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)
726. Who is to tend all the nations with an iron rod, signifies that this doctrine by the power of natural truth from spiritual will convince and refute those who are in falsities and evils and yet are in the church where the Word is. This is evident from the signification of "to tend," as being to teach (of which above, n. 482, but here to convince and refute, because it is said that "he is to tend with an iron rod;" also from the signification of "all the nations," as being those who are in falsities and evils (of which above, n. 175, 331, 625); also from the signification of an "iron rod," as being the power of a natural truth from spiritual, for "rod" or "staff" signifies power, and it is predicated of spiritual Divine truth, and "iron" signifies truth in the natural man. It is the power of the truth of the natural man from the spiritual that is signified by the "iron rod," because all the power that truths in the natural man have is from the influx of truth and good from the spiritual man, that is, from the influx of Divine truth from the Lord through the spiritual man into the natural; for the Lord alone has power, and He exercises it through Divine truth that proceeds from Him. But that this may be more clearly perceived it shall be shown:
1. That the Lord has infinite power.
2. That the Lord has this power from Himself through His Divine truth.
3. That all power is together in ultimates, and therefore that the Lord has infinite power from things first through ultimates.
4. That so far as angels and men are recipients of Divine truth from the Lord they are powers.
5. That power resides in the truths of the natural man so far as it receives influx from the Lord through the spiritual man.
6. That the truths of the natural man without that influx have nothing of power.
 1. That the Lord has infinite power can be seen from this, that He is the God of heaven and the God of earth; that He created the universe filled with numberless stars, which are suns; and in the universe so many systems and earths in these systems; these systems and the earths in them exceeding in number many hundred thousands; also that He alone preserves and continually sustains these because He created them. Moreover, as He created the natural worlds, so He created the spiritual worlds above them, and these He perpetually fills with angels and spirits to the number of myriads and myriads. Under these, again, He has hid away the hells, as many in number as the heavens. And to each and every thing in the worlds of nature and in the worlds above nature He alone gives life; and because He alone gives life, no angel, spirit, or man is able to move a hand or foot except from Him. What infinite power the Lord has is especially evident from this, that all who come from so many earths into the spiritual worlds, numbering some myriads every week from our earth alone, consequently so many myriads from so many thousand earths in the universe, the Lord alone receives, and by a thousand secret ways of Divine wisdom leads everyone to the place of his life; the faithful to their places in the heavens, and the unfaithful to their places in the hells; and the thoughts, intentions, and wills of all, everywhere He rules in most particular and in most universal things; and He causes each and every one in the heavens to enjoy their happiness, and each and every one in the hells to be held in their bonds, even so that not one of them ventures to lift a hand, much less to rise up to do harm to any angel; and all are thus held in order and in bonds, howsoever the heavens and the hells may be multiplied to eternity. These and many other things too numerous to be mentioned, could not possibly be if the Lord did not have infinite power. That the Lord alone rules all things He Himself teaches in Matthew:
All authority is given to Me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18).
And that He is the Life (John 5:26; 11:25, 26; 14:6).
(References: John 11:25-26)
 2. The Lord has infinite power from Himself through His Divine truth, because Divine truth is the Divine proceeding, and from the Divine that proceeds from the Lord all those things that have been said above in respect to His infinite power are effected. Divine truth regarded in itself is Divine wisdom, which extends itself in every direction, like the light and heat from the sun in our world; for in the spiritual world, where angels and spirits are, the Lord is seen as a sun, from Divine love; all that proceeds from that sun is called 1
Divine truth; and that which proceeds brings forth; also that which proceeds is Himself, because it is from Him; consequently the Lord in the heavens is Divine truth. But that it may be known that the Lord has infinite power through Divine truth, something must be said of its essence and existence. This cannot be comprehended from the natural man and its light but by means of such things as proceed from the sun of the world, from which and by which that sun has all power in its world and in the earths that are under its heat and light. From the sun, of our world auras and atmospheres proceed as from their fountain; these are called ethers and airs. From this source nearest about it is pure ether, at a greater distance from it are less pure ethers, and at length airs; but these ethers and airs are around the earths. These ethers and airs when made active in mass produce heat, but when modified in their least parts give light. Through these the sun exercises all its power and produces all its effect outside of itself, thus through ethers and airs by heat as a means and at the same time by light as a means.
