MERRY CHRISTMAS

December 22, 2021 § Leave a comment

In a few days we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ though we know not the precise year, month, day, or hour of His actual birth. We celebrate this as a one-time historical event that happened in the past. And it was a one-time historical event, and that is very important. Without that actual event we would not exist.

The human race at that time was becoming so wicked that the angels in heaven were no longer going to be able to be in communication with people on earth. Once that communication ceased, so would the human race. Had the Lord not been born, had He not glorified His Human, and reestablished order in heaven and on earth; we (neither you nor I, our families, our friends) would be here today. We don’t think about this when we celebrate Christmas, but we should. It transforms an impersonal past event into a personal one.

Further, the Lord is eternal. Yes, His physical advent was a one-time event, but it did have eternal consequences. That one-time event, moreover, enables the Lord to spiritually come into our lives over and over again. He stands at the door and knocks. If we let Him into our lives, He is born again in us. And just as the Lord had to glorify His Human so save us, we must allow the Lord to regenerate our human natures so that He may save us. This we do by looking to Him and shunning our evil loves as sins against Him.

Let us celebrate Christmas letting the Lord be born in our lives, for only in this way can we have a truly Merry Christmas.

Did Swedenborg Say?

December 3, 2021 § Leave a comment

Pick any quote you like from the Heavenly Doctrines. Did Swedenborg say that? I think not. Swedenborg himself would be the first to tell you any truth found in his works was not from him but from the Lord alone.

See TCR 779:

VIII. THIS SECOND COMING OF THE LORD IS EFFECTED BY MEANS OF A MAN, TO WHOM HE HAS MANIFESTED HIMSELF IN PERSON, AND WHOM HE HAS FILLED WITH HIS SPIRIT, TO TEACH THE DOCTRINES OF THE NEW CHURCH THROUGH THE WORD FROM HIM.

Since the Lord cannot manifest Himself in person, as has just been shown above, and yet He has foretold that He will come and establish a New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, it follows that He will do this by means of a man, who cannot only receive the doctrines of this Church with his understanding, but can also publish them by the press. I testify in truth that the Lord has manifested Himself to me His servant, and sent me on this duty; that He then opened the sight of my spirit, and thus introduced me into the spiritual world, permitting me to see the heavens and the hells and also to converse with angels and spirits, and this now continually for many years. I also testify that from the first day of my call, I have not received anything pertaining to the doctrines of that Church from any angel, but from the Lord alone while reading the Word.

When we attribute the teachings of the Lord Himself to Swedenborg, we have begun the process of stealing from the Lord.

Thou shalt not steal, signifies that no one’s spiritual goods must be taken away from him, and that those things which belong to the Lord are not to be attributed to self. (AC 8905, 8906).

It is true, that when we are attributing the Lord’s teachings to Swedenborg that we are not attributing them to ourselves. But the problem is, Swedenborg was a mere man. So once the Lord’s teachings are his, then they suffer the same limitations as any other man. The teachings are no longer Divine, but merely human. Once they are human teachings we are free to accept the ones we like and reject the ones we don’t like. At this point, we have placed our own intelligence above the Lord’s. We have stolen the Lord’s Divine truth and made it merely human and subject to our own tastes.

The Lord would prefer that we acknowledge His truth as His, and live it, so that He can save us from our sins. But if we insist on attributing His teachings to Swedenborg, He will use that insistence to save us from blasphemy and profanation.

It seems to take forever

August 14, 2020 § Leave a comment

If you have been looking to the Lord and striving to shun evils as sins against Him, you will–at some point–get discouraged. The evils you are shunning, never seem to leave. These two quotes should give us some comfort:

So for a long time evil spirits are left with him to activate his desires, and so release them in countless ways. Indeed the spirits are left there to do this in order that those desires may be turned by the Lord towards something good, and in this way the person may be reformed.

AC 59

Meanwhile the Lord is constantly fighting on his behalf against evils and falsities and by these conflicts is confirming him in truth and good.

