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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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9372. And He said unto Moses. That this signifies that which concerns the Word in general, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (of which below); and from the signification of “He said,” as involving those things which follow in this chapter, thus those which concern the Word (see n. 9370). (That Moses represents the Word, can be seen from what has been often shown before about Moses, as from the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4859, 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805.) Here Moses represents the Word in general, because it is said of him in what follows, that he alone should come near unto Jehovah (verse 2); and also that, being called unto out of the midst of the cloud, he entered into it, and went up the mount (verses 16-18).

(References: Exodus 24:16, 24:18)


[2] In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect to truth Divine, or in respect to the Word; but chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. That Moses does so, can be seen in the explications just cited above; that so do Elijah and Elisha, can be seen in the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 2762, 5247; and that John the Baptist does so is evident from the fact that he was “Elias who was to come.” He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things infold and signify which are said about him in the New Testament; and therefore in order that this secret may stand open, and that at the same time it may appear that Elias, and also Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, signified the Word, some things may here be quoted which are spoken about John the Baptist; as in Matthew:

After the messengers of John had departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft things are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, even more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send Mine angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among those who are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist; nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to believe, he is Elias who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:7-15; and also Luke 7:24-28).

No one can know how these things are to be understood, unless he knows that this John represented the Lord as to the Word, and unless he also knows from the internal sense what is signified by “the wilderness” in which he was, also what by “a reed shaken by the wind,” and likewise by “soft raiment in kings’ houses;” and further what is signified by his being “more than a prophet,” and by “none among those who are born of women being greater than he, and nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he,” and lastly by his being “Elias.” For without a deeper sense, all these words are uttered merely from some comparison, and not from anything of weight.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[3] But it is very different when by John is understood the Lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively. Then by “the wilderness of Judea in which John was” is signified the state in which the Word was at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely, that it was “in the wilderness,” that is, it was in obscurity so great that the Lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was anything known about His heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied about Him, and about His kingdom, that it was to endure forever. (That “a wilderness” denotes such obscurity, see n. 2708, 4736, 7313.) For this reason the Word is compared to “a reed shaken by the wind” when it is explained at pleasure; for in the internal sense “a reed” denotes truth in the ultimate, such as is the Word in the letter.

[4] That the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, is crude and obscure in the sight of men; but that in the internal sense it is soft and shining, is signified by their “not seeing a man clothed in soft raiment, for behold those who wear soft things are in kings’ houses.” That such things are signified by these words, is plain from the signification of “raiment,” or “garments,” as being truths (n. 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093); and for this reason the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths from good with them (n. 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216). The same is evident from the signification of “kings’ houses,” as being the abodes of the angels, and in the universal sense, the heavens; for “houses” are so called from good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); and “kings,” from truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148). Therefore by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord, the angels are called “sons of the kingdom,” “sons of the king,” and also “kings.”

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)


[5] That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by “what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet;” and by, “there hath not arisen among those who are born of women a greater than John the Baptist;” for in the internal sense “a prophet” denotes doctrine (n. 2534, 7269); and “those who are born,” or are the sons, “of women” denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257).

[6] That in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, the Word is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by, “he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he;” for as perceived in heaven the Word is of wisdom so great that it transcends all human apprehension. That the prophecies about the Lord and His coming, and that the representatives of the Lord and of His kingdom, ceased when the Lord came into the world, is signified by, “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” That the Word was represented by John, as by Elijah, is signified by his being “Elias who is to come.”

[7] The same is signified by these words in Matthew:

The disciples asked Jesus, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? He answered and said, Elias must needs first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias hath come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. And they understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13).

That “Elias hath come, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished” signifies that the Word has indeed taught them that the Lord is to come, but that still they did not wish to comprehend, interpreting it in favor of the rule of self, and thus extinguishing what is Divine in it. That they would do the same with the truth Divine itself, is signified by “even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them.” (That “the Son of man” denotes the Lord as to truth Divine, see n. 2803, 2813, 3704)

[8] From all this it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy about John in Malachi:

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh (Malachi 4:5).

Moreover, the Word in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form in which it appears before man in the world, is described by the “clothing” and “food” of John the Baptist, in Matthew:

John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, had His clothing of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1, 4).

In like manner it is described by Elijah in the second book of Kings:

He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins (2 Kings 1:8).

