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Doctrine of the Lord #1

Doctrine of the Lord (Rogers translation)      

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1. The Holy Scripture Throughout Has the Lord As Its Subject, and the Lord Embodies the Word

We read in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of people. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.... And the Word moreover became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as though of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 14)

Again in the same Gospel:

...the light came into the world, but people loved darkness more than light, for their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

And elsewhere in it:

While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be children of light.... I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:36, 46)

It is apparent from this that the Lord is, from eternity, God, and that God Himself is the Lord who was born in the world. For we are told that the Word was with God, and that the Word was God. Also that without Him nothing was made that was made. And later we are told that the Word became flesh, and people beheld Him.

[2] Why the Lord is called the Word is little understood in the church. However, He is called the Word because the term “Word” symbolizes Divine truth itself or Divine wisdom itself, and the Lord embodies Divine truth itself or Divine wisdom itself. That, too, is why He is called the light, which is also said to have come into the world.

Because Divine wisdom and Divine love are united, and were united in the Lord from eternity, therefore we are told as well that “In Him was life, and the life was the light of people.” Life means Divine love, and light Divine wisdom.

This is the union meant by the statement that the Word was in the beginning with God and that God was the Word. With God means in God, for wisdom is present in love, and love in wisdom.

So, too, we find elsewhere in John:

...Father, glorify Me with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:5)

“With Yourself” means in Yourself. That, too, is why we are told, “And God was the Word.” And elsewhere that the Lord is in the Father, and the Father in Him, and that He and the Father are one.

Now because the Word is the Divine wisdom accompanying Divine love, it follows that it is Jehovah Himself, thus the Lord, by whom all things were made that were made, inasmuch as they were all created out of Divine love by means of Divine wisdom.

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Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 472, 819

Divine Providence 172

The Lord 37

Sacred Scripture 89

Other New Christian Commentary

Word of God 1

Explanation of John 1:4 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
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 Lazarus Raised
Lazarus means "God is my help." He pictures a hope that trusts in and waits patiently for God but sometimes seems to sicken and die. In bringing Lazarus back to life Jesus showed His power over death itself.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


Published by the General Church of the New Jerusalem, 1100 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania 19009, U.S.A. A translation of Doctrina Novae Hierosolymae de Domino, by Emanuel Swedenborg, 1688-1772. Translated from the Original Latin by N. Bruce Rogers. ISBN 9780945003687, Library of Congress Control Number: 2013954074.

The Bible

 

John 1:14

English: King James Version      

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← John 1:13    Full Chapter    John 1:15 →

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2533, 2628, 2798, 2803, 2894, 3704, 3813, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 6, 58, 200, 256, 273, 294, 490, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 57, 98, 117

Conjugial Love 129

Divine Providence 172

The Lord 1, 2, 37

Sacred Scripture 98

Worlds in Space 122

Heaven and Hell 137

True Christian Religion 3, 50, 85, 111, 112, 140, 342, ...

The White Horse 14

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 263, 284


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 22, 25, 43, 82, 83, 122, 151, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 85

Canons of the New Church 41

Charity 160

De Domino 39

De Verbo (The Word) 20

Justification 0

Marriage 3, 50, 85, 111, 112

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 14

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




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father
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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.


 Baptism and Discipleship
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus' ministry. What, like John, prepares us to accept Jesus and become His disciples?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Behold His Glory
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 Books of the Word Flashcards with Introduction
An article about the Word and flashcards to help you learn books of the Old and New Testaments.
Activity | Ages 11 - 14

 Christmas Light
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Does God Exist?
Evidence for God's existence is abundant, but God leaves people in freedom confirm or deny that His life is the source of everything in creation.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 In the Beginning Was the Word
Quotation from John 1 showing with a simple illustration showing the idea that the Lord is the Word made flesh.
Picture | Ages 4 - 14

