1. It is divine wisdom, acting on behalf of divine love, that has omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence (Continued)

In the Word, “justice” is associated with love and “judgment” with wisdom. For this reason I will present some passages to the effect that God governs the world with these two qualities.

Jehovah, justice and judgment are the support of your throne. (Psalms 89:14)

Those who wish to glory should glory in this, that Jehovah creates judgment and justice on earth. (Jeremiah 9:24)

Jehovah should be exalted because he filled the earth with judgment and justice. (Isaiah 33:5)

Judgment will flow like water and justice like a mighty stream. (Amos 5:24)

Jehovah, your justice is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like a great deep. (Psalms 36:6)

Jehovah will bring out his justice like a light, and [his] judgment like noonday. (Psalms 37:6)

Jehovah will judge his people in justice and his poor ones in judgment. (Psalms 72:2)

When I learn the judgments of your justice, seven times a day I praise you for the judgments of your justice. (Psalms 119:7, 164)

I will betroth myself to you in justice and judgment. (Hosea 2:19)

Zion will be redeemed with justice, and its returned exiles with judgment. (Isaiah 1:27)

He will sit on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it with judgment and justice. (Isaiah 9:7)

I will raise up for David a righteous offshoot who will reign as king and execute judgment and justice on earth. (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15)

Elsewhere we read that we ought to practice justice and judgment, as in Isaiah 1:21; 5:16; 58:2; Jeremiah 4:2; 22:3, 13, 15; Ezekiel 18:5; 33:14, 16, 19; Amos 6:12; Micah 7:9; Deuteronomy 33:21; and John 16:8, 10, 11.

from True Christianity, Section 51

1. It is divine wisdom, acting on behalf of divine love, that has omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence

Omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence belong to divine wisdom acting on behalf of divine love, not to divine love acting through divine wisdom. This is a secret from heaven that has never yet dawned on anyone’s understanding, because before this no one has known what love is in its essence, or what wisdom is in its essence, much less how the one flows into the other. Love, with everything that belongs to it, flows into wisdom and takes up residence there like a monarch of a realm or a head of a household. The actual administration of justice is something love leaves to wisdom’s judgment; and since justice relates to love and judgment to wisdom, this means that love leaves the administration of love to its [partner,] wisdom. More light will be shed on this secret in what follows. For now, the statement above will have to serve as a general rule.

The following words in John mean that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent through the wisdom of his love:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by it, and nothing that was made came about without it. In it there was life, and that life was the light for humankind. And the world was made by it; and the Word became flesh. (John 1:1, 3, 4, 10, 14)

In this passage “the Word” means divine truth or, what amounts to the same thing, divine wisdom. This is why the Word is also called “life” and “light,” since life and light are nothing but wisdom.

from True Christianity, Section 50

 

God’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence

We have discussed divine love and wisdom and have shown that these two qualities make up the divine essence. We turn next to God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence because these three attributes come from divine love and divine wisdom much the way the sun’s power and presence everywhere on earth come from the sun’s heat and light. In fact, the heat of the sun’s in the spiritual world (the sun that surrounds Jehovah God)is essentially divine love, and its light is essentially divine wisdom. Clearly then, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence are attributes of the divine essence the way infinity, immensity, and eternity are attributes of the underlying divine reality.

Up until now these three universal attributes of divine essence have not been understood, because it has not been known that they keep to their own pathways, meaning the laws of the divine design. Therefore these attributes need to be elucidated in an examination of the following points:

  1. It is divine wisdom, acting on behalf of divine love, that has omnipotence, omniscience, and  omnipresence.
  2. We cannot comprehend God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence unless we learn that God is divine design, and that he imposed that design on the universe as a whole and on everything in it as he created it.
  3. In the universe and everything in it, God’s omnipotence follows and works through the laws of its design.
  4. God is omniscient; that is, he is aware of, sees, and knows everything down to the least detail that happens in keeping  with the divine design, and by contrast is  aware of, sees, and knows what goes against  the divine design.
  5. God is omnipresent in his design from beginning to end.
  6. Human beings were created as forms of the divine design.
  7. The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more we receive power against evil and falsity from God’s omnipotence, receive wisdom about goodness and truth from God’s omniscience, and are in God because of God’s omnipresence.