By “clothing,” or a “garment,” when said of the Word, is signified truth Divine there in the ultimate form; by “camel’s hair” are signified memory-truths such as appear there before a man in the world; by the “leathern girdle” is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all the interior things; by “food” is signified spiritual nourishment from the knowledges of truth and of good out of the Word; by “locusts” are signified ultimate or most general truths; and by “wild honey” their pleasantness.

[9] That such things are signified by “clothing” and “food” has its origin in the representatives of the other life, where all appear clothed according to truths from good, and where food also is represented according to the desires of acquiring knowledge and growing wise. From this it is that “clothing,” or a “garment,” denotes truth (as may be seen from the citations above; and that “food” or “meat” denotes spiritual nourishment, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; that “a girdle” denotes a bond which gathers up and holds together interior things, n. 9341; that “leather” denotes what is external, n. 3540; and thus “a leathern girdle” denotes an external bond; that “hairs” denote ultimate or most general truths, n. 3301, 5569-5573; that “a camel” denotes memory-knowledge in general, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; that “a locust” denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, n. 7643; and that “honey” denotes the pleasantness thereof, n. 5620, 6857, 8056). It is called “wild honey,” or “honey of the field,” because by “a field” is signified the church (n. 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295). He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were so clothed. And yet that these things signified something peculiar to these prophets, can be thought by everyone who thinks well about the Word.

[10] Because John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke of the Lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was “not Elias, nor the prophet,” and that he was “not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord’s shoe,” as in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. And he confessed, and denied not, I am not the Christ. Therefore they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? He answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. They said therefore, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. When he saw Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man who was before me; for he was before me (John 1:1, 14, 19-30).

From these words it is plain that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was Truth Divine itself, or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, because the shadow disappears when the light itself appears, that is, the representative disappears when the original itself makes its appearance. (That the representatives had in view holy things, and the Lord Himself, and not at all the person that represented, see n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806.) One who does not know that representatives vanish like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and the prophet.

[11] From all this it can now be seen what is signified by Moses and Elias, who were seen in glory, and who spoke with the Lord when transfigured, of His departure which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:29-31); namely, that they signified the Word (“Moses” the historic Word, and “Elias” the prophetic Word), which in the internal sense throughout treats of the Lord, of His coming into the world, and of His departure out of the world; and therefore it is said that “Moses and Elias were seen in glory,” for “glory” denotes the internal sense of the Word, and the “cloud” its external sense (see the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 5922, 8427).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)

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Arcana Coelestia 9374, 9378, 9379, 9382, 9386, 9429, 9504, 9779, 9806, 9828, 9954, 10027, 10090, 10215, 10251, 10337, 10355, 10375, 10396, 10397, 10400, 10432, 10450, 10460, 10468, 10528, 10549, 10551, 10635, 10636, 10641, 10690


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 19, 64, 66, 83, 130, 355, 375, 701, 710, 735, 746

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Arcana Coelestia #2813

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2813. And bound Isaac his son. That this signifies the state of the Divine rational thus about to undergo as to truth the last degrees of temptation, is evident from the signification of “binding,” and also of “Isaac his son.” That to “bind” is to put on the state for undergoing the last degrees of temptation, is evident from the fact that he who is in a state of temptation is no otherwise than as bound or chained. That “Isaac the son” is the Lord’s Divine rational, here as to truth, may be seen above (n. 2802, 2803). All the genuine rational consists of good and truth. The Lord’s Divine rational as to good could not suffer, or undergo temptations; for no genius or spirit inducing temptations can come near to Good Divine, as it is above all attempt at temptation. But Truth Divine bound was what could be tempted; for there are fallacies, and still more falsities, which break in upon and thus tempt it; for concerning Truth Divine some idea can be formed, but not concerning Good Divine except by those who have perception, and are celestial angels. It was Truth Divine which was no longer acknowledged when the Lord came into the world, and therefore it was that from which the Lord underwent and endured temptations. Truth Divine in the Lord is what is called the “Son of man,” but Good Divine is what is called the “Son of God.” Of the “Son of man” the Lord says many times that He was to suffer, but never of the Son of God. That He says this of the Son of man, or of Truth Divine, is evident in Matthew:

Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered, unto the chief priests and scribes, and they shall condemn Him, and shall deliver Him unto the Gentiles to mock and to scourge, and to crucify (Matthew 20:18-19).

