June 29, 2015

Enlightenment which Affects the Understanding

Selection from The Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
As few know anything about the enlightenment which affects the understanding of a man who is taught by the Lord, something will now be said about it. There is an interior and an exterior enlightenment from the Lord; and there is an interior and an exterior enlightenment from man. Interior enlightenment from the Lord consists in a man's perceiving at first hearing whether what is said is true or not true; and exterior enlightenment is derived from this in the thought. Interior enlightenment from man is from confirmation alone; and exterior enlightenment from man is from knowledge alone. Something will now be said about each of these.
  • A rational man by interior enlightenment from the Lord at once perceives, when he hears them, whether many things are true or not; as, for example, that love is the life of faith, that is, that faith lives from love. By interior enlightenment a man also perceives that what a man loves he wills, and what he wills he does, and consequently that to love is to do; and again, that whatever a man believes from love, this he also wills and does, and consequently that to have faith is also to do; and also that an irreligious man cannot have love to God, and so cannot have faith in God. By interior enlightenment also a rational man perceives the following truths as soon as he hears them: that God is One; that He is omnipresent; that all good is from Him; also that all things have relation to good and truth; and that all good is from Good itself and all truth from Truth itself. These and other similar truths a man perceives interiorly within himself when he hears them; and he has this perception because he has rationality, and this in the light of heaven is what enlightens.
  • Exterior enlightenment is enlightenment of thought derived from this interior enlightenment; and thought is in this enlightenment so far as it remains in the perception that it has from interior enlightenment and also so far as it has knowledges of truth and good, for from these it draws reasons for confirmation. Thought from this exterior enlightenment sees a matter on both sides; on the one it sees reasons which confirm it, and on the other appearances which invalidate it; the latter it dispels and the former it stores up.
  • Interior enlightenment from man, however, is wholly different. By it a man sees a matter on one side and not on the other; and when he has confirmed it he sees it in a light similar in appearance to the light treated of above, but it is the light of winter. For example, a judge who judges unjustly because of bribes and for the sake of gain, when he has confirmed his decision by the laws and by reasons, sees in his judgment nothing but what is just. Some, indeed, see the injustice, but as they do not wish to see it, they darken the issue and blind themselves, and so do not see it. It is the same in the case of a judge whose decisions are influenced by friendship, by the desire to gain favour, and by the ties of relationship.
    In similar fashion such persons treat everything that they receive from the mouth of a man in authority or a man of celebrity, or that they have hatched out from their own intelligence. They are blind reasoners; for their sight is from falsities, which they confirm; and falsity closes the sight, while truth opens it. Such persons do not see any truth from the light of truth, or any justice from a love of what is just, but only from the light of confirmation, which is a delusive light. In the spiritual world these appear like faces with no head, or like faces that resemble human faces with heads of wood behind them; and they are called rational animals, because their rationality is merely potential. Exterior enlightenment from man is possessed by those who think and speak from mere knowledge impressed upon the memory; and these have but little ability to confirm anything from themselves.
(The Divine Providence 168)

June 28, 2015

The Opposite of Two Kinds of Pleasures

From Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
No one who is in the pleasures of the lusts of evil can know anything about the pleasures of affections for good in which the angelic heaven is; for these two kinds of pleasure are directly opposite to each other in internals, and therefore interiorly are opposite in externals; although they differ little on the mere surface. For every love has its own pleasures, even the love of evil in those who are in lusts, such as the love of committing adultery, taking revenge, defrauding, stealing, doing cruel deeds, and in the most wicked even the love of blaspheming the holy things of the church, and of chattering venomously against God. The love of ruling from love of self is the fountain head of these pleasures. They are from the lusts that beset the interiors of the mind; and from the interiors they flow down into the body, and there excite the unclean things that titillate the fibers; and thus bodily pleasure springs from the mind's pleasure in accord with the lusts.

What kinds of unclean things there are that titillate the bodily fibers of such persons it is granted to every one after death to know in the spiritual world. They are in general cadaverous, excrementitious, stercoraceous [consisting of or resembling dung or feces], reeking, and urinous things, for the hells of such abound in these unclean things. ... But after they have entered hell these filthy pleasures are turned into direful things. All this has been said that it may be understood what the happiness of heaven is, and the nature of it, .... For every thing is known from its opposite.
(Divine Providence 38)

June 26, 2015

When the Worship of Self Succeeds

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... That they hear not a man the lip of his fellow. That this signifies that all are at variance, or that the one is against the other, is evident from the words themselves. "Not to hear one another's lip," is not to acknowledge what another says, and in the internal sense not to acknowledge what another teaches, that is, his doctrine, for "lip" is doctrine .... They acknowledge it indeed with the mouth, but not with the heart; but agreement with the mouth is nothing when there is disagreement of the heart.

