Jesus is Jehovah

One of the most harmful ideas a Christian can have is that the Holy Trinity represents three persons, rather than three attributes of one Divine Person (like omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence).

Under this “polytheistic” concept the idea of Salvation becomes ludicrous. It portrays that God the Father became utterly disgusted with the human race but that His Son, after suffering on the cross for the sake of humankind, so impressed Him with compassion that He had second thoughts. Of course, this means the Heavenly Father only really loved His Son and humans are still to be considered as worthless crap. This divine shallowness makes it hard to reconcile how God can be infinite love and infinite wisdom.

This idea of the Trinity gets even worse when we consider that technically, Jesus saves no one, but that Jehovah God sends the Holy Spirit to do the actual saving. So worshiping God is tricky business. We mortals can easily make the mistake of approaching the wrong God at the wrong time. Such a spiritual faux pas can land us into eternal trouble (yes, people with good hearts can be damned on technicalities).

This confusing matter is cleared up when a person comes to understand that the stories of Scripture offer three distinct levels of meaning, each containing deeper interpretations of God’s revealed truth. But since it is extremely difficult to share with you entirely new levels of interpretation (quantum language) within a short post, I can happily say that even a careful inspection of the literal (lowest) meaning of the Holy Word verifies that there is only One God. In other words, it is Jehovah God who is eternally concerned for humankind and who is our redeemer and savior:

I will make mention of mercies of Jehovah; He hath requited them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His mercies; and He became their Saviour. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His faces saved them; in His love and in his pity He redeemed them. (Isaiah 63:7-9)

In the amazing theological work of Emanuel Swedenborg, entitled the Apocalypse Revealed (pages 405-7) he offers several other biblical quotes that point to the idea that Jehovah Himself would come into the world and assume the Human form as our visible Savior. Here are a few:

It shall be said in that day, Lo, This is our God, whom we have waited for, that He may free us; This is Jehovah, whom we have waited for; let us exult and rejoice in His salvation. (Isaiah, 25:9)

Am I not Jehovah? and there is no God else besides Me; a just God and a Savior, there is none besides Me. (Isaiah, 45:21,22)

Unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given, whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Hero, the Father of eternity, the Prince of peace. (Isaiah, 9:6)

Philip said unto Jesus, Show us the Father; Jesus said unto him, He that seeth Me seeth the Father; how sayest thou than, show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me. (John, 14:8-11)

Thankfully, most worshippers do not bother with the mind-numbing details of how their particular Church denomination explains the Holy Trinity. This spares many Christians from falling into false doctrines.

But should you be of an inquisitive mind, I invite you to ask your priest or minister to give you the exact and full details of how God, under the Trinitarian Doctrine, will save you. Since your salvation is at stake, DEMAND AN ANSWER. Then you be the judge of whether it satisfies Jehovah God’s first commandment.

If they tell you that faith in Jesus overrides following the ten commandments, then get the heck out of there!

If you would like more information on this topic see my two previous posts entitled, The Divine Rope-A-Dope, and Physics And The Easter Miracle.

DO NOT DESPAIR

DO NOT DESPAIR

A Sermon by Rev. Terry Schnarr Preached in Sydney, Australia June 11, 1995

“Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and loose its seven seals” (Rev. 5:5).

The comfort and consolation of this passage summarizes the meaning of the whole of the fifth chapter of the book of Revelation. Don’t worry. Be happy. Don’t grieve, mourn, and feel sorry for yourself. The Lord God Jesus Christ rules over all things of our lives.

He rules over the angels and evil spirits who are our constant companions, making sure that we are in freedom to make good rational choices even after we have made many bad choices over and over again. Every day, every hour, is new, and we have the freedom to begin a new life.

When John saw the scroll sealed with seven seals and heard that there was no one worthy to open the book, he cried a lot; he wept much. Why? What was he grieving about? John was crying because he knew that if the book was not opened, the whole human race would perish. The whole human race would come under the power and control of satans and devils from hell. Each one of us would be compelled to love ourselves and the world, to be selfish and materialistic, and would spend eternity in hell. John cried out of grief and sadness for the whole human race.

