I ask this question because it seems that the work of human salvation is not finished. Thus, there is the spiritual addendum called the “Second Coming.”
Something further seems to be required for things to improve in the world.
Even orthodox Christianity states that the Lord’s act of taking on the sins of the world still requires an individual to go one step further and either believe (through Faith) that Jesus was the Savior or base this same belief on good works. Otherwise the Lord’s life and death affects nothing in our personal lives.
So what did the Lord actually accomplish while on earth? Start a new religion? Make his “Father” take notice?
I now turn to the unique spiritual doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg for the answers.
Swedenborg claimed that Jesus was Jehovah in the flesh! This concept runs counter to the belief that the Divine encompasses three distinct Personalities—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Without offering lengthy arguments to provide evidence for Swedenborg’s monotheistic claim, I will—for now—focus on the rational reasons for the necessity of a divine entity coming into the spacetime arena of human history.The world has many problems. Religion makes the assertion that these problems originate from Hell and the general population’s dismissal of God’s tenets. Swedenborg, taking a scientific approach to faith issues, pointed out that the finite powers of Hell could never directly oppose an Infinite God (there is no ratio between the finite and the infinite). The Hells can only go after finite terrestrial humans. So how can God duke it out with the devil?
The Lord God’s strategy of assuming a finite physical body and being born on earth created the proper medium and battleground for the Hells to attack the Divine. Swedenborg insisted that most of the Lord God’s activities were invisible to human eyesight because Jesus was reorganizing the Heavens and subjugating the Hells through His victories in resisting all possible temptations. (The final temptation was on the “Cross” whereby the Lord stayed put and resisted the flawed, ego-driven desire to rule by dominating through physical force—rather than through Heavenly Truth.) During this inner battle, the Lord successfully unified his human nature (which he received from his earthly mother) with his Divine nature (Jehovah was the Lord’s soul). This unification was the “Glorification.”
God’s holy warfare did not directly save humankind from sin, but kept the door open for the possibility of salvation. We each must also decide to engage ourselves in a similar inner struggle during our life on earth and ask for the help of the Lord (who alone can—and did—conquer every possible evil allurement). Swedenborg also made the unpleasant claim that if the Lord God had not come into the world and taken on the Hells from an inner—or psycho-spiritual—battlefield, the entire human race would have morphed into gruesome monsters before finally perishing.
As a student of Swedenborg’s ideas (since 1974) I also came across one of his statements that without God storing innocent thoughts and feelings during our infancy to create a plane for angelic influences to gain a psycho-spiritual foothold in our inner world, we would also lose our humanness and morph into monsters of all description. Swedenborg called this inner plane where innocence is stored, the “remains.” (Nowhere else in worldly faith systems and religious doctrine is the idea of “remains” even acknowledged.)
This leads me to conclude that, while on earth, the Lord fought to keep this plane of activity—the remains—intact. Swedenborg also stated that the Lord’s saving activity operates only from a person’s remains because this inner plane acts as the soil for the future and genuine spiritual growth of an individual.
So what the Lord accomplished on earth was to regain top-down control of all universal processes and preserve the potential in all humans for angelic transformation.
The “Second Coming” (which the Lord promised was close at hand) represents the moment an individual allows the Lord to enter into our heart and mind and begin our personal battle against the forces of evil, and the vanities and allurements of the terrestrial globe. With this new inner engagement will come a greater and deeper understanding of the narratives of Holy Scripture—all of which refer to the development of one’s remains during the genuine process of salvation and purification.
In other words, the ball is now in your court.