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Apocalypse Explained #103

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103. And hast not failed, signifies so far as they could. This is evident from the signification of "not failing," in reference to those who are eager for the knowledges of truth and good, as being so far as they could; for in what now follows, a life according to these knowledges is treated of. Those who are in a life according to these go forward and do not fail; but those who are as yet in knowledges alone, go forward as far as they can, but do not yet have the light of life, from which is vigor.

(References: Revelation 2:3)

  
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Apocalypse Explained 94, 151


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Apocalypse Explained #151

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151. These things saith the Son of man, signifies the Lord in respect to the Divine Human, from which is that essential of the church. This is evident from the signification of "the Son of man," as being the Lord in respect to the Divine Human, and in respect to Divine truth, since Divine truth proceeds from Him (see above, n. 63; also as being that from which is that essential of the church, namely, the opening of the internal or spiritual man, and the conjunction thereof with the external, since everything of the church with man is from the Lord's Divine Human. For everything of love and faith, which two constitute the church, proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human, and not immediately from the Divine Itself; for what proceeds immediately from His Divine Itself, does not fall into any thought and affection of man, nor consequently into faith and love, because it is far above them. This can be seen from the fact that man is not able to think of the Divine Itself apart from the human form, except as he thinks of nature, as it were, in things least. Thought that is not determined to a certain figure is diffused in every direction, and what is diffused is dissipated. This has been given me to know most especially from those in the other life who are from the Christian world, who have thought only of the Father, and not of the Lord, that they make nature in its minutest parts their God, and finally fall away from all idea of God, consequently from the idea and faith in anything of heaven and the church.

(References: Revelation 2:18; The Apocalypse Explained 63)


[2] It is otherwise with those who have thought of God under the human form; these have all their ideas determined to the Divine, nor do their thoughts, like the thoughts of those mentioned before, wander in every direction. And as the Divine under the Human form, is the Lord's Divine Human, therefore the Lord bends and determines their thoughts and affections to Himself. This, because it is the primary truth of the church, unceasingly flows in out of heaven with man; consequently it is, as it were, implanted in everyone to think of the Divine under the human form, and thus to see His Divine inwardly in himself, with the exception of such as have extinguished in themselves this implanted thought (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 82). From this the reason can also be seen, why all men, whatsoever after death, when they become spirits, turn themselves to their own loves, and thus why those who have worshiped the Divine under the human form turn themselves to the Lord, who appears to them as a sun above the heavens. But those who have not worshiped the Divine under the human form, turn themselves to the loves of their natural man, all of which have reference to the loves of self and the world, thus turning backwards from the Lord; and turning oneself backwards from the Lord is turning towards hell. (That all in the spiritual world turn themselves to their own loves, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 17, 123, 142-145, 151, 153, 255, 272, 510, 548, 552, 561).

[3] All who lived in ancient times and worshiped the Divine saw the Divine in thought under the human form, and hardly anyone thought of an invisible Divine; and the Divine under the human form was even then the Divine Human. But as this Divine Human was the Divine of the Lord in the heavens and passing through the heavens, when at length heaven became enfeebled, because men, of whom heaven is made up, from internal successively became external and thus natural, therefore it pleased the Divine Itself to put on a human, and to glorify it, or make it Divine, that thus from Himself He might affect all, both those who are in the spiritual world and those who are in the natural world, and might save those who acknowledge and worship His Divine in the Human.

[4] This is clearly stated in many passages in the Old Testament Prophets, as well as in the Evangelists; of these I will cite only the following in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that hath been made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And that Light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not. It was the true Light, which lighteth every man coming into the world. He was in the world, but the world acknowledged Him not. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory (John 1:1-14).

It is plainly evident that the Lord in respect to the Human is here meant by "the Word," for it is said, "the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory." It is also evident that the Lord made His Human to be Divine, for it is said, "the Word was with God and God was the Word, and this became flesh," that is, a man. And since all Divine truth proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human, and this is His Divine in the heavens, therefore by "the Word" is also signified Divine truth; and thence He is said to be "the Light which lighted every man coming into the world." Moreover, "light" is Divine truth; and because men from being internal became so external or natural as no longer to acknowledge Divine truth or the Lord, therefore it is said that "the darkness apprehended not the light," and that "the world acknowledged Him not." (That the Word is the Lord in respect to the Divine Human and Divine truth proceeding therefrom, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 263, 304. That "light" is Divine truth, and "darkness" the falsities in which those are who are not in the light, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 126-140, 275.)

[5] That they who acknowledge the Lord and worship Him from love and faith, and are not in the love of self and the love of the world, are regenerated and saved, is also taught in these words in John:

As many as received Him, to them gave He power to be children of God, even to them that believe in His name; which were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12, 13).

Here "of bloods" means such as destroy love and charity. "The will of the flesh" is every evil from the love of self and love of the world, also man's will-proprium, which in itself is nothing but evil; "the will of man" is falsity thence that comes from that will-proprium. That those who are not in these loves receive the Lord and are regenerated and saved, is meant by its being said that those who "believe in His name become children of God," and are "born of God." (That to "believe in the Lord's name" is to acknowledge His Divine Human and to receive love and faith from Him, see above. n. 102-135. That "bloods" are the things that destroy love and charity, see Arcana Coelestia 4735 Arcana Coelestia 4735[1-15], 5476, 9127; that "flesh" is man's will-proprium, which in itself is nothing but evil, n. 210, 215, 731, 874-876, 987, 1047, 2307, 2308, 3518, 3701, 3812, 4328, 8480, 8550, 10283, 10284, 10286, 10732; and that man's proprium is the love of self and the love of the world, n. 694, 731, 4317, 5660. That "man" [vir] is the intellectual, and therefore truth or falsity, since the intellectual is of the one or the other, see n. 3134, 3309, 9007. Thus "the will of man" [viri] is the intelligence-proprium, which, when it exists from the will-proprium [which in itself is nothing but evil], is nothing but falsity, for where evil is in the will there is falsity in the understanding. That to be "born of God" is to be regenerated by the Lord, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 173-184. Moreover, that all in the universe, from influx out of heaven and from revelation, worship the Divine in the human form, see Earths in the Universe 98, 121, 141, 154, 158, 159, 169; likewise all angels of the higher heavens, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 78-86.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2307-2308, 10283-10284; John 1:12-13; The Apocalypse Explained 102-135; Worlds in Space 158-159)


[6] From this it can now be seen that everything of the church, thus also everything of heaven with men, is from the Lord's Divine Human. For this reason "the Son of man," who is the Divine Human, is described in the first chapter of Revelation by various representatives; and from that description the introductory sentences to each of the churches are taken (as may be seen above, n. 113, and what is said to this church in particular treats of this chief essential of the church, namely, the conjunction of the internal and external, or the regeneration of the man of the church; for it is said to the angel of this church, "These things saith the Son of God, that hath His eyes as a flame of fire."

(References: Revelation 2:18; The Apocalypse Explained 113)

  
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References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 149, 183, 200, 267, 319, 409, 411, 431, 594, 906, 907


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Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

The Word Was Made Flesh


  Spiritual Topics:

Divine Human


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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


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