The Lord The Redeemer: 4. The “Son of God” is the human manifestation in which God sent himself into the world. (Continued)

Since the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy One that will be born from you will be called the Son of God,” I will now quote passages from the Word to show that the Lord in his human manifestation is called “the Holy One of Israel”:

I was seeing in visions, behold a Wakeful and Holy One coming down from heaven. (Daniel 4:13, 23)

God will come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. (Habakkuk 3:3)

I, Jehovah, am holy, the Creator of Israel, your Holy One. (Isaiah 43:15)

Thus said Jehovah, the Redeemer of Israel, its Holy One. (Isaiah 49:7)

I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1, 3)

As for our Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth is his name, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 47:4)

Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 43:14; 48:17)

Jehovah Sabaoth is his name, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 54:5)

They challenged God and the Holy One of Israel. (Psalms 78:41)

They have abandoned Jehovah and provoked the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 1:4)

They said, “Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from our faces.” Therefore thus said the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 30:11, 12)

Those who say, “His work should go quickly so we may see it; and the counsel of the Holy One of Israel should approach and come.” (Isaiah 5:19)

In that day they will depend on Jehovah, on the Holy One of Israel, in truth. (Isaiah 10:20)

Shout and rejoice, daughter of Zion, because great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 12:6)

A saying of the God of Israel: “In that day his eyes will look toward the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 17:7)

The poor among people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:19; 41:16)

The earth is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel. (Jeremiah 50:29)

Also see Isaiah 55:5; 60:9; and elsewhere.

“The Holy One of Israel” means the Lord in his divine human manifestation, for the angel says to Mary, “The Holy One that will be born from you will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

From the passages just cited that describe Jehovah as the Holy One of Israel, you can see that although the names are different, “Jehovah” and “the Holy One of Israel” are one.

Many, many passages show that the Lord is called “the God of Israel,” such as Isaiah 17:6; 21:10, 17; 24:15; 29:23; Jeremiah 7:3; 9:15; 11:3; 13:12; 16:9; 19:3, 15; 23:2; 24:5; 25:15, 27; 29:4, 8, 21, 25; 30:2; 31:23; 32:14, 15, 36; 33:4; 34:2, 13; 35:13, 17, 18, 19; 37:7; 38:17; 39:16; 42:9, 15, 18; 43:10; 44:2, 7, 11, 25; 48:1; 50:18; 51:33; Ezekiel 8:4; 9:3; 10:19, 20; 11:22; 43:2; 44:2; Zephaniah 2:9; and Psalms 41:13; 59:5; 68:8

from True Christianity, Section 93

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The Lord The Redeemer: 4. The “Son of God” is the human manifestation in which God sent himself into the world.

The Lord frequently says that the Father “sent” him, or that he “was sent” by the Father (for example, Matthew 10:40; 15:24; John 3:17, 34; 5:23, 24, 36, 37, 38; 6:29, 39, 40, 44, 57; 7:16, 18, 28, 29; 8:16, 18, 29, 42; 9:4; and very often elsewhere). The Lord says this because “being sent into the world” means coming down among people, which he did through the human manifestation he took on through the Virgin Mary.

The human manifestation really is the Son of God, in that he was conceived by Jehovah God as the Father, as it says in Luke 1:32, 35.

He is called “the Son of God,” “the Son of Humankind,” and “the Son of Mary.” “The Son of God” means Jehovah God in his human manifestation. “The Son of Humankind” means the Lord in his role as the Word. “The Son of Mary” properly means the human manifestation he took on. Just below we will show that “the Son of God” and “the Son of Humankind” have the meanings just mentioned. As for “the Son of Mary” meaning just the human manifestation, this is obvious from human reproduction. The soul comes from the father, the body from the mother. The soul is in the father’s semen; it is clothed with a body in the mother. To put it another way, everything we have that is spiritual comes from our father; everything physical comes from our mother.

In the Lord’s case, the divine nature he had came from Jehovah his Father; the human nature he had came from his mother. These two natures united together are “the Son of God.” The truth of this is clearly substantiated by the Lord’s birth, as recorded in Luke: “The angel Gabriel said to Mary, ‘The Holy Spirit will descend upon you and the power of the Highest will cover you; therefore the Holy One that is born from you will be called the Son of God’” (Luke 1:35).

