General Doctrine

THE Holy Spirit is the Divine truth and also the Divine opera­tion proceeding from the one only God, in whom there is a Divine Trinity, proceeding therefore from the Lord God the Saviour. (TCR n. 138)

The Divine operation is effected by the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord; and that which proceeds is of one and the same essence with Him from whom it proceeds: Like these three, the soul, the body, and the proceeding [action], which to­gether make one essence,—with man merely human, but with the Lord Divine and at the same time Human; united after the glorification, just as the prior with its posterior, and as the essence with its form. Thus the three essentials which are called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are one in the Lord. (TCR n. 139)

Now, because the Divine Truth is meant by the Holy Spirit, and this was in the Lord, and was the Lord Himself (John xiv. 6), and because it could not therefore proceed from any other source, He said, “The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (vii. 39); and after the glorification, “He breathed on the disciples, and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (xx. 22). The reason why the Lord breathed upon the disciples and said this was, that breathing upon was an external representative sign of Divine inspiration. But inspiration is insertion into angelic societies. (TCR n. 140)

The Holy Spirit is called the proceeding Divine, yet no one knows why it is called proceeding. This is not known, because until now it has been unknown that the Lord appears before the angels as a sun, and that heat, which in its essence is Divine love, and light, which in its essence is Divine wisdom, proceeds from that sun. So long as these truths were unknown it could not be known but that the proceeding Divine was a Divine by itself, and as the Athanasian doctrine of the Trinity declares, that there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But when it is known that the Lord appears as a sun, a just idea can be had of the proceeding Divine, which is called the Holy Spirit; that it is one with the Lord, but proceeds from Him, as heat and light from the sun. (DLW n. 146)

Why the Lord was Born on this Earth

Why the Lord was Born on this Earth

There are many reasons why it pleased the Lord to be born and to assume the Human on our earth and not on another, concerning which I have been informed from heaven.

The principal reason was for the sake of the Word, that this might be written in our earth, and being written might be pub­lished throughout the whole earth, and once published might be preserved to all posterity; and that thus it might be made manifest, even to all in the other life, that God was made Man.

That the principal reason was for the sake of the Word, was because the Word is the very Divine truth, which teaches man that there is a God, that there is a heaven, that there is a hell, that there is a life after death; and teaches moreover how he ought to live and believe that he may come into heaven and thus be happy to eternity. All these things without revelation, —thus on this earth without the Word,—would have been entirely unknown; and yet man is so created that as to his internal man he cannot die.

The Word could be written on our earth, because from a very ancient time the art of writing has existed here, first on tablets of wood, then on parchments, afterwards on paper, and finally, [writing came] to be published by types. This was provided of the Lord for the sake of the Word.

The Word could then be published through all this earth, because here there is communication of all nations by land and by water with all parts of the globe. The Word once written could therefore be conveyed from one nation to another, and be everywhere taught. That there should be such communication was also provided of the Lord for the sake of the Word.

The Word once written could be preserved to all posterity, even for thousands and thousands of years; and it is known that it has been so preserved.

It could thus be made known that God became Man; for this is the first and most essential thing for which the Word was given. For no one can believe in a God, and love a God, whom he cannot have a conception of under some form; wherefore they who acknowledge what is incomprehensible glide in thought into nature, and so believe in no God. For this reason it pleased the Lord to be born here, and to make this evident by the Word; in order not only that it might be made known on this globe, but also that thereby it might be made manifest to all in the universe who from any other earth whatsoever come into heaven; for in heaven there is a communication of all things.

It should be known that the Word on our earth, given through heaven by the Lord, is the union of heaven and the world,—for which end there is a correspondence of all things in the letter of the Word with Divine things in heaven; and that the Word in its highest and inmost sense treats of the Lord, of His kingdom in the heavens and on the earths, and of love and faith from Him and in Him, therefore of life from Him and in Him. Such things are presented to the angels in heaven, from whatsoever earth they are, when the Word of our earth is read and preached.

In every other earth truth Divine is made known by word of mouth, through spirits and angels, … but this is done within families. For in most of the earths mankind dwell apart according to families; and therefore the Divine truth, thus revealed by spirits and angels, is not conveyed far beyond the families; and unless a new revelation constantly succeeds it is either perverted or lost. It is otherwise on our earth, where truth Divine, which is the Word, remains for ever in its integrity.

It should be known that the Lord acknowledges and receives all, from whatsoever earth they are, who acknowledge and worship God under the Human form; since God under the Human form is the Lord. And as the Lord appears to the inhabitants of the earths in an angelic form, which is the human form, there­fore when spirits and angels from those earths hear from the spirits and angels of our earth that God is actually Man, they receive that Word, acknowledge it, and rejoice that it is so.

