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John 20:19-31 : Christ Appears to the Disciples in an Upper Room, and Doubting Thomas

        

Study the Inner Meaning

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 96, 2397, 2628, 2724, 2798, 2921, 3006, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 12, 81, 343, 520, 618, 839, 962

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 32, 120

Divine Love and Wisdom 383

Divine Providence 230, 324

The Lord 19, 20, 35, 41, 51

Faith 10

Heaven and Hell 287, 461

True Christianity 140, 146, 153, 188, 298, 303, 337, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 286


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 53, 102, 130, 183, 254, 365, 419, ...

Canons of the New Church 39, 43

Divine Wisdom 6

Miracles and Signs 18

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 5, 14, 64

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 43:23

Numbers 6:26

Psalms 22:17, 84:4

Word/Phrase Explanations

week
'A week' signifies state, and 'the seventh week,' a holy state. The ancients understood 'a week' to mean any period divided into seven, whether days,...

doors
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

disciples
A disciple in Matthew 10:41 signifies charity and at the same time, faith from the Lord. It disciple signifies the truth of life, and a...

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...

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...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

glad
Feelings of joy and rejoicing flow from our affections, not from our thoughts. Some people might argue that that's not true, that you can rejoice...

Father
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,...

ghost
'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'...

remit
'To forgive seven times' signifies forgiving at all times.

retain
'To hold fast' signifies permanence in a state of good of love and faith up to the visitation.

twelve
'Twelve' and 'twenty-four' signify everything, and refer to truths.

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...

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

reach
The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...

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...

signs
'A sign' is mentioned in the Word in reference to the future, which constitutes revelation. This also refers to truth, when it constitutes testification. It...

written
If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

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

christ
Christ is one of the names of the Lord. It derives from Greek, and means "the anointed one," a King or Messiah. Christ as King...

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...

believing
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...

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...

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.


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 Death and Resurrection
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 The Resurrection
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Commentary

 

Two Meetings in Jerusalem after the Resurrection      

By Joe David

The risen Jesus appears to the disciples in the upper room. 22.4.2010: Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Emilio Romagna, Italy.

Late on the first Easter Sunday, after the Lord had risen from the sepulcher, ten of the disciples gathered for the evening in the upper room of a house in Jerusalem (John 20). They were afraid and probably confused. Since their leader had been crucified by the Roman power, as organized by their own Jewish leaders, they feared that now his followers might also be hunted down and punished. They closed and locked the doors. Were any of the women there? The story does not say, but Peter and John were, who saw and talked with the angels that morning, and the stories of the women were known. Some time must have been spent wondering and perhaps arguing - was He really alive? How could they know it was really Him? This kind of thing, coming back to life after you’re dead, this doesn’t happen in this real world, there must be some mistake!

Then two of the followers, not of the twelve, but the two that had gone to the village of Emmaus, came in, excited and bursting with their news. They had seen Him! They had walked with Him for seven miles and He had told them wondrous things! They had only recognized Him when He broke bread and ate with them. "Don’t doubt us, it really was Jesus!"

And then as they all talked and argued, there He was, standing with them in the room. "Peace be unto you," He said, and He showed them His hands and feet and His side, where he was wounded. He calmed them, and told them that just as he had come down to mankind, so they must go out and teach to all people all the true things that He had taught in the years He was with them.

It was these truths about how to live one’s life that were saving, not the disciples themselves. These saving truths have the power to remit or retain sins, because they were from the Lord, the disciples only transmitted them from the Lord to those who would listen and take them to heart. Then He breathed on them - representing His holy spirit - so that they would not only want to pass these truths on to people, but would also be given the words to say whenever the times came. And then He was gone again.

Thomas was not there that night. We don’t know why. And Thomas, when he heard the story, just could not swallow it. "Except I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe", he said. (John 20:25.)

The next verse tells us that the next Sunday they gathered again, and that Thomas was present this time. As before, the Lord was suddenly there, saying again, "Peace be unto you", and then directly to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger… and reach hither thy hand… and be not faithless but believing". Now Thomas's response was, "my Lord and my God". It seems as if the Lord came this time just to convince Thomas, because it was Thomas who needed Him.

I think He does work this way. I am reminded of another story, from the gospel of Mark (Mark 9:17-27) where a father comes to Jesus with a young son who is possessed by a devil, and asks Jesus to cure him, and is asked in turn: "Do you believe I can do this?" In Mark 9:24 the father responds. Crying out, he said with tears, "I believe, help thou my unbelief."

