Commentary

 

261 - Daily and Yearly Preparation for Heaven      

By Jonathan Rose

This video is a part of the Spirit and Life Bible Study series, whose purpose is to look at the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible through a Swedenborgian lens.

Title: Daily and Yearly Preparation for Heaven

Topic: Salvation

Summary: The daily sacrifices, weekly sabbaths, and three annual feasts prescribed in the Old Testament are a picture of how to prepare for heaven.

Use the reference links below to follow along in the Bible as you watch.

References:
2 Peter 2:22, 10
Numbers 28:1
Exodus 23:14, 17
Leviticus 23:1, 5, 10, 33
Deuteronomy 16:1, 9, 13-14
Luke 6:1
Acts of the Apostles 2:1; 20:16
Nehemiah 8:13-14
Ezekiel 45:21, 25
Zechariah 14:16
John 7:2, 37

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Spirit and Life Bible Study broadcast from 5/4/2016. The complete series is available at: www.spiritandlifebiblestudy.com

The Bible

 

John 7:37

King James Version         

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37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of John 7      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Explaining the Inner Meaning of John 7

Verse 7:1. That the Lord has more delight in instructing the Gentiles, who are in the good of ignorance, than in instructing those of the perverted church, who are principled in self-love, because the love of the latter is opposed to his love.

Verse 7:2. For the Lord is always seeking the implantation of good in truth, and thus liberation of the church from evil.

Verses 7:3, 4. Nevertheless he is tempted by the affections of the natural man to make an external display of his omnipotence, by which both they who are of the church, and they who are not of the church, might be led to acknowledge him.

Verses 7:5, 6. But this suggestion is not influenced by divine truth, which teaches, that the state of the Lord, when he was in the world, differed from that of natural men, because he was always advancing, as to his humanity, towards union with the divine good in himself, whereas natural men are in the present possession of their good.

Verse 7:7. And therefore natural men are not sensible of opposition from the powers of evil, whereas the Lord, as to his humanity, felt the whole weight of that opposition, in consequence of making those powers manifest.

Verses 7:8, 9. On which account natural men are enjoined the use of representative worship, but not so the Lord, since the glorification of his humanity is the end of all representations, and therefore he remains with those who receive him according to that end.

Verse 7:10. At the same time he interiorly is in the good of that representative worship, which relates to the implantation of good in truth, and thus to the glorification of his humanity, but not exteriorly.

Verses 7:11, 12, 13. By which means he excites enquiry in the church concerning himself, which enquiry leads some to justify him, and some to condemn him, yet all are afraid to speak their sentiments, being over-awed by public opinion.

Verse 7:14. That from divine good, and consequent elevation into the light of divine truth, the Lord gives instruction.

Verse 7:15. The interior source of which instruction cannot be apprehended by the natural man.

Verse 7:16. Until he is taught, that the truth proceeding from the Lord's humanity is not of the humanity only, but of the divine good dwelling in it, and one with it.

Verse 7:17. And that therefore all, who live in conformity with that good, will be instructed as to the origin of truth.

Verse 7:18. Since self-love always gives birth to false principles, whilst divine and heavenly love gives birth to principles of truth and justice.

Verses 7:19, 20. Hence comes the Divine Word, which still is not obeyed, and therefore the Lord in his Divine Humanity is rejected, and his operation imputed to infernal agency, whilst they who reject him are not aware of the crime which they are committing.

Verses 7:21, 22, 23. Therefore they are taught, that since the Lord in his Divine Humanity had manifested, by their own confession, an operation more than human; and since on this account the Word, both in the Israelitish church, and in the ancient church, required purification from unclean loves, which requirement they fulfilled, as to its external representation, therefore out of regard to the Word, they ought not to oppose that humanity in its purpose of communicating spiritual life, which was represented by the Sabbath.

Verse 7:24. Neither ought they to form their judgement from truth alone, but from truth in conjunction with its good.

Verses 7:25, 26. That the opposition of the perverted church to the Lord in his Divine Humanity, was known to those who were principled in the doctrine of truth, and who thus, seeing the power of the divine truth over its adversaries, are led to enquire how far they, who are principled in knowledges, believe in that humanity.