We sometimes find ourselves in this state of grief. It is a depressed state of mind in which we feel, and think, that we just can’t be saved. We feel and think that we can never change, that we will always continue to say and do the nasty and mean things we have habitually done. We feel and think that there is no one who can help, that there is no one with any power to change or do anything for us. We feel despair. We feel hopeless. This is what John felt and expressed, though his concern was for all people, not just himself.

The scroll sealed with seven seals is the Word of God, the Old and New Testaments. Before the Lord made His second coming and revealed the hidden meaning in the stories of the Bible, people did not know how or why the Bible was holy. It appeared to be a poor history book about the Children of Israel and the Jewish race, and a man named Jesus who claimed to be the Son of God, performed miracles and taught a new way of relating to one another.

On the one hand the Word was written to guide us into a closer relationship with God and with each other. On the other hand, it is written in parables and incomprehensible visions, hiding God’s love and wisdom from people who would abuse them for the sake of their own selfish desires. The Word, revealing all of God’s infinite love and wisdom, is hidden from people to protect them from themselves. The Lord opens the hidden meanings in the Word to people slowly and gradually according as they grow in love and wisdom, by doing what it clearly teaches.

After we die, the Lord will begin to open the seven seals of the Word, allowing us to see and understand what is contained in it. How we respond and react to the opening of the Word will depend on how much we have loved the Word and tried to live by it in this world. If we have studied the Word, prayed for enlightenment, asked the Lord to help us shun our evils, and tried to do what the Word teaches out of love for the Lord, then as the internal meanings are revealed to us in the spiritual world we will gladly and readily drink it in. We will go into heaven where there are other people like ourselves who love the Lord and love to try to understand and live according to His Word.

On the other hand, if we have ignored the Word, or only pretended to be interested in living according to its teachings, when the seals are opened to us in the world of spirits after death we will continue to have no interest. In fact, as the Word is opened and we hear and learn of the love and wisdom of God, we will feel revolted. We will turn away and want to hear no more. As the seals continue to open, revealing how far away from loving God and loving our neighbors we really are because we have not done what the Word teaches, have not loved it, have not studied it we will want to get away from the Word. We will flee from heaven and the angels and find a place in hell with people like ourselves who have no interest in the Lord, the Word, or being kind to other people. In both instances we will judge ourselves by how we respond and react to the opening of the Word.

This is what takes place after death for each of us, preparing us for an eternal marriage relationship with the Lord or an eternal life alone against all the other satans and devils of hell. We will judge ourselves by measuring our habitual loves and thoughts and life next to the Word.

Obviously, the devils and satans in hell would not have minded if there really had been no one to open the scroll. Their selfishness, materialism, and love of dominating over others would never have been exposed. They would have been able to trick the new people coming into the spiritual world and turned them into slaves for their own evil purposes. They would gradually have turned the world of spirits, between heaven and hell, into a realm or kingdom in which they ruled and had all power. Then they would have been able to control all the people in the world so that none of us would have a chance to be good or go to heaven because all the angelic influences from the Lord would have been cut off from us. We would feel only evil desires and think only false rationalizations. We all would have been condemned to an eternal life in hell.

This is why John wept much and grieved. He could see the resulting destruction which would come to the human race if the Word of God was not opened. While we can identify with the personal feeling of despair of ever being changed and saved a feeling induced by the evil spirits with us most of us have difficulty recognizing how the whole human race was threatened by the hells.

Most of us have difficulty believing in our hearts, feeling it, that Jesus Christ saved us from destruction. He did this by being in the world, facing the evil spirits, satans, and devils from hell, and bringing them under His control by resisting their influences. The Lord saved the entire human race, all people of all religions, from eternal damnation.

In the middle of the 1700s the hells had again risen up out of hell and were invading the world of spirits, threatening the human race. They had been able to rise up because people were no longer understanding the Word, which was bound with seven seals. People thought the Word was saying that all one needed to do was to believe God sent His Son into the world to save us and then we would be saved, and that although God was one, there were three people in God. Such ideas brought so much confusion in the world and the world of spirits that the hells were able to rise up again.

The time had come for the Lamb to take the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne and open the seals, to restore order in the spiritual world, and ensure once and for all the freedom of the human race.