I think many people have this conflict between lingering doubts and a desire to have the doubts taken away. If we carry on and make our decisions in life as if the doubts were indeed gone, then indeed they will lose their strength and actually will be gone.

These are the only details given of these two meetings in Jerusalem. Chronologically the next post-Easter stories are the ones that take place in Galilee.

John does go on to say at the end of his gospel "...many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book. But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God...." (John 20:30-31). Perhaps there were more post-Easter stories that weren't written down, but the ones we do have are strong. For the disciples who were involved, there was an unstoppable impact from the life and teachings of the Lord, and His crucifixion, and physical death, and now - in these stories - His resurrection. Hearing the Lord's charges to them, these Galilean fishermen and their colleagues launch out into the wide world, and work to achieve the Great Commission, enduring hardships and persecution, and succeeding - probably beyond their wildest dreams!

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #815

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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815. Verse 11. And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, signifies confirmations from the sense of the letter of the Word in favor of faith separated from life, and the consequent falsifications of the truth of the church. This is evident from the signification of "the two beasts" treated of in this chapter, as being the confirmation of those things that are signified by "the dragon," for "the dragon" signifies especially faith alone (see above, n. 714; and "the beast coming up out of the sea" signifies reasonings from the natural man confirming the separation of faith from life (see also above, n. 774; therefore this "beast" signifies confirmations from the sense of the letter of the Word in favor of faith separated from life, and the consequent falsifications of the truth of the church. That "the dragon" is further described by these two "beasts" is evident from verses 2, 4, 11 of this chapter. There are moreover two means by which any heretical dogma may be confirmed, namely, by reasonings from the natural man and by confirmations from the sense of the letter of the Word; and these two means are what are signified by these two "beasts." The former "beast" signifies reasonings from the natural man, because the "sea" out of which that beast came up signifies the natural of man, while this "beast" signifies confirmations from the sense of the letter of the Word, because the "earth" out of which it came up signifies the church where the Word is. This "beast" signifies also falsifications of the Word, because the Word unless it is falsified can never confirm a false dogma, since all things of the Word are truths; consequently all truths can be confirmed from the Word, but by no means falsities, as can be clearly seen from what has been said above and also from what follows in this chapter.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 714, 774)


[2] As passages from the Word have been cited above n. 785 in which "works," "deeds," "working," and "doing" are mentioned, I will now cite passages where "faith" and "believing" are mentioned, but only from the Gospels, and not from the Epistles of the Apostles, and for the reason that the Gospels contain the words of the Lord Himself, all of which have concealed in them a spiritual sense, through which immediate communication with heaven is granted, while the writings of the Apostles contain no such sense, although they are nevertheless useful books for the church.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 785)


[3] The passages of the Word where "faith" and "believing" are mentioned are the following. In Matthew:

There came a centurion to the Lord, saying, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof; but say the word only, and my boy shall be healed. Jesus hearing, marveled and said to them that followed Him, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And He said unto the centurion, Go thy way, and as thou hast believed be it done unto thee; and his boy was healed in that hour (Matthew 8:8, 10, 13).

The Lord healed this person and others according to their faith, because the first and primary thing of the church then to be established was to believe that the Lord is God Almighty, for without that faith no church could have been established. For the Lord was the God of heaven and the God of earth, with whom no conjunction is possible except by an acknowledgment of His Divinity, which acknowledgment is faith. The centurion evidently acknowledged the Lord to be God Almighty, for he said, "I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof; but say the word only, and my boy shall be healed."

[4] In the same:

A woman afflicted with an issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus' garment; for she said within herself, If I shall but touch His garment I shall be healed. Jesus turning and seeing her, said, Daughter be of good cheer, thy faith hath made thee whole; and she was healed in that hour (Matthew 9:20-22).

In the same:

They brought unto Him one sick of the palsy lying on a bed; Jesus seeing their faith, said unto the sick of the palsy, Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven. Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thy house (Matthew 9:2-7; Luke 5:19-25).

In the same:

Two blind men cried, saying, Have mercy on us, Thou Son of David. Jesus said unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They say unto Him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it done unto you; and their eyes were opened (Matthew 9:27-30).

