Copyright © 1993 by Lee Woofenden. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 22

The Lord

280 There is one God, who is the creator and keeper of the universe. So he is the God of both heaven and earth.

281 Two things make our life heaven: good actions done out of love and true ideas that come from faith. We get this life from God; not a single bit of it comes from ourselves. So the most important thing in religion is to accept God, believe in God, a nd love him.

282 If we are born Christian, we should accept the Lord--both his divinity and his humanity--and believe in him and love him, since all spiritual well-being comes from the Lord. The Lord taught this in John:

People who believe in the Son will live forever. People who do not believe in the Son will not see life. God's anger will stay in them. (3:36)

Also in John:

The one who sent me wants everyone who sees the Son and believes in him to live forever, and he will bring them back to life on the last day. (6:40)

And in the same book:

Jesus said, "I am the one who raises you from death, and I am life. If you believe in me, even though you die, you will still live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die to all eternity." (11: 25-26)

283 Because of this, Christians who do not accept the Lord and his divinity can have no connection with God, which means they cannot be together with the angels in heaven. The only way we can be united with God is if the union comes from the Lord and is in the Lord.

The Lord taught in John that no one can be united with God except through the Lord: "No one has ever seen God. His only Son, who is close to God's heart, has made him known" (1:18). Also in John: "You have never heard the Father's voice or seen his f ace" (5:37). In Matthew: "No one knows the Father except the Son and those people whom the Son wants to show him to" (11:27). In John: "I am the path, the truth, and the life. The only way you can reach the Father is through me" (14:6).

We can only be united with God through the Lord because the Father is in him, and they are one person--as he teaches in John:

If you had known me, you would also have known my Father. . . . Anyone who sees me, sees the Father. Philip, don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? . . . Believe me, I am in the Father, and the Father is in me. (14:7- 11)

Also in John:

The Father and I are one person. . . . This is so that you can know and believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. (10: 30, 38)

284 The Father is in the Lord, and they are one person. Also, we should believe in him, and if we do we will live forever. So you can see that the Lord is God. The Bible teaches that the Lord is God, as in this passage in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . Everything was made through him, and nothing that was made was made without him. . . . And the Word became physical, and lived with us. We saw his splendor--it was like the splendor of the Father's only Son. (1: 1, 3, 14)

And in Isaiah:

A boy has been born for us. A Son has been given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. His name will be . . . God, Champion, Father forever, the peaceful Prince. (9:6)

Also in Isaiah:

A virgin will conceive and have a baby. . . . And his name will be "God with us." (7:14; Matthew 1:23)

And in Jeremiah:

Look! The day is coming . . . When I will lift up a righteous branch from David's line, who will rule as King, and will prosper. . . . And this will be his name: Jehovah our Righteousness. (23:5-6; 33:15-16)

285 All Christians who have light from heaven see the divine in the Lord. If we do not have light from heaven, we only see the human side of the Lord. Yet, the divine and the human are united so that they are one person. The Lord teaches this in anoth er place in John: "Father, everything that is mine is yours, and everything that is yours is mine" (17:10).

286 Christians know that the Lord was conceived from Jehovah the Father, which means he was conceived from God. We also know that he rose from death with his whole body, since nothing was left in the tomb. Afterwards, he assured his disciples of this when he said, "Look at my hands and feet, and you will see that it is I. Touch me and see. A spirit does not have bone and muscle as you can see I do" (Luke 24:39).

Even though he was a person with bone and muscle, he came into the room through closed doors, and after he let them know who he was, he disappeared (John 20: 19, 26; Luke 24:31).

With people it is different. When we rise from death, we keep only our spirit, and not our physical body. So when he said that he was not like a spirit, he was saying that he was not like any other person. So you can see that the human part of the Lo rd is also divine.

287 We all get our central being, or soul, from our father.[5] The expression of life from our soul is our body. So our body is a mirror of our soul, since our soul carries on its life through our body at will. This is why we are born like our parents , and families can be distinguished from each other.

So you can see that the body, or human side of the Lord, was just like the divine that was the central being of his life meaning the Soul from the Father. That is why he said, "Whoever sees me sees the Father" (John 14:9).

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[5] Along with many educated people of his day, Swedenborg believed that our soul comes from our father and our body comes from our mother. This belief goes at least as far back a Plato, with whom Swedenborg was very familiar.