To the reasons which have been already adduced it may be added, that the inhabitants, the spirits, and the angels of our earth relate to the external and corporeal sense in the Greatest Man; and the external and corporeal sense is the ultimate, in which the interiors of life end, and in which they rest, as in their common [receptacle]. So is truth Divine [in its ultimates] in the letter which is called the Word; and on this account too it was given on this earth and not on another. And because the Lord is the Word, and its first and last, that all things might exist according to order He was willing also to be born on this earth, and to become the Word,—according to these words in John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with God: all things were made by Him, and without him was not any­thing made that was made…. 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…. No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath brought Him forth to view” (i. 1-3, 14, 18). The Word here is Divine truth. But this is a mystery which will be intelligible only to a few. (AC n. 9350-9360)

The Reason why these Things concerning the Lord are now first publicly made known

The Reason why these Things concerning the Lord are now first publicly made known

The reason why these things respecting the Lord are now for the first time divulged is, that it is foretold in the Revelation (xxi. and xxii) that a new church would be instituted by the Lord at the end of the former one, in which this should be the primary truth. This church is there meant by the New Jerusalem; into which none can enter but those who acknowledge the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth. And this I am able to proclaim, that the universal heaven acknowledges the Lord alone; and that whoever does not acknowledge Him is not admitted into heaven. For heaven is heaven, from the Lord. This very acknowledgment, from love and faith, causes all there to be in the Lord and the Lord in them; as the Lord Himself teaches in John: “In that day ye shall know, that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you” (xiv. 20). And again: “Abide in Me, and I in you…. I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast out” (xv. 4-6; xvii. 22, 23). This has not been seen before from the Word, because if seen before it would not have been received. For the last judgment had not yet been accomplished, and before that the power of hell pre­vailed over the power of heaven, and man is in the midst be­tween heaven and hell; if therefore this doctrine had been seen before, the devil, that is hell, would have plucked it from the hearts of men, nay more, would have profaned it. This state of the power of hell was entirely crushed by the last judg­ment which has now been accomplished; since that event, that is now, every man who will may become enlightened and wise. (L. 61)

Why Jehovah is nowhere named in the Word of the New Testament, but the Lord instead

Why Jehovah is nowhere named in the Word of the New Testament, but the Lord instead

In the Word of the New Testament by the Evangelists, and in the Apocalypse, Jehovah is nowhere named, but for Jehovah it says Lord, and this for hidden reasons, of which presently. That the Word of the New Testament says Lord instead of Jehovah is very evident in Mark: “Jesus said, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel! the Lord our God is one Lord; therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (xii. 29, 30).The same in Moses reads thus: “Hear, O Israel! Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength” (Deut. vi. 4, 5).Here it is plain that the name Lord is used for Jehovah. So in John: “I saw, … and behold a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne;…. and round about the throne were four animals, full of eyes before and behind; … each of them had six wings round about, and within full of eyes;….and they said, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” (Apoc. iv. 2, 6, 8). This in Isaiah is thus expressed: “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up; …. the seraphim standing above it; each one had six wings; … and one cried unto another, Holy, holy, holy, Jehovah of Hosts” (vi 1, 3, 5, 8). Here the name Lord is used for Jehovah, and Lord God Almighty for Jehovah of Hosts. That the four animals are seraphim or cherubim is plain from Ezekiel i. 5, 13-15, 19; x. 15. From many other passages also it appears that in the New Testament the Lord is Jehovah; as in Luke: “The angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias” (i. 11). The angel of the Lord stands for the angel of Jehovah. In the same Evangelist the angel said to Zacharias concerning his son: “Many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God” (i. 1 6 ); to the Lord their God, for to Jehovah God. Again: the angel said to Mary con­cerning Jesus: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of … David” (i. 32); the Lord God for Jehovah God. Again: “Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced over God my Saviour” (i. 46, 47). Here also the Lord is put for Jehovah. Again: “Zacharias … prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel” (i. 67, 68). Here the Lord God, for Jehovah God. Again: “The angel of the Lord stood near the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them” (ii. 9). The angel of the Lord, and the glory of the Lord, for the angel of Jehovah, and the glory of Jehovah. In Matthew: “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” (xxi. 9; xxiii. 39; Luke xiii. 35; John xii. 13). In the name of the Lord, for in the name of Jehovah. There are also, many other passages, as Luke i. 28; 15,22-24, ’29, 38, 39; v. 17; Mark xii. 10, 11. Among the hidden reasons why they called Jehovah Lord were also these: because if it had been declared at that time that the Lord was the Jehovah so often mentioned in the Old Testament, it would not have been received, for it would not have been believed; and because the Lord was not made Jehovah even as to His Human until He had entirely united the Divine Essence to the Human, and the Human to the Divine. The plenary unition was effected after the last temptation, which was that of the cross; wherefore, after the resurrection, the disciples always called Him Lord (John xx. 2, 13, 15, 18, 20, 25; xxi. 7, 12, 15-17, 20; Mark xvi. 19, 20); and Thomas said, “My Lord and my God” (John xx. 28). And because the Lord was Jehovah, who is so often mentioned in the Old Testament, therefore also He said to the disciples, “Ye call Me Master and Lord, and ye say well; for I am” (John xiii. 13, 14, 16); by which words it is signified that He was Jehovah God…. That the Lord was Jehovah is meant also by the words of the angel to the shepherds: “Unto you is born this day … a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke ii. 11); Christ is put for the Messiah, the Anointed, the King, and Lord for Jehovah. They who examine the Word with­out much attention cannot know this, believing that our Saviour, like others, was called Lord merely from a common form of expressing reverence; but He was so called because He was Jehovah. (AC n. 2921)

