The Bible

 

John 5:25-29 : The End is the New Beginning

        

Study the Inner Meaning

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.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 290, 1607, 1999, 2628, 2658, 2798, 3704, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 23, 37, 58, 230, 233, 273, 502, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 119

Conjugial Love 102

Divine Love and Wisdom 4

Divine Providence 128, 159, 324

The Lord 19, 22, 25, 32

Doctrine of Life 2, 105

Interaction of the Soul and Body 8

True Christian Religion 21, 25, 40, 153, 342, 358, 440, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 278


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 43, 63, 82, 186, 228, 250, 261, ...

Canons of the New Church 40

Charity 102

Nine Questions 3

Marriage 21, 25, 40

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 7, 14, 70

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



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Word/Phrase Explanations

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...

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...

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

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...

son
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,...

life
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...

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...

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

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.

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...

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

Commentary

 

The End is the New Beginning      

By Rev. Junchol Lee


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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)

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Divine Providence #324

Divine Providence (Dole translation)      

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324. Since this also shows us that divine providence is a predestination only to heaven and that it cannot be changed into anything else, I need to show at this point that the ultimate purpose of creation is a heaven from the human race, and I need to do so in the order just proposed.

(a) Everyone is created to live forever. In parts 3 and 4 of Divine Love and Wisdom, I explained that we have three levels of life called earthly, spiritual, and heavenly, and that these levels are active in each one of us. I also noted that there is only one level of life in animals, a level like the lowest level in us, the one called earthly. It then follows that unlike animals, we can have our life so lifted toward the Lord that we enter a state in which we can discern things that come from divine wisdom and intend things that come from divine love, and in this way can accept something divine. If we can accept what is divine to the extent that we see and sense it within ourselves, then we must necessarily be able to be united to the Lord and to live forever because of this union.

[2] What would the Lord have been doing with all this creating of a universe if he had not made images and likenesses of himself with whom he could share his divine nature? Otherwise, it would only have been making something so that it existed and did not exist, or so that it happened and did not happen, and doing this only so that he could simply watch its permutations from far away, watch its ceaseless changes like something happening on a stage. What divine purpose would there be in all these changes unless they were serving subjects who would accept something divine more intimately, who would see and sense it? Since Divinity has inexhaustible splendor, would it simply keep it all to itself? Could it keep it all to itself? Love wants to share what it has with others, to give to others all that it can. What about divine love, then, which is infinite? Can it first give and then take back? Would this not be giving something that was bound to perish--that was intrinsically nothing, since it would become nothing when it perished? There is no real "is" involved in that. Divinity, though, gives what truly is, or what does not cease to be. This is what is eternal.

[3] To enable us to live forever, what is mortal is taken from us. That mortal part is our material body, which is taken from us by death. This lays bare what is immortal about us, which is our mind, and we then become spirits in human form. Our mind is that kind of spirit.

The sages and wise ones of old saw that our mind could not die. They asked how a spirit or a mind could die when it could be wise. Hardly anyone nowadays knows the ancients' deeper concept of the matter, but it was a concept from heaven that resulted in their general sense that God is wisdom itself, that we share in that wisdom, and that God is immortal or eternal.

[4] There is also something I can say from experience, because I have been allowed to talk with angels. I have talked with some who lived many centuries ago, with some from before the Flood and some from after it, with some from the time of the Lord, with one of his apostles, and with many who lived in subsequent centuries. They all looked like people in the prime of life and told me that the only thing they knew about death was that it was damnation.

When people who have lived good lives get to heaven, they all enter the young adulthood of their earthly lives and keep it forever, even though they had been old and debilitated in the world. Women, even women who had become old and frail in the world, return to the flower of youth and beauty.

[5] We can see from the Word that we live forever after death, in passages where life in heaven is called eternal life. See, for example, Matthew 19:29; Matthew 25:46; Mark 10:17; Luke 10:25; Luke 18:30; John 3:15-16, 36; John 5:24-25, 39; John 6:27, 40, 68; John 12:50. Or it is simply called "life," as in Matthew 18:8-9; John 5:40; John 20:31. The Lord told the disciples, "Because I am alive, you will also live" (John 14:19), and he said of the resurrection that God is God of the living and not God of the dead, and that they could no longer die (Luke 20:36, 38).

