The dogma of the soul's sleep, with the soul destroyed after death and only recreated by God at the end of time, finds no support in New ReveIation, and Jesus emphatically denies it.
He says to the Pharisees: "Being full of idleness, full of sensuousness and full of self-seeking arrogance, you find it impossible to understand the mystery and the truth of the Kingdom of God. You imagine the heaven you hope for to be some kind of overmagnificent and great place above the stars, where faithful, souls are received after the death of the body or - in the even more senseless view some of you hold - only after many thousands of years, on the 'Day of Judgement' you have never understood, and shall then be revelling forever and ever thenceforth in the greatest life of pleasure." (Gr VII 194, 10)
To his foster father Joseph and his sons, Jesus said: "Since I am with you, why do you not ask Me how things will be with the life of the soul once the body has fallen away? I would after all know more about this than you do. Yet I know nothing of any darkness of death continuing almost forever for the soul once the body has fallen away, for at the moment when the heavy body falls away from you, you will already be in resurrection, and live and work on through eternity, that is, if you leave this world as one who is righteous in the eyes of God. If, on the other hand, you die as one who is unrighteous in the eyes of God, then no doubt a very long night will lie between your physical death and your true resurrection - but not one you are unconscious of, but one that the soul is well aware of, and that shall be the death of the soul that indeed continues for a long time. For a death that the soul did not know of would be no death for it; the death, however, which it shall be aware of in the kingdom of unredeemed spirits, will be a great torment to it." (Gr VII 209, 12-13)
According to New Revelation, all souls immediately come to a middle kingdom after death. From there, they will proceed to the first heaven or the first hell, of their own free will, depending on whether they decide for humidity, love of God and one's neighbor, or for self-love, arrogance and lust for power. New Revelation puts it like this: "No one goes to either heaven or hell, for each carries both within him." (GS II 118, 10)
In certain cases it is possible for a soul to incarnate again in a human body on this earth or, and this is the case much more frequently, on another body in the universe. The latter applies particularly to the souls of men who belonged to peoples who have known nothing yet of the teaching of Jesus. (See chapter on reincarnation. New Revelation goes into considerable discussion of life after death. lt is extremely difficult to describe spiritual states, as New Revelation emphasizes. Descriptions of conditions in the next world are therefore "merely a shadow picture of the great truth, but carefully thought out." (Pr 97) The passages quoted below are a very limited extract from the complete works of New ReveIation.
"When the body has fallen away, a soul usually is with regard to space - particularly during its first phase of being - in the same place where it was in the body on earth, i.e., when it enters into the fleshless next world as one that is not yet fully perfected. It does not, however, see or hear anything of the natural world which it inhabited when in its body, even though it occupies space in that very world. Its state of existence is more or less as a bright dream in which the soul also lives in a region or Iandscape that has arisen out of it, acting and behaving as though it were in a wholly natural world, while it does not in the least miss the natural world it has left.
"God may, however, often grant that the region it inhabits is destroyed, and the soul finds itself in another one that is wholly in accord with its inner state. With such a soul it then often takes a long time until many lessons are learned and it comes to see that everything it thought it owned there is vanity and nothingness. When the soul has gone through many experiences and phenomena and attained to this insight, it will only then begin to reflect more seriously on its condition and existence, and through this also come to be aware more and more that it has left the earlier, earthly world, and a longing will increasingly arise to find a more enduring and unchanging place. When this state has been reached, the soul will be instructed by spirits who have already attained greater perfection as to what it is to do." (Gr VII 66, 10-13)
"The soul then lives on in the other world (to begin with), as if in a somewhat more waking dream, and often does not know that it has lived in another world before, but lives and acts according to its habitual sensual nature. When warned and told by more aware spirits that it is now in a different world, the soul still does not believe, and it derides and ridicules those who show it the truth. It takes a very long time until such a worldly and flesh-bound soul attains to clearer insight in that other world." (Gr VII 58, 5-6)
"The middle kingdom is the place of preparation, where the souls are prepared for either heaven or hell. The soul and spirit of everyone who dies will arrive in this region immediately after death, and here continue to live in the same way as it has lived on earth." (EM 31, 4) New Revelation states that the middle kingdom is "more or less what Roman Catholics - very mistakenly - take to be purgatory." (GS II 120, 2)
