The Bible

 

Luke 1:26-27 : A Virgin Betrothed to a Man

        

Study the Inner Meaning

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Apocalypse Revealed 548

The Lord 19, 29


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Spiritual Experiences 4332

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Spiritual Topics:



Word/Phrase Explanations

sixth
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

angel
"Angels" in the Bible represent qualities of the Lord himself, or a variety of things that come directly from the Lord. On a lower level...

Gabriel
Gabriel signifies an angelic society in heaven that is made up of people who teach from the Word, particularly about the Lord’s advent.

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

galilee
Galilee was the northernmost province of Biblical Judea, a hilly area relatively remote from the center of Jewish culture in Jerusalem and bordered by foreigners...

Resources for parents and teachers

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.


 Angel Appears to Joseph
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Angel Appears to Mary
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Angel Appears to Zacharias
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Angelic Appearances at the Time of the Advent
A sermon about the angel Gabriel's appearances to different people and how this pictures aspects of the preparation we must do for the Lord's birth in our own lives. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Angel with Mary
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Angel with Zacharias
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Annunciation
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Birth of the Lord
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Blessings: Good Tidings of Great Joy
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Call His Name Jesus
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Christmas Joy and Happiness
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Elizabeth Greets Mary
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 His Name Is John
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 His Name Will Be Called: The Development of the Lord in Our Lives
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Jesus' Childhood
People are born without a set purpose and develop a purpose as they learn and choose a pathway. Jesus was born with an identity and a purpose; He had to discover His identity and become true to it.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Mary and Elizabeth
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Mary's Song of Praise
Mary's song of praise, often called the Magnificat, in a color border.
Picture | Ages over 15

 Mary Visits Elizabeth
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Naming John the Baptist
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Our Savior
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Picture of the Angel Gabriel
Project | Ages up to 10

 Prophecies of the Advent
Prophecies of Jesus' advent on earth often use the image of new light dawning in darkness to describe the spiritual impact His birth would have on the world.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Quotes: Good Tidings of Great Joy
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: Prophecies of the Advent
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Scroll of Angelic Appearances in Christmas Story
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 The Angel Appearing to Mary
Use oil pastels and watercolors to show the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 The Angel Appears to Mary
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Angel Appears to Mary
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Angel Appears to Mary Mobile
Make a simple mobile to show the angel Gabriel coming to tell Mary that she would give birth to a Son and should name Him Jesus.
Project | Ages 3 - 8

 The Angel's Promise to Mary
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Annunciation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Birth of John
Zacharias and Elizabeth were very good people who wanted a child very much. The Lord answered their prayers. John was born to help prepare people to learn from the Lord. Sample from the Jacob's Ladder Program, Introductory Level, for ages 5-6.
Religion Lesson | Ages 5 - 6

 The Birth of John the Baptist
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 Birth of John the Baptist
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Magnificat
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Maidservant of the Lord
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Mother of the Lord
Imagine what it must have been like to suddenly see an angel and be told such great news.
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 6

 The Name Mary
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Savior
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Spread of the Lord's Word
We can be like the shepherds and others who have spread the good news as we learn about the Lord and find ways to tell people. Maybe this Christmas you can share your enjoyment of the story of the Lord’s birth with a friend or neighbor. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 5, for ages 10-11.
Religion Lesson | Ages 10 - 11

 Understanding the Virgin Birth
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Zacharias and the Angel
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Zacharias’s Dumbness
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Zacharias Sees Angel
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

Commentary

 

The Betrothal      

By Rev. Dr. Andrew M. T. Dibb

Mary, By Henry Ossawa Tanner - http://www.classicartrepro.com/artistsb.iml?artist=427, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4864395

The Betrothal
A Christmas Doctrinal Class by Rev. Andrew M.T. Dibb

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
(Luke 1:26-27)

So begins the wonderful story of the Lord's conception in the Gospel of Luke. The scene is familiar to each of us: Mary is at home, when suddenly she sees the angel Gabriel and hears his words of great joy:

"Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" (Luke 1:28)

An angel is a messenger of the Lord. In the Word angels came to bring wisdom and comfort, hope and the good news, the “euangellion” or Gospel, to those to whom the Lord wanted His presence revealed. This Gospel is the teaching that the Lord Jesus Christ was born into this world, that He made it possible for all people to be saved and brought into His kingdom. Thus the angel Gabriel came in excitement to Mary to inform her that she was the Lord’s choice as His natural mother.