That Jehovah in thee Old Testament is called the Lord in the New appears from these passages: It is said in Moses, “Hear, O Israel! Jehovah our God is one Jehovah; and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deut. vi. 4, 5); but in Mark: “The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (xii. 29, 30). Then in Isaiah: “Prepare ye the way for Jehovah; make straight in the desert a path for our God” (xl. 3); but in Luke: “Thou shalt go before the face of the Lord, to prepare the way for Him” (i. 76); and elsewhere. And also the Lord commanded His disciples to call Him Lord; and therefore He was so called by the Apostles in their Epistles; and afterwards by the Apostolic Church, as appears from its creed, which is called the Apostles’ Creed. The reason was that the Jews did not dare to speak the name Jehovah, on account of its sanctity; and also that by Jehovah is meant the Divine Esse, which was from eternity, and the Human which He assumed in time was not that Esse. (TCR n. 81)

Jehovah Himself, in His Divine Human, is the only Savior

Jehovah Himself, in His Divine Human, is the only Savior

Thus saith Jehovah thy Creator, O Jacob, and thy Former, O Israel; … for I have redeemed thee…. I am Jehovah, thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour” (Isaiah xliii. 1, 3). “Surely God is in Thee, and there is no God else. Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour” (xlv. 14, 15).… “Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts, … Beside Me there is no God” (xliv. 6). “I am Jehovah, and beside Me there is no Saviour” (xliii. 11). “Am not I Jehovah, and there is no other besides Me; … and a Saviour, there is none beside Me” (xlv. 21). “I am Jehovah thy God, … thou shalt know no God but Me, for there is no Saviour beside Me” (Hosea xiii. 4). “Look unto Me, that ye may be saved, all ye ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah xlv. 22). “Jehovah of Hosts is His name, and thy Re­deemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called” (liv. 5). From these passages it may be seen that the Divine of the Lord,—which is called the Father, and here Jehovah, and God,—and the Divine Human,—which is called the Son, and here the Redeemer, and Saviour, also the Former, that is the Reformer and Regenerator,—are not two, but one. For not only is it said Jehovah God and the Holy One of Israel is the Re­deemer and Saviour, but it is also said that Jehovah is the Re­deemer and Saviour; yea, it is even said, “I Jehovah am thy Saviour, and there is none beside Me.” From which it is very clear that the Divine and Human in the Lord are one person, and that even the Human is Divine; for the Redeemer and Saviour of the world is no other than the Lord as to the Divine Human, which is called the Son. Redemption and salvation, in fact, are the peculiar attribute of His Human which is called merit, and righteousness; for His Human suffered temptations and the passion of the cross, and therefore by the Human He redeemed and saved. (L. n. 34)

Practical Use of a correct Idea of the Lord

Practical Use of a correct Idea of the Lord

The first and chief thing of a church is to know and acknow­ledge its God; for without that knowledge and acknowledgment there is no conjunction; thus there is none in the church without the acknowledgment of the Lord. (HD n. 296)

The very essential of the church is the acknowledgment of the union of the very Divine in the Human of the Lord, and this must be in each and all things of worship. The reason why this is the essential of the church, and hence the essential of worship, is because the salvation of the human race depends solely on that union. (AC n. 10370)

In the whole heaven no other one is acknowledged as the God of heaven than the Lord alone. They say there, as He Himself taught, that He is one with the Father; that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father; and he that seeth Him seeth the Father; and that everything holy proeeedeth, from Him (John x. 30, 38; xiv. 10, 11; xvi. 13-15). I have often talked with angels on this subject, and they have constantly said that in heaven they cannot distinguish the Divine into three, since they know and perceive that the Divine is one, and that it is one in the Lord. They said also that those who came from the world, out of the church, with whom there is an idea of three Divine [persons], cannot be admitted into heaven, since their thought wanders from one to another; and one may not there think three and say one, because in heaven every one speaks from the thought, for speech there is cogitative, or thought speaking. Wherefore those who in the world have distinguished the Divine into three, and have acquired a different conception of each, and have not concentrated and made it one in the Lord, cannot be received; for there is communication of all thoughts in heaven. If therefore any one should come thither who thinks three and says one he would immediately be discovered and rejected. But it should be known that all who have not separated truth from good, or faith from love, when instructed in the other life, receive the heavenly idea of the Lord, that He is God of the universe. It is otherwise however with those who have separated faith from life, that is who have not lived according to the precepts of true faith. (HH n. 2)