The case in this respect is the same as it is with evil spirits in the other life, who, in like manner as the good, are distinguished into societies, but are kept conjoined together by being attached by the like phantasies and cupidities, so that they act as a one in persecuting truths and goods. Thus there is a certain common interest by which they are held together; but as soon as this common bond is dissolved, they rush one upon another, and then their delight consists in tormenting their associate or associates.

The case is similar with such doctrine and worship in this world; those in it acknowledge what pertains to doctrine and ritual harmoniously enough; but the common interest that holds them together is the worship of self; and so far as they can share in this common interest, they acknowledge; but so far as they cannot share or hope to share in it, they are disunited; for the reason given just above, that no one of this character possesses any truth, but everyone has falsity in the place of truth, and evil in the place of good.
(Arcana Coelestia 1322)

When Man Takes the Place of the Lord in Worship

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
When the worship of self succeeds in the place of the worship of the Lord, then all truth is not only perverted, but is even abolished, and at last falsity is acknowledged in the place of truth, and evil in the place of good. For all the light of truth is from the Lord, and all darkness is from man; and when man takes the place of the Lord in worship, the light of truth becomes thick darkness; and then the light is seen by men as thick darkness, and thick darkness is seen as the light.

Such moreover is precisely the life of such persons after death; the life of falsity is to them as if it were light, but the life of truth is to them as thick darkness. But when they approach toward heaven, the light of such a life is changed into total darkness. So long as they are in the world, they can indeed speak truth, even with eloquence and apparent zeal; and as there is with all such persons a constant reflection upon self, they seem to themselves to think as they speak; but as their very end is the worship of self, their thoughts derive from the end that they do not acknowledge truth except insofar as self is in the truth. When a man in whose mouth is the truth is of such a character, it is evident that he does not possess the truth; and in the other life this is plainly evident, for there such men not only do not acknowledge the truth which they had professed in the life of the body, but hold it in hatred, and persecute it; and this just in proportion as their arrogance or their worship of self is not taken away.

(Arcana Coelestia 1321)

June 25, 2015

When the State is Changed, The End is also Changed

Selections from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... Nothing else than the end in a man is regarded by the Lord. Whatever may be his thoughts and deeds - which vary in ways innumerable - provided the end is made good, they are all good; whereas if the end is evil, they are all evil. It is the end that reigns in everything a man thinks and does. The angels with a man, being the Lord's angels, rule nothing in the man but his ends; for when they rule these, they rule also his thoughts and actions, seeing that all these are of the end. The end with a man is his very life; and all things that he thinks and does have life from the end, for, as was said, they are of the end; and therefore such as is the end, such is the man's life. The end is nothing else than the love; for a man cannot have anything as an end except that which he loves. He who thinks one thing and does another, still has as the end that which he loves; in the dissimulation itself, or in the deceit, there is the end, which is the love of self or the love of the world, and the derivative delight of his life.

The thought of doing is nothing else than the intention, that is, the end. The end with a man can never be withheld, that is, changed, unless his state is changed; for the end is the very life of a man, as was said. When the state is changed, the end also is changed; and with the end the thought.
(Arcana Coelestia 1317 - 1318)

June 24, 2015

When Man's 'Self-hood' is Foremost ...

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... The Lord cannot possibly be present with a man whose end is his own good; the Own itself of man estranges the Lord, because thereby the man twists and turns the common good of society, and that of the church itself, and even the kingdom of the Lord, to himself, insomuch that it is as if it existed for him. He thus takes away from the Lord what is His, and puts himself in His place. When this condition reigns in a man, there is the like of it in every single thought he has, and even in the least particulars of his thoughts; for such is the case with whatever is regnant in any man.

This does not appear so manifestly in the life of the body as it does in the other life, for there whatever is regnant in anyone manifests itself by a certain sphere which is perceived by all around him, and which is of this character because it exhales from every single thing in him. The sphere of him who has regard to himself in everything, appropriates to itself, and, as is said there, absorbs everything that is favorable to itself, and therefore it absorbs all the delight of the surrounding spirits, and destroys all their freedom, so that such a person has to be banished from society. But when the people is one, and the lip one, that is, when the common good of all is regarded, one person never appropriates to himself another's delight, or destroys another's freedom, but insofar as he can he promotes and increases it. This is the reason why the heavenly societies are as a one, and this solely through mutual love from the Lord; and the case is the same in the church.