Another reason why the Lord described himself as “sent” by the Father is that “someone who has been sent” has a similar meaning to “an angel.” The word “angel” in the original language means “one who has been sent.” [The Lord] is said to be [an angel] in Isaiah, “The Angel of the Faces of Jehovah has freed them. Because of his love and his mercy he redeemed them” (Isaiah 63:9); and in Malachi, “Suddenly the Lord will come to his temple—the One you seek, the Angel of the Covenant, whom you desire” (Malachi 3:1); besides other passages.

Where we discuss the divine Trinity below in chapter 3 of this work [Sections 163–188] it will become clear that the divine Trinity—God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—exists within the Lord; the Father in him is the divinity he draws on, the Son is his divine human manifestation, and the Holy Spirit is the divine power that radiates [from him].

from True Christianity, Section 92

The Lord the Redeemer: 3. In the process of taking on a human manifestation, God followed his own divine design.

In the section on divine omnipotence and omniscience we showed that in the act of creating, God introduced his design into the universe as a whole and into each and every thing in it. Therefore in the universe and in all its parts God’s omnipotence follows and works according to the laws of his own design. The treatment of those laws runs from Sections 49 to 74.

Now, because God came down, and because he is the design (as was also shown in that section), there was no other way for him to become an actual human being than to be conceived, to be carried in the womb, to be born, to be brought up, and to acquire more and more knowledge so as to become intelligent and wise. Therefore in his human manifestation he was an infant like any infant, a child like any child, and so on with just one difference: he completed the process more quickly, more fully, and more perfectly than the rest of us do.

This statement in Luke shows that he followed the divine design in his progress:

“The child Jesus grew and became strong in spirit, and he advanced in wisdom, age, and grace with God and with humankind” (Luke 2:40, 52).

Other statements about the Lord in the same Gospel make it clear that he grew up more quickly, more fully, and more perfectly than the rest of us; for example, when he was “a child of twelve, he sat and taught in the Temple in the midst of the scholars, and all who heard him were astounded at his insightful answers” (Luke 2:46–47). Likewise later on; see Luke 4:16–22, 32.

The Lord’s life followed this path because the divine design is for people to prepare themselves to accept God; and as they prepare themselves, God enters them as if he were coming into his own dwelling and his own home. The preparation entails developing a concept of God and of the spiritual things related to the church—that is, developing intelligence and wisdom.

It is a law of the divine design that the closer and closer we come to God, which is something we have to do as if we were completely on our own, the closer and closer God comes to us. When we meet, God forms a partnership with us. The Lord followed this design even to the point of union with his Father, as we will show later on [Sections 97–99, 105–106].

People who do not know that the divine omnipotence follows and works according to the divine design are capable of hatching many concepts from their own imaginations that contradict and oppose sound reason. For example, they might wonder why God did not instantly take on a human manifestation without going through life stages. They might wonder why he did not create or assemble a body for himself from substances from all four directions of the world. If he had, he could have presented himself as a human God before the Jewish people and in fact before the entire world. Or if he had especially wanted to go through the birth process, why did he not pour his whole divinity into that embryo, or else into himself as a baby? Or right after he was born why did he not expand himself to the size of an adult and immediately start speaking divine wisdom? People who think of divine omnipotence without thinking of the divine design are capable of conceiving and giving birth to these thoughts and others like them, and filling the church with craziness and garbage—which, of course, has actually happened.

Take for example the idea that God could procreate a Son from eternity and could arrange that a third God would then emanate from himself and his Son. Or the idea that God could be enraged at the human race and schedule it for destruction, but then be willing to be brought back to compassion by the Son through the Son’s intercession and the Father’s recollection of the cross. Not only that, but God could put his Son’s justice into people and insert it into their hearts like Wolff’s “simple substance,” in which, as that author himself says, everything of the Son’s merit exists, even though that substance cannot be divided, since divided it would collapse into nothing. Then there is the idea that through a Papal bull God could forgive the sins of anyone he felt like forgiving and could purify utterly godless people of their black sins, thereby making dark devils shine like angels of light, while the godless people changed and developed no more than a stone would, but instead stayed as still as a statue or an idol.

People who fixate on divine, absolute power without recognizing or acknowledging any divine design are capable of scattering abroad these and many other insane ideas the way a winnower scatters chaff on the wind. On spiritual topics having to do with heaven, the church, and eternal life, people like this are prone to wander far from divine truths like a blind man in a forest who one moment trips over stones, the next knocks his head against a tree, and the next catches his hair in the branches.

