Of course, this type of instruction appears to been more commonplace in biblical times; but it isn't forgotten, even today. The angelic realms exist in part in order to instruct the lower orders of Being; and periodically, messengers from these realms arrive, along with inwardly formed messages that need to be delivered to humanity.
While Swedenborg openly stated that his messages were from the angelic realms, Gurdjieff avoided it. Swedenborg was a scientist; he was chosen as a messenger because he had great expertise and precision in a literal report on the situation. Gurdjieff, on the other hand, was the son of a storyteller, and was therefore, logically enough, given the task of passing on an angelic message in an allegorical format.
This whole subject came up several days ago when someone brought up the question of just why Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson is set on a spaceship. The book is a message directly from the angelic realms; hence the very unusual (for its time) cosmic setting. And Gurdjieff was in the end not so entirely subtle about the source of the material: he not only populated the book with diverse creative angels, he made a fallen angel the chief narrator and protagonist.
This was not for literary and allegorical purposes; it was because the source of the material was angelic, and he recorded it more or less exactly as it was originally sent to him. That was the task he was given; and he discharged it without fail. The reason he never made any claims about its source, or reported it as such, was because he was asked not to do so. It was considered more important, by the angelic realms, to have the material inserted into society as an allegorical force that would work on man's subconscious, than a more literal one like Swedenborg's. By the early 20th century, it became apparent to the angelic realms that Swedenborg's effort, heroic as it was, had somehow failed; and so an attempt was made to bring an inner work to the more subtle areas of man's subconscious psyche, or, to be more specific, his conscience.
Hence the book.
It is time, I think, to stop beating around the bushes and fully recognize Beelzebub's Tales as a message sent directly from the angelic realms. It's a divine revelation, meant to instruct mankind in his responsibilities towards God, and to turn him back towards the inward good which Swedenborg laid out in so much detail. There are few works of this kind in human history; and despite the squabbling over various translations, the book will, I predict, prove to be extraordinarily durable; far more so than we are. Works of this kind takes centuries to achieve their full effects.
The reason that there is so much consonance between Swedenborg's work and the Gurdjieff teaching is because they came from an identical source; and material from the source must always be in agreement. It always works, moreover, for the good; and for those who haven't taken note of it yet, there is in fact a Gurdjieff movement named "I wish to be for the good." That single sentence summarizes Swedenborg's work in its entirety, if it is understood properly.
In any event, understanding Beelzebub's Tales as a sending from the angelic realms is more important than ever now, because we need to come back, in our lives and in our societies, to an understanding that these realms are not figments of anyone's imagination, or inaccessible pieces of territory, but higher levels that seek an active action within the Being of man. Every effort to come into relationship with a higher energy is an effort to open to the angelic realms so that we can receive instruction from them.
There is really nothing new in the idea that the angelic realms communicate with mankind; or that major literary works and bodies of philosophy have resulted from this contact. Ibn Arabi made it abundantly clear that the source of his material was from them; Meister Eckhart's insights are clearly from this level as well. Hieronymus Bosch gave us great visual works which are clearly inspired by the realms; and he saw and revealed both the lower and the higher ones. We can include Dogen in the list, although the angelic realm that informed him was quite different due to the society he lived in; and Dante, Swedenborg, and Gurdjieff all followed in those footsteps.
It's possible to recognize work that comes from the angelic realms; but only if the right material is inwardly formed in a person. This work is what qualifies as objective art; It shares a commonality of material, theme, and purpose; and in every case, an opening to any angelic influence – the divine inward flow, the inflow — awakens us to the nature of such material. Gurdjieff referred to such affinities as magnetic center. The term seems rather sterile when juxtaposed against the inner richness of the material that it attracts.