Meaning of the phrases Son of God and Son of Man

Meaning of the phrases Son of God and Son of Man

He who knows what in the Lord the Sou of God signifies, and what in Him the Son of Man signifies, can see many secrets of the Word; for the Lord calls Himself sometimes the Son of God, and sometimes the Son of Man—always according to the subject treated of. When His Divinity is treated of, His unity with the Father, His Divine power, faith in Him, and life from Him, He calls Himself the Son, and the Son of God,—as in John v. 17-26, and elsewhere; but where His passion, the judgment, His coming, and in general, redemption, salvation, reformation, and regeneration are treated of, He calls Himself the Son of Man. (L. n. 22)

Various Names of the Lord

That the profoundest mysteries lie hidden in the internal sense of the Word very manifestly appears from the internal sense of the two names of our Lord, JESUS CHRIST. Few have any other idea, when these names are mentioned, than that they are proper names, and almost like the names of another man, but more holy. The more learned indeed know that Jesus signifies Saviour, and Christ, the Anointed, and hence conceive a somewhat more interior idea. But yet these are not the things which the angels in heaven perceive from those names; they are still more Divine. By the name Jesus, when pronounced by man in read­ing the Word, they perceive the Divine good; and by the name Christ, the Divine truth; and by both, the Divine marriage of good and truth, and of truth and good. (AC n. 3004)

All Power in the Heavens and on Earth given to the Lord

All Power in the Heavens and on Earth given to the Lord

The Lord Himself says, “All power is given unto Me, in heaven and on earth” (Matt. xxviii. 18)…. In respect to all power being given to the Son of Man, both in the heavens and on earth, it should be known that the Lord had power over all things in the heavens and on earth before He came into the world; for He was God from eternity, and Jehovah,—as He Himself plainly says in John: “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (xvii. 5); and again: “Verily, verily I say unto you, Before Abraham was I am” (viii. 58). For He was Jehovah and God to the Most Ancient church which was before the flood, and appeared to the men of that church; He was also Jehovah and God to the Ancient church which was after the flood; and He it was whom all the rites of the Jewish church represented, and whom the members of that church worshipped. And the reason why He says that all power was given unto Him in Heaven and on earth, as if it were then first given, is, that by the Son of Man His Human essence is meant, which when united to the Divine was also Jehovah, and at the same time power was given unto Him; which could not be done before He was glorified, that is, before His Human essence by unition with the Divine had life also in itself, and had thus in like manner become Divine, and Jehovah; as He Himself says in John: “As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself” (v. 26). (AC n. 1607)

How the Lord fulfilled the whole Law

How the Lord fulfilled the whole Law

It is believed by many at this day that when it is said of the Lord that He fulfilled the law it is meant that He fulfilled all the commandments of the Decalogue, and that thus He became righteousness, and also justified mankind through faith in this. This however is not what is meant, but that He fulfilled all things which are written of Him in the Law and the Prophets, that is in the whole sacred Scripture; for this treats of Him alone. The reason why many have believed otherwise is, that they have not searched the Scriptures and seen what is there meant by the Law. By the Law there, in a strict sense, the Ten Commandments of the Decalogue are meant; in a wider sense, all that was written by Moses in his five books; and in the widest sense, all the Word. (L. n. 8)

That the Lord fulfilled all things of the Law means that He fulfilled all things of the Word, is manifest from the passages where it is said that by Him the Scripture was fulfilled, and that all things were finished. As from these: “Jesus went into the synagogue, … and stood up to read. There was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah; and when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the bound, and sight to the blind; … to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book and said, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke iv. 16-21). “Ye search the Scriptures, and they testify of Me” (John v. 39). “That the Scripture might be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel upon Me” (John xiii. 18). “None of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (John xvii. 12). “That the saying might be fulfilled which He spake, Of those whom thou gayest Me I have not lost one” (John xviii. 9). “Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into its place; … how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? … But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the Prophets might be fulfilled” (Matt. xxvi. 52, 54, 56). “The Son of Man indeed goeth as it is written of Him; . . that the Scriptures may be fulfilled” (Mark xiv. 21, 49). “Thus the Scrip­ture was fulfilled which saith, He was numbered with the wicked” (Mark xv. 28; Luke xxii. 37). “That the Scripture might be fulfilled, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots” (John xix. 24). “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now consummated, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (John xix. 28). “When Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished,” that is, “it is fulfilled” (John xix. 30). “These things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken,. And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on Him whom they pierced” (John xix. 36, 37). Besides these, in other places passages of the Prophets are adduced where it is not at the same time said that the Law or the Scripture was fulfilled. That the whole Word was written concerning Him, and that He came into the world to fulfil it, He also taught His disciples before He departed, in these words: “Jesus said to them, O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the Prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered this, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke xxiv. 25-27). Afterwards, Jesus said to His disciples, “These are the words which I spake unto you whilst I was yet with you, That all things must be fulfilled which were written, in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me” (Luke xxiv. 44). That the Lord in the world fulfilled all things of the Word, even to its minutest particulars, is evident from these His words: “Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled” (Matt. v. 18). From these now one may clearly see that by the Lord’s fulfilling all things of the Law it is not meant that He fulfilled all the commandments of the Decalogue, but all things of the Word. (L. n. 11)