The divine miracles followed the divine design as well; they followed the design of inflow from the spiritual world into the physical one. Until now no one has known anything about this design, however, because no one has known anything about the spiritual world. The nature of this design will be revealed in its own time, when I come to the discussion of divine miracles as opposed to magical miracles.

from True Christianity, Sections 89-91

The Lord the Redeemer: 2. Jehovah God came down as the divine truth, which is the Word; but he did not separate the divine goodness from it. (Continued)

Jehovah God came into the world as divine truth for the purpose of redeeming people. Redemption was a matter of gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and then establishing a church. Divine goodness does not have the power to do these things, but divine truth that comes from divine goodness does. In and of itself, divine goodness is like the round butt of a sword, like a blunted piece of wood, or like a bow by itself. Divine truth that comes from divine goodness is like a sharp sword, like a sharpened wooden spear, and like a bow with arrows, all three of which are effective weapons against enemies. In fact, swords, spears, and bows in the spiritual sense of the Word mean truths for battle (see Revelation Unveiled 52, 299, 436).

Nothing but divine truth from the Word could attack, conquer, and bring under control the falsities and evils that the entirety of hell possessed then and still possesses now. Nothing else could found, build, and organize a new heaven—another thing God did at the time. Nothing else could establish a new church on earth. Besides, all God’s strength, force, and power belong to the divine truth that comes from divine goodness. This was why Jehovah God came down as divine truth, which is the Word.

This is why it says in David,

“Gird your sword upon your thigh, O Mighty One, and in your honor arise, ride on the word of truth. Your right hand will teach you amazing things. Your arrows are sharp. Your enemies will fall beneath you” (Psalms 45:3–5).

These statements concern the Lord, his battles with the hells, and his conquests of them.

Human beings provide an obvious example of the nature of goodness without truth as opposed to the nature of truth that is connected with goodness. All our goodness resides in our will; all our truth resides in our intellect. For all its goodness, our will cannot accomplish anything whatever without our intellect. It cannot function; it cannot talk; it cannot sense. All its force and power comes through our intellect, that is, through our truth, since the intellect is truth’s vessel and its dwelling place.

The situation with our will and our intellect is similar to the functioning of the heart and the lungs in our bodies. When the lungs are not breathing, the heart is incapable of producing any bodily movement or sensation. What produces movement and sensation is the breathing of the lungs in connection with the heart. A proof of this is the loss of consciousness experienced by people who suffocate or fall in the water, when their breathing stops but the systolic activity of their heart continues. As we know, they lose sensation and the ability to move. Their condition is similar to embryos in mothers’ wombs. The reason for it is that the heart corresponds to the will and its goodness, while the lungs correspond to the intellect and its truths.

The power of truth is perfectly obvious in the spiritual world. Individual angels who have divine truths from the Lord, even if their physique is as feeble as that of a baby, can take on a whole squadron of infernal spirits that look like giants, like the Anakim and the Nephilim. One angel can force such spirits to flee, chase them to hell, and push them down into underground caves there. Whenever those spirits come out of the caves they do not dare come near the angel.

In that world those who have divine truths from the Lord are like lions, even if in physique they are no stronger than sheep. Even in this world the same is true for people in relation to evils and falsities. People who have divine truths from the Lord have the power to fight devils who are in full battle formation. Essentially those devils are nothing but evils and falsities.

Divine truth has this kind of strength because God is absolute goodness and absolute truth. He created the universe by means of divine truth, and all the laws of the divine design through which he preserves the universe are truths. This is why it says in John,

“All things were made by the Word, and nothing that was made was made without it” (John 1:3, 10)

and in David,

“By the Word of Jehovah the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalms 33:6).

Although God came down as divine truth, he did not separate the divine goodness from it. This becomes clear from his conception, about which we read that the power of the Highest covered Mary (Luke 1:35). “The power of the Highest” means the divine goodness.

This also becomes clear from the passages where the Lord says that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, that all things belonging to the Father are his, and that the Father and he are one, and so on. “The Father” means the divine goodness.

from True Christianity, Section 86-88

We Live Like Jesus in This World: 2. Jehovah God came down as the divine truth, which is the Word; but he did not separate the divine goodness from it.