"The world beyond will be the same by nature as man's inner life; he will create it out of himself and will then (to begin with) live in and upon it, well or ill." (Gr VI 33, 9)
"Unperfected and evil souls, having community of interest, form associations, though these are far from good, for only the blessed spirits gather in good associations." (Gr VIII 83, 8)
The middle kingdom has three regions. The third and highest region is where the souls of good, pure people are found. "Sometimes such pure spirits may also remain in the third region for several hundred years; yet they lose nothing by this, and on the contrary can only gain from it, for there is nothing they lack, they are in the greatest state of happiness and bliss." (EM 29, 5)
The spirits of the second region can enter into the third when their souls, or as it were their substantial bodies, become gradually more and more spiritual, growing wholly one with the spirit."* (EM 30, 2)
"Every soul has to be guided from step to step (in the other world), and must become pure and perfect like the purest gold, so that it shall be able to enter into the infinite joys of heaven." (Gr VIII 106, 11)
"I tell you that no human eye has ever seen, no ear heard, nor any human sense ever experienced the joys and blessedness God has prepared in heaven for those who truly love Him above everything." (Gr VIII 106, 15)
"Heaven has three degrees, just as hell has three degrees or stages." (Gr VII 170, 14)
"No one will enter the highest of heavens (third stage heaven of love) but he who has wholly rid himself of his earthly worldly will and instead has forever and completely taken Mine into himself." (VdH II 288, 1)
"Anyone who does not seek Me (on earth), who does not find and recognize Me and hence also does not love Me, and also will be wholly Lacking in love for his fellow man, will never in all eternity attain to being My Child (i.e., to the highest heaven of love)."
"... those who accept My teaching on earth only in lukewarm fashion, incompletely or not at all, will arrive in that world in great darkness, and they will find it very difficult to find the bridge from the material to that spiritual world." (Gr I 81, 11)
"Every human being must have his totally free will if he is to become a spirit with life eternal, and it therefore happens only too often, particularly in these (our) days, that men let their ears be deafened by the siren voice of the world and their eyes blinded by the deceitful light of the splendor of the world. These people then often find it hard and indeed often impossible to reach the place they are called to, instead getting where they should not be: to self-love, self-seeking, lust for power, greed, quarice, envy, gluttony, intemperance, debauchery, lechery and whoredom. These things, however, devour life rather than increase it. In the next world they will then have to be very much abandoned by everything that had too much occupied their rude senses, and will have to grow most miserable, that their life may gather itself again in such desert wastes of the spirit. When it has found itself. . . , then there will also come the help that is needed, but in such a way that it appears not to be forced upon those who are in need, but rather to be wanted by them themselves." (VdH I 148)
"Therefore strive hard (spiritually) and do not let yourselves be dazzled by the treasures of this world..." "... the more you are storing up spiritual treasures through all kinds of good works, the better shall you fare over there. Anyone, however, who is mean and closefisted, will in time to come have himself to blame when he finds the storage chambers in his heart to be almost completely empty." "Night, darkness, hunger, misery and all kinds of travail will be his lot, until he finally comes round to first of all grow active in himself, so that through this he may attain to some form of ability to serve." (Gr IV 96, 4-5)
"The children of the world when they are later perhaps refermed (in the next world), will remain spiritual inhabitants of those bodies in the universe and of those associations that they are in accord with, on and in which they were purified, but they shall never be about the eternal Father's House in the middle of the highest heaven as My true children are who, with Me, shall always judge the whole of infinity eternally and forever." (Gr III, 1-2)
"No one should think that he will in time to come in the next world find himself in a state of eternal, inactive, sweet rest, for that would be the death particularly of the spirit or the soul. The more spiritual a person becomes in his inner life, the more active he will also be, and this wholly and entirely." (Gr VI 226, 16)
"The great state of bliss of a perfected soul consists in its being equipped and provided with the truly divine creative power, and being able to bring about, out of godlike wisdom, all that God brings about and lets arise in just the same way." (Gr VII 67, 2)
"For ever onwards you shall come to know new marvels . . . , but still never in all eternity reach the end of them." (Gr IV 254, 2)
* As already explained, 'substantial' should not be confused with 'physical' in this case.