When Mary saw the angel Gabriel, she didn't know that he was the human form of an entire society of angels. Nor did she know that his greatest love is to tell people about the Lord, especially that He would be born into the world to save the human race from spiritual bondage.

The scene of the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she would conceive and bear a son, and call His name Jesus, is one of the most poignant in the Word. Mary was a simple person, living in Galilee far away from the centre of worship at Jerusalem. She was neither highly educated nor socially well connected, except that she descended from Israel’s greatest king, David. There is a beautiful innocence in Mary’s simplicity. The last thing she expected in life was to see an angel. The image we have of Mary is of a demure young maiden, a virgin in every sense, for, as she said to the angel, 'I do not know a man'. Her state of life was that of a young woman about to embark on her married life to Joseph, but still living at home with her parents. The marriage had not yet been celebrated.

It is central to the Christmas story that Mary was betrothed to Joseph when the angel Gabriel appeared to her. This fact is mentioned in the lesson we read in the Gospel of Luke, where it is plainly stated that she was a 'virgin betrothed'. In Matthew we are again told that Mary was 'betrothed to Joseph'. This means that she had been promised as a wife to Joseph. In our culture, we would say that they were engaged to be married.

There are several good reasons why Mary should have been in this state when she conceived the Lord:
- In the Jewish Church of that time betrothal was considered marriage, although the marriage had not yet been consummated. This meant that the people around her considered Mary a woman, and it also meant that her mind was focusing on the upcoming marriage and future life as a wife and a mother.
- She was expected, during this period of betrothal, to remain in a state of order. She was not free to come into romantic contact with any other man, and she certainly was not permitted to have sexual intercourse with any man, including her husband to be.

The angel appeared to her in this state precisely for that reason - the child who was to be conceived needed to be conceived in a state of virginity, and there could be no question down the ages that Jesus was the son of an ordinary man. This is why Mary protested that she could not conceive because she 'had not known a man'.

There is a very good reason for this: the doctrines tell us that the human soul is transmitted as the living principle of the masculine seed. That soul, or internal human is passed from father to child, is an image of the father's own soul - although the life in it is from the Divine Itself. When a child is conceived, that human soul can receive life from the Lord, and, using the life in it, begins to draw from the mother the various substances needed to form the human body. When the child is born, he or she becomes an individual, drawing life from the Lord, and potential spiritual things from both mother and father, and the body from the mother. Thus there is a complete mixing of parents in the birth of a child.

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, he announced the birth of the Lord. It was to be a miracle of all miracles, for according to prophecy a virgin would conceive and bear a son. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit. His soul was Divine, given to Him by the Father, or, put another way, the soul within Jesus was not limited and finite as our souls are, but infinite and eternal, and capable of overcoming the powers of hell and saving the human race.

Here's an excerpt from Swedenborg's work, Arcana Coelestia 1999: "But the Lord's Internal was Jehovah Himself, since He was conceived from Jehovah, who cannot be divided or become the relative of another, like a son who has been conceived from a human father. For unlike the human, the Divine is not capable of being divided but is and remains one and the same. To this Internal the Lord united the Human Essence. Moreover because the Lord's Internal was Jehovah it was not, like man's internal, a recipient form of life, but life itself. Through that union His Human Essence as well became life itself. Hence the Lord's frequent declaration that He is Life, as in John,

As the Father has Life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have Life in Himself. John 5:26."

Yet even a soul such as that, if it is to live and walk amongst the people of this earth, must be clothed in a body. The Lord always operates within the boundaries of the order of creation - and order dictates that a soul must be clothed with a material body.