Jesus said to His disciples, Behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is delivered into the hands of sinners (Matthew 26:45).

In Mark:

Jesus began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again (Mark 8:31).

It is written of the Son of man, that He shall suffer many things, and be set at nought. And the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; but when He is killed He shall rise again on the third day (Mark 9:12, 31).

Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him unto the Gentiles, and they shall mock Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him, and the third day He shall rise again (Mark 10:33-34).

The hour is come; behold the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners (Mark 14:41).

In Luke:

The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day rise again (Luke 9:22, 44).

We go up to Jerusalem, where all the things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished; He shall be delivered up unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and shamefully entreated, and spit upon, and they shall scourge and kill Him, and the third day He shall rise again (Luke 18:31-33).

The angel said to the women, Remember what He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying that the Son of man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:6-7).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2802-2803)


[2] In all these places by the “son of man” is meant the Lord as to Truth Divine, or as to the Word in its internal sense, which was rejected by the chief priests and scribes, was shamefully entreated, scourged, spit upon, and crucified, as may be clearly evident from the fact that the Jews applied and arrogated everything to themselves according to the letter, and were not willing to know anything about the spiritual sense of the Word, and about the heavenly kingdom, believing that the Messiah was to come to raise up their kingdom above all the kingdoms of the earth, as they also believe at this day. Hence it is manifest that it was Truth Divine which was rejected by them, shamefully treated, scourged, and crucified. Whether you say Truth Divine, or the Lord as to Truth Divine, it is the same; for the Lord is the Truth itself, as He is the Word itself (n. 2011, 2016, 2533 at the end).

[3] The Lord’s rising again on the third day also involves that Truth Divine, or the Word as to the internal sense, as it was understood by the Ancient Church, will be revived in the consummation of the age, which is also the “third day” (n. 1825, 2788); on which account it is said that the Son of man (that is, Truth Divine) will then appear (Matthew 24:30, 37, 39, 44; Mark 13:26; Luke 17:22, 24-26, 30; 21:27, 36).

[4] That the “Son of man” is the Lord as to Truth Divine, is evident from the passages adduced, and further from the following.

In Matthew:

He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man, the field is the world. In the consummation of the age the Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend (Matthew 13:37, 41-42); where the “good seed” is the truth; the “world” is men; “He that soweth the seed” is the Son of man; and the “things that offend” are falsities.

In John:

The multitude said, We have heard out of the Law that the Christ abideth forever; and how sayest Thou that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man ? Jesus answered them, A little while is the Light with you; walk while ye have the Light, that darkness overtake you not; for he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the Light, believe in the Light, that ye may become the sons of Light (John 12:34-35); where, when they asked who the Son of man is, Jesus answered concerning the Light, which is the Truth, and that He is the Light or Truth in which they should believe. (As regards the Light which is from the Lord, and which is the Divine Truth, see above, n. 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 1619-1632)

(References: John 12:34-36; Matthew 13:37-38, Matthew 13:40-42)


[5] But that the Son of God, or the Lord as to Good in His Human Divine could not be tempted, as was said above, this is manifest also from the Lord’s answer to the tempter, in the Evangelists:

The tempter said, If Thou art the Son of God cast Thyself down; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee, lest haply Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Matthew 4:6-7Luke 4:9-12).

(References: Genesis 22:9; John 12:34-36; Matthew 13:37-38, 13:40-42)

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Arcana Coelestia 2817, 2824, 3703, 3704, 3927, 4060, 4334, 4765, 4781, 4809, 5376, 6418, 7839, 8127, 8281, 8571, 8705, 8890, 8902, 8904, 8982, 9000, 9156, 9199, 9281, 9309, 9325, 9372, 9528, 9548, 9666, 9684, 9807, 10067, 10402, 10494, 10540, 10545