Two things constitute the essence of God: divine love and divine wisdom; or, what is the same, divine goodness and divine truth. (Above at Sections 36–48 we showed that these two constitute the essence of God.) The expression “Jehovah God” in the Word means these two qualities. “Jehovah” means divine love or divine goodness; “God” means divine wisdom or divine truth. This is why these names occur in various ways in the Word. At times just Jehovah is named; at other times, just God. When the subject is divine goodness he is called Jehovah. When the subject is divine truth he is called God. When both are involved he is called Jehovah God.

It is clear from John that Jehovah God came down as divine truth, which is the Word:

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. And the Word became flesh and lived among us. (John 1:1, 3, 14)

“The Word” in this passage means divine truth because the Word that exists in the church is divine truth itself. The Word was dictated by Jehovah himself, and what Jehovah dictates is pure divine truth—it cannot be anything else. Nevertheless, because it passed all the way through the heavens into the world, it became adapted to angels in heaven and also to people in the world. As a result, in the Word there is a spiritual meaning in which divine truth is in the light and there is an earthly meaning in which divine truth is in shadow. The divine truth in this Word is what was meant in John.

This is clearer still from the fact that the Lord came into the world to fulfill all the things in the Word. This is why it says many times that this or that happened to him in order to fulfill Scripture [see Section 262]. Divine truth is precisely what “the Messiah” and “Christ” mean, what “the Son of Humankind” means, and what “the Comforter, the Holy Spirit” that the Lord sent after his death means. During his transfiguration on the mountain before his three disciples (Matthew 17[:1–13]; Mark 9[:2–13]; Luke 9[:28–36]) and also during his transfiguration before John in Revelation 1:12–16, the Lord represented himself as the Word, as we will see in the chapter below on Sacred Scripture [Section 222].

From the Lord’s own words it is clear that he was present in the world as divine truth: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). This is also clear from these words:

“We know that the Son of God came and gave us understanding so that we would know the truth. And we are in the truth in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

This becomes still clearer from the fact that he is called the light, as in these passages:

He was the true light that enlightens everyone who comes into the world. (John 1:9)

Jesus said, “For a brief time the light is still with you. Walk while you have the light so the darkness will not overtake you. While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become children of the light.” (John 12:35, 36)

I am the light of the world. (John 9:5)

Simeon said, “My eyes have seen your salvation, a light of revelation to the nations.” (Luke 2:30, 32)

This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world. Those who do the truth come toward the light. (John 3:19, 21)

There are other such passages as well. “The light” means divine truth.

from True Christianity, Section 85

The Lord The Redeemer: 1. Jehovah God came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them. (Continued)

God could not have redeemed people, that is, rescued them from damnation and hell, without first taking on a human manifestation. There are many reasons for this; they will be disclosed step by step in what follows. Redemption was a matter of gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and then establishing a church. Despite his omnipotence, God could not accomplish these things except through his human manifestation, as one cannot do work without arms. In fact, in the Word his human manifestation is called the arm of Jehovah (Isaiah 40:10; 53:1). By analogy, one cannot attack a fortified city and destroy the temples of idols there without powerful means.

The Word as well makes it clear that having a human manifestation gave God the omnipotence to do this divine work. God is in the inmost and purest realms. There was no other way he could cross over to the lowest levels where the hells exist and where people were at that time, just as a soul cannot do anything without a body. By analogy, there is no way to overpower enemies who are not in sight and whom we cannot get close to with weapons such as spears, shields, or guns.

To redeem people without a human manifestation would have been as impossible for God as it would be for someone [outside India] to take control of people in India without sending in troops on ships. It would be as impossible as growing trees on heat and light alone if air had not been created as a medium through which they travel and earth had not been created in which the trees could grow. In fact, it would be as impossible as catching fish by throwing a net in the air and not in the water.

