The Bible


Luke 1:26-38 : The Annunciation to Mary


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.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2798, 2921, 3305, 3421, 5313, 9229, 10248

Apocalypse Revealed 56, 173, 294, 373, 481, 504, 520, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 44, 120

Conjugial Love 82

The Lord 19, 29, 40, 42

True Christian Religion 82, 88, 92, 93, 98, 111, 112, ...

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 253, 328, 376, 677, 815, 852, 1069, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 30, 38, 216

Canons of the New Church 17, 39, 40, 43

De Domino 38

Justification 10, 13

Spiritual Experiences 4332

Marriage 82, 88, 92, 93, 98, 111, 112

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 13

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

  Spiritual Topics:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Judges 5:24, 6:12, 16

Ruth 3:11

2 Samuel 7:12, 13, 16, 23:5

1 Chronicles 17:12

Psalms 2:7, 45:7, 132:11

Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 49:1, 5

Jeremiah 23:5

Daniel 2:44, 7:14

Obadiah 1:21

Micah 4:7

Word/Phrase Explanations

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...

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

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

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...

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...

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...

Fear not
Fear not, as in Revelation 1:17; Daniel 10:5, 12; Matthew 17:5, 7; 28:10, etc., signifies resuscitation to life, and at the same time adoration from...

Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

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...

'Highest' denotes the 'inmost,' because interior things, with person who is in space, appear as higher things, and exterior things as lower. But when the...

'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

“Age” is used in slightly different ways in natural language, and those differences are reflected in the word’s spiritual meanings. All the variations, though, reflect...

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...

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...

'The seven spirits' in Matthew 12:45 signify all falsities of evil, and as a result, a total extinction of goodness and truth. 'The seven spirits'...

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...

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

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



You Shall Bear a Son      

By Rev. Eric Carswell

The Annunciation, 1898, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
By Henry Ossawa Tanner -, Public Domain,

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

What amazing words these must have been to Mary, a young woman, when she first heard them. Just minutes before she had probably been engaged in some mundane task of daily life in her mother's home, perhaps grinding flour or baking bread, maybe weaving or spinning wool into yarn. If she was like most young women who are shortly to be married, her mind would have been turned to her future life with Joseph, what their home would be like, the children they would have and the life that they would lead together. Happy images of the future would have filled her thoughts. She would have had her hopes, dreams and expectations--images of how her life would be as the future wife of Joseph.

Suddenly with the appearance of the angel Gabriel, her visions of the future contained a new and dramatically different element. The angel told her that she was highly favored and blessed among women, that the Lord was with her and that she would soon conceive and bring forth a son whose name would be Jesus. This child would be given the throne of Mary's ancient forebear, King David, and reign forever.

Mary voiced the question of how this would take place. She knew the order of natural conception and knew that the angel's message did not fit into this order. In explanation the angel Gabriel told her of the greatest miracle of all time saying, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."

We are called to believe that miracles do occur. Some people are troubled by the idea of miracles based on their picture of cause and effect in this world. They have accepted that the only causes are natural ones, the laws of physics and so on. For such a person the idea of Jesus being born without a natural father is fantastic beyond belief.

But we are called to believe that miracles have and do occur. There are forces that attack this belief. We have grown up in a culture that has a strong sense of natural order. Science today is capable of explaining so many events that previously were mysteries. It is capable of explaining them by means of fundamental laws of nature. For some this sense of natural law can become so strong that the Lord's active presence within creation vanishes. For some there is no Divine intervention within this system. All is fixed and moves along with changes taking place by mere random accident. But it could be noted that according to natural law most changes result in more chaos, not less chaos. Changes tend toward the break down of a higher order into a lower one.

Think of the example of a person quickly typing out a document on a computer. You would expect that errors would be introduced into the typing. What is the likelihood that the errors would improve the original document? It’s possible, but rather unexpected. But the argument for pure natural evolution is that given enough time and the forces of natural selection life as we now know it has developed. Asserting that human life came about purely by random accidents starting with the genetic code of the most primitive life millions of years ago seems akin to saying that given enough time and enough typed copies a simple child’s nursery rhyme could evolve into a Shakespearean play without any plan or higher thought being involved.

