Explanations or references:
References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:
Spiritual Experiences 479
man of the
'The man of the right hand,' as in Psalm 80:17, signifies the Lord with respect to the Word. He is called 'the man of the...
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...
The Pharisees were a sect of the Jewish church at the time of the New Testament. The name comes from a root that means "separate",...
'A ruler' or 'governor' signifies goods of the church, and in the opposite sense, falsities.
It would be simple to think that when the Bible mentions "Jews" it is simply talking about the descendants of the tribe of Judah, the...
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...
The Bible often speaks of signs and miracles as things that convinced people of the Lord's leading. Swedenborg divides the two, identifying "signs" as things...
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...
In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...
In the most general sense, a kingdom in the Bible represents a church. In a more specific sense, a kingdom represents a church in regards...
Swedenborg tells us that space and time in the physical world correspond to states of life in the spiritual world. So when the Bible talks...
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...
'Womb,' as in Genesis 49:25, signifies the conjunction of good and truth. The term 'belly' is used where truths are being discussed, and the term...
Water was obviously of tremendous importance in Biblical times (and every other time). It is the basis of life, the essential ingredient in all drinks,...
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...
Used as nouns, "marvels" and "wonders" are generally synonymous with miracles, which are expressions of the Lord's power in the world. In particular, the Lord...
In the Bible, the wind represents the power of the Lord working on us through the heavens. The Lord is love itself, and by extending...
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...
In court, a witness is someone who saw a crime being committed, or observed something that could help determine the guilt or innocence of the...
"Heaven" and "heavens" are used many times in the Bible, with a couple of variations of meaning. Sometimes it is relatively literal, including times when...
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...
Moses's name appears 814 times in the Bible (KJV), third-most of any one character (Jesus at 961 actually trails David at 991). He himself wrote...
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...
Serpents in the Bible represent reasoning that is based on what we know through our senses. This is the lowest and most outward mode of...
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...
The meaning of "believe" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but runs deeper than what appears on the surface. When in the Old Testament people...
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...
Son of God
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.
When we read the Gospels and see Jesus addressing the disciples, we assume His words are meant for us as well. And indeed they are!...
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.
Jesus as a man in the Bible represents Divine Truth, the pure and perfect expression of the Lord's infinite love. That truth is contained within...
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.
The river Jordan separates the land of Canaan from the lands to the east. This separation represents the division of the human mind into an internal...
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...
Christ is one of the names of the Lord. It derives from Greek, and means "the anointed one," a King or Messiah. Christ as King...
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...
On a human level, a bride represents the affection for what is true, and the bridegroom represents the affection for what is good. Most references...
In the Bible, there is a careful distinction between the word “brother” and the word “companion” or “friend.” That’s partly because the people of Israel...
Feelings of joy and rejoicing flow from our affections, not from our thoughts. Some people might argue that that's not true, that you can rejoice...
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.
When the Lord said that all things which were written concerning him were fulfilled, he meant that all things were fulfilled in their inmost sense.
'Produce' denotes fruit derived from the good of charity, and truth of faith.
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...
'Words,' as in Exodus 34:28, signify everything pertaining to doctrine.
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...
'To measure' signifies knowing and exploring the quality of something.
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...
The Lord is life itself, is the Creator of the universe, and is the source of life on an ongoing basis. So in a literal...
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.
The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.
Food for Thought: Baptism - A Doorway to Eternal Life
Baptism creates an introductory link between a person and the Lord.
Activity | Ages over 15
Man Who Visited the Lord
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14
Memory Verse: Jacob's Ladder
Activity | Ages 4 - 14
Worship Talk | Ages over 18
Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus reveals important insights into Jesus' mission on earth.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17
Prayers for Teens: Water and Baptism
Activity | Ages 15 - 17
The Lord and Nicodemus
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3
The Lord and Nicodemus (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6
The Lord and Nicodemus (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10
The Lord and Nicodemus (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14
The Meaning and Purpose of Baptism
Explains how baptism creates an inner link to the Lord through the angels and an outer link via the Word and the church.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18
The Power of the Lord’s Word
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12
The Purpose of Creation
Birth brings a person into the natural world, but God's ultimate purpose is that a person be born again into heavenly life, the life of the spirit.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17
Visit of Nicodemus
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17
Why Are We Here?
Lesson and activities to explore why we were created - what God intends for us.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15
By Rev. John Clowes M.A.
Explaining the Inner Meaning of John 3
Verses 3:1, 2. That some in the perverted church, in consequence of the miracles which the Lord worked, seek conjunction with him, and acknowledge his doctrine to be divine.
Verse 3:3. To whom it is taught, that man cannot attain any perception of heavenly good and truth, except by regeneration.
