By Rev. Junchol Lee
We use a calendar that has 12 months and 365 days in it. As it nears December 31st, we feel as though something is getting close to an end, and yet on January 1st it feels like a new beginning. Our life is composed of many endings and beginnings. We may live one life, but within this one life we have many different journeys.
(References: Habakkuk 3:17)
349. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshiped Him that liveth unto the ages of the ages, signifies the humiliation and acknowledgment from the heart of all who are in truths from good, that the Lord alone lives, and that from Him alone is eternal life. This is evident from the signification of "four and twenty elders," as being all who are in truths from good (of which above, n. 270; from the signification of falling down and worshiping, as being humiliation and acknowledgment from the heart that every good and truth that has life in itself is from the Lord (of which see above, n. 290-291); and from the signification of "Him that liveth," as being, when said of the Lord, that He alone lives, and that from Him is eternal life (of which also above, n. 82, 84, 186, 289, 291).
 Since it is at this day believed in the world that the life that each one has was given and implanted, and is thus one's own, and does not flow in continuously, I desire to say something respecting it. The opinion that life is in man in such a way as to be his own is merely an appearance that springs from the perpetual presence of the Lord, and from His Divine love, in that He wills to be conjoined to man, to be in him, and to impart to him His life, for such is the Divine love; and because this is perpetual and continuous man supposes that life is in him as his own; yet it is known that there is not a good or a truth in man, but that they come from above, thus that they flow in. It is the same with love and faith; for everything of man's love is from good, and everything of his faith is from truth; for what a man loves is good to him, and what he believes is truth to him. This makes clear in the first place that no good and no truth, so neither love nor faith, is in man, but that they flow in from the Lord. Life itself is in good and truth, and nowhere else. The receptacle of the good of love with man is the will, and the receptacle of the truth of faith with him is the understanding; and to will good does not belong to man, nor to believe truth. These are the two faculties in which is the whole life of man; outside of these there is no life. This also makes clear that the life of these faculties, and accordingly the life of the whole man, is not in man but flows in. It is also by influx that evil and falsity, or the will and love of evil and the understanding and faith of falsity, are with man; but this influx is from hell. For man is kept in the freedom of choosing, that is, of receiving good and truth from the Lord or of receiving evil and falsity from hell, and man is kept in this for the sake of reformation, for he is kept between heaven and hell, and thence in spiritual equilibrium, which is freedom. Neither is this freedom itself in the man, but it is together with the life that flows in. (On Man's Freedom and its origin, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 293, 537, 540-541, 546, 589-596, 597-603; and in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 141-147.)
 Those also who are in hell live by the influx of life from the Lord, for good and truth in like manner flow into them; but the good they turn into evil, and the truth into falsity; and this takes place because they have inverted their interior recipient forms by a life of evil, and all influx is varied according to the forms. It is the same as when man's thought and will act upon members distorted from birth, or upon injured organs of sensation; and as when the light of heaven flows into objects that vary in their colors, and as when the heat of heaven flows into the same, which vary in their odors according to their interior receptive forms. But it should be known that the life itself is not changed and varied, but the life produces an appearance of the recipient form by which and from which the life is transmitted; much as by the same light different persons appear in a mirror each such as he is.
 Moreover, all the senses of man, namely, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, are none of them in man, but are excited and produced from influx; in man there are only the organic recipient forms, in these there is no sense until what is adapted thereto from without flows in. The like is true of the internal organs of sensation which belong to thought and affection and receive influx from the spiritual world, as of the external organs of sensation which receive influx from the natural world. That there is one only fountain of life, and that all life is therefrom and flows in continually, is well known in heaven, and is never called in question by any angel in the higher heavens, for these perceive the influx itself. That all lives are streams, as it were, from the only and perennial fountain of life, has been testified to me also from much experience, and seen in the spiritual world with those who believed that they lived from themselves, and were not willing to believe that they lived from the Lord. When influx into the thought was in some part withheld from these, they lay as if deprived of life, but as soon as the influx reached them, they as it were revived from death; and then the same confessed that the life in them is not theirs, but continually flows into them, and that men, spirits, and angels are only forms receptive of life.
 That this is so the wise there conclude from this: that nothing can exist and subsist from itself but only from what is prior to itself, so neither can what is prior exist and subsist from itself but only in successive order from a First; and thus life itself, regarded in itself, is only from Him who alone is Life in Himself. From this, moreover, they know, and from a spiritual idea they also perceive, that every thing, that it may be anything, must be in connection with a First, and that it is, according as it is in this connection.
From this it is clear how foolishly those think who derive the origin of life from nature, and believe that man learns to think by an influx of interior nature and its order, and not from God, who is the very Esse of life, and from whom is all the order of both worlds, the spiritual as well as the natural, in accordance with which life flows in, life eternal with those who can be disposed to receive life according to Divine order, but the opposite life, which is called spiritual death, with those who cannot be so disposed, thus who live contrary to Divine order. The Divine good that proceeds from the Lord is that from which order comes, and the Divine truths are the laws of order (as may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 279).