We are called to believe that miracles do occur. However, the Writings for the New Church have taught us that we are not to expect to see the miracles of the Old and New Testaments performed today in the same way they were performed in the time those books were written. We read:

The reason miracles are not done at this day, as before, is that miracles compel, and take away free will in spiritual things; and from being spiritual, they make a person natural. All in the Christian world . . . can become spiritual; and they become spiritual solely from the Lord through the Word; and the faculty for this would perish if they were brought to believe through miracles. (True Christian Religion 501)

Partially based on statements such as this, a person can come to a pattern of thinking that does not believe in the Lord’s ability to affect things for good in a miraculous way even today. A person could believe in God, but still tend to view the progression of his or her life as following laws of a machine-like system. Anything that does not fit into this fixed system is believed to be a miracle that would take away spiritual freedom--the very freedom that the Lord was born into the world to reestablish.

Perhaps, though, it is too easy for us to become too limited in our view. So limited that we block out a sight of the miracles that can occur within our own lives without taking away our spiritual freedom. Perhaps it is too easy for this limited point of view to block out a sense of the Lord's presence, a sense of the Holy Spirit's presence. How does the Lord reach out to touch our lives?

What of Mary's life? The events surrounding the first Christmas were a major intervention within her life. The same is true of her husband to be, Joseph. Both of them could have denied the possibility of a miraculous conception and this state of denial would have been far more damaging than that of Zacharias's. Could the Lord's birth ever have taken place if Mary was not willing to accept the angel's words? Her firstborn was to have a continuing effect throughout her whole life. His presence was not without many events that brought a sense of awe and wonder to both Mary and Joseph. We know of at least one event that showed that raising Jesus was not always easy. At age 12, they spent three anxious days searching for Him, only to find Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of teachers, listening and asking questions.

In addition to the way in which Jesus' birth and life intervened in Joseph and Mary's life, think of the way His presence affected the disciples. Many of them were happily going about their daily jobs when they were called to leave all behind and follow Him. While this intervention sometimes involved something of the miraculous, it also involved an element of free will. Just as Joseph and Mary could have resisted the words of the angel announcing that the Lord would be born, so also the disciples could have heard the Lord call them to follow and shook their heads and returned to their work. There were many, many others who were influenced in this same way. Many others who heard the Lord's words calling to them and had their lives profoundly influenced by what He said.

The Lord comes to each of us in our lives many times each day. While we may not have anything occur in our lives that an objective observer would call miraculous, it is not true that our lives will follow some pre-established route, set by our inborn nature and directed by compelling experience of the natural world. The Lord's first birth represents the way in which He comes in any age to anyone who will receive Him. Just as the words of the angel Gabriel would have been a dramatic intervention within the happy normalcy of the future that Mary would have envisioned, so also the Lord can come to us announcing the conception of a future for us that is far different from the one our natural mind would envision. The Lord comes to us offering and promising a far different set of reactions to daily events from the ones we presently have--a different perspective, a far greater patience in some areas and a stronger resolve and commitment in others. He comes to us bringing light to areas of thoughts that we had resigned ourselves to being in deep darkness and bringing warmth to much that we might otherwise have done from need or duty.

The angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin, whose name was Mary. Ancient prophecies had promised that the Messiah would be born as the child of a young woman. Several hundred years after this prophecy was given, a Greek version of the Old Testament called the Septuagint, introduced a new element of the miraculous by using a word in this prophecy that was not the general one for a young woman, but rather the distinctive Greek term for "virgin." When the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, the gospel of Matthew records that he quoted this prophecy according to the way it is presented in the Septuagint. The Writings for the New Church make it quite clear that this seemingly added idea is correct and even essential in our understanding of the Lord's advent.