(Arcana Coelestia 1316)

June 22, 2015

Looking to Eternity

From The Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Divine Providence does not look to that which is fleeting and transitory, and which comes to an end together with the life of man in the world; but that it looks to that which remains to eternity, thus which has no end. That which has no end is; but that which has an end, relatively is not.
(Divine Providence 10775)

June 20, 2015

The Continual Aim of the Divine Providence

From The Divine Providence ~Emanuel Swedenborg
... man by creation is a heaven in the least form, and consequently an image of the Lord, and since heaven consists of as many affections as there are angels, and each affection in its form is a man, it follows that it is the continual aim of the Divine providence that man may become a heaven in form and consequently an image of the Lord, and since this is effected by means of the affection for good and truth, that he may become such an affection. This, therefore, is the continual aim of the Divine providence. But its inmost is that man may be in this or that place in heaven, or in this or that place in the Divine heavenly man; for thus is he in the Lord. This is accomplished, however, only with those whom the Lord can lead to heaven. And as the Lord foresees this, He also provides continually that man may become such; for thereby every one who permits himself to be led to heaven is prepared for his own place in heaven.
(Divine Providence 67)

June 19, 2015

The Lord God Jesus Christ Reigns!

From True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
    Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His peoples, Himself shall be with them, their God. And the nations that are saved shall walk in the light of it; and there shall be no night there. I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let them come. And he that wisheth, let him take the water of life freely. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen (Rev. 21:3, 24-25; 22:16-17, 20).
NOTE. - After this work [True Christian Religion] was finished the Lord called together His twelve disciples who followed Him in the world; and the next day He sent them all forth throughout the whole spiritual world to preach the Gospel that THE LORD GOD JESUS CHRIST reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages and ages, according to the prediction in Daniel (7:13, 14), and in Revelation (11:15).

Also that blessed are those that come to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9).
This took place on the nineteenth day of June, 1770. This is what is meant by these words of the Lord:

    He shall send His angels and they shall gather together His elect, from the end of the heavens to the end thereof (Matt. 24:31).
(True Christian Religion 790 - 791)

June 13, 2015

When Fighting Through Temptation: Go Forward

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?  Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.  And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.  And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:  But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. (Ex 14:10-16) KJV
Why criest thou unto Me? That this signifies that there was no need of intercession, is evident from the signification of "crying unto Jehovah," as being to intercede, namely, for liberation from temptation. Hence "Why criest thou unto Me?" denotes why dost thou intercede when there is no need of intercession? and therefore it follows, "speak unto the sons of Israel, that they go forward," by which is signified that they shall have aid, but that still the temptation will be continued, even until they are prepared

As to there being no need of intercession, the case is this. They who are in temptations are wont to slack their hands and betake themselves solely to prayers, which they then ardently pour forth, not knowing that prayers will not avail, but that they must fight against the falsities and evils which are being injected by the hells. This fight is performed by means of the truths of faith, which help because they confirm goods and truths against falsities and evils. Moreover in the combats of temptations, the man ought to fight as of himself, but yet acknowledge and believe that it is of the Lord. If man does not fight as of himself, the good and truth which flow in through heaven from the Lord are not appropriated to him; but when he fights as of himself, and still believes that it is of the Lord, then they are appropriated to him. From this he has an own [proprium] that is new, which is called the heavenly own, and which is a new will.

Moreover they who are in temptations, and not in some other active life than that of prayers, do not know that if the temptations were intermitted before they had been fully carried through, they would not be prepared for heaven, and thus could not be saved. For this reason, moreover, the prayers of those who are in temptations are but little heard; for the Lord wills the end, which is the salvation of the man, which end He knows, but not the man; and the Lord does not heed prayers that are contrary to the end, which is salvation. He who conquers in temptations is also confirmed in the truth ... whereas he who does not conquer entertains a doubt with respect to the Divine aid and power, because he is not heard; and then sometimes, because he slacks his hand, he partly yields. From all this it can be seen what is meant by there being no need of intercession, namely, that prayer is not to be relied upon. For in prayer from the Divine it is always thought and believed that the Lord alone knows whether it is profitable or not; and therefore the suppliant submits the hearing to the Lord, and immediately after prays that the will of the Lord, and not his own, may be done, according to the Lord's words in His own most grievous temptation at Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44).