No other faith than that which is called historical, which at that time was a miraculous faith, was meant by this faith whereby the sick were healed; consequently by this faith many wrought miracles at that time. This faith was, that the Lord was Almighty, because He was able to do miracles of Himself; for this reason He also allowed Himself to be worshiped, which was not the case with the prophets of the Old Testament, who were not worshiped. But there must always be this historical faith before it becomes a saving faith; for a historical faith becomes a saving faith with man by his learning truths from the Word, and living according to them.

(References: Luke 5:18-25; Matthew 9:27-29)


[5] In the same:

A woman of Canaan, whose daughter was vexed by a demon, came and worshiped Jesus, saying, Lord, help me. Jesus said unto her, Great is thy faith; be it done unto thee as thou wilt; and her daughter was healed (Matthew 15:22-28).

In John:

A ruler whose son was sick besought Jesus to heal his son before he died. Jesus said unto him, Go thy way, thy son liveth; and the man believed in the word that Jesus spake unto him. And his servants met him, saying, Thy son liveth. Therefore he believed, and his whole house (John 4:46-53).

In the same:

Jesus finding the man born blind whom He healed, said unto him, Believest thou, then, on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I may believe on Him? He said unto him, Thou hast both seen Him and He it is that speaketh with thee. He said, Lord, I believe; and he worshiped Him (John 9:35-38).

In Luke:

Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter was dead, Fear not, only believe, and she shall be made whole; and the daughter was raised up again (Luke 8:50, 55).

In the same:

One of the ten lepers that were healed by the Lord, who was a Samaritan, returned and fell upon his face at the feet of Jesus; and Jesus said unto him, Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole (Luke 17:15, 16, 19).

In the same:

Jesus said to the blind man, Thy faith hath saved thee; and immediately he was able to see (Luke 18:42, 43).

In Mark:

Jesus said to the disciples, when they were unable to heal a certain man's son 1 who had a dumb spirit; to whom Jesus said, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth; the father of the boy crying out with tears, said, Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief; and he was healed (Mark 9:17, 23, 24).

There were three reasons why faith in the Lord healed these; first, because they acknowledged His Divine omnipotence, and that He was God; secondly, because faith is acknowledgment, and from acknowledgment intuition; and all intuition from acknowledgment makes another to be present; this is a common thing in the spiritual world. So now, when a New Church was to be established by the Lord, it was this intuition from an acknowledgment of the Lord's omnipotence from which they were first to look to the Lord; and from this it is clear what is here meant by faith. The third reason was, that all the diseases healed by the Lord represented and thus signified the spiritual diseases that correspond to these natural diseases; and spiritual diseases can be healed only by the Lord, and in fact by looking to His Divine omnipotence and by repentance of life. This is why He sometimes said, "Thy sins are forgiven thee; go and sin no more." This faith also was represented and signified by their miraculous faith; but the faith by which spiritual diseases are healed by the Lord can be given only through truths from the Word and a life according to them; the truths themselves and the life itself according to them make the quality of the faith. But more about this in what follows.

(References: Luke 17:15-19, 17:15-16, Luke 18:42-43; Mark 9:17-18, Mark 9:23-24)


[6] In John:

When Lazarus was dead, his sister saith, Lord, by this time he stinketh. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, If thou wouldst believe thou shouldst see the glory of God? (John 11:39, 40).

In Luke:

Jesus said to the woman who was a sinner, and who made His feet wet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet, which she also anointed with oil, Thy sins are forgiven thee; thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace (Luke 7:38, 48, 50).

From this it is clear that it was faith in the Lord's omnipotence that healed them, and that the same faith remitted, that is, removed, sins. The reason of this was that this woman not only had faith in the Divine omnipotence of the Lord, but also loved Him, for she kissed His feet. Wherefore the Lord said, "Thy sins are forgiven thee, thy faith hath saved thee," because faith makes the Divine of the Lord to be present, and love conjoins. It is possible, however, for the Lord to be present and not be conjoined; from which it is evident that it is faith from love that saves.

(References: John 11:39-40)


[7] Again:

Jesus said to the disciples in the boat, Why are ye fearful, O ye men of little faith? Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the sea, and there came a great calm (Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:39-41; Luke 8:24, 25).

Peter, at the Lord's command, went down out of the boat and walked upon the waters; but when the wind became strong he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus took hold of his hand and said, O man of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt (Matthew 14:28-31).

When the disciples could not heal the lunatic, Jesus said unto them, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? and Jesus healed him; and He said to the disciples that they could not heal him by reason of their unbelief (Matthew 17:14, seq.).