Verse 7:27. Yet they are perplexed about the origin of that humanity, because they could not discern his divinity.

Verse 7:28. Therefore they are taught that the humanity was known, and also its origin, since it is not self-derived, but from the invisible and unknown divinity.

Verse 7:29. Yet the humanity knows the divinity, because it proceeds from the divinity.

Verse 7:30. That this doctrine excites violent opposition in will, but not in act, being restrained for the present by the Lord's divine providence.

Verse 7:31. Nevertheless, with those who are principled in truth, it excites faith in the Lord's humanity, the operation of which humanity is exalted by them above every other operation.

Verses 7:32, 33, 34. But this faith so excited tends only to increase the spirit of opposition amongst those of the perverted church, who are principled in self-love, and therefore they are taught, that the Lord's humanity will certainly be united with his divinity, on which occasion he cannot be approached by those who merely speculate about him, because they are destitute of the love and life in which he dwells.

Verses 7:35, 36. Still they who are principled in self-love are not able to comprehend what is meant by the union of the Lord's humanity with his divinity.

Verses 7:37, 38, 39. Therefore they are further instructed, that if they are desirous of attaining the knowledge of truth, they must receive from the Lord in his Divine Humanity the truths of doctrine and their faith, since hence comes spiritual intelligence of divine truth from the Lord, inasmuch as to impart such intelligence is the great purpose of the glorification of the Lord's humanity.

Verse 39, latter part. For spiritual intelligence of divine truth cannot be given but from divinity and humanity united in the one divine person of the Lord.

Verses 7:40, 41, 42, 43. That in consequence of this instruction, they, who are principled in truth, are led to acknowledge the Lord's humanity as the all of doctrine, and the all of truth, whilst others are perplexed about the divine origin of that humanity as taught in the Word.

Verse 7:44. Hence inclination is inwardly cherished to do violence to that humanity, but the power to do it is checked.

Verses 7:45, 46. And on enquiry how, it was checked, it is discovered, that the truth proceeding from that humanity was more than human, so that the simple could not resist it.

Verses 7:47, 48, 49. Therefore they, who are blinded by self-love, and who fancy themselves qualified by their superior learning to decide on what is true, or otherwise, condemn the simple as ignorant of the truth.

Verse 50, 51. Yet their own learning suggests the consideration that no one ought to be condemned, until it be first known whether he be guilty, and what his guilt is.

Verses 7:52, 53. But this consideration is over-ruled, as not applicable to the Lord's humanity and the doctrine which he taught, since no teacher of truth can be born out of the church, therefore all abide in their own ruling love and persuasions.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2702, 3069, 4735, 5323, 5915, 8568, 9818, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 50, 409, 553, 956

Doctrine of the Lord 32, 51

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 2

Doctrine of Life 32

True Christian Religion 107, 190, 337, 358, 377


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 71, 183, 518, 622, 815

Marriage 107

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Leviticus 23:36

Numbers 29:35

Isaiah 33:16, 55:1

Bible Word Meanings

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Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

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Jesus’ life unfolded according a Divine plan known only to Him. People wrestled with who He was. He made bold claims and challenged religious leaders. How do we see Jesus? In what ways does He challenge us?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #622

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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622. And when I had eaten it my belly was made bitter, signifies that it was perceived and ascertained that the Word was inwardly undelightful because of the adulterated truth of the sense of its letter. This is evident from the explanations above (n. 617, 618), where there are like words. The "belly" here signifies the interiors of the Word, which are called spiritual, because exploration was represented by "devouring or eating up the little book," which means the Word, and by its taste, which means perception; therefore the first perception is signified by the taste in the mouth, where the little book was "sweet as honey." The first perception of the Word is such as is the perception of the sense of its letter, that is, as the Word is outwardly. The other perception however is signified by its taste when it has come into the belly, which is said to be made bitter by it. This other perception of the Word is such as the perception of its spiritual sense is, that is, as the Word is inwardly. Consequently, as the "mouth" signifies what is exterior, so here the "belly" signifies what is interior, because inwardly received and ascertained. The "belly" signifies interior things because the belly stores up the food inwardly, and "food" signifies everything that nourishes the soul; also because the belly, like the bowels, is within or in the midst of the body; for this reason the "belly," and also the "bowels," signify in the Word interior things.