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288 The statement of faith accepted in the entire Christian world says that the divine and human parts of the Lord are one person:

Although Christ is God and Man, still he is not two, but one Christ. Yes, he is completely one and a single Person. Just as the soul and body are one person, God and Man are one Christ. (The Athanasian Creed)

289 If we think of the divine as three people, we cannot have an idea of one God. Even if we say there is one God, we still think there are three. But if we think of the divine as three different parts of one person, we can have an idea of one God, sa y there is one God, and also think there is one God.

290 We have this concept of three parts of one person when we think of the Father as being in the Lord, and the Holy Spirit as coming from him. Then the three parts are in the Lord. The divine itself is called the Father, the divine humanity is called the Son, and the divine action is called the Holy Spirit.

291 Since everything in the Lord is divine, he has all power in heaven and on earth. In John he said that the Father "handed everything over to the Son" (3:35), and that the Father gave the Son "authority over all human beings" (17:2). In Matthew he s aid, "The Father has handed everything over to me" (11:27), and "I have been given all power in heaven and on earth" (28:18). This kind of power is divine power.

292 If we think the Lord's human side is the same as the human side of other people, we are overlooking his conception directly from the divine, and we are not realizing that our body is an expression of our soul. We also ignore his rising from death with his entire body, not to mention how he looked when he was transformed and his face blazed with light like the sun. And we do not consider what the Lord said about believing in him, about his being one with the Father, about how he became divine, and about his power over heaven and earth. These are divine qualities that are attributed to his human side.

We also forget that even the human part of the divine is everywhere (Matthew 28:20)--and this is where we get our belief that he is present in the Holy Supper everywhere. Being everywhere is a divine attribute.

In fact, when we think this way, we do not realize that the part of the divine called the Holy Spirit comes from his human side. Yet it actually comes from his humanity that has been made divine, since the Bible says: "There was not yet a Holy Spirit , because Jesus had not yet been glorified" (John 7:39).

293 The Lord came into the world to rescue the human race, which otherwise would have died a death that lasts forever. He saved us by getting hell under control, since hell was attacking every person who came into and left the world. At the same time, by doing this he made his human side divine. So now he can keep hell under control forever.

He got hell under control and made his human side divine by always winning the inner struggles that gained access to him through the human part that he got from his mother. His struggle on the cross was the last of these inner struggles, and gave him a complete victory.

294 The Lord taught in John that he brought the hells under control. When it was almost time for the struggle on the cross, Jesus said, "Now comes the verdict on this world. Now the leader of this world will be thrown out" (12: 27-28, 31). In the same book he said, "Take heart! I have defeated the world." (16:33)

In Isaiah, it says:

Who is this coming from Edom? . . . Striding forward with tremendous strength . . . with great power to set us free. . . . I saved myself with my own arm. . . . So he became their liberator. (63:1-19; 59:16-21)

In John we are also told that he made his human side divine, and that his struggle on the cross was the last of his inner struggles and gave him a complete victory, which made him Divine:

After Judas left, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified . . . and God will glorify him within himself, and will immediately glorify him." (13: 31-32)

Also in John:

Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son can also glorify you. (17: 1, 5)

And in the same book:

"Now my soul is distressed. . . . Father, glorify your name." And a voice came from the sky, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." (12: 27-28)

And in Luke he said:

Shouldn't Christ have endured this, to come to his glory? (24:26)

These passages refer to his struggle on the cross. "Glorifying him" means making him divine.

All this means that no human being could have been set free unless the Lord had come into the world and become human, and in this way freed from hell everyone who believes in him and loves him. That is why there is no spiritual well-being without the Lord.

295 When the Lord had made his human side completely divine, he left behind the human part from his mother, and put on the humanity from his Father, which is the divine humanity. So at that point, he was no longer Mary's son.

296 The most basic and important thing in any religion is to know and accept its God. Without this knowledge and acceptance, there is no relationship with God. This is what Christianity is like if we do not accept the Lord. The Lord taught this in Joh n: "People who believe in the Son will live forever. But people who do not believe in the Son will not see life. God's anger will stay in them" (3:36). And in another place, "Unless you believe that I am, you will die with your faults" (8:24).

297 There are three aspects of the Lord: the divine itself, the divine human, and the divine action. This is a secret from heaven for people who will be part of the holy Jerusalem.

Chapter 23

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