True Christian Religion # 116

By ემანუელ შვედენბორგი

შეისწავლეთ ეს პასაჟი.

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116. That when the Lord was in the world He fought against the hells, and conquered and subdued them, and so reduced them to obedience, is evident from many passages in the Word, from which I will present the few which follow. In Isaiah:

Who is this that cometh from Edom, His garments sprinkled from Bozrah? this that is glorious in His apparel, walking in the multitude of His strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like his that treadeth in the wine-vat? I have trodden the wine-press alone; and of the people not a man was with Me therefore have I trodden them in Mine anger, and trampled them in My wrath; therefore their victory is sprinkled upon My garments. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed hath come. Mine arm brought salvation to Me; I have made their victory to go down into the earth. He said, Surely they are My people, children; so He became a Savior for thee Because of His love and His pity He redeemed them (63:1-9).

This refers to the Lord's combat against the hells. The "apparel" in which He was glorious, and which was red, means the Word, to which the Jewish people had done violence; His combat against the hells and His victory over them are described by His "treading the people in His anger, and trampling them in His wrath;" that He fought alone from His own power is described by the words, "of the people not a man was with Me; Mine arm brought salvation to Me; I have made their victory to go down to the earth;" that thereby He wrought salvation and redemption is declared in the words, "So He became a Savior for them; because of His love and His pity He redeemed them." That this was the reason of His coming is meant by the words, "the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed hath come."

[2] Again in Isaiah:

He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him, and his righteousness sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon His head; and He put on the garments of vengeance, and clothed Himself with zeal as with a robe. Then the Redeemer came to Zion (59:16, 17, 20). In Jeremiah:

They were dismayed, their mighty ones were beaten down, they fled apace and looked not back. For this is the day of the Lord Jehovih of Hosts, a day of vengeance that He may avenge Him of His adversaries; and the sword shall devour and it shall be satiate (46:5, 10).

Both of these passages refer to the Lord's combat against the hells and His victory over them. In David:

Gird the sword upon the thigh, O mighty One. 'Thine arrows are sharp; the people shall fall under Thee, enemies of the king from the heart; Thy throne is for the age and for eternity; Thou hast loved righteousness, therefore God hath anointed Thee (Psalms 45:3-7);

also in many other places.

[3] Because the Lord conquered the hells alone, with no help from any angel, He is called:

Mighty and a man of war (Isaiah 42:13; 9:6)

The King of glory, Jehovah the Mighty, Mighty in battle (Psalms 24:8, 10)

The Mighty One of Jacob (Psalms 132:2);

and in many places "Jehovah of Hosts," that I, Jehovah of armies; and His coming is called the day of Jehovah, terrible, cruel, the day of indignation, of wrath, of anger, of vengeance, of destruction, of war, of a trumpet, of a noise, of a tumult, and so on. And we read in the Gospels:

Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out (John 12:31).

The prince of this world hath been judged (John 16:11).

Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

I beheld Satan as lightning falling from heaven (Luke 10:18).

"The world," "the prince of this world," "satan," and "the devil," mean hell.

[4] Moreover, in the Apocalypse from beginning to end the present character of the Christian church is set forth, also that the Lord is to come again, and is to subjugate the hells, and form a new angelic heaven, and at last establish a new church on earth. All these things are there predicted, but have not been disclosed until now. This is because the Apocalypse, like all the prophetical parts of the Word, was written in pure correspondences; and unless these had been disclosed by the Lord scarcely anyone would be able to understand rightly a single verse in that book; but now, on account of a new church, all its contents have been laid open in the Apocalypse Revealed (Amsterdam, 1766); and will be seen by those who believe the Word of the Lord in Matthew 24, about the present state of the church, and His coming. But this is as yet only a vacillating belief with those who have impressed on their hearts, so deeply that it cannot be rooted out, the faith of the church at this day in three Divine persons from eternity, and in Christ's passion as being redemption itself. But such (as has been said in the Memorable Relation above, n. 113) are like bottles filled with iron chips and pulverized sulfur, in which, if water be added, first heat is produced, and then flame, which bursts the bottles. So when these hear anything about the living water, which is genuine truth from the Word, and that truth enters their minds through the eyes or ears, they become violently excited and inflamed, and reject the truth as something that might split their heads.

  
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.