so highly praised and culturally developed, and so from close to the heart region of world civilisation it seeks to spread its deadly vapours over the rest of the world. Certainly these powers, according to the highest occult analysis, are so degenerate and outdated in the zones of the Earth that they will never again completely rule the world. But this does not prevent them, as mentioned previously, from being at this very time in the midst of a new period of growth. This growth will, therefore, take the form of a final spasm of an outdated, dying world view, a level of consciousness with animal and killing traditions. It will be the death struggle of the animal kingdom in the terrestrial human zone of consciousness. We are about to experience the "day of judgment" or the beginning of "the end of the world". We are living in "the last days".
What is the "day of judgment", "the end of the world", or "the last days"? Well, the answer is to be found in the words of Jesus, where he says:
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: Naked, and ye clothed me not: Sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
So, here we are faced with a cosmic being's pronouncement about the "day of judgment". In what follows I will attempt to show my readers that this pronouncement has a literal form that suits simple people and a spiritual form or an aspect of truth hidden behind the literal form which is visible to and in harmony with high-intellectual people.
What is "the glory of the Son of Man"? "The glory of the Son of Man" can be nothing more than "the Son of Man's" perfect mentality or consciousness and the correspondingly perfect or complete behaviour that is based on it, which as we know made him "one with the Father". A greater "glory" cannot be imagined, can it? Would not any other form of glory, by comparison, be merely a kind of "gold" and "glitter", tailored to satisfy ordinary terrestrial human vanity and ambition? So, the first kind of glory is what is fundamental to the manifestation of the "day of judgment". But this glory in the form of Jesus' behaviour and way of being is in turn the same thing as "the holy spirit". When Jesus' way of being, his mentality or "the holy spirit" makes its appearance again on Earth, "all people" will be aware of it.
But because this way of being is a revelation of the highest wisdom, which is to say the highest knowledge concerning life itself and the meaning of it, the revelation of the holy spirit on Earth will really reveal every human being's harmony or disharmony with the laws of life. It will become apparent who is in contact with life and who is in disharmony with it. So two groups of human beings will arise in the world. "The holy spirit" will really divide "the sheep" from "the goats". So it will be a "judgment" on human beings. But it is in no way a "sentence". It is only a demonstration, a divine analysis of human beings and their fates, their troubles and their feelings of happiness. It does not "condemn" human beings to "everlasting punishment" or "eternal life". It gives them merely information about who will end up with "everlasting punishment" and who will end up with "eternal life". As a judgment, it is merely an intellectual statement about who is who and, as such, can be nothing but - "wisdom". According to Livets Bog (The Book of Life), this "judgment" is the culmination of love. So the "day of judgment" is the "day of wisdom", which in turn indirectly means the "day of love".
So what "passes judgment" on human beings on the "day of judgment" is exclusively their own actions. Wisdom points out that "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap". If someone suffers pain and unpleasantness, these sufferings will be made up of the things they have already sentenced themselves to by having previously "sown" these sufferings through their behaviour towards their surroundings; the pleasant or "good" things have come about in the same way.
The Bible states that there will come a time when this "reaping" will be especially concentrated, which in this case means that it will take place over a much shorter period of time than is usually the case. So this means a period of time in which the extent of the suffering or the darkness will be enormous at the same time as the light will be appearing in a strongly concentrated form.
As previously mentioned, this strong light is the "second coming" of Christ. So this "second coming" is, as already pointed out, the revelation of "the Paraclete, the holy spirit", that will bring human beings the highest wisdom, which the "first coming" of Christ could not offer human beings due to their still primitive state. It is quite natural that this light should come at a time when the mental sky is full of clouds. What else could disperse the "clouds"? It is always the sun, the source of light and warmth that clears the atmosphere. And here the statement: "And they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" must be put forward if the second coming is to have any meaning.
So the "second coming of Christ" will be more in the "clouds" than his "first coming", which was a purely physical, bodily demonstration in the form of the crucifixion. This "first coming" was a "day of judgment" in miniature. It was a practical demonstration of the "day of judgment" entering into the individual human being's consciousness. It showed how the evolved human being can come face to face with the "day of judgment" or suffering and through it gain "resurrection", that is, perfection. It gave instructions as to how terrestrial human beings should meet the "day of judgment" when, through the "second coming" of Christ it is directed at the whole of mankind. The "day of judgment" is mankind making its way to Golgotha. Only through the "blood-stained cold sweat" from "Gethsemane" will human beings be receptive to the light and to "the resurrection".