 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

 Memory Verse: Jacob's Ladder
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Power of the Lord's Word
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Word of God
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 Names of the Lord
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 Prophecies of the Advent
Prophecies of Jesus' advent on earth often use the image of new light dawning in darkness to describe the spiritual impact His birth would have on the world.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Quotes: Giving Thanks for Creation
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: The Word of God
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Return to Love
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Incarnation and Being Human
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Light of Men
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
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 The Light Shineth in Darkness
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Lord as the Word
The Word is the Lord, talking to you, teaching you, helping you to understand what is good and right.
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 The Lord Gave the Word
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Power Of Showing Up
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Wonder of the Lord's Word
When we read the Word, we have to reflect on what we have read and try to live according to it. Only this will lead to our happiness, which is why the Word has been given.
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Word
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Word
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

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A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Word Made Flesh
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

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Like Genesis, the Gospel of John begins with creation. While Genesis describes the creation of natural light, John describes a second creation into spiritual light.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Word Made Flesh (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Word Made Flesh (6-8 years)
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 The Word Made Flesh (9-11 years)
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A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

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Two project ideas for picturing the Lord as the source of Light for every person.
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Five reasons why the Lord came on earth and what it means for us. Sample from the Jacob's Ladder Program, Level 4, for ages 9-10.
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 You Are My Beloved Son (sheet music)
Song | Ages over 11

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #392

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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392. The souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held. That this signifies those who were rejected and hidden on account of the Divine truth, and their confession of the Lord, is plain from the signification of the slain, as denoting such as are rejected by the evil, and concealed by the Lord, of whom we shall treat presently; and from the signification of the Word of God, as denoting the Divine truth. What the Lord speaks is called the Word of God, and this is Divine truth. The Word or Sacred Scripture is nothing else; for all Divine truth is contained therein, but the truth itself does not there appear in its glory except before the angels, because the interior things of the Word, which are spiritual and celestial, come within their perception, and also constitute their wisdom. Therefore by the Word of God, in the genuine sense, is signified Divine truth, and in the highest sense, the Lord Himself, who spoke it, for He spoke from Himself, or from His Divine, and what proceeds from Him is also Himself.

(References: Revelation 6:10-11)


[2] That the Divine proceeding is Himself, may be illustrated by this circumstance. Around every angel there is a sphere called the sphere of his life; this puts itself forth to a great distance from him. This sphere flows out, or proceeds from the life of his affection or love, therefore it is an extension of the life, such as it is in him, outside of him. This extension is effected in the middle atmosphere or spiritual aura, which is the aura of heaven. By that sphere an angel is perceived at a distance by others according to the quality of his affection; this it has also been granted me sometimes to perceive. But about the Lord there is a Divine sphere, which near Him appears as a Sun, which is His Divine love, from which that sphere proceeds into the whole heaven and fills it, and constitutes the light there; this sphere is the Divine proceeding from the Lord, which in its essence is Divine truth. A comparison is here made with the angels for the sake of illustration, in order that it may be known that the Divine proceeding from the Lord is the Lord Himself, because it is the proceeding of His love, and the proceeding is Himself outside of Himself; and from the signification of testimony, as denoting confession of the Lord, and the Lord Himself, of which we shall speak presently.

(References: Ezekiel 6:3-4)


[3] That by the slain are here meant those who were rejected by wicked spirits, and concealed by the Lord, or removed from the eyes of others, and reserved to the day of the Last Judgment, is evident from what was said in the article above, and also from what follows in the two verses that treat solely of them. In the article above it was observed, that the former heaven which passed away, consisted of those who lived morally in externals, but yet were not spiritual, but merely natural, or who lived as it were a spiritual life, only from the affection or love of fame, honour, glory, and gain, thus for the sake of appearance. These, although they were inwardly evil, were still tolerated, and constituted societies in the higher places in the spiritual world; these societies, taken together, were called heaven, but the former heaven which afterwards passed away. Hence it came to pass, that all those who were spiritual, that is, who were not only outwardly but also inwardly good, could not be together with such, but withdrew from them, either of their own accord or from compulsion, and were subjected, where found, to persecutions; therefore they were concealed by the Lord, and reserved in their places to the day of Judgment, in order that they might constitute a new heaven; these, therefore, are those who are meant by the souls of the slain seen under the altar. Hence it is evident that by the slain are signified those who were rejected and hidden, for they were hated by the others on account of Divine truth and the confession of the Lord; and those who are hated are called the slain, for to hate is spiritually to kill. That they are meant by the souls of the slain, is evident also from what follows in the two verses where it is thus said concerning them:

"And they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Lord, who art holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenue our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet a little time, until both their fellow-servants and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."

That those here spoken of are meant by the slain, no one can know except he to whom it has been revealed; for who, except from revelation, could know of whom the former heaven, mentioned in the Apocalypse xxi. 1, consisted, and of whom the new heaven was formed; and that those of whom the new heaven was to be formed, were in the meantime concealed and reserved by the Lord? And unless these things had been revealed to some one, all the things contained in the Apocalypse in the internal sense must have remained hidden, because they principally treat of such things as were to take place in the spiritual world before the Last Judgment, also of those things that occurred during it, and after it.

(References: Revelation 21:1)


[4] That by testimony is signified confession of the Lord, and the Lord Himself, is evident from the passages in the Word which follow. This signification thus derives its origin because the Word, in all things in general and particular, testifies concerning the Lord; for, in its inmost sense, it treats of the Lord alone, and in the internal sense, of the celestial and spiritual things that proceed from the Lord, and in the particular sense the Lord testifies concerning Himself with every one who is in the life of love and charity. For the Lord flows into the heart and life of such, and teaches them, especially concerning His Divine Human, for He gives to those who are in a life of love, to think of God under a human form, and God under a human form is the Lord. Thus do the simple think in the Christian world; and thus also do the Gentiles think, who live in charity according to their religious persuasion. Both of these are astonished when they hear the learned speak of God as not to be perceived under any human form, knowing that, in such case, they would see no God in their thought, and hence that they would have but little faith in the existence of a God, because the faith which is a faith of charity desires to comprehend in some way what is believed, for faith pertains to the thought, and to think what is incomprehensible is not to think, but only to know and thence to speak without any idea. The angels, even the wisest, do not think of God except as in the human form. To think otherwise is impossible to them, because their perceptions flow according to the form of heaven, which is the human form from the Lord's Divine Human (on which subject see the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 59-86); also because the affections from which their thoughts come are from influx, and influx is from the Lord. These observations are made, in order that it may be known why it is that testimony signifies the Lord, namely, because the Lord testifies concerning Himself with all who receive His testification, and they are such as live a life of love to the Lord, and a life of charity towards the neighbour. The reason why these receive the testification and confess Him, is, that the life of love and charity opens the interior mind by the influx of light from heaven; for the life of love and charity is the Divine Life itself, for the Lord loves every one, and does good to every one from love; therefore, where that life is received, there the Lord is present, and is conjoined to him, consequently, He flows into his higher mind, which is called the spiritual mind, and by light from Himself opens it.

(References: Heaven and Hell 59-86)


[5] That testimony signifies the Lord, and with man confession of the Lord from the heart, and specifically the acknowledgment of the Lord's Divine in His Human, is evident from this fact, that the law which was prescribed on Mount Sinai, and written upon two tables, and afterwards deposited in the ark, is called the Testimony; whence the ark also was called the ark of the testimony, and the tables also were called the tables of the testimony. And because this was most holy, therefore, the mercy-seat was placed over the ark, and over the mercy-seat were sculptured two cherubim, between which Jehovah, that is, the Lord, spoke with Moses and Aaron. Hence it is clear that the testimony signifies the Lord Himself; otherwise the mercy-seat would not have been placed over the ark, nor would the Lord have spoken with Moses and Aaron between the cherubim which was over the mercy-seat. When Aaron also entered within the veil, which he did once every year, he was first sanctified, and afterwards he burnt incense till the smoke of it covered the mercy-seat, which unless he had done, it is said that he would have died. From these things it plainly appears, that the testimony which was in the ark, and which was the law promulgated on Mount Sinai, and written on two tables of stone, signified the Lord Himself.

[6] That that law is called the testimony, is plain in Moses:

"Thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee" (Exod. xxv. 16).

"He put the testimony into the ark" (Exod. xl. 20).

"The mercy-seat that is upon the testimony" (Lev. xvi. 13).

"Leave the rods of the tribes before the testimony" (Num. xvii. 4).

That the tables and the ark were thence called the tables and the ark "of the testimony" (Exod. xxv. 22; xxxi. 7, 18; xxxii. 15). That the mercy-seat was placed over it, and over the mercy-seat two sculptured cherubim (Exod. xxv. 17-23; xxvi. 34). That the Lord spoke with Moses and with Aaron between the two cherubim (Exod. xxv. 16, 21, 22; Num. xvii. 19, and elsewhere). That they sanctified themselves before they entered thither, and that the smoke of the incense covered the mercy-seat lest they should die (Lev. xvi.).

(References: Exodus 25:16, 25:17-23, 25:17-22, 25:21-22, 25:22, 26:34, 31:7, 31:18, 32:15, Exodus 40:20; Leviticus 16, 16:13; Numbers 17:4)


[7] That the testimony signifies the Lord, is also plain from this fact, that what was over the ark was called the mercy-seat; and the Lord is the Propitiator. The ark also, from the testimony in it, was the Holy of Holies, both in the tabernacle and in the temple, and hence the tabernacle was holy, and also the temple. The tabernacle and also the temple, represented heaven, and heaven is heaven from the Lord's Divine Human; whence it follows that by the testimony is signified the Lord as to His Divine Human. (That the tent of assembly represented heaven, may be seen, n. 9457, 9481, 9485, 10,545. That the temple signified the same, may be seen above, n. 220; and that heaven is heaven from the Lord's Divine Human, in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 59-86.) The reason why the law promulgated from mount Sinai is called the testimony, is because that law, in a broad sense, signifies the whole Word, both historical and prophetical; and the Word is the Lord, according to these words in John:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; and the Word was made flesh" (i. 1, 14).

The reason why the Word is the Lord is, that the Word signifies Divine truth, and all Divine truth proceeds from the Lord, for it is the light which in heaven enlightens the minds of the angels and also the minds of men, and gives them wisdom; this light in its essence is the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord as a Sun concerning which light see the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 126-140). Hence it is that, after it is said that the Word was with God, and the Word was God, it is also said in John:

"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (verses 4, 9, in that chapter).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9457, 9481, 9485, 10545; Heaven and Hell 59-86, Heaven and Hell 126-140; John 1:1, 1:4, 1:9, 1:14; The Apocalypse Explained 220)


[8] From these things it is also evident that the Lord is meant by the testimony; for the law written on two tables, which was called the testimony, signifies the Word in its whole extent, and the Lord is the Word. That the law, in a broad sense, signifies the Word in its whole extent, in a sense less broad the historical Word, and in a strict sense the ten precepts of the Decalogue, may be seen, n. 6762. This law was also called a covenant, and hence the tables on which it was written, were called the tables of the covenant, and the ark also was called the ark of the covenant (see Exod. xxxiv. 28; Num. xiv. 44; Deut. ix. 9, 15; Apoc. xi. 19, and elsewhere); the reason of this was, that a covenant signifies conjunction, and the Word, or the Divine truth, is that which conjoins man with the Lord, otherwise no conjunction is possible. That a covenant signifies conjunction, may be seen, n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6864, 8767, 8778, 9396, 10,632. The reason why that law is called both a covenant and a testimony, is, because when it is called a covenant, the Word is meant, by means of which there is conjunction; and when it is called a testimony, the Lord Himself who conjoins is meant; also on the part of man, confession of the Lord, and acknowledgment of His Divine in His Human, which conjoin. From these things it can be seen why it is that, in the church, the Word is called a covenant; the Word which was before the Lord's Advent, the old covenant, and that which was after His Advent, the new covenant; it is called also the Old and New Testament, but it should be called Testimony.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 665-666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6752, 6804, 8767, 8778, 9396, Arcana Coelestia 10632; Deuteronomy 9:9, 9:15; Exodus 34:28; Numbers 14:44; Revelation 11:19)


[9] That by testimony is signified the Lord, and, on the part of man, confession of the Lord, and acknowledgment of His Divine in His Human, is plain also from these passages in the Word. In the Apocalypse:

"They overcame" the dragon "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the testimony. And the wrathful dragon went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (xii. 11, 17).

And elsewhere:

"I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (xix. 10).

By the testimony of Jesus being the spirit of prophecy is signified, that confession of the Lord, and the acknowledgment of His Divine in His Human, are the life of all truth, both in the Word, and in doctrine from the Word.

(References: Revelation 12:11, 12:17, 19:10)


[10] And in another place:

"The souls of them that were slain with the axe for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, have not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand" (xx. 4).

But this will be explained in what follows.

In David:

"Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together and thither the tribes go up, the tribes of Jah, unto the testimony of Israel, to confess the name of Jehovah. For there the thrones for judgment are set" (Ps. cxxii. 3-5).

By Jerusalem is signified the church as to doctrine, which is called builded, when established by the Lord; "as a city that is compact together," signifies doctrine in which all things are in order, a city denoting doctrine. Thither the tribes go up, the tribes of Jah, signifies that therein are all truths and goods in the aggregate. Unto the testimony of Israel, to confess the name of Jehovah, signifies confession and acknowledgment of the Lord there; for there the thrones for judgment are set, signifies that there is Divine truth according to which judgment is executed. That thrones signify this, see above, n. 253.

(References: Psalms 122:3-5; Revelation 20:4; The Apocalypse Explained 253)


[11] In the same:

"Jehovah hath set up a testimony in Jacob, and a law in Israel" (Ps. lxxviii. 5).

By Jacob and Israel is signified the church; by Jacob the external church, and by Israel the internal church; and by the testimony and the law is signified the Word; by the testimony that which therein teaches the goods of life; and by the law that which therein teaches the truths of doctrine. Because those who are in the external church are in the good of life according to the truths of doctrine, and those who are in the internal church are in the truths of doctrine according to which the life [is formed], therefore, the testimony is said of Jacob; and the law, of Israel.

(References: Psalms 78:5)


[12] In the same:

"If thy sons will keep my covenant, and the testimony that I shall teach them, thy sons shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore" (Ps. cxxxii. 12).

These things are said of David, but by David is there meant the Lord; by his sons are meant those who do the Lord's precepts; of them it is said: "If thy sons will keep my covenant" and My testimony; by covenant the same is meant as above by the law, namely, the truth of doctrine; and by testimony the same as above by testimony, namely, the good of life according to the truths of doctrine. Similar things are signified by covenant and testimonies in David (Ps. xxv. 10).

(References: Psalms 25:10, Psalms 132:12)


[13] Testimonies are mentioned in many passages in the Word and at the same time the law, precepts, commandments, statutes, and judgments; and by testimonies and commandments are there signified those things that teach life; by the law and precepts, those that teach doctrine; by statutes and judgments, those that teach rituals; as in the following passages in David:

"The law of Jehovah is perfect, recreating the soul; the testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple; the commandments of Jehovah are right, rejoicing the heart; the precept of Jehovah is pure, enlightening the eyes; the judgments of Jehovah are the truth, they are altogether just" (xiv. 7-9).

And in the same:

"Blessed are the sincere in the way, who walk in the law of Jehovah. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. Thou hast taught thy commandments to be strictly kept. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy precepts. I will confess to thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned the judgments of thy justice" (cxix. 1-7; similarly in verses 12-15, 88, 89, 151-156; and elsewhere).

(References: Psalms 19:7-9, Psalms 119:1-7, 119:12-15, 119:88-89, 119:151-156, 119:151-157; Revelation 6:10-11)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 389, 394, 397, 400, 403, 411, 430, 619, 625, 635, 657, 684, 749, 770, 849, 948, 1050, 1230

Resources for parents and teachers

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 The Circle of God's Love
Draw pictures inside the circle to show some of the people that the Lord loves.
Project | Ages 6 - 9


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