The True Meaning of Mediation, Intercession, Atonement, and Propitiation

The True Meaning of Mediation, Intercession, Atonement, and Propitiation

There are four terms expressive of the grace of the one only God in His Humanity. God the Father can never be approached, nor can He come to any man; because He is infinite, and dwells in His own being, which is Jehovah; from which being if He should come to man He would consume or decompose him, as fire consumes wood when it reduces it to ashes. This is evident from what He said to Moses, who desired to see Him:—”No man shall see Me and live” (Exod. xxiii. 20). And the Lord says, “No man hath seen God at any time, save the Son which is in the bosom of the Father” (John i. 18; Matt. xi. 27); also that no one hath heard the voice of the Father, nor seen His shape (John v. 27). It is indeed written that Moses saw Jehovah face to face, and talked with Him, as one man with another; but this was through the medium of an angel, as was also the case with Abraham and Gideon. Now since such is God the Father in Himself, therefore He was pleased to assume the Humanity, and in this Humanity to admit mankind to Himself, and so to hear and to talk with them; and it is this Humanity which is called the Son of God, and which mediates, intercedes, propitiates, and atones. MEDIATION signifies that the Humanity is the medium by which man may come to God the Father, and God the Father to him; and thus be his teacher and guide unto salvation. INTERCESSION signifies perpetual mediation; for love itself, the qualities of which are mercy, clemency, and grace, perpetually intercedes, that is mediates, for those that do His command­ments, and who are thus the objects of His love. ATONEMENT signifies the removal of sins,—into which a man would rush headlong if, in supplication, he were to approach the unveiled Jehovah. PROPITIATION signifies the operation of clemency and grace, to prevent man from falling into damnation by sin, and at the same time to guard against the profanation of what is holy. This was signified by the propitiatory, or mercy-seat, over the ark in the tabernacle. It is acknowledged that God spake in His Word according to appearances; as when it is said that He is angry, that He avenges, that He tempts, that He punishes, that He casts into hell, that He condemns, yea, that He does evil; while the truth is that God is never angry with any one, that He never avenges, tempts, punishes, casts into hell, or condemns. Such things are as far from God, nay infinitely farther, than hell is from heaven. They are forms of speech then, used only according to the appearances. So also, but in a different sense, are the terms atonement, propitiation, intercession, and mediation; for these are forms of speech expressive of the approach which is opened to God by means of His Humanity. These terms being misunderstood men have divided God into three; and upon that division they have grounded all the doc­trine of the church, and so have falsified the Word. Hence has arisen THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, foretold by the Lord in Daniel, and again in Matt. xxiv. (TCR n. 135)

Mediation and intercession is of Divine truth, because this is next to Divine good, which is the Lord Himself. That Divine truth is next to Divine good, which is the Lord, is because it immediately proceeds from Him. Since occasion is given, it shall here be shown how the case is with the Lord’s mediation and intercession. They that believe from the literal sense of the Word, that there are three persons who constitute the Divine, and together are called one God, have no other idea of mediation and intercession, than that the Lord sits at the right hand of His Father, and speaks with Him as man with man, brings the supplications of men to the Father, and entreats that for His sake, because He endured the cross for the human race, He will pardon them and be merciful. Such is the idea of intercession and mediation which the simple derive from the literal sense of the Word. But it should be known that the literal sense is adapted to the apprehension of simple men, that they may be introduced into the interior truths themselves; for the simple cannot form any different idea of the heavenly kingdom than such as they have of an earthly kingdom, nor any different idea of the Father than as of a king on earth, nor of the Lord, than as of the son of a king, who is heir of the kingdom…. But he who knows the interior [truths] of the Word has an entirely different notion of the Lord’s mediation, and of His intercession; namely, that He does not intercede as a son with a father king on earth, but as the Lord of the universe with Himself, and of Himself as God; for the Father and He are not two, but One, as He teaches in John xiv. 8-11. He is called the Mediator and Intercessor because the Son means Divine truth, and the Father Divine good, and mediation is effected by Divine truth, for by it access is given to Divine good. For Divine good cannot be approached, because it is as the fire of the sun; but Divine truth can be, because this is as the light from it which gives passage and approach to man’s sight, which is from faith. It can be seen from this what is to be understood by mediation and interces­sion. Further, it should be stated why it is that the Lord Himself, who is the very Divine good and the very Sun of heaven, is called the Mediator and Intercessor with the Father. The Lord when He was in the world, before He was fully glorified, was Divine truth; for this reason there then was mediation, and He interceded with the Father, that is, with the very Divine good’ (John xiv. 16, 17; xvii. 9, 15, 17). And after He was glorified as to the Human, He is called the Mediator and Intercessor from the fact that no one can think of the very Divine unless he sets before himself the idea of a Divine Man; still less can any one be conjoined by love to the very Divine except by means of such an idea…. It is for this reason that the Lord as to the Divine Human is called the Mediator and Intercessor; but He mediates and intercedes with Himself. (AC n. 8705)