(Arcana Coelestia 8179)

June 9, 2015

Order, With All Its Laws, is God

From True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The omnipotent God created the world from the order within Him, that is, into the order in which He is, and in accordance with which He rules; and He impressed upon the universe and each and all things of it its own order, upon man his order, upon the beast its order, upon bird and fish and worm, and every tree and even every blade of grass, upon each its own order.

But to illustrate by examples, I will mention briefly the following:
  • The laws of order enjoined upon man are, that he should acquire for himself truths from the Word, and reflect upon them naturally, and as far as he can, rationally, and thus acquire for himself a natural faith. The laws of order on the part of God then are, that He will draw near and fill these truths with His Divine light, and thus fill the man's natural faith (which is mere knowledge and persuasion) with a Divine essence. In this and in no other way can faith become saving. It is the same with charity.
But some particulars shall be briefly mentioned:
  • God, in accordance with His laws, is able to remit sins to any man only so far as the man, in accordance with his laws, refrains from them. God able to regenerate a man spiritually only so far as the man, accordance with his laws, regenerates himself naturally. God is in an unceasing endeavor to regenerate man, and thus save him; but this He is unable to accomplish except as man prepares himself as a receptacle, and thus levels the way and opens the door for God. A bridegroom cannot enter the chamber of a virgin till she becomes his bride; for she shuts the door and keeps the key to herself within; but when the virgin has become a bride she gives the key to the bridegroom.
  • God could not by His omnipotence have redeemed men unless He had become Man; neither could He have made His Human Divine unless that Human had first been like the human of a babe, and then like that of a boy; and unless afterwards the Human had formed itself into a receptacle and habitation, into which its Father might enter; which was done by His fulfilling all things in the Word, that is, all the laws of order therein; and so far as He accomplished this He united Himself to the Father, and the Father united Himself to Him.
These are a few things, presented for the sake of illustration, to enable you to see that the Divine omnipotence is in order, and that its government, which is called Providence, is in accordance with order, and that it acts continually and to eternity in accordance with the laws of its order; nor can it act against them or change them one iota, because order, with all its laws, is Himself.
(True Christian Religion 73)

June 8, 2015

For the Sake of Man's Apprehension

Selections from a passage in Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... As in heaven, and with man, and even in universal nature, all things both in general and in particular have relation to good and truth, therefore also the Lord's Divine is distinguished into Divine good and Divine truth, and the Lord's Divine good is called "father," and his Divine truth "son"; but the Lord's Divine is nothing else than good; yea, good itself; and Divine truth is the Lord's Divine good so appearing in heaven; that is, before the angels. The case herein is the same as with the sun; in its essence the sun itself is nothing but fire, and the light which is thence seen is not in the sun, but from the sun.

... Thus the Lord in His essence is nothing else than Divine good, and this as to both the Divine Itself and the Divine Human; but Divine truth is not in Divine good, but from Divine good, for as before said so does Divine good appear in heaven. And as Divine good comes to appearance as Divine truth, therefore for the sake of man's apprehension the Lord's Divine is distinguished into Divine good and Divine truth, and Divine good is that which in the Word is called "Father," and Divine truth is that which is called "Son." This is the arcanum which lies concealed in the fact that the Lord Himself so often speaks of His Father as distinct, and as if another than Himself; and yet in other places asserts that He is one with Himself.

... it is the Lord who in the Word of the Old Testament is called "Jehovah," ... and that He is there also called "Father" is evident from the following passage. In Isaiah:
Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6);
where it is very evident that the "Child born" and the "Son given unto us" is the Lord; thus it is the Lord who is called the "Father of Eternity."

... in the other life, and therefore in heaven they call no other Father than the Lord, and perceive no other as meant by "Father" in the Word of the Evangelists. When being initiated into the good of love and its truth, all little children are there taught to acknowledge the Lord alone as their Father; nay, even novitiates who come into heaven are taught with solicitous care that there is one God; and they who have been born within the church are taught that the whole Trinity is in the Lord; for almost all who come from the Christian world bring with them an idea of three gods, although with their lips they had said that there is but one God; for to think of one, when the idea of three has before entered, and when each of these is called God, and also is distinguished from the others as to attributes and offices, and likewise is separately worshiped, is humanly impossible; consequently the worship of three gods is in the heart, while the worship of one only is in the mouth.