In His second advent the Lord opened the seals of the Word and revealed the hidden interior meaning of the parables and stories of the Bible. Through the revelation given by Him through the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg the Lord brought rational light and understanding to the meaning of the Word, both in the world of spirits and on the earth. In His second coming the Lord opened the seals of the book sealed with seven seals. Doing this brought about a massive last judgment in the spiritual world, as all the angels, devils, and spirits responded in their own way to the new heat and light or love and wisdom now available in the spiritual world. Some were attracted and some were repelled. Because the new revelation is not in parables but is given in rational explanations, the ordering of the spiritual world will become permanent.

The elder comforted John by telling Him the Lamb, the Lord in His Divine Human, could and would open the seven seals. This is also why the angels sang a new song, why ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels praised the Lord with loud voices, and why the 24 elders fell down and worshiped Him. They were all rejoicing and praising the Lord because He had made His second advent and was about to perform a Last Judgment which would free every individual in the whole human race to choose his own eternal life. They were rejoicing because they knew that from then on, the whole human race would be free to enter into a rational marriage relationship with the Lord that a new golden age of peace, love, and happiness could come.

This is what is meant by the words of the new song the angels sang:

You are worthy to take the book, and to open its seals,
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God in Your blood,
Out of every tribe and tongue
And people and nation,
And have made us unto our God kings and priests,
And we shall reign on the earth (Rev. 5:9,10).

“Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and loose its seven seals” (Rev. 5:5).


Lessons: Revelation chap. 5, AR 279, 283, 284

Apocalypse Revealed

279. Verse 9. “And they sang a new song” signifies acknowledgment and glorification of the Lord, that He alone is the Judge, Redeemer, and Savior, thus the God of heaven and earth. These things are contained in the song which they sang, and the things which are contained are also signified; as an acknowledgment that the Lord is the Judge, in these things which now follow: “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof.” That He is the Redeemer, in this: “Because Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us in Thy blood.” That He is the Savior, in this: “Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign upon the earth.” That He is the God of heaven and earth, in this: “They fell down and adored Him that liveth for ages of ages” (verse 14).

Since the acknowledgment that the Lord alone is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine, and that in no other way could He be called the Redeemer and Savior, was not before in the church, it is therefore called a “new song.” The reason why “a song” also signifies glorification, which is confession from joy of heart, is because singing exalts, and causes affection to break out from the heart into sound, and show itself intensely in its life. Nor are the Psalms of David any other than songs; for they were played and sung, and therefore were also called songs in many passages … That songs were for the sake of exalting the life of love, and the joy derived from it, is evident from the following passages: “O sing unto Jehovah a new song, make a joyful noise unto Jehovah all the earth, resound, shout” (Psalm 98:1, 4-8). “Sing unto Jehovah a new song, let Israel rejoice in His Maker, sing psalms to Him” (Ps. 169:1-3). “Sing unto Jehovah a new song, lift up the voice” (Isa. 42:10,12). “Sing, O ye heavens, shout ye lower parts of the earth, resound with singing, ye mountains” (Isa. 44:23; 49:13) [et alia].

283. Verse 10. “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests” signifies that from the Lord they are in wisdom from Divine truths and in love from Divine goods, and thus images of His Divine wisdom and of His Divine love, as above (n. 21).

284. “And we shall reign upon the earth” signifies and will be in His kingdom, He in them and they in Him. By “reigning upon the earth” nothing else is meant than being in the Lord’s kingdom, and there one with Him, according to these words of the Lord: “That all who believe in Me may be one, and may be one as Thou Father art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us; and the glory which thou gavest Me I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and Thou in Me, that where I am, they also may be with Me” (John 17:20-24).

As, therefore, they are thus one with the Lord, and, together with the Lord, constitute a kingdom, which is called the kingdom of God, it is evident that nothing else is signified by “reigning.” It is said “to reign” because it was before said, “Thou hast made us kings and priests”; and by “kings” are signified they who are in wisdom from Divine truths from the Lord; and by “priests,” they who are in love from Divine good from Him (n.20); hence it is that the kingdom of the Lord is also called “the kingdom of the saints” (Dan. 7:15,27); and it is said of the apostles, that “with the Lord they should judge the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28).