At first the father’s soul is clothed with human elements, for it begins as a reproduction of the father’s own soul, then,

"during its descent, … the soul is enveloped by elements of a type that have to do with the father's natural love. This is the source from which hereditary evil springs." (Conjugial Love 245)

And so the Lord needed an orderly environment in which to be born. Mary was chosen as His mother because, according to the Lord's all-seeing wisdom, He saw that she would be willing to carry this child, and she would be able to nurture Him in such a way that He would grow up prepared for the great work ahead of Him.

Yet Mary had to be in a state of order herself. In ancient Israel, to bear a child meant that she had to be married, and yet to preserve the honesty of the conception and ensure that the soul was Divine, not human, she had to be in the state before actual physical union with Joseph had taken place - otherwise the Lord could have been Joseph's son. So she had to be betrothed, and no motive should be found as a basis for accusations against the Virgin Birth.

It was partly for this reason that when Joseph heard that she was carrying a child he decided to put her away. Effectively this meant he planned to divorce her. According to the law of Moses, a betrothed woman carrying a child had broken the rules. Ideally speaking, the man responsible should be put to death. Joseph had no idea who the man was, but assumed that there was one. He was, however, a kind man, and so decided not 'to make her a public example', but to put her away privately.

It was at this juncture that the angel Gabriel came to Joseph in a dream, and soothed his fears. 'The child she is carrying,' the angel said, 'is conceived by the Holy Spirit.' Now Joseph understood, and the state of betrothal could continue, and order could be maintained so that the Lord could be born into this world with the full appearance of two loving parents, bound together in marriage after an orderly betrothal.

We now need to expand our vision of the Lord's life in this world. The conception of the Lord was but the first step in his development. He had to be born and grow up. His mind and body had to develop as does our own. The home of Mary and Joseph was needed to provide a stable and orderly environment for Him where He could live and grow, undergoing not only physical and mental development, but also the very processes by which His Divine soul could become present within His natural mind.

In picking these two people to be his 'parents' in the natural world, the Lord was able to provide for the future as well. The Word does not tell us anything about the marriage relationship between Joseph and Mary. We know that Joseph was obedient to the angel when he was told to take Mary and the infant Lord down to Egypt to escape Herod's cruelty. We know that each year they travelled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. We know that had other children, whom likewise they loved and nurtured. But that is about all we know.

The book, Conjugial Love, by Emanuel Swedenborg, however, gives us some insights into the kind of orderly relationship they had. They begin in the concept of Betrothal, for betrothal is introductory to marriage. The kinds of preparation people make for their marriages determine a great deal the course their marriage will follow. The fact that Mary in her betrothed state had 'not known a man' indicates that she took the responsibilities of that state serious. Similarly, the fact that Joseph immediately knew that he was not the father of the child Mary carried indicates a similar seriousness about the state of betrothal. They were both innocent of any wrongdoing, and were obviously committed to building a life together based on the firm foundation of proper preparation.

Their betrothal prepared them for their future life together as man and wife, and, thus as the Lord's parents on earth. Betrothal is a preparation for marriage. It is a time when the minds and spirits of the two partners begin to grow together.

The teachings of the New Church tell us that true marriage, or conjugial love as it is often called, is a meeting and union of two minds. A true marriage is one in which the couple recognises the essential differences between masculinity and femininity, and rejoices in those differences without any attempt to dominate the other. In order for a couple to come into a true appreciation of each other, they need to put aside physical love to foster and nurture spiritual love. This is why Mary and Joseph lived apart during this stage of their relationship, and why they refrained from sexual activity, for in that way they made it possible for their minds to soar, and be united at the highest levels of idealism.

The book Conjugial Love tells us that in this state the mind of each partner is opened by his or her spiritual love. They are able to reach higher levels of love and commitment to each other as they foster the growth of mutual understanding unencumbered by physical things. The passage describing this development, then, goes on to describe how when a couple marry their love descends from the mind to the body. It is worth reflecting on the statement that

"It needs to be known that the quality of conjugial love as it comes down is determined by the height to which it climbs. If it reaches the heights it comes down chaste, but if it does not, it comes down as unchaste." (Conjugial Love 302).