That the whole Trinity is in the Lord is known in the Christian world, and yet among these in the other life the Lord is little thought of; nay, His Human is a stumbling-block to many, because they distinguish the Human from the Divine, neither do they believe it to be Divine; and a man will call himself justified, and thus made pure and almost holy; but these people do not think that the Lord was glorified, that is, that His Human was made Divine; when yet He was conceived from Jehovah Himself; and moreover no one can be justified, much less sanctified, except from the Divine, and indeed from the Lord's Divine Human, which is represented and signified in the Holy Supper, where it is expressly said that the bread is His body and the wine His blood. That the Lord is one with the Father, and that He is from eternity, and that He rules the universe, consequently that He is Divine good and Divine truth itself, is very evident from the Word.

That HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER, is evident from these words in John:  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18).

The Jews sought the more to kill Jesus because He had also said that God was His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these doeth the Son likewise. As the Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son also quickeneth whom He will. Neither doth the Father judge any man, but He hath given all judgment unto the Son; that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. For as the Father hath life in Himself, even so hath He given to the Son also to have life in Himself. The Father who hath sent Me hath Himself borne witness of Me; ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape. Search the Scriptures, for these are they which bear witness of Me (John 5:18, etc.).

By "Father" is here meant, as was said, Divine good; and by "Son," Divine truth, both in the Lord. From Divine good which is the "Father," nothing can proceed or go forth but what is Divine, and that which proceeds or goes forth is Divine truth, which is the "Son."

Everyone that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He that is with the Father, He hath seen the Father (John 6:45-46).

They said therefore unto Him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me nor My Father; if ye knew Me ye would know My Father also (John 8:19).

I and the Father are one: though ye believe not Me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father (John 10:30, 38).

Jesus said, He that believeth in Me, believeth not in Me, but in Him that sent Me; and he that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me may not abide in darkness (John 12:44-46).

By "the Father sending Him" is signified, in the internal sense, that He proceeds from the Father; and the same is signified in other passages where the Lord says that the Father "sent" Him. That the "light" is Divine truth may be seen above.

I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one cometh unto the Father but by Me. If ye had known Me ye would have known My Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father. Jesus saith unto him, Am I so long time with you, and hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that seeth Me, seeth the Father; how then sayest thou, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not from Myself; but the Father that abideth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:6-13).

He that hath My commandments, and doeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself unto him. If a man love Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him (John 14:21, 23).

They who are in Divine truth are they who "have His commandments and do them"; and they who are in Divine good are they who "love Him;" of whom it is therefore said that He "shall be loved of the Father," and "We will come unto him and make Our abode with him"; that is, Divine good and Divine truth will do so; and therefore it is said in the same Evangelist: In that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me (John 14:20).
Holy Father, keep them in Thy name; that they may be one, even as We are
(John 17:11).

From these passages it is evident that the Lord speaks of the "Father" from the Divine good that He Himself had, and of the "Son" from the Divine truth which is from the Divine good; thus that the "Father" and "Son" are not two, but one. The reason why the Lord so spoke, was that the Word might be received as well on earth as in heaven; and also because, before the Lord was glorified, He was the Divine truth that is from Divine good; but when He had been glorified, He was Divine good itself as to each essence, and from Him is all Divine good and Divine truth.

THAT THE LORD WAS FROM ETERNITY may be seen from the fact that it is the Lord who spoke by the Prophets; and that for this reason, and also because from Him was Divine truth, He was called the "Word"; concerning which in John: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we held His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father (John 1:1-4, 14).

The "Word" denotes all truth in the heavens and on earth that is from the Divine.

That the Lord was from eternity He plainly teaches elsewhere in John: John said, This was He of whom I said, He that cometh after me was before me, for He was prior to me. In the midst of you there standeth One whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me (John 1:15, 26-27, 30).

If ye should see the Son of man ascending where He was before (John 6:62).

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).

Jesus knowing that He came forth from God, and went to God (John 13:3).

The Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father. I came out from the Father, and came into the world; again I leave the world, and go unto the Father (John 16:27-28).

I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now O Father glorify Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was; that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me, for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world (John 17:4-5, 24).

In Isaiah:
Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

THAT THE LORD RULES THE UNIVERSE is evident in Matthew:  All things have been delivered unto Me of My Father (Matt. 11:27).

Jesus said to His disciples, All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18).

In John:
The Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into His hand; he that believeth in the Son hath eternal life (John 3:35-36).

The Father judgeth no man, but hath given all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hand (John 13:3).

All things whatsoever that the Father hath are Mine (John 16:15).