Nevertheless the Lord alone judges and reigns; for He judges and reigns from Divine good by Divine truth, which is also from Him in them; but he who believes that what is in them from the Lord is their own is cast out of the kingdom, that is, out of heaven. The signification of “reigning” is the same in the following passages in the Apocalypse: “They shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (20:4,6). And concerning those who are to enter into the New Jerusalem: “The Lamb shall enlighten them, and they shall reign for ages of ages” (22:5).

JOY IN THE COMING OF OUR LORD

JOY IN THE COMING OF OUR LORD

A Sermon by Rev. David C. Roth Cataloged May 4, 1997

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him …. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy” (Matthew 2:2,10).

How often have we been in the same position as the wise men, or maybe the same situation as the shepherds? We are in a position similar to theirs when we are told of the Lord and the message of His Word. As He did for the wise men and the shepherds, the Lord has made Himself known to each of us in different ways, and now it is up to us to respond. Both the shepherds and the wise men were told in different ways about the coming of the Lord and then given guidance to that special place where the Lord chose to be born. Although both were present to see the newborn Savior, they received the message of the Lord’s birth in different ways.

Most likely each of us has a favorite story in relation to the Lord’s birth. We may even ask ourselves whether it was the wise men or the shepherds who responded in a more favorable way to the announcement of the Lord’s advent. But this question is not really very important when we realize that the essential observation is the one that points to the fact that both the wise men and the shepherds did respond. They both heeded the Lord’s call, but in different ways, each according to his own state – different states, yet states which were acceptable to the Lord. How can we then apply the responses of the wise men and shepherds to our own lives on this Christmas day? As we examine the stories of the shepherds and the wise men, the spiritual sense shows us clearly of their application to our lives.

The first thing, however, that we must understand is the importance of the Lord’s birth. Without His coming we could not be in freedom to be regenerated by Him. His coming has redeemed mankind; that is, He put the hells back where they belonged, put the heavens in order so that they could be safe from the attack of the hells, and began a new church where people could love the Lord and their neighbors (see TCR 86). By His birth and fulfilled life here on earth the Lord is now present with us fully and powerfully in His Word; we are not left alone. It was this message involving all this wonderful work to be done by the Lord which the shepherds were told of, and which the wise men sought to see fulfilled. As the angel of the Lord proclaimed to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10,11). The message was clearly one to pay attention to, one to be happy about. A Savior had come, of whose kingdom there would be no end.

When we consider the call of the shepherds we see a unique response. The shepherds at this time of the year lived out in the fields with their sheep day and night, always keeping a watchful eye on their tender flocks. Perhaps we envision it being cold and dark, with the shepherds staying close to keep themselves warm. This is illustrative of the type of world into which the Lord was born – cold from the lack of charity and love, and dark because of the false understanding in which the world had engulfed its minds. Yet even in all this cold and darkness there were a few who possessed an innocence and a willingness to be led and taught by the Word. We can see this in the story of the shepherds. A shepherd represents one who teaches the truths and goods of faith. A good shepherd, that is, one that guards and protects his flock, shows us a picture of someone who is learning, protecting and storing up goods and truths. This is a picture of a basically good person, yet one who believes that life is his own, and that most power is from himself. He has been working hard to learn the truths of the Lord’s Word; however, he remains in a state of darkness as to how it all applies to his life, and how it leads him closer to the Lord and away from self. But with this learning of truth and innocent willingness the Lord is able to come to us and be born in our hearts.

The first thing which the appearing angel said to the shepherds was, “Fear not.” This represents a renewal of life, meaning that the Lord will create a new heart within us, a heart that acknowledges the Lord as our Savior and not ourselves. This actually can be a real cause for fear. We read, “For all who come suddenly from self-life into any spiritual life are at first afraid, but their life is renewed by the Lord” (AC 80). It can be a difficult and scary thing to give our life over to the care of the Lord when we feel so strongly that life is our own and that we have the power ourselves to conquer evil. When the Lord draws near, the result is temptation, and if we are good we will fear for the loss of good and truth. His nearer presence makes it feel as if we are losing what good and truth we have. But it is when we do follow the Lord, when we listen to the angel’s good tidings, that He can truly care for us. The manger in which the shepherds found the Lord represents spiritual nourishment. It is here in the presence of the Lord that we are nourished and instructed. The Lord does not lead us to Himself and then starve us; He will fill us to overflowing. The Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes means first truths, truths of innocence from the Lord’s Divine Love. When we come to the Lord He nourishes and instructs us in those things which will make us ready for His kingdom, a kingdom of innocence, love, and use.