 From this some idea can be formed of the Lord's infinite power through Divine truth. Likewise from Him as a sun similar auras and atmospheres emanated, but such as are spiritual, because they are from Divine love, which constitutes that sun. That there are such atmospheres in the spiritual world is clear from the respiration of angels and spirits. Those spiritual auras and atmospheres that are nearest to the Lord as a sun are the most pure; but according to the degrees in which they are removed from Him they are less and less pure. Therefore there are three heavens, the inmost heaven in a purer aura, the middle heaven in an aura less pure, and the lowest heaven in an aura still less pure. These auras or atmospheres, which are spiritual, because they have sprung from the Lord as a sun, when made active in common exhibit heat, but when modified in their least parts exhibit light. That heat, which in its essence is love, and that light, which in its essence is wisdom, are called specifically Divine truth; but together with the auras, which are also spiritual, they are called the Divine proceeding. Now from these the heavens were created, and also the worlds; for all things that exist in the natural world are produced from the spiritual world, as effects from their effecting causes. From this the creation of heaven and earth by means of Divine truth proceed from the Lord as a sun, which is above the angelic heavens, can be seen as in a natural mirror. It can also in some degree be comprehended that the Lord has infinite power by means of the Divine proceeding, which in general is called Divine truth. This also is meant by these words in John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word; all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. And the world was made by Him (John 1:1, 3, 10).
And in David:
By the Word of Jehovah were the heavens made (Psalms 33:6).
"The Word" signifies Divine truth.
(References: John 1:1-3)
 3. All power is together in ultimates, and therefore the Lord has infinite power from first things through ultimates. What is meant by ultimates shall first be explained. First things are the things that are in the Lord, and those that most nearly proceed 2
from Him; ultimates are those that are most remote from Him, that is, the things in nature, and the ultimate things in it. These are called ultimates because spiritual things, which are prior, close into them and rest and repose upon them as upon their foundation; therefore they are immovable, and are called the ultimates of Divine order. All power is in ultimates because prior things are together in them, coexisting therein in an order that is called simultaneous. For there is a connection of all things from the Lord Himself through the things which are of heaven and the things of the world even to these ultimates; and because prior things that proceed successively are together in ultimates, as has been said, it follows that power itself is in ultimates from things first. But Divine power is power by the Divine proceeding, which is called Divine truth, as has been shown in the preceding article.
 For this reason the human race is to the heavens as a base to a column, or as a foundation to a palace; consequently the heavens subsist in order upon the things of the church that are with men in the world, thus upon Divine truths in ultimates which are such Divine truths as are in the sense of the letter of the Word. What power there is in these truths cannot be told in a few words; into these ultimates with man the Lord flows in from Himself, thus from things first, and rules and keeps together in order and connection all things in the spiritual world.
 Now because Divine power itself resides in these ultimates the Lord Himself came into the world and became Man that He might be in ultimates at the same time as in things first, to the end that through ultimates from things first, He might reduce all things to order that had become disordered, namely, all things in the hells and also all things in the heavens. This was the reason of the Lord's coming, for at the time just before His coming there was no Divine truth in ultimates with men in the world, and none whatever in the church which was then with the Jewish nation, that had not been falsified and perverted, and consequently there was no foundation for the heavens; unless, therefore, the Lord had come into the world and had thus Himself assumed the ultimate, the heavens that were made up of the inhabitants of this earth would have been transferred elsewhere, 3
and the whole human race on this earth would have perished in eternal death. But now the Lord, on the earth as in the heavens, is in His fullness, and thus in His omnipotence, because He is in ultimates and in things first. Thus the Lord is able to save all who are in Divine truths from the Word, and in a life according to them, for He can be present and dwell with such in ultimate truths from the Word, because ultimate truths are also His, and are Himself, because they are from Him, according to His words in John:
He that hath My commandments and doeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with Him (John 14:21-23).
 4. So far as angels and men are recipients of Divine truth from the Lord they are powers. This can be seen from what has been said above, namely, that the Lord has infinite power, and that He alone through His Divine truth has power; also from this, that angels, and men also, are nothing but forms recipient of Divine truth; for this reason angels signify in the Word Divine truths, and are called "gods." It therefore follows that according to the measure and quality of their reception of Divine truth from the Lord they are powers.
 5. Power resides in the truths of the natural man so far as it receives influx from the Lord through the spiritual man. This follows from what precedes, namely, that Divine truths in ultimates from things first have all power, and the natural man is a receptacle of ultimates. But to the natural mind of man there are two ways, one from heaven, the other from the world; the way from heaven leads through the spiritual mind into the rational and through this into the natural, and the way from the world is through the sensual which stands forth nearest to the world and clings to the body. From this it can be seen that the Lord flows in with Divine truth into the natural man only through the spiritual, and so far as the natural man receives influx therefrom is there power in it. By the power in it is meant power against the hells, which is the power to resist evils and falsities, and to put them away; and so far as these are resisted and put away man comes into angelic power and also into intelligence, and becomes "a son of the kingdom." (On the Power of Angels, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 228-233; and on their intelligence and wisdom, n 265-275)
 6. The truths of the natural man without that influx have nothing of power. This follows as a consequence from what has just been said. The truths of the natural man without influx through the spiritual man have in themselves nothing of the Lord, thus also nothing of life; and truths without life are not truths, and in fact when regarded interiorly are falsities, and falsities have nothing whatever of power, since they are opposites of truths, which have all power. These things have been here set forth to make known what is meant by the power of natural truth from spiritual, which is signified by the "iron rod with which the son a male born of the woman is to tend all nations.
(References: Revelation 12:5)