Jesus said, Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee; even as Thou hast given Him authority over all flesh (John 17:1-2).

All things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them. And I am no more in the world, for I come to Thee (John 17:10-11).

In Luke:
All things have been delivered unto Me of My Father (Luke 10:22).

From the above passages it is therefore evident that Divine good is that which is called the "Father"; and Divine truth that which is called the "Son"; and that the Lord from Divine good by Divine truth rules all things in the universe, in both general and particular. This being so, and it being so evident from the Word, it is astonishing that in the Christian world, men do not, as in heaven, acknowledge and adore the Lord alone, and thus the one God; for they know and teach that the whole Trinity is in the Lord. That the Holy Spirit, who also is worshiped as a God distinct from the Son and the Father, is the Holy of the spirit, or the Holy which through spirits or angels proceeds from the Lord, that is, from His Divine good through His Divine truth, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be shown elsewhere.

(Arcana Coelestia 3704)

June 6, 2015

Through the Word ALONE is There a Connection of Heaven with Man

From a passage in Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... beasts were employed in the sacrifices in accordance with their signification ... all things in the three kingdoms of nature are representative of the spiritual and celestial things of the Lord's kingdom ... there are correspondences of all things ...

... not only all beasts, but also all things in the world, correspond, and according to their correspondences represent and signify spiritual and celestial things, and in the supreme sense the Divine things of the Lord; and from this to show the nature of the Ancient Churches, which were called representative churches; namely, that all their holy rites represented the things of the Lord and His kingdom, thus the things of love and faith in Him; and that by means of such things heaven was then conjoined with the man of the church; for the internal things were presented in heaven.
To the same end the Word of the Lord was given, for each and all things therein, down to the smallest jot, correspond and have a signification; consequently through the Word alone is there a connection of heaven with man.
That this is the case no one at this day knows; and therefore when a natural man reads the Word, and searches where the Divine lies hidden in it; and when on account of its ordinary style he does not find it in the letter, he first begins to hold it in low esteem, and then to deny that it has been dictated by the Divine Itself, and sent down through heaven to man; for he does not know that the Word is Divine by virtue of its spiritual sense, which is not apparent in the letter, but nevertheless is in the letter; and that this sense is presented in heaven when a man reads the Word with reverence; and that this sense treats of the Lord and His kingdom. It is these Divine things from which the Word is Divine, and by means of which holiness flows through heaven from the Lord down into the literal sense, and into the very letter itself. But so long as a man does not know what the spiritual is, he cannot know what the spiritual sense is, thus not what correspondence is. And so long as a man loves the world more than heaven, and himself more than the Lord, he does not wish to know or apprehend these things; although all the intelligence of ancient times was from this source, as is also the wisdom of the angels. The mystical secrets which many diviners have in vain busied themselves to trace in the Word, lie hidden solely in its spiritual sense.
(Arcana Coelestia 9280:2,3)

June 5, 2015

The Spiritual Sense Now Disclosed Surpasses All the Revelations that have hitherto been made since the Creation of the World

Selection from Invitation to the New Church ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
It is an arcanum from the spiritual world, that he who does not approach the Lord directly and immediately with the idea concerning Him, presence is not effected, and still less can he become a recipient of any communication. It is as if someone stands at the side, and appears in the dark. In like manner, no one can converse with another, unless he looks directly at him; communication is then granted when each reciprocally looks at the other. Thus, and not otherwise, do ideas enter into another; and if at the same time there is love, conjunction is effected. If anyone, therefore, approaches the Father immediately, He stands as it were at the side; and hence is unable to grant and to impart redemption; that is, He is unable to regenerate, and afterwards to save him.

The manifestation of the Lord in Person, and the introduction by the Lord into the spiritual world, both as to sight and as to hearing and speech, surpasses all miracles; for we do not read anywhere in history that such interaction with angels and spirits has been granted from the creation of the world. For I am daily with angels there, even as I am in the world with men; and now for twenty-seven years. Evidences of this interaction are the books which I have published concerning Heaven and Hell, and also the Relations in my last work entitled True Christian Religion; further, what has been stated there concerning Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, and concerning the inhabitants of many kingdoms; besides, the various evidences which are known in the world, and many other evidences besides which are not known. Say, who has ever before known anything concerning heaven and hell? Who has known anything concerning man's state after death? Who has known anything concerning spirits and angels, etc., etc.?