There are two distinct reasons for the importance of a belief in the virgin birth. One reason has to do with the essential need for Jesus to be born with a natural mother but without a natural father if He was going to become our Savior and Redeemer. It was crucial for the work of Jesus that He not derive from His birth any of the internal evils that are passed on through the soul provided by the natural father in any natural conception. His soul and life came directly from the infinite God. His developing mind and life were the ever more perfect manifestation in human form of the Father and creator, our Lord and God. But it was important that He take on a natural mind at first empty of any experience and knowledge as you and I were born with. It was important that He take on the hereditary inclinations to evil that birth to a natural mother brought to His life.

The second reason for believing in the virgin birth exists because of the representation of the term virgin and what this says about how the Lord comes to us in our lives. We are told that a virgin represents someone who willing to have his or her life affected by truth. In this story, Mary represents a state of mind in each of our lives that is not controlled by self interest nor committed to a determined course of action. It is a state of mind that is open to new possibilities.

The Lord comes to us to each of us bringing the promise of a new conception of life just as the angel Gabriel came to the virgin Mary. He comes promising a rebirth or regeneration of life that is radically different from the one we come by naturally. It is not to the hustle and bustle of established life that He appears, but rather to those states of mind that, like the virgin Mary, look forward to something new and different and most importantly are willing to receive the conception of this new life. The life that comes to us naturally, apart from any presence of the Lord, is like a child conceived of a human father and mother. Without the Lord's presence, this life cannot have any other basis than self-interest and worldly concern. Experience may teach us to broaden this self-interest and to temper these concerns, but apart from the Lord's advent within our lives they will never rise above this level. The Lord is born within each of our lives within the states of mind that are willing to be affected by what the Word teaches--by the states of mind that are willing to rise above the prompting of our natural inclinations to be self-serving and natural in our interests, thoughts and actions. He is born within the states of mind that are willing to turn outward to recognize and serve the needs of those around us. He is born within the states of mind that are willing to recognize that natural things exist to serve the needs of mankind and creation as a whole and have their proper uses as well as their abuses.

Our preparation for the celebration of Christmas, more than any other event of the season, tends to turn people outward to others. It is a time that can help us to recognize the community of caring people that we live in. And it is a time that can remind us that many are in need--there are many people who can use our help. This help may be a matter of providing food, clothing and shelter for those have not been able to or have not yet come to be provident enough to provide them for themselves. It can be a matter of giving a hand to someone who could use some help with a job, sharing some burden with them. Christmas is a time when we give gifts that symbolize and love and friendship for others. The most lasting gifts are those that we give when we recognize the spiritual needs of others—when we recognize that, by our words and actions, we can help the Lord bring loving warmth to another person's life. We, by our words and actions, can bring the light of greater understanding to another person's life. We have the capability of helping others receive far greater blessings in life than they might otherwise. Our preparation for and celebration of Christmas can remind us of how a truly Christian life is one of wisely giving and of serving. The state of mind that receives this reminder is the one imaged by the virgin, Mary.

The Lord comes to each of us in our lives, just as the angel Gabriel came to Mary. He comes telling of events that can take place, if we are willing, which far exceed anything we might picture ourselves. He promises us a new life, born within our own, but not taking its source from us. He promises the presence of the Holy Spirit within this new life. He comes with a miraculous intervention in the natural course of events. The words of the angel Gabriel to Mary are also words to us with the promise of a new life that will profoundly affect what we care about, think and do each day throughout the year. These words are the promise of a new life for each of us.