 Everyone should guard against the belief that the Divine life with anyone, even with the evil and in hell, is changed; for, as was said above, the life itself is not changed or varied, but the life produces an appearance of the recipient form, through which and from which the life is transmitted; much as everyone appears in a mirror such as he is through the light, the light remaining unchanged, and simply presenting the form to the sight; and just as the same life presents itself to be perceived according to the form of the bodily organ, thus after one manner in the eye, after another manner in the hearing, and otherwise in the smell, taste, and touch. The belief that life is varied and changed is from an appearance, which is a fallacy like the fallacy from the appearance that influx is physical, when yet influx is spiritual. (But on this subject see further in Heaven and Hell 9; to which may be added what is cited from Arcana Coelestia, respecting the influx of life, in Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 277, 278; and on the Influx of Life with animals, in Arcana Coelestia 5850, 6211; and in Heaven and Hell 39, 108, 110, 435, 567; likewise in Last Judgment 25.)
(References: The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 277-278)
 These things have been said to make known that there is one only life, and that whatever things live, live from that life. It shall now be shown that the Lord is that Life itself, or that He alone lives, since this is what is signified by "Him that liveth unto the ages of the ages." That there is one only Divine, and that is not to be divided into three persons according to the faith of Athanasius, can be seen from what has been several times said above, and especially from what will be said particularly on this subject at the end of this work. And as the Lord's Divine, which is the one only Divine, took on a Human, and made that also Divine, therefore both of these are the Life from which all live. That this is so may be known from the words of the Lord Himself, in the following passages. In John:
As the Father raiseth the dead and maketh them live, so also the Son maketh whom He will to live. As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:21, 26).
"Father" here means the Lord's Divine Itself, which took on the Human, for this Divine was in Him from conception, and because He was conceived from this, He called it, and no other, "Father." The "Son" means the Lord's Divine Human; that this, in like manner, is life itself, the Lord teaches in express words, saying, "as the Father maketh to live, the Son also maketh whom He will to live;" and "as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself." "To have life in Himself" is to be Life itself; the others are not life, but they have life from that Life.
 In the same:
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one cometh unto the Father but through Me (John 14:6).
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," was said of the Lord's Human; for He also says, "no one comes unto the Father but through Me," His "Father" being the Divine in Him, which was His own Divine. This makes clear that the Lord also, in respect to His Human, is Life, consequently that His Human also in like manner is Divine.
 In the same:
Jesus said, I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in Me, though he die yet shall he live. Everyone that liveth and believeth in Me shall not die forever (John 11:25-26).
This, too, the Lord said of His Human; and as He is Life Itself, and all have life from Him, and those who believe in Him have life eternal, therefore He says that He is "the Resurrection and the Life," and "he that believeth in Me shall not die forever;" "to believe in the Lord" signifies to be conjoined to Him in love and faith, and "not to die" signifies not to die spiritually, that is, not to be damned, for the life of the damned is called "death."
 In the same:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt in us (John 1:1, 4, 14).
It is known that "the Word" means the Lord; His Human is evidently the Word, for it is said, "the Word became flesh, and dwelt in us;" and that His Human was equally Divine with the Divine Itself that took on the Human is evident from this, that a distinction is made between them, and that each is called God, for it is said, "the Word was with God, and God was the Word," and "in Him was life." That all live from Him is meant by "the life was the light of men;" "the light of men" is the life of their thought and understanding; for the Divine Proceeding, which is specially meant by "the Word," appears in heaven as the light which enables angels not only to see, but also to think and understand, and according to its reception to be wise (see Heaven and Hell 126-140). This light proceeding from the Lord is life itself, which not only enlightens the understanding, as the sun of the world does the eye, but also vivifies it according to reception; and when this light is received in the life, it is called "the light of life" in the same:
Jesus said, I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).
 He is also called "the bread of life" in the same:
The bread of God is he that cometh down out of heaven, and giveth life unto the world. I am the Bread of life (John 6:33, 35, 47-48, 51).
"The Bread of God" and "the Bread of life" is that from which all have life. Since the life that is called intelligence and wisdom is from the Lord, it follows also that life in general is from Him; for the particular things of life, which make its perfection and which are insinuated into man according to reception, all belong to the general life. This life is perfected to the extent that the evils into which man is born are removed from it.
(References: John 6:33-34)
 That those who are conjoined to the Lord by means of love and faith receive eternal life, that is, the life of heaven, which is salvation, is evident from the following passages. In John:
I am the Vine, and ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me ye cannot do anything. If a man abide not in Me he is cast forth, and as a branch he withereth (John 15:5-6).
In the same:
Everyone who believeth in Me hath eternal life (John 3:14-16).
In the same:
He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the anger of God abideth on him (John 3:36).
In the same:
Whoever believeth on the Son hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:40, 47-48, 54).
In the same:
The sheep follow Me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall not perish forever (John 10:27-28).
And in the same:
Search the Scriptures, they bear witness of Me: but ye will not come unto Me, that ye may have life (John 5:39-40).
"To believe in God" and "to believe the things that are from God" are mentioned in the Word; and "to believe in God" is the faith that saves, but "to believe the things that are from God" is an historical faith, which without the former does not save, and therefore is not true faith; for "to believe in God" is to know, to will, and to do; but "to believe the things that are from God" is to know, and this is possible without willing and doing. Those who are truly Christians know, will, and do; but those who are not truly Christians only know; but the latter are called by the Lord "foolish," and the former "prudent" (Matthew 7:24, 26).