(References: Revelation 10:10, Revelation 14:20; The Apocalypse Explained 617-618)


[2] That the "belly," and the "bowels" signify interior things can be seen from the following passages. In Ezekiel:

Son of man, feed thy belly and fill thy bowels with this roll (Ezekiel 3:1, 3).

This has a similar signification as what is now being explained in Revelation, that "he took and ate up the little book," for the "roll" has a similar signification as "the little book," namely, the Word, and "to feed the belly and fill the bowels with the roll" signifies to explore how the Word is understood in the church, which is done by the reading and perception of it.

[3] In David:

Fill their belly with Thy treasure; the sons are fed to the full, and what remains to them they leave to their babes (Psalms 17:14).

"Treasure" signifies the truth of the Word, "belly" the interior understanding, so "to fill their belly with treasure" signifies to instruct their interior understanding in the truths of the Word; that thence those who are affected by truths are fully instructed is signified by "the sons are fed to the full," "sons" signifying those who are in the affection of truth; and the sons' "babes," truths in their birth; of such it is said that "what remains to them they leave to their babes." It is here said the interior understanding, for man has an exterior understanding and an interior understanding; the exterior understanding is of the natural mind, and the interior understanding is of the spiritual mind; the interior understanding is signified by the "belly."

[4] In John:

Jesus said, If anyone thirst let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. This He said of the Spirit which they that believe on Him were to receive (John 7:37-39).

Thus the Lord describes Divine truth inwardly perceived by those who are in the spiritual affection of truth; such are meant by "those who thirst and come to the Lord and drink;" that such shall have an understanding of Divine truth is signified by "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water," "rivers out of the belly" meaning interior understanding or intelligence, and "living water," Divine truth from the Lord; and as "the Holy Spirit" means Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, it is added "this He said of the Spirit which they that believe on Him were to receive."

[5] In Mark:

Whatsoever from without goeth into the man cannot render him unclean, because it goeth not into his heart but into the belly; and is cast out into the draught purging all foods. But that which goeth forth out of the man, that rendereth the man unclean; for from within out of the heart of men it goeth forth (Mark 7:18-21; Matthew 15:17-20).

These words must be thus understood, that all things, whether falsities or evils, that from things seen or things heard flow into the thought of the understanding and not into the affection of its will, do not affect or infect the man, since the thought of a man's understanding, so far as it does not proceed from the affection of his will, is not in the man but outside of him, therefore it is not appropriated to him; it is similar with truth and good. This the Lord teaches by correspondences when He says that "that which enters through the mouth into the belly does not render a man unclean, because it does not enter into the heart, for that which enters into the belly is cast out into the draught;" which means that whatever enters into the thought of man's understanding from without or from the outside, whether from objects of sight or from objects of speech or from objects of the memory, does not render him unclean, but so far as it is not of his affection or will it is separated and cast out, as what is taken into the belly is cast out into the draught. These spiritual things the Lord explained by natural things, since the foods that are taken into the mouth and thus pass into the belly signify such things as man takes in spiritually and with which he nourishes his soul; this is why the "belly" corresponds to the thought of the understanding and signifies it. That the "heart" signifies the affection of man's will has been shown above; also that only that which is made a part of a man's affection or will is appropriated to him. Evidently spiritual, not natural, things are here meant, for the Lord says that "out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, whoredoms, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies." Since the falsities and evils that enter from without into the thoughts enter from the hells, and if not received by man with the will's affection are cast back into the hells, it is said that "they are cast out into the draught," for the "draught" signifies hell; and for the reason that in the hells all things are unclean, and those who are there have been cast out of heaven, which is like a man in form, and is therefore called the Greatest Man and also corresponds to all things of man, while the hells correspond to what is cast out of the belly of the Greatest Man or heaven; this is why hell is meant in the spiritual sense by the "draught." The "belly" is said "to purge all foods," because the "belly" signifies the thought of the understanding, as has been said above, and "foods" signify all spiritual nourishments, and the thought of the understanding is what separates unclean things from what are clean, and thus purges.