Heaven and Hell 86

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 201, 302, 303, 310


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 32, 242, 900


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Arcana Coelestia #3704

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3704. 'And the God of Isaac' means the Lord's Divine Human. This is clear from the representation of 'Isaac' as the Lord's Divine Rational; and since it is in the Rational that the Human has its beginnings, 2194, and so is that from which and through which the Human has its being, 'the God of Isaac' therefore means here the Lord's Divine Human. Since every single thing in heaven, every single thing with man, and indeed every single thing in the whole natural order has reference to good and truth the Lord's Divine too is therefore distinguished into Divine Good and Divine Truth - the Lord's Divine Good being called 'the Father', and His Divine Truth 'the Son'. Yet the Lord's Divine is nothing else than Good, indeed it is Good itself; but Divine Truth is the Lord's Divine Good as it presents itself visually in heaven, that is, to angels. In this it is like the sun. Essentially the sun is nothing else than fire; but the light which one sees coming from it is not in the sun but flowing from it. For the Lord as regards Divine Good is represented by the sun, and also in the next life He is the Sun for the whole of heaven, see 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 2495, 3636, 3643, and the Lord as regards Divine Truth is represented by the light, and also in the next life He is the Light for the whole of heaven, 1053, 1521, 1529, 1530, 2776, 3138, 3195, 3222, 3223, 3339, 3341, 3636, 3643.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1529-1530, Arcana Coelestia 3222-3223)


[2] So essentially the Lord is nothing else than Divine Good, and this applies to both essentials - to the Divine itself and to the Divine Human. Divine Truth however does not exist within Divine Good but flows from it, for as stated above, Divine Truth is the Divine Good presenting itself visually in heaven. Now because Divine Good presents itself as Divine Truth, therefore the Lord's Divine is distinguished, to enable man to grasp it mentally, into Divine Good and Divine Truth, Divine Good being called in the Word 'the Father' and Divine Truth 'the Son'. This is the arcanum that lies behind the Lord Himself on so many occasions speaking of His Father as though He were separate from and so to speak One other than Himself, and yet at other times speaking of His being one with Himself. The fact that in the internal sense 'father' means good, and in the highest sense the Lord as regards Divine Good, has been shown just above in 3703, and the fact that 'son' means truth while 'the Son of God' and 'the Son of Man' mean the Lord as regards Divine Truth, in 1729, 1733, 2159, 2803, 2813. The matter is also clear from all those places where the Lord uses the name Father and calls Himself the Son.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1729-1730)


[3] Not only in the Old Testament Word is the Lord called Jehovah - see 1343, 1736, 2921 - but He is also referred to there as 'Father', as is clear from the following places: In Isaiah,

To us a Boy is born, to us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6.

From this it is quite evident that 'the Boy born to us and me Son given to us' is the Lord, and so it is He who is called 'the Father of Eternity'. In Jeremiah,

I will be a Father to Israel, and Ephraim will be my firstborn. Jeremiah 31:9.

This refers to the Lord, who, being the God of Israel and me Holy One of Israel, see 3305, is here 'a Father to Israel'. In Malachi,

Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Malachi 2:10.

'Creating' here in the internal sense stands for regenerating, as it also does elsewhere in the Word, see 16, 88, 472. And since me Lord alone is Regenerator and Redeemer it is He who is here called 'Father' and 'God', as also in Isaiah,

You are our Father, for Abraham does not know us and Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Jehovah, are our Father, our Redeemer; from eternity is Your name. Isaiah 63:16.

[4] In the same prophet,

I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your girdle, and will commit your dominion into his hand, so that he may be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And I will place the key of the house of David on his shoulder; and he will open and none will shut, and he will shut and none will open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, so that he may be the throne of his father's glory, and on him they may hang all the glory of his father's house, of sons and grandsons, every small vessel - from the vessels of bowls even to all the vessels of stringed instruments. Isaiah 22:21-24.

From this it is quite evident that it is the Lord who in the internal sense here is represented and meant, and who is called 'a father to me inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah'. For He is the one 'on whose shoulder the key of the house of David is placed, who opens and none shuts, and who shuts and none opens' - see the Preface to Chapter 22. And to Him belongs 'the throne of His Father's glory', and on Him all holy things are based and from Him they are derived. Those holy things are here called 'vessels' celestial ones being called 'vessels of bowls', and spiritual ones 'vessels of stringed instruments'.

[5] Since kings and priests represented the Lord - 'kings' through their kingship representing the Lord as regards Divine Truth, and 'priests' the Lord as regards Divine Good, 3670 - priests were therefore called 'fathers', as may be seen in the Book of Judges,

Micah said to the Levite, Stay with me, and be to me a father and a priest. Judges 17:10.