After seeing the Babe, “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them” (Luke 2:20). This response by the shepherds signifies a true confession and worship, which comes when we acknowledge in our hearts that there is nothing of good in ourselves, and that we can do nothing of ourselves – and, on the other hand, that all good is from the Lord, and that the Lord can do all things (see AC 1210). The Heavenly Doctrines say further of this response, “When man is in this acknowledgment he puts aside what is his own, which belongs to the love of self, and opens all things of his mind, and thus gives room for the Divine to flow in with good and with power” (AC 1210). The shepherds heard the Lord’s call and followed it. We can be like the shepherds ourselves when we make the same sort of acknowledgment regarding the power of the Lord. He will call us in His Word, but if we are looking to ourselves for strength we will not hear Him. We may celebrate the Lord’s advent, but not with the same conviction for the Lord as we would if we humbled ourselves and gave glory to the King of Glory.

From this beautiful picture of innocence as seen in the story of the shepherds we now turn to a different scenario: one of wisdom and perseverance – the story of the wise men. The wise men seemed to have a special quality about them. They knew about the advent of the Lord because they had a knowledge of the Word and its prophecies. We read concerning them, “The knowledge of correspondences survived among a number of the Orientals, even until the Lord’s Advent, as is evident from the wise men of the east who came to the Lord at His birth” (SS 23), “and that they knew of His Advent by a star which appeared to them in the east” (AC 10177).

It is interesting to think of the fact that those who were of the Jewish faith who had the Old Testament Word and who should have known that the Lord was to be born had no idea of it. When the wise men came and asked Herod, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” he had no answer but called the chief priests and scribes together to help. We can imagine that perhaps Herod was a bit embarrassed that he, the king, did not know this, as well as being jealous of this newborn King. The Word says that ” … he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. ” Whatever the nature of the response, again it was quite indicative of the state of the Jewish Church at the time. Not only was their knowledge of the Word lacking and false but many, like Herod, had an all-out hatred for the Lord. This is plainly shown in Herod’s plot to kill the infant Lord, a plot which resulted in the slaying of thousands of innocent children in Bethlehem.

The Jews at this time, it seems, were not planning or looking for the Lord. And when they did find out that He had come, there was no room in their hearts nor their inns to greet Him. Yet, as with the shepherds, we see in the story of the wise men others who were ready for the Lord. But we observe a difference in their response to the Lord’s coming, the main difference being that the wise men were actively seeking out the Lord. They had seen His star in the east and had come to worship Him. They traveled a long distance to see the star that had come out of Jacob, the Scepter that had risen out of Israel, He who was to be born King of the Jews.

In the spiritual sense, the east represents love, and the star that went before them signifies knowledge from heaven (see AC 3762, SS 23). The wise men traveling eastward to the land of the east was representative of those who in their life are moving toward the good of faith. This, the Writings teach, is nothing else than charity toward the neighbor, or a life according to the Lord’s commandments (see AC 3249). In this spiritual picture we can see that it is the knowledges of good and truth found in the Lord’s Word, represented by the star, which guide us to a life of charity or love, that is, which guide us to the Lord Himself. This paints a beautiful picture for each of us. We see that it is through the learning of the Lord’s truths and commands that we can be led to Him.