In addition to these most manifest evidences, there is the fact that the spiritual sense of the Word has been disclosed by the Lord through me; which has never before been revealed since the Word was written with the sons of Israel; and this sense is the very sanctuary of the Word; the Lord Himself is in this sense with His Divine, and in the natural sense with His Human. Not a single iota in this sense can be opened except by the Lord alone. This surpasses all the revelations that have hitherto been made since the creation of the world. Through this revelation a communication has been opened between men and the angels of heaven, and the conjunction of the two worlds has been effected; because when man is in the natural sense the angels are in the spiritual sense. See what has been written concerning this sense in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture [in True Christian Religion].
(Invitation to the New Church 42 - 44)

Why the Spiritual Sense of the Word has Now been Disclosed

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
There are many reasons why the spiritual sense of the Word has now been disclosed.
  • First, because the churches in the Christian world have falsified all the sense of the letter of the Word, and this even to the destruction of the Divine truth in heaven, by which heaven has been closed up. In order, therefore, that heaven may be opened it has pleased the Lord to reveal the spiritual sense of the Word, in which sense is the Divine truth such as it is in heaven. For through the Word there is the conjunction of man with the Lord, and thus with heaven. When the Word is falsified even to the destruction of its genuine truth the conjunction perishes, and man is separated from heaven. In order, therefore, that he may again be conjoined with heaven, Divine truth such as it is in heaven has been revealed; and this has been confirmed by the spiritual sense of the Word, in which is that Divine truth.

  • The second reason is that the falsities that have inundated and devastated the church can be dissipated only by means of the genuine truth laid open in the Word. Falsities and the evils therefrom and evils and the falsities therefrom can be seen in no other way than from truths themselves. For so long as genuine truths are not present, falsities and evils appear as in a kind of light. This light they have from confirmations by reasonings from the natural man, and by the sense of the letter explained and applied according to the appearances before that man. But when genuine truths are present, then first falsities and evils appear; for the light of heaven, which is in genuine truths, dissipates the delusive light of falsities and turns it into darkness.

  • The third reason is, that, by means of the Divine truths of the Word that are in its spiritual sense, the New Church, which is meant by "the Holy Jerusalem" in Revelation, may be conjoined with heaven. For the Word is conjunction; but conjunction is effected only when man perceives the Word in a similar way as the angels perceive it.
(Apocalypse Explained 950:2)

June 4, 2015

One True Love - One True Life

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
It is in everyone's power very well to know that no life is possible without some love, and that no joy is possible except that which flows from love.
    Such however as is the love, such is the life, and such the joy: if you were to remove loves, or what is the same thing, desires - for these are of love - thought would instantly cease, and you would become like a dead person, as has been shown me to the life.
The loves of self and of the world have in them some resemblance to life and to joy, but as they are altogether contrary to true love, which consists in a man's loving the Lord above all things, and his neighbor as himself, it must be evident that they are not loves, but hatreds, for in proportion as anyone loves himself and the world, in the same proportion he hates his neighbor, and thereby the Lord. Wherefore true love is love to the Lord, and true life is the life of love from Him, and true joy is the joy of that life. There can be but one true love, and therefore but one true life, whence flow true joys and true felicities, such as are those of the angels in the heavens.
(Arcana Coelestia 33)

June 3, 2015

The Angelic Idea of The Creation of The Universe by The Lord

From Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The angelic idea of the universe created by the Lord is as follows. God is the center, and He is MAN; and if God were not MAN creation would not have been possible; and the Lord from eternity is that God.

Of creation: The Lord from eternity, that is, God, by His Divine proceeding created the universe and all things in it; and as the Divine proceeding is life itself, all things have been created from life and by means of life. The Divine proceeding that is nearest to the Lord appears before the angels as a sun; this appears to their sight fiery and flaming; this is so because the Divine proceeding is the Divine love and the Divine wisdom, and these so appear at a distance. (The angels add that the Divine proceeding is what the ancients represented by golden or shining and pure circles about the head of God, which modern painters still retain from the ancient idea.) They said that from that sun as a great center proceed circles, one after another and one from another even to the last where their end is subsisting in rest. These circles, of which one is from another and one after another, appearing as spread out in breadth and length, are spiritual atmospheres, which are filled with the light and heat from their sun, and through which the light and heat extend themselves to the last circle; and in this last circle by means of these atmospheres, and afterwards by means of the natural atmospheres from the sun of this world, the creation of the earth and all things on it which are for use was accomplished, and this creation is afterwards continued by generations from seeds in wombs or in eggs.