False Views of the Atonement

False Views of the Atonement

It is believed in the church that the Lord was sent by the Father to make an atonement for the human race, and that this was done by the fulfilling of the law and the passion of the cross; and that thus He took away damnation, and made satis­faction; and that without that atonement, satisfaction, and pro­pitiation the human race would have perished in eternal death, —and this from justice, which by some is also called vindictive. (L. n. 18)

What at this day more fills and crams the books of the ortho­dox, or what is more zealously taught and inculcated in the schools, and more frequently preached and proclaimed from the pulpits, than that God the Father, being enraged against man­kind, not only separated them from Himself, but also sentenced them to universal damnation, and thus excommunicated them; but that because He is gracious, He persuaded or excited His Son to descend and take upon Himself the determined damna­tion, and thus appease the anger of His Father; and that thus, and not otherwise, He could look upon man with some favour? Then that this was even done by the Son; so that in taking upon Himself the damnation of the human race, He suffered Himself to be scourged by the Jews, to be spit upon in the face, and afterwards to be crucified as one accursed of God (Deut. xxi. 23); and that after this was done the Father became propitious, and from love towards His Son cancelled the sentence of damna­tion,—but only in respect to those for whom He should inter­cede; and that He thus became a Mediator in the presence of His Father for ever. These and similar ideas at this day sound forth in temples and are reverberated from the walls as an echo from the woods, and fill the ears of all there. But cannot any one whose reason is enlightened and made sound by the Word see that God is Mercy and Pity itself, because He is Love itself and Good itself, and that these are His essence; and therefore that it is a contradiction to say that Mercy itself, or Good itself, can look upon man with anger, and decree his damnation, and yet continue to be His own Divine essence? Such things are scarcely ascribed to an upright man, but rather to one who is not upright; nor to an angel of heaven, but rather to a spirit of hell. It is therefore shocking to attribute them to God! But if one inquires into the cause, it is this:—That men have taken the passion of the cross for redemption itself. From this have these opinions flowed, as from one falsity falsities flow in a con­tinued series. (TCR n. 132)

Redemption could not be effected but by God Incarnate

Redemption could not be effected but by God Incarnate

The reason why redemption could not have been wrought’ but by God incarnate, that is made Man, is that Jehovah God as He is in His infinite essence cannot approach hell, much less enter into it; for He is in purest and first [principles]. Wherefore if Jehovah God, such in Himself, should but breathe upon those who are in hell, it would kill them instantly; for He said to Moses, when he wished to see Him, “Thou cant not see My face, there shall no man see Me and live” (Exod. xxxiii. 20). Since therefore Moses could not, still less could those who are in hell, where all are in the last and grossest [things], and thus in the most remote; for they are in the lowest degree natural. For this reason, if Jehovah God had not assumed the Human, and thus clothed Himself with a body which is in lowest [principles], it would have been in vain for him to enter upon any work of redemption…. It should be known that the conflict of the Lord with the hells was not an oral conflict, as between reasoners and disputants. Such a conflict effects nothing at all in such a case. But it was a spiritual conflict, which is that of Divine truth from Divine good, which is the very vital of the Lord. The influx of this truth by means of sight no one in hell can resist. There is such power in it that the infernal genii flee at the mere perception of it, cast themselves down into the deep, and creep into caves that they may hide themselves. This is what is described in Isaiah: “They shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into clefts of the dust, for fear of Jehovah … when He shall arise to terrify the earth” (ii. 19); and in the Revelation: “All hid themselves in the dens of the rocks, and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth /upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (vi. 15-17). (TCR n. 124)

Without Redemption Wickedness would spread throughout all Christendom in both Worlds

Without Redemption Wickedness would spread throughout all Christendom in both Worlds