AC 63

One True Love

August 13, 2020 § Leave a comment

Self-love and the love of the world present a semblance of life and of joy, but because they are absolutely contrary to true love, which is loving the Lord above all things and the neighbour as oneself, it is clear that neither of them is love but hatred. For the more anyone loves himself and the world, the more he hates his neighbour and so the Lord. Consequently true love is love to the Lord, true life is the life inherent in love from Him, and true joy is the joy of that life. The existence of more than one true love is not possible. Nor consequently is the existence of more than one true life possible which is the source of all true joy and happiness, such as angels in the heavens enjoy.

(AC 33)

Tailored Regeneration

August 12, 2020 § Leave a comment

The Lord works to lead each of us to heaven. He tailors His efforts to regenerate us to our unique character:

It is also a heavenly arcanum that the Lord uses those things that are man’s own – both his illusions of the senses and his desires – to lead and direct him towards the things that are goods and truths.

AC 24.3

Just because you were brought up in the church does not make you a Christian or a New Church person.

July 13, 2020 § Leave a comment

But the recognition of sin is useless, unless a person examines what he does in his life, and observes whether he did such a thing in secret or openly. For up to this point all that is mere knowledge; and then the arguments of the preacher are merely a noise in the left ear, which goes through to the right ear and so out. Finally it becomes no more than a thought, a piety on the part of the lungs, in many cases mere imagination and a chimera. But it is quite the reverse, if a person, recognising what is a sin, examines himself, finds one in himself and says to himself, ‘This evil is a sin,’ and fearing everlasting punishment abstains from it. Then for the first time the preacher’s teaching and oratory in church is taken in with both ears and reaches the heart, so that he turns from being a pagan into a Christian.

TCR 525

Our Destiny

July 9, 2020 § Leave a comment

. . . the Lord perpetually wills man to receive truth and do good, thus becoming spiritual, the destiny for which he was born.

TCR 481, Chadwick

Teaching others

July 5, 2020 § Leave a comment

Many people believe that people are born good, and if we can just create a positive environment and provide the right education we will have good people. Unfortunately, the Lord reveals to us that we are born with an inclination towards evil. We must learn what evil is, search for in our hearts and minds, and shun it as a sin against the Lord, and then we can do good.

A surprising consequence of this is a truth well know in heaven, but so well known here:

For it is one of the facts which are well known in heaven that wicked ideas can be breathed into good people, but not good ideas into wicked people. The reason is that everyone is by birth pervaded by evils.

TCR 448

Miscellaneous Quotes 001

April 15, 2020 § Leave a comment

They did not know that bearing hatred and taking revenge just because one is not honoured and worshipped as a demigod, is a sin, nor that slandering the neighbour out of enmity and thus bearing false witness against him, is a sin; nor that deceiving anyone by word or deed, is a sin; that despising another in comparison with oneself, envying him his goods, being covetous of them, are sins. They did not know, either, that claiming merit for performing the various acts of worship towards God, in matters both of faith and of charity, is a sin; besides innumerable other things. (Charity 205)

Since wisdom is, as we said above, a matter of life first and consequently of reason, the question arises, what wisdom of life is. In brief summary, it is this: to refrain from evils because they are harmful to the soul, harmful to the civil state, and harmful to the body, and to do good things because they are of benefit to the soul, to the civil state, and to the body. (CL 130.4)

The Lord’s zeal

March 9, 2020 § Leave a comment

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God.” This symbolizes the Lord, out of Divine love and so out of Divine zeal, calling all people who have a spiritual affection for truth and think about heaven, and summoning them to the New Church and to conjunction with Himself, thus to eternal life. (AR 831)

The Latin (zelo) could also be translated “very enthusiastically” or “passionately.” Thinking of zeal as passion, gives a different perspective for me on the Lord’s desire to save us from our sins.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:20; NIV)

Now I see this verse in Revelation differently. I hear the Lord passionately saying, “Here I am!” I hear the Lord knocking firmly and insistently on my door. It is urgent to open the door and let Him in.