So the Bible's clear, simple words on the "day of judgment" are not announcing a reality that in a literal sense shall occur on one particular day, just as mankind, of course, will not be drawn up literally into two ranks in order to be "brought to judgment" by a being seated on a purely material throne, decorated with physical gold and tinsel. Such a kind of mightiness belongs only to the primitive human. This is the highest idea that it can form of might and glory. That is why the cosmic glory of the "day of judgment" had to be symbolised using that idea. If it had not, the account of it would have been quite worthless as a source of inspiration to these beings. Still, to this day, we can see a great many human beings clinging stubbornly to the literal account of the day of judgment because it is exclusively through this that they can get their inspiration.
The "day of judgment" is mankind's meeting with the culmination of the effects coming from generations of faulty living, vices and excesses. Because these realities constitute the opposite of all wellbeing, happiness and pleasant feelings, this kind of meeting will entail suffering. As this suffering is the animal kingdom's final struggle in terrestrial mankind's mentality and as a struggle of this kind is usually more powerful than an everyday expression of power, this final struggle will be quite a serious business, in fact, it will be a drama the equal of which the world has not yet seen, the most extreme releasing of ingenious killing principles that, through the conscious exploitation of plague bacilli, death rays and poisonous gases as well as the usual material of war, will depopulate whole parishes, towns and countries. Such a new world conflagration will leave neither conqueror nor conquered. It will not extort from any peoples or state any liability for damages. All it will leave will be a mankind torn to pieces, which will have to place on the altar of the killing principle - not a mere 10 million graves as in the 1914-18 war - but the corpses of a third of mankind, as well as the usual mass of invalids, widows, orphans, destitute and homeless that follow in the wake of a war, but in this case to an even larger extent.
I am unable in such a short article as this to go into greater detail of the great processes of the war that hand in hand with Nature's own catastrophic manifestations will transform terrestrial human beings' mentality to express a "new Heaven" and a "new Earth" (which means a new, more intimate relationship to the Godhead and an absolute loving and just distribution or administration of the Earth's material resources, so that there is no longer any poverty, want or destitution). I will, therefore, have to confine myself to referring to a couple of passages from the Bible's own account of the "day of judgment". The first passage expresses it as follows:
"The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: And the third part of the waters became Wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."
In the second passage it says:
"And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails, for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt."
Even though one has no wish to take literally these extracts from the announcement of the catastrophes of the "day of judgment", there is nevertheless no getting away from the fact that they express occurrences of such dimensions, that they can be compared to nothing else in the whole history of mankind.
It will cost mankind an ocean of heart's blood and tears to come into harmony with the laws of life. The way to the "new Earth and Heaven" leads only through the grief at having sinned against one's neighbour. The mission of the "day of judgment" is to remind human beings of the love for their neighbour that they have forgotten about. It becomes increasingly understandable that this reminder has to be of such a drastic nature when one realises that the theoretical reminder of this subject has been repeated every week for centuries from thousands of pulpits all over the world, at the same time as sincere reformers, prophets, evangelists, founders of sects and other moralists in large numbers have tried and still try to steer the mentality of the world towards neighbourly love, without being able to restrict even to the slightest degree the murderous frenzy of war that is now in preparation. Nothing in the world is undergoing such a colossal growth as the technology of modern warfare. The main part of all that terrestrial human creative power and technical know-how produces has to be sacrificed in training people to kill each other. And mankind will not allow any form of theoretical influence, whether material or religious, to shake it from this. Here concrete and strong experiences are what are needed. God has to speak directly to every single human being that still swears by the power of the sword. This speech is the "day of judgment".
In order to understand the mission and the true analysis of the "day of judgment" one has to, of course, first be able to understand that every being's present physical terrestrial life constitutes merely a single link in an infinite chain of lives experienced by that being, and it is thus in the midst of an eternal existence. In those terrestrial lives that have gone before the present one, this being through its behaviour has created the causes of its present life, or through its behaviour created the causes of its present fate, just as through its behaviour in its present life it creates the causes of the fate it will have in its lives to come. When seen from this point of view there is meaning in the issue of the "day of judgment".