After the close of this service you are invited to take the sacrament of the Holy Supper. This act of worship represents our desire to receive the Lord’s gifts of love and wisdom within our lives, represented by our eating of the bread and drinking of the wine. There is a powerful reminder of the words of the angel Gabriel in The True Christian Religion description of this sacrament

...the Holy Supper for those who approach it worthily is a kind of guarantee and seal put on their adoption as sons of God ... the Lord is then present and introduces into heaven those who are born of Him, that is, who are regenerated. (True Christian Religion 728)

As the angel Gabriel said to Mary, so the Lord would say to us, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1573; Isaiah 7:1-15; Luke 1:26-38)

From Swedenborg's Works


A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine #120

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine (Stanley translation)      

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120. The third Memorable Experience from THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED. 1 As I have been permitted by the Lord to see the wonderful things which are in the heavens and under the heavens, I am obliged, as commanded, to describe what I have seen. There appeared a magnificent palace with a temple in its innermost part. In the middle of the temple stood a table of gold, on which lay the Word; and two angels stood beside it. Round about the table was a triple row of seats. The seats of the first row were covered with a silken cloth of crimson those of the second row with a silken cloth of blue and those of the third row with a white cloth. Below the roof, high above the table, appeared a canopy of tapestry, shining with precious stones, from whose lustre there shone forth, as it were, a rainbow, as when the sky is clear after rain. Then suddenly there appeared sitting on the seats a number of the clergy clothed in the garments of their priestly office. On one side was a wardrobe, where stood an angel custodian, and within the wardrobe lay splendid vestments in beautiful order.

(References: Isaiah 45:21-22, Isaiah 59:19-20; Matthew 1:20-25)

[2] It was a Council convened by the Lord; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Deliberate." But they said, "On what?" The reply was, "Concerning the Lord the Saviour, and concerning the Holy Spirit." But when they thought on these subjects they were not in a state of illumination wherefore they made supplication, and immediately light streamed down out of heaven, first illuminating the back part of their heads, afterwards their temples, and lastly their faces. Then they began deliberating as commanded; first, concerning the Lord the Saviour. The first question to be considered was Who assumed the Human in the Virgin Mary? And the angel standing at the table on which was the Word read these words from Luke in their presence: The angel said to Mary, Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called The Son of the Highest.... And Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answering said, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore, also, that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:31-32, 34-35.

Then he also read from the first chapter of Matthew, verses 20-25, and when he came to the 25th verse he read it with a loud voice. In addition he read many passages from the Evangelists, as Matthew 3:17, 17:5; John 20:31; with other statements where the Lord as to His Human is called the Son of God, and where, from His Human, He calls Jehovah His Father. Further, he read from the Prophets, where it is foretold that Jehovah Himself was about to come into the world; among them were these passages from Isaiah:

It shall be said in that day, Lo This is our God, for Whom we have waited to deliver us; this is Jehovah, for Whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation. Isaiah 25:9.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a pathway for our God.... And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.... Behold, the Lord Jehovah cometh in strength.... He shall feed His flock like a shepherd. Isaiah 40:3, 5, 10-11.

(References: Luke 1:31-35; Matthew 1:20-25)

[3] Then the angel said, "As Jehovah Himself came into the world and assumed a Human, and by it has redeemed and saved mankind, therefore He is called by the Prophets the Saviour and the Redeemer. And then he read to them the following passages:

Surely God is in thee, and there is no God else. Verily Thou art a hidden God, O God of Israel the Saviour. Isaiah 45:14-15.

Am not I Jehovah, and there is no God else besides Me? A just God and there is no Saviour besides Me? Isaiah 45:21.

I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no Saviour. Isaiah 43:11.

I am Jehovah thy God.., and thou shalt acknowledge no God besides Me; and there is no Saviour besides Me. Hosea 13:4.

That all flesh may know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer. Isaiah 49:26; 60:16.

As for our Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts is His name. Isaiah 47:4.

Their Redeemer, the mighty Jehovah of Hosts is His name. Jeremiah 50:34.

Jehovah, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14.

Thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah thy God. Isaiah 48:17; 43:14; 49:7; 54:8.

Thou, Jehovah, art our Father; our Redeemer from of old is Thy name. Isaiah 63:16.

Thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer...I am Jehovah that maketh all things...and by Myself alone. Isaiah 44:24.

Thus saith Jehovah, the king of Israel, and His Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts; I am the First and the Last, and besides Me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6.

Jehovah of Hosts is His name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called. Isaiah 54:5.