There are many reasons why without redemption by the Lord iniquity and wickedness would spread through all Christendom, both in the natural and the spiritual worlds; one of which is this:—Every man after death comes into the world of spirits, and then is precisely like himself,—of the same character as before; and upon entrance there no one can be restrained from conversation with departed parents, brothers, relations, and friends; every husband then first seeks his wife, and every wife her husband; and they are introduced by each other into various companies of such as appear like lambs outwardly, but inwardly are as wolves; and even those who have striven after piety are corrupted by them. From this cause, and from abominable arts unknown in the natural world, the world of spirits is as full of the malicious as a green and stagnant pool, of the spawn of frogs. That association with the wicked there produces this result may be rendered obvious by these illustrations:—It is as if one should associate with robbers or pirates,-at length he becomes like them or as if one should live with adulterers and harlots,—at length he thinks nothing of adulteries; or as if one should mingle with the rebellious,—at length he thinks nothing of doing violence to any one. For all evils are contagious, and may be compared to a pestilence, which an infected person communi­cates by the breath or by exhalation; or to a cancer or gan­grene, which spreads and corrupts the nearer and by degrees the remoter parts, until the whole body perishes. The delights, of evil into which every one is born are the cause. From all this then it is evident, that without redemption by the Lord no one could be saved; nor could the angels subsist in a state of integrity. The only refuge from destruction for any one is in the Lord; for He says, “Abide in Me and I in you; as the branch. cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, no more can, ye except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth, in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth and is withered, and is cast into the fire and burned” (John xv. 4-6). (TCR n. 120)

The Lord thus redeemed not only Man, but the Angels

The Lord thus redeemed not only Man, but the Angels

At the time of the first coming of the Lord, the hells had increased to such a height that they filled all the world of spirits, —which is intermediate between heaven and hell,—and thus not only disordered the heaven which is called the last or lowest, but also assaulted the middle heaven; which they infested in a thousand ways, and which would have gone to destruction if the Lord had not withstood them. Such an insurrection of the hells is meant by the tower built in the land of Shinar, the head of which was to reach even unto heaven; but the design of the builders was frustrated by the confusion of tongues, and they were dispersed, and the city was called Babel (Gen, xi. 1-9). What is there meant by the tower, and the confusion of tongues, is explained in the Arcana Coelestia, published in London. The reason why the hells had grown to such a height was, that at the time when the Lord came into the world the whole earth had completely alienated itself from God, by idolatry and magic; and the church which had existed among the children of Israel, and afterwards among the Jews, was utterly destroyed through the falsification and adulteration of the Word. And both the former and the latter after death flocked into the world of spirits, where at length they so increased and multiplied, that they could not be expelled but by the descent of God Himself, and then by the strength of His Divine arm. How this was done is described in a little work on the Last Judgment, published at London in the year 1758. This was accomplished by the Lord when He was in the world. A similar judgment has also been accom­plished by the Lord at this day, for, as was said above, now is His second coming, which is foretold everywhere in the Apoca­lypse; and in Matt. xxiv. 3, 30; in Mark xiii. 26; in Luke xxi. 27; also in the Acts of the Apostles i. 11; and in other places. The difference is that at His first coming the hells had so increased by idolaters, magicians, and falsifiers of the Word; but at this second coming by so-called Christians, both those who are steeped in naturalism, and also those who have falsified the Word, by confirmations of their fabulous faith concerning three Divine Persons from eternity, and concerning the passion of the Lord, that it was redemption itself; for it is these who are meant by the dragon and his two beasts in the Revelation xii. and xiii. (TCR n. 121)

The reason why the angels could not have subsisted in a state of integrity if redemption had not been wrought by the Lord, is that the whole angelic heaven, together with the church on earth, before the Lord is as one man, whose internal constitutes the angelic heaven, and whose external constitutes the church; or more particularly, whose head constitutes the highest heaven, whose breasts and middle region of the body constitute the second and the ultimate heaven, and whose loins and feet constitute the church on earth; and the Lord Himself is the soul and life of this whole man. If therefore the Lord had not wrought redemption this man would have been destroyed,—as to the feet and loins, by the defection of the church on earth; as to the gastric region, by the defection of the lowest heaven; as to the breast, by the defec­tion of the second heaven; and then the head, having no corre­spondence with the body, would fall into a swoon. (TCR n. 119)

The Redemption

The Redemption

Redemption itself was the Subjugation of the Hells, and the establishment of Order in the Heavens, and preparation thereby for a new spiritual church. (TCR n. 115)