The whole divine method of administration and creation is organised through the law of attraction and repulsion. This is the law that causes dogs to give birth to puppies, and cats to give birth to kittens, and in the same way humans to be born to humans. But this law does not only govern matters in the sphere of giving birth. It also forms the basis of the old reality that "birds of a feather flock together". It stipulates that related species seek out related species. As a consequence, this same law of life causes human beings on the same step in evolution to seek out mainly each other, and to belong to the same parties, political as well as religious. In this division into parties, sects and communities we already begin to be able to glimpse the two groups: "the sheep" and "the goats" appearing purely materially. This in turn means that human beings with leanings towards the same moral views, the same mentality and behaviour become increasingly concentrated into groups. These groups are, in their most fundamental form, the nations. The individuals in every single nation have something in their mentality that is related to the mentality of other individuals in the same nation. That is what has caused them to be born in the same kingdom. But behind the nations there is also a dividing into groups taking place. In this division the nations are split up from each other into two large groups. These two groups are "the sheep" and "the goats" of the "day of judgment". The one group is made up of nations that still swear by the power of the sword, nations whose populations to a sufficient extent have still not given up the outrageousness of war, but who in blind zeal worship the "principle of might" instead of "the principle of right". For these beings "might" is right.
The other group is made up of nations whose inhabitants have given up war, beings who by and large have had enough experience of the futility of war. To these beings "right" is might. They are the sheep on "the right hand side". These beings, however, would be in a sorry state were it not for the existence of a series of beings within their group that are still able to worship the principle of the sword, because otherwise the first group would completely subjugate and mutilate the second. But these people, who are to a certain degree military minded, form a sort of protective shield or armour round the kernel of the group, that is made up of beings in whose mentality war is completely anathema. The reason that warlike beings can exist in the group on "the right hand side" is because they by and large differ from the beings on "the left hand side" in that they are mainly geared towards using the sword in the defence of really international ideals aimed at bringing about peace, which absolutely cannot be said to be the case with the other group that exclusively uses the sword to serve national, egotistic ends, even though they like to claim that they are "fighting for peace". But this also fits in well with the prophecy concerning the "day of judgment". This is the group that to a large extent claims to have helped the world redeemer, that is to say, has fought for peaceful ideals, even though it has really created nothing but discord. The murder, slaughter and mutilation that they bring about as a result of their warlike ideals are directly in opposition to the truly Christian ideals. This is the group that shall go to "eternal punishment".
Here one has to remember that because the Bible is not particularly based on providing people with information about "reincarnation", one has no concept whatsoever of a new temporal existence to come. The result is that everything coming into the category of existence outside of this present physical life is expressed as "eternal". When it relates that the beings on the "left hand side" shall be condemned to "eternal punishment" it really means that they will go across to the effects of their present killing behaviour in a new physical existence.
When it relates that the beings on "the right hand side", whose behaviour is an expression of the highest degree of modesty - due to the fact that they have been so used to giving and helping that they did not notice at all that in so doing they were helping the world redeemer - go to "eternal life", or "the kingdom that is prepared for them", it means that their fate also lies in a new physical existence in the future, in which they will reap the effects of their present loving and or advanced behaviour. So human beings are already in the midst of their "eternal existence". But at present they are experiencing an epoch in which they are separated from each other to an unusual degree. This separation has largely taken place through emigration and is still to some extent taking place through racial persecution. But the fundamental fine separation mainly takes place through reincarnation. People who do not fit into the life and mentality of the nation will not be born into that nation in their next life but, on the basis of the law of attraction and repulsion, be born into the nation or people where life is adapted to their fate. That way, every human being ends up where, in relation to its previous behaviour, it rightly belongs. And this is the principle in the organisation of the world that guarantees that polar bears are not normally born at the equator, and that crocodiles are not born in the icy regions of the poles. All beings end up where they should be according to the causes of their fate, brought about by their behaviour. Countries that are prone to natural disasters will gradually be populated by beings in whose manifestation of fate and evolution the experience of the troubles of natural catastrophes is just as necessary as the polar regions are normally necessary to polar bears or the tropical regions to crocodiles. The same principle naturally also applies when speaking about beings whose behaviour has brought about light fate-causes. If these beings find themselves in countries where the light fate will be unable to manifest, the individual can of course not be born again there, but will be born in a place and in surroundings where its fate can rightfully blossom. So nothing is subject to chance. This is the principle that is the basis of what Jesus said about the sparrows: "One of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father" and also his words that "The very hairs on your head are all numbered".