With Mary and Joseph we can but only assume that their love reached its heights during their betrothal, and that their marriage was one of purity and chastity. Chastity in this sense means a marriage love between two people that has been cleansed of all impurities. In such a state the husband and wife enjoy the full pleasures of marriage, beginning on the spiritual level with a full meeting of minds, and descends into the body, where their love is consummated.

A marriage of this kind provides the most wonderful environment, for the love between the husband and wife provides a state of tranquillity and peace in which children can be reared. This is the kind of environment the Lord chose to be born into. He knew that during his life in this world He would have to face the most terrible of temptations. He knew that He would have to battle against hell continuously, and face the disbelief of the people around Him. His first thirty-three years were a preparation for this work lying before Him. And so He chose to be born to a couple who were in a state of order, who because of that order, were willing to receive Him into their lives, to nurture Him as if He was their own.

There is a message in this for us. Each one of us wants the Lord to be born into our own lives, and He is willing to come to us. "Behold,' He says, 'I stand at the door and knock'. Yet He can only enter into us to the degree that we bring our lives into order. Mary and Joseph clung to their betrothal - they committed themselves and stood fast. That is what the Lord wants us to do: to commit ourselves to Him, to live according to His Word in every detail of our lives, especially in our relationships with others, in our preparation for marriage, and in our marriages themselves. As we do, then He enters into us, establishes His presence there, and lifts us up to heaven.
AMEN

Lessons:
Deuteronomy 22:25-29
Isaiah 7:14-16
Luke 1:26-38
Conjugial Love 302

The Bible

 

John 5

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.

12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?

13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.

14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.

34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

41 I receive not honour from men.

42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of John 5      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Explaining the Inner Meaning of John 5

Verses 5:1, 2. That the Lord, as to his humanity, initiated himself into the doctrine of the church, which was in connection with the knowledges of good and truth derived from the Word, thus with truths introductory to good.

Verse 5:3. Which truths are imparted to all those who are made sensible of their natural infirmities and disorders, whether arising from a defect, of intelligence, or from intelligence not yet formed into life, or from faith separate from charity, and thus produce vivification through acknowledgement and faith.

Verse 5:4. And this in consequence of divine influx, so that whoever receives the knowledges of good and truth with his supreme affection, or love, experiences purification from evil, and restoration of spiritual life.

Verses 5:5, 6, 7, 8. Yet some, by reason of the unsettled state of their wills, make slower progress in purification than others, until they are excited to exploration of their secret purposes and intentions, and have their affections and thoughts thereby elevated, so as to live according to the truth.

Verse 5:9. In which case they also are restored to the life of heaven, whilst the doctrine, in which they believe, is elevated to that life, so as to influence their lives, and thus introduce them into a state of eternal rest and peace.

Verses 5:10, 11. That they, who are of the perverted church, are offended on this occasion, and are instructed that all elevation of doctrine to conjunction with the life of heaven is an effect resulting from the divine love of the Lord, in his Divine Humanity.

Verses 5:12, 13. Hence they are led to seek knowledge concerning that Divine Humanity, but are not permitted, by reason of the evils and falsities in which they are principled, to attain such knowledge.

Verse 5:14. That they, who are purified from evils and falsities, are cautioned against the danger of profanation, which consists in turning back again to such evils and falsities.

Verse 5:15. Being therefore thus cautioned, they bear testimony to the Lord's Divine Humanity, as being the only source, of all spiritual and eternal life.

Verse 5:16. But are opposed in this testimony by those of the perverted church, who abide in representative worship, and do not discern how all representatives had reference to the union of the Divine and Human nature in the Lord.

Verse 5:17. Wherefore these latter are instructed, that the union of the two natures is effected reciprocally.

Verse 5:18. But this instruction only excites more of evil, being perversely interpreted as tending not only to destroy all representative worship, but also to confound divinity with humanity, and humanity with divinity.

Verse 5:19. Therefore they are further instructed, that divine truth can do nothing of itself, but from the divine good, and thus divine truth in the Lord's humanity always operates in conjunction and agreement with divine good in his divinity.

Verse 5:20. And this in consequence of the divine love, which manifests to its humanity all its purposes, until its humanity is fully glorified, or made divine, that so mankind may be led to adoration.