The angels who knew that the universe so created was a continuous work from the Creator even to ultimates, and that being a continuous work it depends upon the Lord, who is its common center and is moved and governed by Him as a single continuous chain, said that the First which proceeds is continued even to ultimates through discrete degrees, just as an end is continued through causes into effects; or like a producing agent and its products in a continued series; also that the continuation is not only in but also around from the First, and so from everything prior into everything posterior, even to the postreme; and thus that the First and the posterior from it exist together in their order in the postreme or ultimate.

From this continuity as a one they have their idea of the Lord, that He is the All in all, that He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, that He is infinite and eternal; and also their idea of the order according to which the Lord, through His Divine love and Divine wisdom, arranges, provides, and governs all things.

It was asked, "Whence, then, is hell?" They said, "From man's freedom, without which man would not be a man;" that man by that freedom broke the continuity in himself, which being broken a separation took place; and the continuity that was in man from creation became like a chain or a linked work which falls when the links above are broken or torn asunder, and it thenceforward hangs by slender threads. Separation or breaking was effected and is effected by the denial of God.

(Divine Wisdom XII Appendix)

Man Himself is the Origin of Evil

A Portion from Conjugial Love ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
How could evil come into existence when from creation nothing but good had existed? That anything may come into existence it must have its origin. Good could not be the origin of evil, because evil is nothing of good for it is privative and destructive of good. And yet as it exists and is felt it is not nothing but is something. Say, then, whence comes this something after nothing.

... no one is good but God only, and that there is not anything good which in itself is good except from God. He therefore who looks to God, and wills to be led by God, is in good; but he who turns himself away from God and wills to be led of himself is not in good, for the good that he does is either for himself or for the sake of the world; thus it is either meritorious, or is simulated, or hypocritical. Whence it is plain that man himself is the origin of evil. Not that this origin was inherent in man from creation, but that by turning away from God he imposed it upon himself. That origin of evil was not in Adam and his wife, but when the serpent said:-
    In the day that ye eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, ye shall be as God (Gen. 3: 5)
and because they then turned away from God and turned to themselves as to a god, they made in themselves the origin of evil. To eat of that tree' signified to believe that he knows good and evil and has wisdom of himself, and not from God.

... How could man turn himself away from God and turn to himself, when yet man can will, think, and therefore do nothing except from God? Why did God permit this?

Man was so created that all that he wills, thinks, and does appears to him just as if in himself and thus of himself. Without this appearance man would not be man, for he could not receive, retain, and as it were appropriate to himself anything of good and truth, or of love and wisdom. Whence it follows that without this, as it were living appearance, man would have no conjunction with God, and therefore no eternal life. But if from this appearance he induces on himself the belief that he does will, think, and therefore do good of himself, and not from the Lord, although it is in all appearance as if of himself, he then turns good into evil within him, and thus makes in himself the origin of evil. This was the sin of Adam.

... love without wisdom is love from man and not from the Lord. And this love, because it conjoins itself with falsities, does not acknowledge God, but itself as a god; and this it tacitly confirms by the faculty of understanding and of becoming wise, as if of himself which is implanted in him from creation. This love therefore is the origin of evil.
(Conjugial Love 444:a)

June 2, 2015

Use - Doing Good from Love by Wisdom

Extract from Conjugial Love ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... love, wisdom, and use, which are the three essentials that together make the one Divine essence; and that nothing but what is of the Divine essence can proceed from Him and flow into the inmost of man, which is called his soul; and that in their descent into the body these three are changed into what is analogous and correspondent. ...

Love and wisdom without use are but ideas of abstract thought, which also after some tarrying pass away as the winds. But in use the two are brought together and there make a one which is called real. Love cannot rest unless it is doing, for love is the active itself of life; nor can wisdom exist and subsist except from love and with it, while it is doing; and doing is use. We therefore define use to be doing good from love by wisdom. Use is the good itself. Since these three, love, wisdom, and use, flow in into the souls of men, it is evident why it is said that all good is from God; for everything done from love by wisdom is called good; and a use also is a thing done.
    What is love without wisdom but something illusory? And what is love with wisdom without use but a breath of the mind?
But love and wisdom with use not only make the man, but also are the man. Yea, which will perhaps surprise you, they propagate man; for in the seed of man is his soul, in perfect human form, covered over with substances from the purest things of nature, out of which a body is formed in the womb of the mother. This use is the supreme and the ultimate use of Divine love by Divine wisdom.
(Conjugial Love 183)