[6] In Jeremiah:

Jehovah God hath said, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon hath confounded Me, he hath placed Me as an empty vessel, he hath swallowed Me up as a whale, he hath filled his belly with My delicacies, he hath thrust Me out (Jeremiah 51:34).

"Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon" signifies the profanation of Divine truth; and as those who profane it drink it in more than others and apply it to filthy loves, especially to the love of rule, even to the transference to themselves of all Divine power, this is signified by "he hath swallowed me up as a whale, he hath filled his belly with my delicacies," "whale" signifying the lowest natural, in which those are who are in the love of self, and "delicacies" meaning the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, so "to fill the belly with them" signifies to drink in and to profane them.

[7] In David:

Be gracious unto me, O Jehovah, for I am in distress; mine eye wasteth away with vexation, my soul and my belly (Psalms 31:9).

"Eye, soul, and belly," here signify the understanding and exterior and interior thought of truth therefrom; thus the "belly" signifies the interiors of the understanding, which are said "to waste away with vexation" when they are destroyed by falsities.

[8] In the same:

Our soul is bowed down to the dust, our belly cleaveth unto the earth (Psalms 44:25).

Here, too, "soul" and "belly" signify in the spiritual sense the thought of the understanding; and "bowed down to the dust," and "cleaving to the earth," signify to be imbued with falsities, for "dust" and "earth" signify what is infernal and damned. What is infernal and damned is signified also by "going upon the belly" and "eating dust," as was said to the serpent:

Be thou cursed above all beasts, and above all the wild beasts of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life (Genesis 3:14).

For this reason also:

It was strictly forbidden to eat anything that goeth upon the belly, for it was an abomination (Leviticus 11:42).

"Dust" and "the cleaving of the belly to the earth" signify falsity infernal and damned, because in the spiritual world the hells are under the lands, and through the lands there, falsities of evil are exhaled from the hells; also because the "belly" signifies from correspondence the interiors of the understanding and of thought, and these, if they cleave to the earths there, are infected and imbued with the falsities of evil. For this reason, in the spiritual world no one lies with the belly upon the ground; and indeed, to walk there with the feet upon the ground means to touch and drink in what is exhaled from the hells with the corporeal natural, which corresponds to the soles of the feet; and this natural has no communication with the thoughts of the understanding, except in those who are in evils in respect to life and in falsities in respect to doctrine.

[9] In Job:

The belly prepareth deceit (Job 15:35).

And again:

I am filled with words, the spirit of my belly causes anguish for me; and my belly, like wine, is not opened (Job 32:18, 19);

which means inability to open the thoughts of one's understanding. In Jeremiah:

O Jerusalem, wash thy heart from evil, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thoughts of thy iniquity lodge in thy belly? (Jeremiah 4:14).

Here thoughts are plainly attributed to the belly, for it is said, "How long shall thoughts of iniquity lodge in thy belly?" and evil is attributed to the heart, because the heart corresponds to the will, in which evil has its seat. In David:

There is no certainty in the mouth of anyone; perditions are their belly; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue (Psalms 5:9).

Here "perditions," that is, evil thoughts, are attributed to "the belly." In the same:

The belly of man and the heart are deep (Psalms 64:6).

Here "the belly of man" signifies the thoughts of falsity, and "the heart" the affections of evil; the latter belong to the will, the former to the understanding. In Habakkuk:

My belly trembled, my lips quivered at the voice (Habakkuk 3:16).

"My belly trembled" signifies grief of thought, therefore it is added, "my lips quivered at the voice," which signifies a consequent stammering of the speech:

The bowels of the whale in which Jonah was three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17);

signifies the hells where there are most direful falsities, with which he was encompassed, consequently grievous temptations, as can be seen from the prophecy of Jonah in the next chapter, where it is also said:

Out of the belly of hell have I cried, and Thou hast heard my voice (Jonah 2:2).