[6] (b) Everyone is created to live forever in a blessed state. This is a corollary, since the One who wants us to live forever wants us to live in a blessed state as well. Otherwise, what would eternal life be? Love always wants what is good for others. Parents' love wants what is good for their children; a groom's or husband's love wants what is good for his bride or wife; our love in friendship wants what is good for our friends; so why not divine love? Further, what is goodness if it is not pleasing, and as for divine good, what is it if it is not eternal bliss? We call things good because of the pleasure or blessedness they provide. We do refer to things that we are given or own as "good," but unless they give us pleasure, it is a barren kind of goodness that is not really good at all. We can see, then, that eternal life is eternal blessedness as well.

This state of humanity is the ultimate goal of creation, and the Lord is not to blame if only the people who get to heaven enjoy it. That is our own fault, as we shall shortly see.

[7] (c) This means that everyone is created to go to heaven. This is the ultimate goal of creation. The reason not everyone gets to heaven, though, is that people immerse themselves in pleasures of hell that are contrary to the blessedness of heaven. People who do not enjoy heaven's bliss cannot enter heaven because they cannot stand the place.

When we arrive in the spiritual world, no one is forbidden to come up to heaven, but if we enjoy the pleasures of hell, then as soon as we get to heaven our hearts pound, we struggle for breath, our life starts to ebb away, we are in pain, tortured, and we writhe like snakes next to a flame. This happens because opposites actively oppose each other.

[8] Even so, since we were born human, which provides us with the ability to think and intend and therefore to talk and act, we cannot actually die. Since we are unable to live with others unless their life pleasures are like ours, we are remanded to the company of such people. This means that if we have enjoyed the pleasures of evil, we are sent off to our own kind, as we are if we have enjoyed the pleasures of what is good. In fact, we are all allowed to enjoy the pleasure of our own evil, provided only that we do not make trouble for people who enjoy the pleasure of what is good. However, since evil cannot help but make trouble for the good because of its inherent hatred for everything good, we are sent away to keep us from doing actual harm and sent down to our places in hell, where our pleasure turns into displeasure.

[9] All this does not cancel the fact that by creation and therefore by birth we have the inherent possibility of getting to heaven. All the people who die in early childhood go to heaven. They are raised and taught there the way we are in this world. They absorb wisdom because of their desire for what is good and true, and they become angels. People who are raised and taught in this world could do the same, since what is in little children is also in them. On little children in the spiritual world, see Heaven and Hell 329-345 (published in London in 1758).

[10] The reason it is different for so many people in the world is that they love that first level of life called "earthly." They do not want to let go of it and become spiritual--left to itself, this earthly level of life has no love for anything but ourselves and the world. It stays glued to our physical senses, which take center stage in this world. In contrast, the spiritual level of life has an inherent love for the Lord and heaven and also for ourselves and the world. God and heaven come first, though, as primary and definitive, while our selves and the world come second, as tools or servants.

[11] (d) Divine love cannot do otherwise than intend this and divine wisdom cannot do otherwise than provide for this. In Divine Love and Wisdom, there is ample evidence that the divine essence is divine love and wisdom. I also explained in Divine Love and Wisdom 358-370 of that work that the Lord forms two vessels in every human embryo, one for divine love and one for divine wisdom. The vessel for divine love is for what will be our volition, and the vessel for divine wisdom is for what will be our discernment. This means that each of us has been given the inner ability to intend what is good and to discern what is true.

[12] Since the Lord has put these two human abilities in us at birth, and since the Lord is therefore within us in those abilities as his gifts, we can see that his divine love can intend only that we come into heaven and enjoy eternal blessedness there. We can also see that divine wisdom can provide only that this happen.

However, since the Lord's divine love wants us to feel that heaven's blessedness within us is our own, and since this cannot happen unless we feel absolutely as though we are doing our own thinking and intending, talking and acting, we can be led only in ways that follow the laws of the Lord's divine providence.

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Divine Providence 340


   Parallel Passages:

The Last Judgment 26

Other New Christian Commentary
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.


 The Bodies of Spirits
The Old and New testaments give examples of people seeing angels in human form. These stories confirm that after resurrection a person will have a spiritual body like the natural body--but more perfect.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 What Is Hell Like?
The Lord constantly draws all people towards Himself. Those absorbed in self-love and evil tear themselves from Him and cast themselves into hell.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Where Did Evil Come from?
God created everything from Divine love by means of Divine wisdom. Evil begins in us when we know what is good and choose to turn away, believing we, and not God, are the source of goodness.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Why Do People Go to Hell?
God wants everyone to go to heaven, however He grants the freedom to choose hell, which is to love self and delight in evil.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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


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