Jesus came into His own country, and there they were offended in Him; and Jesus said, A prophet is not without honor save in his own country and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:57, 58).

The Lord called the disciples "men of little faith" when they were unable to do miracles in His name, and He was unable to do miracles in His own country because of their unbelief, for the reason that while the disciples believed the Lord to be the Messiah or Christ, also the Son of God, and the prophet of whom it was written in the Word, yet they did not believe that He was God Almighty, and that Jehovah the Father was in Him; and yet so far as they believed Him to be a man, and not at the same time God, His Divine to which omnipotence belongs could not be present with the disciples by faith. For faith presents the Lord as present, as has been said above; but faith in Him as a man only does not present His Divine omnipotence as present. For the same reason those in the world at the present day who look to His Human alone and not at the same time to His Divine, as the Socinians and Arians do, cannot be saved.

(References: Luke 8:24-25; Matthew 13:57-58)


[8] And for a like reason the Lord could not do miracles in His own country, for there they had seen Him from infancy like another man; and therefore they were unable to add to that idea the idea of His Divinity; and when that idea is not present while the Lord is present, He is not present in man with Divine omnipotence; for faith presents the Lord as present in man according to the quality of the perception of Him. Other things man does not acknowledge and therefore rejects; for in order that the Lord may operate anything with man by faith the Lord's Divine must be present in man, and not outside of him.

John:

[9] In John:

Many of the multitude believed on Jesus, and said, When the Christ shall come, will He do more signs than those which this one hath done? (John 7:31).

In Mark:

These signs shall follow them that believe: in My name they shall cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word by signs following (Mark 16:17-20).

As the Jewish nation believed in Jehovah solely because of miracles, it is evidently a miraculous and not a saving faith that is here meant; for they were external men, and external men are moved to Divine worship only by external things, like miracles which forcibly strike the mind. Moreover, a miraculous faith was the first faith with those among whom a New Church was to be established; and such a faith is also the first with all in the Christian world at this day, and this is why the miracles performed by the Lord were described, and are also now preached. For the first faith with all is a historical faith, and this afterwards becomes a saving faith when man by his life becomes spiritual; for first of all it is to be believed that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite, and one with the Father. These things must be known; but so far as they are merely known they are historical, and a historical faith presents the Lord as present, because it is a looking to the Lord from His Divine nature. And yet that faith does not save until man lives the life of faith, which is charity; for he then wills and does what he believes, and to will and to do is of the love, and love conjoins to Him whom faith presents as present. The signification of those miracles that the disciples were to do, and that were done by them in the beginning of the Christian church, as casting out demons, speaking with new tongues, and others, may be seen above n. 706.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 706)


[10] In Matthew:

Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew 17:14-20).

In Mark:

Have the faith of God; for verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou lifted up and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, what he hath said shall be done for him. Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye ask when ye pray, believe that ye shall receive them and ye shall have them (Mark 11:22-24).

In Matthew:

Jesus said to the disciples, If ye have faith and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which has been done to the fig-tree, but even if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou lifted up and cast into the sea. And all things whatsoever ye shall ask believing in Me, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:21, 22).

In Luke:

If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed ye would say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou rooted up and be thou planted in the sea, and it would obey you (Luke 17:6).

That this is to be understood otherwise than according to the words is evident from its being said to the disciples, that "If they had faith as a grain of mustard seed they would be able to pluck up a mountain or a sycamine tree from its place, and cast it into the sea;" also that "all things whatsoever they asked they should receive;" and yet it is not according to Divine order for one to receive what he asks if he only have faith, or for the disciples to pluck up a mountain or a tree from its place and cast it into the sea. But "faith" here means faith from the Lord, consequently it is called "the faith of God," and he who is in faith from the Lord asks for nothing but what contributes to the Lord's kingdom and to himself for salvation; other things he does not wish, saying in his heart, Why should I ask for what does not contribute to this use? Therefore if he were to ask for anything except what it is granted him from the Lord to ask he would have no faith of God, that is, no faith from the Lord. It is impossible for angels of heaven to wish and so to ask for anything else, and if they were to do so they could have no faith that they would receive it. The Lord compared such faith to the ability and power to cast a mountain or sycamine tree into the sea, because the Lord spake here as well as elsewhere by correspondences, and therefore these words must be understood spiritually. For a "mountain" signifies the love of self and of the world, thus the love of evil; and a "sycamine tree" signifies the faith of that love, which is a faith in falsity from evil, and the "sea" signifies hell; therefore "to pluck up a mountain and cast it into the sea by the faith of God" signifies to cast these loves, which in themselves are diabolical, into hell, and likewise the faith in falsity from evil; and this is done through faith from the Lord. This comparison of the ability and power of faith from the Lord with plucking up and casting a mountain and a sycamine tree into the sea was also made because in the spiritual world such things actually take place. There these loves of evil sometimes appear as mountains, and the faith in falsity from evil as a sycamine tree; and both of these an angel can root up and cast into hell through faith from the Lord. (That a "mountain" signifies love to the Lord, and in the contrary sense the love of self, see above, n. 405, 510; and that a "fig-tree," or a "sycamine tree," signifies the natural man in respect to its goods and truths, and in the contrary sense the same in respect to evils and falsities, see above, n. 403.