Behold, the days come when I will raise unto David a righteous Branch Who shall reign a king ...and this is His name, Jehovah our Righteousness. Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-16.

In that day Jehovah shall be King over all the earth in that day there shall be one Jehovah, and His name One. Zechariah 14:9.

(References: Isaiah 45:21-22)

[4] From all these passages, those who sat on the seats were convinced, and unanimously declared, that Jehovah Himself assumed the Human to redeem and save mankind. But then a voice was heard from the Roman Catholics who had hidden themselves behind the altar, saying, "How could Jehovah, the Father, become a man? Is He not the Creator of the universe?" And one of those who sat on the second row of seats turned round and said, "Who was it, then?" Then the one from behind the altar, advancing to its side, replied, "The Son from eternity." But he was answered: "Is not the Son from eternity, according to your own confession, also the Creator of the universe? And what is a Son, or a God, born from eternity? And how is it possible for the Divine Essence, which is one and indivisible, to be separated, and for one part to descend and not at the same time the whole?"

[5] The other matter of enquiry concerning the Lord was: Whether the Father and He are One, as the soul and the body are one? They said that this follows of necessity because the soul is from the father. Then one of those who sat on the third row of seats read out of the Confession of Faith, called the Athanasian Creed, the following passage: Although our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man...yet they are not two, but one altogether ... by unity of Person. For as the soul and body are one man, so God and man is one Christ. "This faith," said the reader, "is received throughout the whole Christian world, even by the Roman Catholics." Then they said, "What need have we of further proof? God the Father and He are one, as the soul and body are one." And they continued, "Because this is so, we perceive that the Lord's Human is Divine, for it is the Human of Jehovah also that the Lord ought to be approached as to His Divine Human, and that thus and not otherwise can the Divine, which is called the Father, be approached."

[6] This conclusion of theirs the angel confirmed by many passages from the Word, among them were these from Isaiah:

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given ...Whose name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6.

Abraham knows us not, and Israel does not acknowledge us. Thou, Jehovah, art our Father, our Redeemer from of old is Thy name. Isaiah 63:1, 6

And in John:

Jesus said, He that believeth on Me ...believeth on Him that sent Me. And he that seeth Me, seeth him that sent Me. John 12:44-45. Philip said to Jesus, Show us the Father ...Jesus said to him, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me. John 14:8-11.

Jesus said, I and the Father are one. John 10:30.

All things that the Father hath are Mine ...and all Mine are the Father's. John 16:15; 17:10.


Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one cometh to the Father, but by Me. John 14:6.

When they had heard these statements, they all declared with one voice and heart that the Lord's Human is Divine, and that this should be approached in order that the Father may be approached; since Jehovah God, Who is the Lord from eternity, sent Himself by this means into the world, and made Himself visible to men's eyes, and thus accessible. Likewise, He made Himself visible and thus accessible to men of olden times in a human form, but then by means of an angel.

[7] After this followed a discussion concerning the Holy Spirit. First the idea held by many people regarding God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit was disclosed, which was this; that God the Father sat on high, with the Son at His right hand, and that they sent forth the Holy Spirit from themselves to enlighten and instruct mankind. But then a voice was heard from heaven saying, "We cannot endure such an idea. Who does not know that Jehovah God is omnipresent? And whoever knows and acknowledges this, should also acknowledge that it is He Himself who enlightens and instructs, and that there is not a mediating God distinct from Him, much less from two, as one person is distinct from another. Wherefore, let the former idea which is false be removed, and let this other idea which is sound be received, and then you will see this clearly."

[8] But then a voice was heard again from the Roman Catholics who had concealed themselves behind the altar of the temple, saying, "What then is the Holy Spirit, who is mentioned in the Word by the Evangelists and Paul, and by whom so many of the learned among the clergy, particularly of our Church, profess to be led? Who in the Christian world at this day denies the Holy Spirit and His operations?" Upon this, one of those who were sitting on the second row of seats turned round and said, "You say that the Holy Spirit is a Person by Himself, and a God by Himself. But what is a person going forth and proceeding from a person but operation going forth and proceeding? One person cannot go forth and proceed from another by another, but operation canon Or what is a God going forth and proceeding from a God but the Divine going forth and proceeding? One God cannot go forth and proceed from another by another, but the Divine canon Is not the Divine Essence one and indivisible? And since the Divine Essence, or the Divine Esse, is God, is not God therefore one and indivisible?"