Still, the most beautiful aspect of the wise men’s response to the Lord’s Advent is seen when they departed from Herod for Bethlehem and the star reappeared before them. “And behold the star which they had seen in the east went before them, til it came and stood over where the young Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Exceeding great joy! What kind of a feeling did they have? It must have been an overwhelming feeling of excitement and internal peace over having embarked upon the last leg of the journey to their Savior, the star’s reappearing to assure them that the Lord was with them as they continued their trek. Can we ever have such feelings of great joy in our religious life? We certainly can, and we must! Talking to a person who has recently become aware of the wisdom and love found in the Heavenly Doctrines can certainly emanate exceeding great joy. Or a newly engaged or married couple show it to a certain degree. Perhaps we can even relate it to the expression a young child shows on Christmas morning. However, if we are raised in the New Church, do we lose this excitement, or never let it show? If we do, how can we regain this feeling or bring it out so that others can share it? One answer is to be like the wise men, to seek out the Lord in His Word and then come to Him when we see the star, that is, the knowledges from heaven contained in the Word. We may not find the Lord right away. Even the wise men thought they would find the Lord in Jerusalem, but He wasn’t there. They could have given up, but they asked others where He could be found. It is essential to talk to others about our beliefs and our quest for the Lord. They can add to our understanding and love for the Lord, and perhaps our picture then becomes clearer for us, which can eventually lead us to Him. Notice, the star showed itself again until it came and stood over where the young Child was. It led the wise men right to the Lord. We need the truths and goods represented by the star to lead us, and to keep leading us throughout life.

It is important to realize that truth will lead us to the Lord and make us happy, but the real joy for us in our spiritual lives will be when we come to the Lord offering gifts to Him, as the wise men did. These gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were more than just earthly treasures. They represented testifications of the heart or will, the heart found in a person that is truly thankful for all that the Lord has done for him, and shows it by following His Word. These gifts represented things pleasing to God, because their origin is in love and faith toward Him – the love represented by gold, and our faith by the frankincense, and by myrrh is represented our love and faith grounded in things external, which is a life in obedience and love to the Lord and to our neighbor. These are the gifts which the Lord is asking us to bear on Christmas day and beyond. But more importantly to know, they are the gifts which He gives us and wills to give each of us when we respond to His coming. So on this Christmas day let us ask ourselves the following question with the earnest desire to find the answer: “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” Let us then search diligently for His star in the east and come to worship Him, that is, live a life of charity and faith in Him, because it is in this kind of a life where we too can share the vision of the shepherds and the excitement of the wise men. “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him … And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Amen.

Lessons: Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 2:1-12; AE 661


Apocalypse Explained 661

“And shall send gifts one to another” signifies their consociation. This is evident from the signification of “to send gifts” as being to be consociated by love and friendship through good will; for gifts from such an affection and disposition bring together the well-disposed as well as the ill-disposed; here those are meant who are opposed to the goods of love and the truths of doctrine, which are signified by “the two witnesses” who were killed and cast forth into the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt. It is to be known that to the ill-disposed and wicked nothing is more delightful than to destroy the goods of love and the truths of doctrine wherever they are, and to do evil to those with whom these are; for such burn with hatred against these; consequently from the hell where such are, there continually breathes forth a deadly hatred against celestial love and spiritual faith, and therefore against heaven, and especially against the Lord Himself; and as often as they are permitted to do evil they are in the delight of their heart. Such is the brutal nature of those who are in hell. This, therefore, is what is meant by “they shall rejoice over them and shall be glad.” Moreover, the wicked enter into friendships and consociate themselves for doing harm to the well- disposed; they are consociated by the delight of hatred, which is the delight of their love; this makes them appear as if friends in heart when yet they are enemies. This, therefore, is the signification of “shall send gifts one to another.”

Because gifts captivate the mind and consociate, it was a custom in ancient times to give gifts to the priest and the prophet, as also to the prince and the king, when they were approached (I Sam. 9:7, 8); and it was also a statute that they should not appear empty (that is, without a gift) before Jehovah, but in their feasts everyone should bring a gift according as he had been blessed (Exod. 23:15; 34:20; Deut. 16:16, 17). So too: “The wise men from the east brought gifts to the Lord just born: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2: 1 1), according to the prediction in David (Psalm 72:10). So again: “The oblations upon the altar, which were sacrifices, and also the meal offerings and drink-offerings, were called gifts” (Isaiah 18:7; 57:6; 66:20; Zeph. 3: 10; Matt. 5:23, 24), and this because external gifts signified internal or spiritual gifts, namely, such as go forth from the heart, and thence are of the affection and faith; and as by these conjunction is effected, in the spiritual sense “gifts” in reference to God signify conjunction, and in reference to men consociation.