That the Lord while He was in the world fought against the hells, and conquered and subjugated them, and thus brought them under obedience to Him, is evident from many passages in the Word, of which I shall select these few:—In Isaiah: “Who is this that cometh from Edom, besprinkled as to His garments from Bozrah? this [that is] honourable in His apparel, travelling in the multitude of His strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garment as one that treadeth in the wine-press? I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people [there was] not a man with Me; therefore I trod them in Mine anger, and trampled them in My wrath; thence their victory is sprinkled upon My gar­ments; .. for the day of vengeance is in, Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come: … Mine arm brought salvation to Me; … I made their victory descend to the earth…. He said, Be­hold My people, they are children; therefore He became to them a Saviour; … in His love and in His pity He redeemed them” (lxiii. 1-9). These things are said of the Lord’s conflict against the hells. By the garment in which He was honourable and which was red the Word is meant, to which violence was offered by the Jewish people. The conflict itself against the hells and the victory over them is described by the saying that He trod them in  His anger, and trampled them in His wrath. That He fought alone and of His own power is described by the words: “Of the people [there was] not a man with Me; … Mine arm brought salvation to Me; I made their victory descend to the earth.” That thereby He saved and redeemed is meant by these: “Therefore He became to them a Saviour; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them. “That this was the cause of His coming is meant by the words: “The day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come.” Again in Isaiah: “He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him, and His righteous­ness it sustained Him; and He put on righteousness as a breast­plate, and the helmet of salvation upon His head; and He put on, the garments of vengeance, and covered Himself with zeal as with a cloak…. Then cometh the Redeemer to Zion” (lix. 16, 17, 20). In Jeremiah: “They were dismayed, … their mighty ones were beaten down; they fled apace; they looked not back; this day is to the Lord Jehovah of Hosts a day of vengeance, that He may take vengeance on His enemies; the sword shall devour and be satiated” (xlvi. 5, 10). Both of these passages relate to the Lord’s conflict against the hells, and victory over them. In David: “Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Mighty; … Thine arrows are sharp; the people shall fall under Thee, from the heart of the King’s enemies; Thy throne … is for ever and ever…. Thou hast loved righteousness, therefore God hath anointed Thee” (Psa. xlv. 3-7); also in many other places. Since the Lord alone conquered the hells, without help from any angel, therefore He is called a Hero and a Man of Wars (Isa. xliv. 15; ix. 6); The King of Glory, Jehovah the Mighty, the Hero of War (Psa. xiv. 8, 10) “The Mighty One of Jacob (cxxxii. 2); and in many places Jehovah Sabaoth, that is, Jehovah of Hosts. And also His advent is called the day of Jehovah, terrible, cruel, a day of indignation, of wrath, of anger, of vengeance, of ruin, of war, of a trumpet, of a loud noise, of tumult. In the Evangelists it is said: “Now is the judgment of this world: the prince of this world shall be cast out” (John 31); “The prince of this world is. judged” (xvi. 11); “Be assured I have overcome the world” (xvi. 33); “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke x. 18). By the world, the prince of the world, Satan, and the Devil, is meant hell. (TCR n. 116)

It is known in the Church that the Lord is the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race; but how this is to be understood is known by few. They who are in the externals of the Church believe that the Lord redeemed the world, that is the human race, by His blood, by which they understand the passion of the Cross. But those that are in the internal [truths] of the Church know that no one is saved by the Lord’s blood, but by a life according to the precepts of faith and charity from the Lord’s Word. Those who are in the inmost [truths] of the Church, understand by the Lord’s blood the Divine Truth proceeding from Him, and by the passion of the cross they understand the last of the Lord’s temptation, by which He entirely subjugated the hells, and at the same time glorified His Human, that is made it Divine; and that thereby He redeemed and saved all who suffer themselves to be regenerated, by a life according to the precepts of faith and charity from His Word. By the Lord’s blood also in the internal sense, accord­ing to which the angels in the heavens perceive the Word, Divine Truth is meant proceeding from the Lord. But how man was saved and redeemed by the Divine, through the sub­jugation of the hells and the glorification of His Human, no one can know , unless He knows that with every man there are angels from heaven, and spirits from hell, and unless these are present with man continually he cannot think anything, or will anything; and that thus as to his interiors man is either under the dominion of spirits who are from hell, or under the dominion of angels from heaven. When this is first known, then it may be known that unless the Lord had entirely subdued the hells, and reduced all things both there and in the heavens to order, no man could have been saved. So, unless the Lord had made His Human Divine, and had thereby won over the hells and over the heavens to eternity. or without Divine power neither the hells nor the heavens can be kept in order; since the power by which anything exists must be perpetual in order that it may subsist, for subsistence is perpetual existence. The very Divine, which is called the Father, without the Divine Human, which is called the Son, could not effect this; inasmuch as the very Divine without the Divine Human cannot reach to man, nor even to an angel, when the human race have altogether removed themselves from the Divine,—as was the case in the end of times, when there was no longer any faith nor any charity. For this reason the Lord then came into the world and restored all things, and this by virtue of His Human, and thus saved and redeemed man through faith and love to the Lord from the Lord. For those [that have this faith and love] the Lord can withhold from the hells and from eternal damnation; but not those who reject faith and love from Him to Him, for these reject salvation and redemption. (AC n. 10, 152)