Verse 5:21. And also to the discovery, that by virtue of such glorification, the humanity receives from the divinity the power of imparting spiritual life, and thus of delivering man from the power of evil.

Verse 5:22. Also the power of arranging the several principles of the human mind, and thus of separating the evil from the good, which cannot be effected by the divine good alone without the divine truth.

Verse 5:23. To the intent that thus the Humanity of the Lord may always be seen in union with his divinity, and regarded as an equal object of worship and adoration, since otherwise the divinity itself cannot be worshipped and adored.

Verse 5:24. They therefore, who obey the divine truth, and approach the Lord in his Divine Humanity, are admitted into heaven, and never separating truth from good, are raised from a state of damnation to a state of salvation.
For since the assumption of the Human [principle] by the Divine, all who are in ignorance may learn the truths of faith, and may thus be gifted with spiritual life.

Verse 5:26. Inasmuch as the internal of the Lord being Jehovah, his Humanity has independent and underived life, alike with his divinity.

Verse 5:27. And has also the power of separating evil from good, and thus of arranging all goods and truths, as being itself the supreme truth.

Verses 5:28, 29. So that at his appearing even natural men shall be instructed in the divine truth, and if they obey it, shall attain spiritual life; but if they be disobedient, shall immerse themselves in spiritual death.

Verse 5:30. For the Humanity of the Lord operates solely from the divinity in itself, and is thus in divine truth from divine good, because in all things it exalts the divine good.

Verses 5:31, 32. Therefore divine truth claims no authority to itself separate from divine good, but only in union with that good.

Verses 5:33, 34. Neither does it claim authority from human testimony, but from its own divine power of communicating spiritual life.

Verse 5:35. Yet the testimony of man in favour of the divine truth is grounded both in good and truth, and has a tendency to impart to others those heavenly principles.

Verse 5:36. Nevertheless the glorification of the Lord's Humanity, the subjugation of the hells, and the consequent redemption of mankind, are the fullest proofs that the Lord is one with Jehovah.

Verse 5:37. Thus the divine good, which in itself is invisible, testifies that it is made visible in the Divine Humanity, which it assumed for that purpose.

Verse 5:38. But this is not believed by those, who are not enlightened and enlivened by the truth of that good.

Verse 5:39. Therefore all such are exhorted to explore the Holy Word which contains that truth, and which testifies throughout concerning the assumption and glorification of the Lord's Humanity.

Verse 5:40. Nevertheless they, who are of the perverted church, will not draw near to and abide in that Humanity, although there is no other source of good and of truth.

Verses 5:41, 42. Which Humanity testifies that it is purely Divine, and that they who reject it have no genuine affection of truth.

Verse 5:43. Therefore they do not approach the Eternal in his Divine Humanity, because they believe the truth to be unconnected with that its divine source.

Verse 5:44. And this in consequence of exalting human authority above the authority of divine truth.

Verses 5:45, 46, 47. So that even the truth of the Word, which they profess to believe, condemns them, since that truth testifies concerning the Lord's Divine Humanity, and therefore if its testimony be not admitted, the Lord's Divine Humanity cannot be acknowledged.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 290, 1017, 1607, 1990, 1999, 2320, 2335, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 6, 23, 37, 58, 137, 230, 233, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 119

Conjugial Love 102, 336

Divine Love and Wisdom 4

Divine Providence 128, 159, 231, 324

The Lord 11, 14, 19, 20, 22, 25, 27, ...

Life 2, 105

Worlds in Space 141

Heaven and Hell 84

Interaction of the Soul and Body 8

True Christian Religion 21, 25, 40, 92, 104, 107, 135, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 172, 278, 283


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 43, 63, 64, 77, 82, 114, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 42

Canons of the New Church 31, 40

Charity 102

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 59

Nine Questions 3

Marriage 21, 25, 40, 92, 104, 107

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 7, 14, 70, 88

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



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1 Samuel 2:6

Ezra 9:14

Psalms 40:8, 107:12, 142:5

Jeremiah 17:21, 22

Ezekiel 20:11

Daniel 7:13, 12:2

Hosea 11:5

Zechariah 8

Word/Phrase Explanations

jews
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...