These points need to be unfolded one by one.

from True Christianity, Section 49

Everything in the created universe is a vessel for the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One (Continued)

We can conclude from this that Divinity is present in absolutely everything in the created universe and that the created universe is therefore the work of Jehovah’s hands, as it says in the Word. That is, it is a work of divine love and wisdom, for this is what is meant by “Jehovah’s hands.”Further, even though Divinity is present in all things great and small in the created universe, there is no trace of intrinsic divinity in their own being. While the created universe is not God, it is from God; and since it is from God, his image is in it like the image of a person in a mirror. We do indeed see a person there, but there is still nothing of the person in the mirror.

I once heard a number of people around me in the spiritual world talking and saying that they did in fact want to recognize that there was something divine in absolutely everything in the universe because they saw God’s wonders there, and the deeper they looked, the more wonderful were the things they saw. However, when they heard someone say that there actually was something divine in absolutely everything in the created universe, they resented it. This was a sign that they claimed the belief but did not actually believe it.

They were therefore asked whether they could not see this simply in the marvelous ability in every seed of generating its growth in sequence all the way to new seeds. In every seed, then, there is an image of something infinite and eternal, an inherent effort to multiply and bear fruit without limit, to eternity.

Or they might see this in even the tiniest animals, realizing that they contain sensory organs, brains, hearts, lungs, and the like, along with arteries, veins, nerve fibers, muscles, and the activities that arise from them, to say nothing of incredible features of their basic nature that have had whole books written about them.

All these wonders come from God, though the forms that clothe them are of earthly matter. These forms give rise to plant life and, in due sequence, to human life. This is why humanity is said to have been created out of the ground, to be the dust of the earth with the breath of life breathed in (Genesis 2:7). We can see from this that the divine nature is not our possession but is joined to us.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 59, 60

Everything in the created universe is a vessel for the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One (Continued)

There are many things that need to be said about levels of life and levels of vessels of life before I can give an intelligible explanation of the fact that other things in the universe, things that are not like angels and people, are also vessels for the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One—for example, things below us in the animal kingdom, things below them in the plant kingdom, and things below them in the mineral kingdom. Union with them depends on their functions.

All useful functions have their only source in a related union with God that is, however, increasingly dissimilar depending on its level. As we come down step by step, this union takes on a nature in which there is no element of freedom involved because there is no element of reason. There is therefore no appearance of life involved; but still these are vessels. Because they are vessels, they are also characterized by reaction. It is actually by virtue of their reactions that they are vessels. I will discuss union with functions that are not useful after I have explained the origin of evil (Sections 264–270).

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 58

Everything in the created universe is a vessel for the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One (Continued)

Everything created from this source is in its own nature suited to be receptive of God not by continuity but by contact. Union comes through contact, not through continuity. What is created is suitable for this contact because it has been created by God in God. Because it has been created in this way, it is an analog; and because of the union, it is like an image of God in a mirror

This is why angels are not angels in their own right but are angels by virtue of their union with the Divine-Human One; and their union depends on their acceptance of what is divinely good and what is divinely true. What is divinely good and what is divinely true are God, and seem to emanate from him even though they are within him. Their acceptance depends on the way angels apply the laws of his design, which are divine truths, to themselves, using their freedom to think and intend according to their reason, a freedom given them by God as their own possession. This is what enables them to accept what is divinely good and divinely true in apparent autonomy; and this in turn is what makes possible the mutual element in their love, for as already noted [§48], love is not real unless it is mutual. It is the same with us here on earth.

All this enables us finally to see that everything in the created universe is a vessel for the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 56, 57

Everything in the created universe is a vessel for the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One

We acknowledge that everything in the universe, great and small, has been created by God. That is why the universe and absolutely everything in it is called “the work of Jehovah’s hands”in the Word.

