April 8, 2016

The State of the Church Changed When the Word was Made Flesh

Selection from Sacred Scriptures ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
  • The Lord came into the world to fulfill all things of the Word, and thereby to become Divine Truth or the Word even as to ultimates
  • The Lord came into the world to fulfill all things of the Word
  • He thereby became Divine truth or the Word even in ultimates is meant by these words in John:
The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
To "become flesh" is to become the Word in ultimates. What the Lord was as the Word in ultimates He showed His disciples when He was transfigured (Matt. 17:2, etc.; Mark 9:2, etc.; Luke 9:28, etc.); and it is there said that Moses and Elias were seen in glory. (By "Moses and Elias" is meant the Word)

The Lord, as the Word in ultimates, is also described by John in Rev. 1:13-16, where all things in the description of him signify ultimate things of Divine truth or of the Word. The Lord had indeed been the Word before, but only in first principles, for it is said:

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 (John 1:1, 2);
but when the Word became flesh, then the Lord became the Word in ultimates also. It is from this that He is called,
The First and the Last (Rev. 1:8, 11, 17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13).
The state of the church was completely changed by the Lord's becoming the Word in ultimates. All the churches that had existed before His advent were representative churches and could see Divine truth in the shade only; but after the Lord's coming into the world a church was instituted by Him that saw Divine truth in the light. The difference is like that between evening and morning, and the state of the church before his advent is also called "the evening," and that of the church after it "the morning."

Before his coming into the world the Lord was indeed present with the men of the church, but mediately through heaven, whereas since His coming into the world He is present with them immediately, for in the world He put on the Divine Natural, in which He is present with men. The glorification of the Lord is the glorification of His Human that He assumed in the world, and the Lord's glorified Human is the Divine Natural.

Few understand how the Lord is the Word, for they think that the Lord may indeed enlighten and teach men by means of the Word without His being on that account called the Word.

Be it known however that every man is his own love, and consequently his own good and his own truth. It is solely from this that a man is a man, and there is nothing else in him that is man. It is from the fact that a man is his own good and his own truth that angels and spirits are men, for all the good and truth that proceeds from the Lord is in its form a man. And as the Lord is Divine good and Divine truth itself, He is the Man, from whom every man is a man....

(Doctrine of Sacred Scriptures 98 - 100)