(References: Luke 17:15-19; Matthew 21:21-22; The Apocalypse Explained 403, 405, 510)


[11] So much respecting miraculous faith. Passages from the Gospels respecting saving faith, which is faith in truth from love to the Lord, shall now follow. In John:

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have eternal life. He that believeth in Him is not judged; but he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God (John 3:14-19).

In the same:

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand; he that believeth in 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 3:35, 36).

In the same:

Except ye believe that I am He ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).

In the same:

They said to Jesus, What shall we do that we may work the works of God? Jesus answering said, This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom the Father hath sent. I am the bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall not hunger, and he that believeth in Me shall never thirst. This is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone that seeth the Son and believeth in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Not that anyone hath seen the Father save He that is with the Father; 2 He hath seen the Father. Verily I say unto you, he that believeth in Me hath eternal life. I am the bread of life (John 6:28, 29, 35, 40, 46-48).

In the same:

Jesus said, He that heareth My word and believeth Him that sent Me hath eternal life, and shall not come into judgment, but shall pass from death into life. Verily I say unto you, that the hour shall come when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. Even as the Father hath life in Himself so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:24-26).

In the same:

Jesus cried out, saying, If anyone thirst let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. These things He said of the Spirit which those believing in Him were to receive John (7:37-39).

In the same:

Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he die yet shall he live; but everyone who liveth and believeth in Me shall not die to eternity (John 11:25-27).

In the same:

Jesus cried out and said, He that believeth in Me believeth not in Me but in Him that sent Me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me may not abide in the darkness. And if anyone hear My words and yet believe not, I judge him not; he that rejecteth Me and receiveth not My words hath one that judgeth him, the word that I have spoken shall judge him at the last day (John 12:44-48).

In the same:

While ye have the light believe in the light, that ye may be sons of light (John 12:36).

In the same:

Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me (John 14:1).

In the same:

As many as received Jesus, to them gave he power to become sons of God, even to them that believe in His name (John 1:12).

In the same:

Many believed in His name, beholding His signs (John 2:23).

In the same:

These are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life in His name (John 20:31).

In Mark:

Jesus said to the disciples, Going into all the world, preach ye the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned (Mark 16:15, 16).

These and other passages describe saving faith, which is to believe in the Lord; and to believe in Him is also to believe in the Father, because He and the Father are one. "To believe in the Lord" signifies not only to adore and worship Him, but also to live from Him, and one lives from Him when he lives according to the Word which is from Him; therefore "to believe in Him" is to believe that He regenerates man, and gives eternal life to those who are regenerated by Him.

(References: John 3:14-18, John 3:35-36, John 6:28-29, John 6:33, 6:39-40, John 7:37-39, John 11:25-26; Mark 16:15-16)


[12] "To believe in His name" has a similar signification as "to believe in Him," since the Lord's "name" signifies every quality of faith and love by which He is to be worshiped, and by which He saves man. This is signified by "His name," because in the spiritual world names that are given to persons are always in accord with the quality of their affection and life, and in consequence the quality of each one is known from his name alone. So when anyone's name is pronounced, and the quality that is meant by the name is loved, that one becomes present, and the two are united as companions and brethren. The quality of the Lord however is everything of faith and love by which He saves man, for that quality is the essence proceeding from Him; therefore when that quality is thought of by man the Lord becomes present with him, and when this quality is loved the Lord is conjoined to him. Thence it is that those who believe in His name have eternal life. This shows how necessary it is that man should know the quality of faith and love, that is, the Lord's "name;" also how necessary it is to love that quality, which comes by doing those things that the Lord has commanded. The names "Jesus" and "Christ" moreover involve this same quality, since "Jesus" means salvation, and "Christ" or "Messiah" Divine truth, which is everything of faith and love as to knowledges, doctrine, and life. When, therefore, these names are mentioned their quality must be thought of and they must live according to it. This is what is meant by the words of the Lord in Matthew:

Jesus said, If two of you on earth shall agree in My name respecting anything that they shall ask it shall be done for them by My Father who is in the heavens. For where two or three are gathered together in My name there am I in the midst of them (18 :19, 20).