The children of Dan spoke to the same man in a similar way,

Keep quiet, put your hand over your mouth, and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Judges 18:19.

Even kings called them the same, in the second Book of Kings,

The king of Israel said to Elisha, My father, shall I smite them? He said, You shall not smite them. 2 Kings 6:21-22.

And King Joash's words to Elisha when the latter was dying,

King Joash wept before him and said, My father, my father! The chariot of Israel and its riders! 2 Kings 13:14.

Kings called a priest 'father' because 'kings' represented the Lord as regards Divine Truth, 'priests' as regards Divine Good, and also because truth in relationship to good is as son to father, for truth stems from good.

[6] This matter is very well known in the next life, and for this reason those in heaven call no one other than the Lord 'Father', and by 'Father' mentioned in the Gospels they perceive no one other than Him, see 15, 1729. All young children there, when being introduced to the good that flows from love and to the truth partnering that love, are taught to acknowledge the Lord alone as Father. And newcomers to heaven also are taught with utmost care that God is one; and if they have been from within the Church they are taught that the whole of the Trinity resides in the Lord - for almost everybody from the Christian world possesses the idea of three Gods, even though with the lips they used to declare that there is only one God. For once the idea of three has entered in, and each one of these is called God and is also distinguished from the other so far as attributes and functions are concerned, and are even worshipped individually, it is no longer humanly possible to think of one God. Consequently there is in the heart a worship of three Gods but on the lips that of only one.

[7] The truth that the whole of the Trinity resides in the Lord is well known in the Christian world, and yet among Christians in the next life little thought takes place regarding the Lord. Indeed His Humanity is to many people a stumbling-block, for they distinguish the Human from the Divine and do not believe that it is Divine. A person will declare himself to be righteous and so made pure and almost sanctified; but to the idea that the Lord has been glorified, that is, His Human has been made Divine, they do not give any thought. But in fact He was conceived from Jehovah Himself, and in any case nobody can be made righteous, let alone be sanctified, except from the Divine, and especially from the Lord's Divine Human, which is represented and meant in the Holy Supper, where it is explicitly stated that the bread is His body and the wine His blood.

[8] The truth that the Lord is one with the Father and that He has existed from eternity, rules over all, and so is Divine Good itself and Divine Truth itself, is quite clear from the Word:

The Lord is One with the Father In John,

Nobody has ever seen God; the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, [He has made Him known.] John 1:18.

In the same gospel,

The Jews sought to kill Jesus because He had called God His Father, making Himself equal to God. Jesus answered and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself except what He will have seen the Father doing, for that which He does the Son also does likewise. For as the Father raises the dead and quickens them, so also does the Son quicken whom He will. For the Father does not judge anyone, but has given all judgement to the Son, so that all may honour the Son even as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him. As the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. The Father who sent Me has Himself borne witness to Me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His shape. Search the Scriptures; it is they that bear witness to Me. John 5:18-39.

'The Father' is used here, as has been stated, to mean the Divine Good and 'the Son' the Divine Truth, both being within the Lord. From Divine Good, which is 'the Father', nothing but what is Divine is able to proceed or come forth, and that which proceeds or comes forth is Divine Truth, which is 'the Son'.

(References: John 5:18)


[9] In the same gospel,

Everyone who has heard from the Father and has learned comes to Me. No one has seen the Father except Him who is with the Father, He has seen the Father. John 6:44-48.

In the same gospel,

They said to Him, Where is your Father? Jesus answered, You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me you would know My Father also. John 8:18-19.

In the same gospel,

I and the Father are one. Even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father. John 10:30, 38.

In the same gospel,

Jesus said, He who believes in Me believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me; and he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as light into the world in order that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. John 12:44-46.

'The Father sent Him' means in the internal sense that He proceeds from the Father. This is so in this and other places where the Lord says that the Father sent Him. 'Light' means Divine Truth, see above.

(References: John 6:45-46, 8:19)


[10] In the same gospel,

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me. If you know Me you know My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him. Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father. Jesus said, Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father. So why do you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak from Myself, the Father who dwells in Me, He does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Whatever you ask in My name I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:6-11, 13.

In the same gospel,

He who has My commandments and does them, he it is who loves Me; but he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him. If anyone loves Me he will keep My word, and My father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:21, 23.