(References: Acts of the Apostles 15:35; Job 32:18-19)


[10] The "bowels" have a similar signification as the "belly," as can be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

My bowels are moved like a harp for Moab, and My inward part for Kir-heres (Isaiah 16:11).

In David:

Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and all my bowels the name of His holiness (Psalms 103:1).

In the same:

I have desired to do Thy will, O my God, and Thy law is in my bowels (Psalms 40:8).

In Ezekiel:

Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of Jehovah's anger; they shall not satisfy their soul, neither fill their bowels (Ezekiel 7:19).

"Their silver and gold" signify falsities and evils of a religion that is from self-intelligence and self-will; that from these there is no spiritual nourishment, or intelligence and affection of good, is signified by "they shall not satisfy their soul, neither fill their bowels." Because the "bowels" signify the interiors of the thought, and these are what are affected by grief, such grief is described in the Word by "being moved in the bowels" (as Isaiah 63:15; Jeremiah 31:20; Lamentations 1:20; Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34; 8:2; Luke 1:78; 7:12, 13; 10:33, 34; 15:20).

(References: Luke 7:12-13, 10:33-34)


[11] As the "belly" signifies the interiors of the thought or of the understanding, so "the fruit of the belly" signifies in the spiritual sense the goods of the understanding, and "sons" its truths. Thus in David:

Lo, sons are the heritage of Jehovah, and the fruit of the belly is His reward (Psalms 127:3).

In Isaiah:

They shall have no compassion on the fruit of the belly, their eye shall not spare the sons (Isaiah 13:18).

And in Job:

Pitying I mourn for the son of my belly (Acts of the Apostles 19:17).

In Moses:

He will bless the fruit of the belly and the fruit of the ground (Deuteronomy 7:13).

In Hosea:

Even when they have brought forth I will slay the desires of their belly (Hosea 9:11, 16).

"The fruit of the belly" and "the desires of the belly" signify in the sense of the letter, natural offspring, but in the spiritual sense spiritual offspring, which is knowledge [scientia], intelligence, and wisdom, for man is reborn into these when he is regenerated; this is why "births," "sons," "daughters," and other terms pertaining to nativity signify such things as pertain to spiritual nativity, that is, regeneration; for angels, who perceive the Word spiritually, know of no other births or "fruits of the belly."

(References: Job 19:17)


[12] For the same reason "womb" and "belly" have this signification in the following passages. In Isaiah:

O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! Thy seed would have been as the sand, and the issue of thy bowels like the grains thereof (Isaiah 48:18, 19).

In David:

I was cast upon Thee; from my mother's belly Thou art my God (Psalms 22:10).

In the same:

Thou dost possess my reins; Thou hast covered me in my mother's belly (Psalms 139:13).

In the same:

The wicked are estranged from the womb; they err from the belly, speaking falsehood (Psalms 58:3).

So elsewhere.

(References: Isaiah 48:18-19)


[13] The "belly" or "bowels" signify the interiors of the thought or of the understanding, because there are two lives with man, the life of the understanding and the life of the will; to these two fountains of life all things of the body correspond; consequently under their direction all things of the body are acted upon and act, even to the extent that any part of the body that does not suffer itself to be put in action by the understanding and the will has no life. For this reason the universal body is subject to the control of these two lives, for all things in the body that are moved, and so far as they are moved by the respiration of the lungs, are subject to the control of the life of the understanding; and all things in the body that are brought into action, and so far as they are brought into action by the pulsation of the heart, are subject to the control of the life of the will. This is why "soul" and "heart" are often mentioned in the Word, and why the "soul" signifies the life of the understanding, also the life of faith, for the soul is predicated of respiration; and why the "heart" signifies the life of the will, also the life of the love. For the same reason "the belly and bowels" are predicated of thought, which is of the understanding, and the "heart" is predicated of affection, which is of the will.

(References: Revelation 10:10, 14:20)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 613


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Related New Christian Commentary

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


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