There is, indeed, a presence of the Lord with all and also a love towards all; and yet man cannot be led and be saved by the Lord except in the measure of his reception of the Lord by faith in Him and love to Him.

(References: Matthew 18:19-20)


[13] This shows how necessary it is for man to know the quality of faith and love, that is, the Lord's name, also to love it, since the Lord can be loved only through His quality. That the Lord, and not the Father, must be approached and must be worshiped in accordance with the quality of the faith and love that is prescribed in the Word the Lord Himself teaches, saying:

That no one has seen the Father at any time but that the Son brings Him forth to view (John 1:18);

Also that no one cometh to the Father except through Him (John 14:6);

Since the Father and He are one (John 10:30).

Therefore to approach the Father and not the Lord is to make two out of one, and thus to worship apart from the Lord the Divine that is in Him. And this destroys in man the idea of Divinity in respect to the Lord, which again makes evident the truth:

That he that believeth in the Son hath eternal life (John 3:36).

[14] That to believe in the Lord is to believe in the Father, the Lord Himself teaches also in John:

He that believeth in Me believeth not in Me but in Him that sent Me; and he that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me (John 12:44, 45).

This means that he that believes in the Lord believes in Him not separate from the Father, but in the Father; and it is therefore added, "He that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me." So elsewhere in John:

Believe in God, believe in Me (14:1).

In the same:

Philip, 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. Verily I say unto you, He that believeth in Me, the works that I do he shall do also, because I go to My Father (John 14:10-12).

In the same:

In that day ye shall ask in My name; and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; and I go unto the Father. The disciples say, In this we believe that Thou camest forth from God (John 16:26-30).

"To come forth from the Father" signifies to be conceived of Him, and "to go to the Father" signifies to be fully united to Him. That "to come forth from the Father" means to be conceived of Him is clearly evident from His conception (Matthew 1:18-25; and in Luke 1:34, 35). That "to go to the Father" means to be fully united to Him is evident from the glorification of His Human by the passion of the cross, which has been spoken of above; and therefore He says, "In that day ye shall ask in My name," and no more in the name of the Father.

(References: John 12:44-45, John 16:26-28, 16:30; Luke 1:34-35)


[15] In the same:

Jesus said unto Thomas, Because thou hast seen Me thou hast believed; happy are they that have not seen and yet have believed. And Thomas said, My Lord and my God (John 20:29, 20:28).

It was because the Lord was now fully united to the Divine Itself, which is called the Father, that Thomas called Him his Lord and his God. So elsewhere in the same:

Say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of My Father believe me not; though ye believe not Me believe the works, that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in the Father (John 10:36-38).

That the Jews did not believe is evident in John 5:14-17; 10:24-26; 12:37-39; Matthew 21:31-32. The cause of their unbelief was their wish for a Messiah who would exalt them to glory above all the nations in the world; also that they were wholly natural and not spiritual; also that they had falsified the Word, especially where it treats of the Lord and also of themselves. That such were the causes of their unbelief is evident also from the faith of the Jews at this day, who are altogether natural, and know or wish to know scarcely anything about the Lord's kingdom in the heavens. That neither would those in the Christian world at the present day believe that the Lord is one with the Father, and is therefore the God of heaven and earth, is meant by the Lord's words in Luke:

When the Son of man cometh shall He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8).

But on this subject, the Lord willing, more will be said elsewhere.

-----
Footnotes:

1.  The photolithograph has "filiam" "daughter," for "filium," "son. "

2.  The Latin has "Father" for "God."

-----

(References: John 3:14-18, John 5:14-47, John 6:33, John 6:39-40, John 11:25-26, John 12:37-49, John 16:26-28, John 16:30, 20:28-29; Luke 17:15-19; Mark 9:17-18, Mark 16:15-20; Matthew 9:27-29)

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Apocalypse Explained 814, 816, 819, 821, 841, 885, 892, 932, 933, 943, 1086

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