(References: John 14:6-13)


[11] Those governed by Divine Truth are meant by the ones who 'have His commandments and do them', while those governed by Divine Good are meant by the ones who 'love Him'. This is why it is said that 'he will be loved by the Father', and 'We will come to him and make Our home with him', that is to say, Divine Good and Divine Truth will come and dwell in him. It is also the reason why the following is said in the same chapter,

On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me. John 14:20.

And elsewhere in the same gospel,

Holy Father, keep them in Your name, that they may be one as We are one. John 17:11.

From these places it is clear that the Lord talks of the Father by virtue of the Divine Good that is His, and of the Son by virtue of the Divine Truth which springs from the Divine Good. And so they are not two but one. The Lord spoke in this fashion however in order that the Word might be received both on earth and in heaven, and also because prior to His glorification the Lord was Divine truth that sprang from Divine Good, but once He had been glorified He was as to both Essences Divine Good itself in which all Divine Good and Divine Truth have their origin.

[12] The Lord has existed from Eternity

This becomes clear from the fact that it was the Lord who spoke through the prophets, and that both for this reason and the fact that Divine Truth came from Him He was called the Word, which is spoken of in John,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the Only Begotten from the Father. John 1:1-4, 14.

'The Word' stands for all truth in heaven and on earth which comes from the Divine.

[13] His existence from eternity is explicitly taught by Him elsewhere in John,

John said, This was He who though coming after me was before me, for He was before me. Among you stands one whom you do not know. He it is who is to come after me, who was before me. John 1:15, 26-27, 30.

In the same gospel,

What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? John 6:62.

In the same gospel,

Jesus said, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58.

In the same gospel,

He knew that He had come from God and was going to God. John 13:3.

In the same gospel,

The Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again I am leaving the world and am going to the Father. John 16:27-28.

In the same gospel,

I have glorified You on earth; I have accomplished the work which You gave Me to do. Now therefore, Father, glorify Me in Your Own Self with the glory I had with You before the world was, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me, because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. John 17:4-5, 24.

In Isaiah,

To us a Boy is born, to us a Son is given; and His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6.

[14] The Lord rules over All

This is clear in Matthew,

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father. Matthew 11:27.

In the same gospel, Jesus said to the disciples, All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Matthew 28:18.

In John,

The Father has given all things into the hand of the Son. He who believes in the Son has eternal life. John 3:35-36.

The Father does not judge anyone, but has given all judgement to the Son. John 5:22.

In the same gospel,

Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into His hands. John 13:3.

In the same gospel, All that the Father has is Mine. John 16:15.

In the same gospel,

Jesus said, Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him power over all flesh. John 17:1-2.

In the same gospel,

All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. I am no longer in the world, for I am coming to You. John 17:10-11.

In Luke,

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father. Luke 10:22.

[15] From all these places it is clear that it is Divine Good which is called 'the Father' and Divine Truth 'the Son', and that the Lord governs every single thing in all creation from Divine Good by means of Divine Truth. This being so, manifestly so from the Word, it is astounding that people in the Christian world know and teach that the whole of the Trinity resides in the Lord, and yet they do not, as those in heaven do, acknowledge and adore the Lord alone, and so one God. The truth that the Holy Spirit, who also is worshipped as God distinct and separate from Father and Son, is the holiness of the spirit - or the holiness that proceeds from the Lord through spirits or angels, that is, from His Divine Good through the Divine Truth - will in the Lord's Divine mercy be made plain elsewhere.

(References: Genesis 28:13; John 1:14-15, John 14:20-21)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3712, 3736, 3863, 4060, 4180, 4207, 4252, 4334, 4402, 4577, 4580, 4674, 4765, 4781, 4809, 5515, 5902, 6041, 6050, 6418, 6674, 6804, 6847, 7499, 7839, 8127, 8281, 8571, 8573, 8649, 8705, 8890, 8897, 8902, 8904, 8982, 9000, 9185, ...

Heaven and Hell 86

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 25, 121, 246, 276, 303, 304, 305, 306


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 28, 32, 108, 200, 242, 254

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.


 How Angels See God
Angels love God above everything and hold Him as the center and source of their lives, seeing Him as the Sun of heaven.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Introducing John's Gospel
A brief overview of the four gospels of the New Testament and an introduction to the Gospel of John.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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


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