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Apocalypse Explained #979

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979. Yea, O Lord God Almighty, true and just are Thy judgments, signifies that these things are done because all things have their essence, life and power from the Divine good and the Divine truth. This is evident from the signification of "Lord God," as being the Lord as to the Divine good and the Divine truth; for the Lord is called "Lord" from the Divine good, and "God" from the Divine truth. Also from the signification of "Almighty," as being to be, to live, and to have power from Himself (See n. 43, 689, 939); so also that He is being, life, and power to all things; for the Lord is all this from Himself, but man is all this from the Lord. Also from the signification of "Thy judgments," as being those things that are being done, namely, those mentioned above in the sixth verse. That this is what is meant by "judgments" is evident from the fifth verse, where it is said, "Just art Thou, O Lord, and holy, because Thou hast judged these things." These judgments are called "true" from the Divine truth, and "just" from the Divine good, from which two all things are effected. (That "just" is predicated of the Divine good may be seen above, n. 972.) The same things are involved in these words, "Yea, O Lord God Almighty, true and just are Thy judgments," as in the words of the fifth verse, "Thou art just, O Lord, who art and who wast, and art holy, because Thou hast judged these things." The only difference is that the latter were said from the Lord's spiritual kingdom, and the former from His celestial kingdom. "Yea" is here an expression confirmative of the statements from the spiritual kingdom. That the same things are involved see above (n. 972-974), and compare.

(Continuation respecting the Fifth Commandment)

[2] From what has been said above, what is meant in the Word by good works can now be seen, namely, that they are all works done by man when evils have been removed as sins. For the works done after this are done from man only as if from him; for they are done from the Lord, and all works done from the Lord are good, and are called the goods of life, the goods of charity, and good works; as for instance, all the judgments of a judge who has justice as his end, and who venerates and loves it as Divine, and who detests as infamous decisions made for the sake of rewards or friendship, or from favor. Thus he consults the good of his country by causing justice and judgment to reign therein as in heaven; and thus he consults the peace of every innocent citizen and protects him from the violence of evildoers. All these are good works. So all services of managers and dealings of merchants are good works when they shun unlawful gains as sins against the Divine laws. When a man shuns evils as sins he daily learns what a good work is, and the affection of doing good grows with him, and the affection of knowing truths for the sake of good; for so far as he knows truths he can perform works more fully and more wisely, and thus his works become more truly good. Cease, therefore, from asking in thyself, "What are the good works that I must do, or what good must I do to receive eternal life?" Only cease from evils as sins and look to the Lord, and the Lord will teach and lead you.

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

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Apocalypse Explained #972

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972. Just art thou, O Lord who art and who wast, signifies the Lord as to the Divine good from eternity. This is evident from the signification of "just," as being in relation to the Lord the Divine good, for "just" is predicated in the Word of good, and "holy" of truth (See above, n. 204); also from the signification of "who art and who wast," as being the infinite and the eternal, for "art and wast" means the same as "Jehovah," and the Lord is called Jehovah in the Word from the Divine good, and God from the Divine truth; moreover, to be [esse] in reference to the Lord means to be from Himself, that is, in Himself, and to exist [existere] means in reference to the Lord to exist from Himself and in Himself. And in a relative sense to exist [existere] is to be [esse] in all things of heaven and the church; and this is effected by the Divine truth. This to be [esse] is what is meant by the eternal; for in heaven (otherwise than in the world) eternal, as applied to the Lord is without any idea of time; for in the angelic idea eternal means a state of the Divine existence, which nevertheless makes one with the Divine essence, which is Jehovah. The infinite in relation to being [esse] is signified by "who art" in Jehovah; and the infinite in relation to existence [existere] is signified by "who was" in Jehovah. The infinite existence [existere], which is also the eternal, is the Divine proceeding, from which is heaven and everything of it. The Divine existence [existere] is also the Divine being [esse] but it is called existence [existere] in relation to heaven, where it is the all in all.

(Continuation respecting the Fifth Commandment)

[2] He who refrains from thefts, understood in a broad sense, and even shuns them from any other cause than religion and for the sake of eternal life, is not cleansed of them; for in no other way can he open heaven. For it is through heaven that the Lord removes evils with man, as through heaven He removes the hells. For example, there are higher and lower managers of property, merchants, judges, officers of every kind, and workmen, who refrain from thefts, that is, from unlawful modes of gain and usury, and who shun these, but only to secure reputation and thus honor or gain, because of civil and moral laws, in a word, from some natural love or natural fear, thus from merely external constraints, and not from religion; but the interiors of such are full of thefts and robberies, and these burst forth when external constraints are removed from them, as takes place with everyone after death. Their sincerity and rectitude is nothing but a mask, a disguise, and a deceit.

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

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Apocalypse Explained #689

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689. Verse 17. Saying, we give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, signifies the acknowledgment that all being, living, and ability are from the Lord. This is evident from the signification of "saying and giving thanks," as being to acknowledge, since "to fall upon the face and to worship," and then "to give thanks," can have no other signification than to acknowledge, here the omnipotence of the Lord. Also from the signification of "the Lord God," as being the Lord in respect to Divine good and Divine truth; for where Divine good is meant in the Word the names "Lord" and "Jehovah" are used, and where Divine truth is meant the name "God" is used, therefore "the Lord God" and "Jehovah God" mean the Lord in respect to Divine good and Divine truth. Moreover, "Jehovah" in the Old Testament, is called "Lord" in the New. It is also evident from the signification of "Almighty," as being to be, to live, and to have ability of Himself, and also that the being, life, and ability of angels and men are from Him. (That this is meant by omnipotence, may be seen above, n. 43; also that Divine omnipotence means what is infinite, n. 286.)

[2] In respect to Divine omnipotence: it does not involve any power to act contrary to order, but it involves all power to act according to order, for all order is from the Lord; from this it follows that no one has any power to act according to order except from Him from whom is order; and this shows that it is of the Divine omnipotence to lead man according to order, and this every moment from the beginning of his life even to eternity, and this it does according to the laws of order, which are innumerable, and the number of which cannot be expressed; and yet this can be done only so far as man suffers himself to be led, that is, so far as he is willing not to be led by himself; for so far as he wishes to be led by himself he is brought into opposition to order. Because it is of the Divine omnipotence to lead one who wishes to be led according to order, and thus to lead no one contrary to order, therefore it is not of the Divine omnipotence to lead anyone to heaven who wishes to lead himself, since it is a law of order that what a man does he shall do from reason and from freedom, because that which is received by the reason and done from freedom remains with man, and is appropriated to him as his own, but not that which is not received by the reason and done from freedom. Thence it is clear that it is not of the Divine omnipotence to save those who are not willing to be led according to order, for to be led according to order is to be led according to the laws of order, and the laws of order are the precepts of doctrine and life from the Word; it is therefore of the Divine omnipotence to lead a man who is willing to be led according to these every moment and continually to eternity. For every minute there are infinite things to be seen, to be removed, and to be insinuated, that man may be withheld from evils and held in goods, and this continually in connection according to order. It is also of the Divine omnipotence to protect men from the hells, so far as this can be done without injury to freedom and reason; for all the hells are as nothing against the Lord's Divine power; without this power of the Lord it is impossible for any man to be saved. (But more respecting omnipotence may be seen above, n. 43.)

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