[9] On hearing these words, those who sat on the seats concluded unanimously that the Holy Spirit is not a Person by Himself, thus not a God by Himself, but that it is the Holy Divine going forth and proceeding from the one and only omnipotent God, Who is the Lord. To this the angels who stood at the golden table on which lay the Word said, "Good; for it is nowhere written in any part of the Old Testament that the prophets spake the Word from the Holy Spirit, but from Jehovah, the Lord; and wherever the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the New Testament it signifies the Divine Proceeding, which enlightens, instructs, vivifies, reforms and regenerates.

[10] After this another subject of enquiry respecting the Holy Spirit was raised, viz., From Whom proceeds the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit, from the Divine which is called the Father or from the Divine Human which is the Son? Whilst they discussed this, a light shone from heaven, whereby they saw that the Holy Divine, meant by the Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Divine in the Lord through His glorified Human, which is the Divine Human, comparatively as all activity with man proceeds from the soul through the body. This truth the angel who stood by the table confirmed by these passages:

He Whom the Father hath sent speaketh the words of God; He hath not given the spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. John 3:34-35.

There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse...the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might. Isaiah 11:1-2.

The Spirit of Jehovah was put upon Him, and was in Him. Isaiah 42:1; 59:19, 21; 61:1; Luke 4:18. When the Holy Spirit shall have come, whom I am about to send unto you from the Father. John 15:26.

He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine, and shall declare it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine; wherefore I said, He is about to receive of Mine and to declare it unto you. John 16:14-15.

If I go away I will send the Comforter unto you. John 16:7.

The Comforter is the Holy Spirit. John 14:26.

The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:39.

But after the glorification: Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit. John 20:22.

And in the Revelation:

Who shall not glorify Thy name, O Lord, for Thou only art holy. Revelation 15:4.

(References: Isaiah 59:19-20)

[11] Inasmuch as the Divine operation of the Lord from His Divine Omnipresence is meant by the Holy Spirit, therefore when He spoke to His disciples concerning the Holy Spirit, which He was about to send from God the Father, He also said:

I will not leave you orphans...I go away...and come to you.... In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. John 14:18, 28, 20.

And just before His departure out of the world He said:

Lo I am with you all the days, even to the consummation of the age. Matthew 28:20.

Having read these words in their presence, the angel said, "From these and many other passages from the Word it is evident that the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Divine in the Lord through His Divine Human. To this those who sat on the seats exclaimed, "This is Divine truth."

[12] Lastly, this decision was made: From what has been deliberated in this council we clearly see, and therefore acknowledge as holy truth, that in the Lord God, the Saviour Jesus Christ, there is a Divine Trinity which is the Originating Divine, called the Father, the Divine Human which is the Son, and the Divine Proceeding which is the Holy Spirit. Then they exclaimed together: In Jesus Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9. Thus, there is One God in the Church.

(References: Hebrews 2:9)

[13] After these things were concluded in that magnificent council, they arose, and the angel-custodian of the wardrobe came and brought to each of those who had sat on the seats splendid garments interwoven here and there with threads of gold; and he said, "Receive ye these wedding garments." They were then conducted in glory to the New Christian Heaven, with which the Lord's Church on earth, which is the New Jerusalem, will be united.

There shall be one day which is known to Jehovah, nor day nor night...for about evening-time it shall be light. It shall come to pass in that day, living waters shall go out from Jerusalem... and Jehovah shall be King over all the earth in that day there shall be one Jehovah, and His name one. Zechariah 14:7-9.


(References: Luke 1:31-35)

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.