Verses 3:4, 5. This however is understood by those of the perverted church, according to a natural idea, and not according to a spiritual idea, and therefore they are further instructed, that regeneration is effected by a reception of the truths of faith in man's understanding, and by a love and life in conformity with those truths.
Verses 3:6, 7. Because man is at first born merely natural, but has the capacity of afterwards becoming spiritual, by a life according to truths derived from the Word, and therefore he ought not to regard regeneration as a strange, or irrational operation.
Verse 3:8. Yet that scarcely any of the innumerable arcana of regeneration come to the knowledge and perception of man.
Verses 3:9, 10. This cannot be comprehended by those of the perverted church, who are in the knowledges of external truth, when yet those knowledges ought to have conducted them to the apprehension of internal truth.
Verses 3:11, 12. For the literal or external sense of the Word proceeds from, and is filled with, the interior things of the divine truth and wisdom, which things are rejected by those who remain in the love of mere natural things, and who, on that account, cannot comprehend celestial and spiritual things.
Verse 3:13. For celestial and spiritual things can only be comprehended by those who receive into their minds and lives the divine truth, inasmuch as the divine truth alone comes down from heaven, and therefore is alone capable of elevating any into the things of heaven.
Verses 3:14, 15. That this divine truth therefore assumed a sensual corporeal principle here on earth, to the intent that sensual corporeal men might have a divine object of faith presented to them, and being thus elevated to conjunction with that object, might be preserved from the defilement and death of merely sensual and corporeal life.
Verse 3:16. That this was effected from the divine love, to the intent that mankind might no longer continue immersed in mere natural love, but might be raised into the sphere of celestial and spiritual love.
Verses 3:17, 18. Wherefore God assumed the Human [nature] to the intent that mankind might conjoin goodness and truth in their minds and lives, since a right faith in the Divine Humanity of the Lord leads to such conjunction, whereas a want of that faith leads to separation.
Verses 3:19, 20. For the Divine Humanity of the Lord is divine truth, and if divine truth be rejected in consequence of evil love, then nothing appertains to man but the false principle of evil.
Verse 3:21. On the other hand, if divine truth be loved and obeyed, man is conducted to the Lord's Divine Humanity, because he is willing to acknowledge that all the good which he wills and does is from that divine source.
Verses 3:22, 23, 24. That when the Lord had finished these sayings, he instructs the perverted church in the truths of purification, which truths also were taught in abundance by those who were principled in charity and faith, whilst they were in a state of freedom.
Verses 3:25, 26, 27. Nevertheless these truths are received with doubt by those of the perverted church, and therefore it is taught that all purifying truth is from the Divine Truth, and thus that all wisdom, intelligence, reason, and science, are not of man, but of the Lord in his Divine Humanity.
Verses 3:28, 29. And that the design of all representative truth is only to prepare mankind for the reception of the Divine Truth, that thus good and truth may be conjoined in the church, and the church may rejoice in being instructed concerning the precepts of faith, and in receiving them in faith and obedience.
Verses 3:30, 31. Thus the Divine Truth becomes all in all in the church, as being inmost truth, and all other good and truth only administer externally.
Verses 3:32, 33. For the Divine Truth testifies concerning the Lord, both as to his divine wisdom and divine love, and notwithstanding its being rejected by the generality of mankind, brings conviction along with it to those who receive it.
Verses 3:34, 35. Which truth is from the Lord's Divine Humanity, whose intelligence and wisdom are infinite, being in eternal union with the divine good, and thus possessing the all of that good.
Verse 3:36. Whosoever therefore receives truth from that Divine Humanity with a right faith, is made partaker also of the divine good, but whoever rejects it, can have no apprehension of that good, but remains in his own natural evils.
24. 1. If we intend and do good deeds before we turn our backs on evil deeds because they are sins, our good deeds are not good. This is because we are not in the Lord yet, as just noted . For example, if we give to the poor, help the needy, endow churches and hospices, support the church, our country, and our fellow citizens, teach the gospel, make converts, practice justice in judgment, honesty in business, and righteousness in our behavior, but still think nothing of evil like fraud, adultery, hatred, blasphemy, and such things, which are sins, then the only good deeds we can do are inwardly evil. We are doing them on our own behalf, that is, and not on behalf of the Lord. This means that we are inside them and the Lord is not; and any good deeds that have ourselves within them are all polluted by our evils and are focused on ourselves and the world.
However, the same deeds just listed are inwardly good if we are turning from evils because they are sins, evils like fraud, adultery, hatred, blasphemy, and the like. That is, the actions we are doing come from the Lord, and are called deeds done in God (John 3:19-21).
(References: Mark 8:31)