So Nature, that is to say the Godhead, itself sorts the beings into categories in order to lead every single being to that place where it is especially suitable for it to live. One has decided oneself, through one's behaviour, which category one has ended up belonging to. Thus, in order to succeed in belonging to the category that will go on to "eternal life", which means to a light fate in future lives, it will be fairly necessary to bear in mind Jesus' words: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak."
As in this context "the flesh" means the animal habitual consciousness and "the spirit", the will to do good, the above quotation means that it is the combating of those animal tendencies that still live in human beings, such as egoism, hatred and meat-eating that is the way over to "right hand side" of the "day of judgment". Because these tendencies cannot be removed from the individual's consciousness other than through the birth of the faculty to "love one's neighbour as oneself", neighbourly love will be what characterises the beings on "the right hand side". But because these beings will go on to "eternal life", that is to say, continue their life on Earth, this life will be based on neighbourly love. But in this way life will be different from the present one that is based on animal power and strength in the service of self love. Because it is the old cultural conditions that have so far been the mental, physical, practical world of terrestrial humans, it will be this "world" that will come to an end. And because the new civilisation is based on neighbourly love and thereby constitutes a new practical and physical world, it is this "new world" that will be the "new Earth". It is quite natural that this civilisation's scientific attitude towards "the holy spirit" should give the individuals a far more beautiful and higher insight into life beyond physical existence, especially because the "day of judgment" cannot be brought to completion before the "second coming" of Christ, which as previously mentioned is the appearance of "the holy spirit" on Earth. Because the super-physical regions and issues and everything that belongs to them are what are known as "heaven", the new civilisation's human beings will also have a "new heaven".
Understanding that we are experiencing at present "the end of the World" or "the latter days" will depend on one understanding that the present civilisation is coming to an end. Being able to accept the present state of the world as the "day of judgment" will depend on one being able to see the separation of "the sheep" from "the goats", and see that "the holy spirit" is being manifested, "the holy spirit" being the science, the light and the teaching about love, without which it would be impossible for there to arise a new world civilisation where peace dwells. If one has no trace of an ability to be in touch with these things, one is really still wandering around in the dark, irrespective of however much one might believe oneself to be in the possession of ideals that could save the world. One still has the egoistic, killing tendencies of the animal in one's nature. And one will through one's reincarnation and fate literally be led across to the "left hand side" of the "day of judgment", and from there go on to "everlasting punishment", which means, to the divine personal learning experience that one is lacking in order to be able to understand the commandment that is "the fulfilment of all the law".
But having come through this experience, one has "completed the whole course". Then the way is opened up to "the new Heaven" and "the new Earth". "The prodigal son" is once more united with his divine Father.
So the fundamental characteristic of the "day of judgment" is the "second coming" of Christ. As previously mentioned this "second coming" is the revelation of "the holy spirit". This revelation has to be the proving or rendering scientific of neighbourly love, otherwise it could not form the basis of "the fulfilment of the law" which is absolutely the only foundation on which a real world civilisation, in harmony with the laws of life or Christ's behaviour and way of being, can be manifested. Let everyone, therefore, be on their guard! A surge of the greatest darkness is passing over the world. The "labour pains" have begun. But a ray of the strongest light is blazing in over the Earth. It is on the point of being transmitted into flesh and blood. "He that has ears to hear, let him hear. He that has eyes to see, let him see. He that has love, let him meet with God".
(Original Danish title: "Dommedag". First published in the Danish edition of Kosmos, 1938. Translated by Andrew Brown, 1999)
© Martinus Institut 1981
Published with permission from Martinus Institute