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.)
Notes on the Ten Commandments
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!
A Fountain of Living Waters
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).
The Need to Do
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)
There are Angels among Us
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.
Two Truths make the Church
August 11, 2019 § Leave a comment
that the Lord has power over heaven and over earth, and that the Word alone is holy and Divine. For these two truths make the Lord’s church itself on earth; the church being a church from the worship of the Lord and the reading of the Word. For the Lord reforms men and the Word teaches how they are to live, that they may be reformed by the Lord. If, therefore, these two truths are not acknowledged and received, the church itself must perish; for upon these two truths the church is founded. (AE 1069)
It has been stated above that there are two things that make the church, the acknowledgment and faith that the Lord has the power of saving, and that the Word is Divine; and that where those two are not acknowledged and believed there the church is not. The reason is, that the Lord reforms man, and imparts to him faith and love; and the Word teaches the way by which a man must go to the Lord, that he may receive faith and love from Him. Unless these two truths, therefore, are acknowledged in the church it is not a church. (AE 1070.2)
The Word of God
August 2, 2019 § 2 Comments
On the way to the grocery store today, this thought occurred to me.
The Lord’s Word is not a book. It is the Lord interacting with out will and understanding through the text as we cooperate with Him.
The first 3 heavenly affections the Lord gives us
July 19, 2019 § Leave a comment
After a man, by the opening of his internal, is introduced into heaven, and receives light therefrom, then the same affections as the angels of heaven possess, together with their pleasantnesses and delights, are communicated to him. The first affection then given, is the affection of truth; the second is the affection of good; and the third is the affection of bringing forth fruits. For when a man is let into heaven, and into its light and heat, he is like a tree growing from its seed. His first budding forth is from enlightenment; his blossoming before the fruit is from the affection of truth, the fruit thence is from the affection of good; the multiplication of itself again into trees is from the affection of bearing fruit. The heat of heaven, which is love, and the light of heaven, which is the understanding of truth from that love, produce, in the subjects possessing life, things similar to those which the heat of the world and its light produce in subjects not possessing life. That they produce similar things is the result of correspondence. But in both cases the production is effected in the time of spring; and the time of spring with man is when he enters heaven, which is effected when his spiritual internal is opened; previous to this it is the time of winter with him.(AE 942.2)
Man has the affection of truth, when he loves the truth and turns away from falsity. He has the affection of good, when he loves good uses, and turns away from evil uses. He has the affection of bearing fruit, when he loves to do goods and to be serviceable. All heavenly joy is in and from these affections; this joy cannot be described by comparisons; for it is super-eminent, and is also eternal.(AE 943)
the presence of the Lord is perpetual with all who are in heaven and in the church; but it is a presence that is peaceful, tranquil, preserving, and sustaining, by which all things in the heavens and on the earth are held constantly in their order and connection, or are reduced to that order; so, too, in the hells. (AC 850)
July 4, 2019 § Leave a comment
Swedenborg and June 19th
June 19, 2019 § Leave a comment
June 19th is treated of 3 times in the Heavenly Doctrines, and only in the True Christian Religion. See TCR 4, 108, and 791.
It is a notable fact that several months ago the Lord called together his twelve disciples who are now angels, and sent them out throughout the spiritual world with orders to preach the Gospel there anew, since the church the Lord established through their ministry is to-day so close to its end that hardly any remains survive. This has come about because the Divine Trinity has been divided into three persons, each of whom is God and Lord. (TCR 4)
At this point I will add a piece of news. A few months ago the twelve apostles were called together by the Lord and sent out into the whole spiritual world, as they were once into the natural world, with instructions to preach this gospel. Each apostle had his own zone assigned to him. They are now following out their instructions with all eagerness and dedication. But a more detailed account of these events will be given in the last chapter of this book, which will deal with the ending of the age, the Lord’s coming and the new church. (TCR 108)
After the completion of this book, the Lord called together His twelve disciples, who had followed Him in the world; and a day later He sent them all forth throughout the spiritual world to preach the Gospel, that the Lord God Jesus Christ is king, and His kingdom shall be for ever and ever, as foretold by Daniel (7:13, 14) and in Revelation (11:15): Blessed are they who come to the wedding supper of the Lamb Rev. 19:9. This happened on the nineteenth of June in the year 1770. This was meant by the Lord’s saying: He will send his angels, and they will gather together His chosen people from the bounds of the heavens on one side as far as the bounds of the heavens on the other. Matt. 24:31. (TCR 791)
In all three of these passages the Lord declares that the apostles were called together and sent through out the spiritual world to preach the gospel as they once had in the natural world.
Typically we see Swedenborg as a reporter or witness to this event. But the fact is, he may have been more involved in this event then is apparent. Swedenborg may have taught the apostles what they needed to know to carry out their mission.
In True Christian Religion 339 the Lord through Swedenborg teaches us about having faith in “God the Saviour Jesus Christ is that it is faith in a visible God, in whom there is an invisible God.” This paragraph concludes with these words:
This was written in the presence of the Lord’s twelve Apostles, who were sent to me by the Lord while I was writing this. (TCR 339)
The whole paragraph can be read here: