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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

Doctrine of the Lord 37

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 89


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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.
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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.

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John 1:14

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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.

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Explanation of John 1      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Explaining the Inner Meaning of John 1

Verses 1:1, 2. That the Lord, as to his Divine Human [principle], which is divine truth, existed from eternity, in undivided union with the divine good, which is Jehovah.

Verse 1:3. That by divine truth from the Lord was effected the all of creation, both natural and spiritual, thus the production of the all of outward nature, and likewise the regeneration of man, and the establishment of the church.

Verse 1:4. That divine truth is always in union with divine love, and by virtue of that union is the source of all wisdom, intelligence, and rationality, amongst mankind.

Verse 1:5. But that mankind had so immersed themselves in external and natural things, and thus in false principles, that they no longer acknowledged divine truth.

Verses 1:6, 7, 8, 9. That divine truth has its appointed representatives here on earth, amongst those who are principled in charity and faith, whose office it is to testify concerning the Lord's Divine Humanity, and thus to lead mankind to acknowledge and receive it, as the only source of all wisdom, intelligence, and rationality.

Verses 1:10, 11, 12, 13. That the Lord, by his divine truth, or the Word, was present with the Jewish church, but that he was not in general known and acknowledged, yet that all, who did know and acknowledge him, were made regenerate, and thus delivered from the guilt of doing violence to charity, and of profaning truth, being cleansed from all the principles of evil and error.

Verse 1:14. That the Lord, by assuming the human nature, and thus becoming a man, made himself divine truth in ultimates, as he had before been divine truth in first principles, and thus gained fuller access to man, by imparting a fuller measure of his divine love and wisdom.

Verses 1:15, 16, 17. Therefore all, who are principled in charity and faith, acknowledge from the heart, that the Lord in his Divine Humanity is the eternal God, and that all good and truth are from him, and that he came into the world to open those interior things of his Word, for the benefit of mankind.

Verse 1:18. They acknowledge also, that no right apprehension can be had of the invisible Jehovah, but by or through the visible humanity, which he assumed and glorified for that purpose.

Verses 1:19, 20, 21, 22. 23. Thus they testify concerning themselves, to those of the perverted church who are inquisitive about them, that they possess no truth or good of themselves, but only from the Word, and that from the Word all in the vastated church are admonished to prepare themselves to receive the Lord in his Divine Humanity.

Verses 1:24, 25, 26. They testify further, that they can teach only external truth, but that the truth itself is the Lord as to his Divine Humanity, who is yet unacknowledged, although he is the very central life of all truths.

Verse 1:27. And has thus pre-eminence over all, since the lowest order of internal truth is above the highest of what is external.

Verses 1:28, 29. Such is the testimony of external truth, derived from the letter of the Word, which testimony presently conducts to a view of internal truth as it is in connection with the Lord's Divine Humanity, by virtue of which internal truth confession is made that the Lord in his Divine Humanity is the purest innocence, and that human disorder can never be removed, only so far as that innocence is implanted in human minds.

Verses 1:30, 31. Confession is further made from internal truth, that the Lord, in his Divine Humanity, is the eternal god, and that all good and truth are from him, and that he is to be made known to the church by the teaching of external truth from the Word.

Verses 1:32, 33, 34, 35. Which truth testifies, that all the good and truth of faith, thus all purification and regeneration, are from the Divine Humanity of the Lord, and that consequently all internal truth is from the same source.

Verses 1:35, 36, 37. That they who are principled in charity, and in the faith of charity, have their spiritual sight opened to behold and to confess the Lord in his Divine Humanity, whom therefore they immediately acknowledge and obey as the only God.

Verses 1:38, 39. And being led by an internal dictate in their own minds to explore and examine the end of all truth, or knowledge, they are led further to inquire after the good of love and charity, to which all truth and knowledge point, and thus attain conjunction with the Lord in that good.

Verses 1:40, 41, 42. That they who are principled in the good of charity instruct those who are principled in the good of faith, concerning the Lord in his Divine Humanity, and thus conduct them to the Incarnate God, by whom they are taught that they, who are principled in truth derived from good, ought to attach themselves to divine truth, or to truth proceeding from, and in conjunction with, the Lord's Divine Humanity.

Verses 1:43, 44, 45. That they of the church, who are principled in intelligence, are next instructed to acknowledge all intelligence to be derived from the Lord's Divine Humanity, and that when they are so instructed, they again instruct those who are principled in charity and its faith, that the Lord is manifested in his Divine Humanity, as was predicted.

Verses 1:46, 47, 48, 49. Which instruction is received with doubt, until conviction is worked of the divine wisdom of that Humanity, by the distinction which it makes between spiritual good and natural good, and by setting the former above the latter.

Verses 1:50, 51. That this distinction, however, does not produce a conviction equal to that which arises in the course of regeneration, when the internal man is opened to see the several orders of truth in their connection with their divine source, by virtue of which man's ascent to God is first effected, and afterwards the descent of God to man.

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

Doctrine of the Lord 1, 2, 37

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the 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 drafts, indexes & diaries:

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

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From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Revealed #200

Apocalypse Revealed (Rogers translation)      

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200. "'The beginning of the workmanship of God.'" This symbolically means the Word.

That the Word is the beginning of the workmanship of God is something not yet known in the church, because it has not understood these words in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men... He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, but the world did not know Him... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father... (John 1:1-14)

Someone who understands these words in respect to their inner meaning, and at the same time compares them with what we wrote in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture, as well as with some sections in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Lord, can see that the Word which was in the beginning with God, and which was God, means the underlying Divine truth in the Word that previously existed in this world (as reported in no. 11), and that which is present in the Word that we have today. It does not mean the Word viewed in respect to the words and letters of its languages, but viewed in terms of its essence and life which is inmostly present in the meanings of its words and letters. By this life the Word animates the will's affections of the person who reads it reverently, and by the light of this life it enlightens the thoughts of his intellect. Therefore we are told in John, "In the Word was life, and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4) The Word does this because the Word comes from the Lord and has the Lord as its subject and so is the Lord.

All thought, speech, or writing takes its essence and life from the one doing the thinking, speaking, or writing. It has the person in it, along with his character. And the Word has in it the Lord alone.

Still, no one senses or perceives the Divine life in the Word but one who, when reading it, is impelled by a spiritual affection for truth, for through the Word he is conjoined with the Lord. He experiences something inmostly affecting his heart and spirit, which flows with enlightenment into in his intellect and testifies.

(References: Revelation 3:14)


[2] The following words in the first chapter of Genesis have a similar symbolic meaning to those in John:

In the beginning God created heaven and earth... And the spirit of God moved over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)

The spirit of God is Divine truth, and also light, the Divine truth being the Word; and therefore in John 1:4, 8-9 the Lord calls Himself the Word, and also the light.

A similar meaning is found in this declaration in the book of Psalms:

By the word of Jehovah the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. (Psalms 33:6)

In short, without the Divine truth of the Word, which in its essence is the Divine goodness of the Lord's Divine love and the Divine truth of His Divine wisdom, no mortal could have life. The Word is the means of the Lord's conjunction with a person, and of the person with the Lord, and through that conjunction comes life. There must be something from the Lord that a person can receive which makes possible that conjunction and so eternal life.

[3] It can be seen from this that "the beginning of the workmanship of God" means the Word, and if you would believe it, the Word such as it is in the sense of its letter, for this sense embraces the inner, holy levels, as we showed many times in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture.

Moreover, wonderful to say, the Word has been so written that it communicates with the whole of heaven, and every particular with some society there, as I have been given to know through personal experience, of which more elsewhere.

That the Word in its essence is such as described is still more apparent from these words of the Lord:

The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

(References: Revelation 3:14)

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Apocalypse Revealed 154, 678


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


Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation.


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