People do say that the whole world was created out of nothing, and they like to think of “nothing”as absolutely nothing. However, nothing comes from “absolutely nothing” and nothing can. This is an abiding truth. This means that the universe, being an image of God and therefore full of God, could be created by God only in God. God is reality itself, and everything that exists must come from that reality. To speak of creating something that exists from a “nothing”that does not exist is a plain contradiction of terms.

Still, what is created by God in God is not a continuation of him, since God is intrinsic reality and there is no trace of intrinsic reality in anything created. If there were any intrinsic reality in a created being, it would be a continuation of God, and any continuation of God is God.

The angelic concept involved is that anything created by God in God is like something within ourselves that we have put forth from our life, but the life is then withdrawn from it. It then agrees with our life, but still, it is not our life. In support of this, angels cite many things that happen in their heaven, where they say that they are in God and that God is in them, and yet that they have in their being no trace of God that is actually God. This may serve simply as information; more of the angels’evidence will be offered later (Section 116).

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 55

Everything in the universe was created by the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One (Continued)

Created, finite things may be said to have reality and manifestation, substance and form, life, and even love and wisdom, but all of these are created and finite. The reason we can say they have these attributes is not that they possess any divinity but that they are in Divinity and there is Divinity in them. Anything that has been created is intrinsically without soul and dead, but it is given a soul and brought to life by the presence of Divinity in it, and by its dwelling in Divinity.

The divine nature is not different in one subject than it is in another. Rather, one created subject is different from another: there are no two alike, so each vessel is different. This is why the divine nature seems to differ in appearance. I will be talking later [§275] about its presence in opposites.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 53, 54

Everything in the Universe Was Created by the Divine Love and Wisdom of the Divine-Human One

Everything in the universe was created by the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One. The universe, from beginning to end and from first to last, is so full of divine love and wisdom that you could call it divine love and wisdom in an image. This is clearly evidenced by the way everything in the universe answers to something in us. Every single thing that comes to light in the created universe has such an equivalence with every single thing in us that you could call us a kind of universe as well. There is a correspondence of our affective side and its consequent thought with everything in the animal kingdom, a correspondence of our volitional side and its consequent discernment with everything in the plant kingdom, and a correspondence of our outermost life with everything in the mineral kingdom.

This kind of correspondence is not apparent to anyone in our physical world, but it is apparent to observant people in the spiritual world. We find in this latter world all the things that occur in the three kingdoms of our physical world, and they reflect the feelings and thoughts of the people who are there—the feelings that come from their volition and the thoughts that come from their discernment—as well as the outermost aspects of their life. Both their feelings and their thoughts are visible around them looking much like the things we see in the created universe, though we see them in less perfect representations.

From this it is obvious to angels that the created universe is an image depicting the Divine-Human One and that it is his love and wisdom that are presented, in image, in the universe. It is not that the created universe is the Divine-Human One: rather, it comes from him; for nothing whatever in the universe is intrinsic substance and form or intrinsic life or intrinsic love and wisdom. We are not “intrinsic persons.” It all comes from God, who is the intrinsic person, the intrinsic wisdom and love, and the intrinsic form and substance. Whatever has intrinsic existence is uncreated and infinite; while what comes from it, possessing nothing within itself that has intrinsic existence, is created and finite. This latter presents an image of the One from whom it derives its existence and manifestation.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 52

Divine love and wisdom cannot fail to be and to be manifested in others that it has created (Continued)

On our grasping and knowing this mystery depends our grasping and knowing God’s manifestation or creation of everything and God’s maintenance or preservation of everything—that is, all the acts of God in the created universe that I will be talking about in the following pages.

Please, though, do not muddle your concepts with time and space. To the extent that there is time and space in your concepts as you read what follows, you will not understand it, because Divinity is not in time and space. This will become clear in the sequel to the present book, specifically on eternity, infinity, and omnipresence.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 50, 51