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)
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.
March 7, 2020 § Leave a comment
I see a connection between this teaching (AR 818) and the quote below from Jon Meacham.
Angels in heaven are not superior to people, but are their equals, and therefore they are the Lord’s servants the same as people; and the reason is that all angels were once people, born in the world, and none were created angels directly, as can be seen from what we wrote and showed in the book Heaven and Hell (London, 1758). Angels excel people in wisdom indeed, but that is because they are in a spiritual state and so live in the light of heaven, and are not in a natural state and so do not live in the light of the world as people on earth do. But the more an angel excels in wisdom, the more he acknowledges that he is not better than people, but like them. (Apocalypse Revealed 814; Rogers)
Literalism is for the weak; fundamentalism is for the insecure. Both are sins, too, against God, for to come to believe that we are in the exclusive possession of truth about things beyond time and space, and thus to hold power to shape lives and decisions about things within time and space, is put ourselves in place of God. (The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus on the Cross, Jon Meacham, Convergent Press, 2020, pp. 69, 70)
There is also another book I am reading reflects the same principle:
Ideological totalists do not pursue this approach solely for the purpose of maintaining a sense of power over others. Rather, they are impelled by a special kind of mystique that not only justifies such manipulations, but makes them mandatory. Included in this mystique is a sense of “higher purpose,” of having “directly perceived some imminent law of social development,” and of being themselves the vanguard of this development. By thus becoming the instruments of their own mystique, they create a mystical aura around the manipulating institutions—the Party, the Government, the Organization. They are the agents “chosen” (by history, by God, or by some other supernatural force) to carry out the “mystical imperative,” the pursuit of which must supersede all considerations of decency or of immediate human welfare. Similarly, any thought or action that questions the higher purpose is considered to be stimulated by a lower purpose, to be backward, selfish, and petty in the face of the great, overriding mission. This same mystical imperative produces the apparent extremes of idealism and cynicism that occur in connection with the manipulations of any totalist environment: even those actions that seem cynical in the extreme can be seen as having ultimate relationship to the “higher purpose.” (Lifton, Robert Jay. Losing Reality (pp. 71-72). The New Press. Kindle Edition.)
February 5, 2020 § Leave a comment
Before beginning the Ten Commandments, the Lord says:
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Ex. 20: 1; NIV)
This is the historical setting for the giving of the Ten Commandments. The spiritual setting is much more important. Jesus said:
“I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (Jn. 8: 34; NIV)
The Ten Commands are the means by which the Lord will free us from the slavery of sin!
January 23, 2020 § Leave a comment
Reading the Heavenly Doctrines can be a source of Divine truths, a fountain of living waters. Then again, reading the Heavenly Doctrines may not be a source of Divine truths, or a fountain of living waters.
Whether or not reading the Heavenly Doctrines is a fountain of living waters, a source of Divine truths; is dependent upon what we do with what we read.
If we take the knowledges of Divine truth we find in the Heavenly Doctrine and apply them by living according to them; then the Heavenly Doctrines will be a fountain of living waters which conjoins us to the Lord Himself!
If we do not live by those knowledges, the Heavenly Doctrines will do little for us.
“And lead them to living fountains of waters.” This symbolically means, and lead them by the truths in the Word to conjunction with Him.
Since a living fountain of waters symbolizes the Lord and also the Word, and waters symbolize truths (no. 50), and because when Divine truths in the Word are applied to life, which happens when a person lives in accordance with them, they bring about a conjunction with the Lord (AR 384; Rogers).
August 12, 2019 § Leave a comment
By love is meant love to the Lord, and loving the Lord does not mean to love the Lord as a person. Man is not conjoined with heaven by this love alone, but by the love of the Divine Good and Divine Truth, which are the Lord in heaven and in the church; and the love of these does not consist in knowing and understanding them, nor in thinking about them and speaking of them, but in willing and doing them, because they are commanded by the Lord, and therefore, because they are of use. Nothing is complete until it is done, and what is done is the end, and the end is that for the sake of which the love is cherished; therefore from the love to will and do something, there exists the love of knowing, and understanding and thinking about it. Tell me, why you desire to know and understand anything, unless for the sake of the end that you love? The end that is loved is the deed. If you say for the sake of faith, then understand that faith alone, or faith merely in thought, without that actual faith which is action, is a nonentity. You are very much deceived if you imagine that you believe in God, while you do not perform the things which are of God; for the Lord teaches in John, “He that hath my precepts and doeth them he it is that loveth me, and I will make my abode with him; but he that loveth me not, keepeth not my words” (xiv. 21, 23, 24). In a word, to love and to do are one; therefore, in the Word, where mention is made of loving, doing is meant, and where mention is made of doing, loving is also meant; for that which I love, I do. (AE 1099.3)
August 12, 2019 § Leave a comment
Now because in the Lord’s church on earth there are those who are of the third, of the second, and of the first heaven, and who therefore, after death, become angels of those heavens (AE 1074)
This is a hopeful passage. It shows that it is still possible for someone to regenerate and become a celestial angel.