blind
The meaning of “blind” in the Bible is not hard to see (no pun intended!). If light represents the flow of truthful ideas from the...

halt
The poor, maimed, lame, and blind,' as in Luke 14:21, signify the uninstructed Gentiles who were in lives of good.

angel
"Angels" in the Bible represent qualities of the Lord himself, or a variety of things that come directly from the Lord. On a lower level...

troubled
The Bible often talks of people being "troubled." The internal meaning is pretty straightforward; it indicates a state of spiritual turmoil, usually due to the...

troubling
The Bible often talks of people being "troubled." The internal meaning is pretty straightforward; it indicates a state of spiritual turmoil, usually due to the...

disease
'The sickness prior to death means a movement towards regeneration, so the next stage towards it. A person is by nature in a state of...

saw
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...

long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

saith
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...

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

coming
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

rise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

bed
A bed of ivory (Amos 6:4) are doctrines apparently from rational truths.

walk
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

walked
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

said
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...

cured
'Healing' signifies reformation by truth derived by good. 'Healing in his wings,' as mentioned in Malachi 3:20, signifies reformation by divine truth from good.

multitude
'A multitude' relates to truths.

the temple
'Solomon's temple' represents heaven and the church.

persecute
There are only a few references to "persecution" in Swedenborg, but they say it means "to harrass and slander out of hatred," and it generally...

To
'To jubilate' or 'make a joyful noise' signifies worship from the delight of good.

kill
The Lord is love itself, and that love is the ultimate source of all energy and thus of all life. It follows, then, that the...

say
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...

shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

all things
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...

marvel
In Revelation 13:3, 'all the world wondered after the beast,' signifies that faith alone was gladly received and became the doctrine of the whole church.

word
'Sayings' denotes persuasion. 'Sayings,' when related to Jehovah, signify informing or instructing.

life
According to Swedenborg, the Lord is life itself, and we are recipients of life. This is true even of the most evil spirits, who loved...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

hour
The Writings tell us that time and space are aspects of the physical world, but do not exist as we know them in the spiritual...

hear
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...

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...

authority
Power,' as in Revelation 4, signifies salvation, because all divine power regards this as its final purpose. A person is reformed by divine power, and...

son of man
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...

resurrection
'Resurrection' signifies salvation and eternal life. 'The first,' mentioned in Revelation 20:5, 6, does not mean a first resurrection, but the essence and primary part...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

just
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

seek
The meaning of "to seek" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but there is a bit of nuance: Swedenborg tells us that in most cases...

john
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...

the truth
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...

truth
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...

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

saved
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...

shining
'To shine' or 'shining' signifies being exempt from falsity, or pure by reason of truth.

light
(Luke 15:8.) By the woman lighting a candle to find the piece of silver she had lost, is signified inquisition in herself from affection.

heard
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...

seen
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...

believe
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...

search
'To search,' as in Revelation 2:23, signifies seeing.

moses
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...

believed
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...

Resources for parents and teachers

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.


 Dramatize the Lord Healing a Man at Pool of Bethesda
Activity | Ages 7 - 10

 How Does The Lord Work In My Life?
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Man Healed at Pool of Bethesda
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Memory Verse: Come unto Me
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Rise, Take Up Your Bed and Walk
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Healing at Bethesda
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord Heals the Man at the Pool of Bethesda
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Miracle at the Pool of Bethesda
When the Lord told the sick man, "Take up your bed and walk," He meant that the man should walk on a path that would lead him toward heaven. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Pool at Bethesda (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Pool at Bethesda (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Pool at Bethesda (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Pool of Bethesda
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 Pool of Bethesda
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 The Pool of Bethesda
Think of this man waiting and watching. Over and over again, he saw that the waters were stirred up, and he tried to get up from his bed and go down into the pool.
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 6

 The Pool of Bethesda
Like the man who sat beside a pool for thirty eight years waiting for help we also make excuses in the struggle to let go of bad attitudes and habits.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Pool of Bethesda
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Way to Heaven
The Lord has prepared a special place in heaven for everyone, and His Word shows us the way that leads there.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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