Given Jehovah’s inherent nature, despite his omnipotence he could not touch any individual devils in hell or any individual devils on earth and control them or their rage or tame their violence unless he could be as present in the farthest realms as he is in those closest to him. In his human manifestation he is in fact present in the farthest realms. This is why the Word refers to him as the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End [Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13].

from True Christianity, Section 84

The Lord The Redeemer: 1. Jehovah God came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them. (Continued)

The idea that it was some eternally begotten Son who came down and took on a human manifestation turns out to be utterly wrong, collapses, and vanishes in the face of passages in the Word like the following, where Jehovah himself says that he is the Savior and Redeemer:

Am not I Jehovah? And there is no other God except me. I am a just God, and there is no Savior except me. (Isaiah 45:21–22)

I am Jehovah, and there is no Savior except me. (Isaiah 43:11)

I am Jehovah, your God, and you are not to acknowledge a God except me. There is no Savior except me. (Hosea 13:4)

So that all flesh may know that I, Jehovah, am your Savior and your Redeemer. (Isaiah 49:26; 60:16)

As for our Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth is his name. (Isaiah 47:4)

Their Redeemer is strong; Jehovah Sabaoth is his name. (Jeremiah 50:34)

Jehovah, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)

Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am Jehovah, your God.” (Isaiah 48:17; 43:14; 49:7)

Thus said Jehovah, your Redeemer: “I, Jehovah, am the maker of all things. I alone [stretch out the heavens. I extend the earth] by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24)

Thus said Jehovah, the King of Israel, and its Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth: “I am the First and the Last, and there is no God except me.” (Isaiah 44:6)

You, Jehovah, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is your name. (Isaiah 63:16)

“With the compassion of eternity I will have mercy.” So says your Redeemer, Jehovah. (Isaiah 54:8)

You have redeemed me, Jehovah of truth. (Psalms 31:6)

Israel should hope in Jehovah, because with Jehovah there is compassion; with him there is the most redemption. He will redeem Israel from all its forms of wickedness. (Psalms 130:7–8)

Jehovah God and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, will be called God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5)

From these passages and very many others, all who have eyes and open minds can see that God, who is one, came down and became human for the purpose of redeeming people. Anyone who pays attention to the divine sayings just quoted can see this as clearly as something in the morning light.

There are people, though, who are in the dark of night because they have convinced themselves that there was another god, eternally begotten, who came down and redeemed humankind. These people close their eyes to these divine sayings, and consider with eyes shut how to twist the sayings and apply them to their false beliefs.

from True Christianity, Section 83

The Lord The Redeemer: 1. Jehovah God came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them.

The belief among Christian churches nowadays is that God, the Creator of the universe, procreated a Son from eternity. That Son came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them. This belief is wrong, however. It spontaneously falls apart as long as our thinking focuses on the fact that there is one God. To sound reason it is worse than nonsense to think that the one God procreated some Son from eternity and that God the Father together with the Son and the Holy Spirit, each of whom is individually God, together make one God. This fiction completely vanishes like a shooting star in the air when the Word is quoted to show
(a) that Jehovah God himself came down and became human and
(b) that Jehovah God also became the Redeemer.

As for the first point, the following passages show that Jehovah God himself came down and became human:

Behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a Son, who will be called God with us. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

A Child is born to us; a Son is given to us. Authority will rest on his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

It will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God. We have waited for him to free us. This is Jehovah whom we have waited for. Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)

The voice of one crying in the desert, “Prepare a way for Jehovah; make a level pathway in the solitude for our God. And all flesh will see it together.” (Isaiah 40:3, 5)

Behold, the Lord Jehovih is coming with strength, and his arm will rule for him. Behold, his reward is with him; like a shepherd he will feed his flock. (Isaiah 40:10–11)

Jehovah said, “Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Zion. Behold, I am coming to live in your midst.” Then many peoples will cling to Jehovah in that day. (Zechariah 2:10–11)

I, Jehovah, have called you in justice; I will give you as a covenant to the people. I am Jehovah. This is my name. I will not give my glory to another. (Isaiah 42:6, 8)

Behold, the days are coming when I will raise up for David a righteous offshoot who will reign as king and execute judgment and justice on the earth. And this is his name: Jehovah our Justice. (Jeremiah 23:5–6; 33:15–16) Then there are the passages where the coming of the Lord is called “the day of Jehovah,” such as Isaiah 13:6, 9, 13, 22; Ezekiel 31:15; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 2, 11, 29, 31; 3:1, 14, 18; Amos 5:13, 18, 20; Zephaniah 1:7–18; Zechariah 14:1, 4–21; and elsewhere.

That Jehovah himself was the one who came down and took on a human manifestation is clearly established in Luke, when it says, “Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this take place, since I have not had intercourse?’ The angel replied to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will descend upon you, and the power of the Highest will cover you; therefore the Holy One that is born from you will be called the Son of God’” (Luke 1:34–35). In Matthew it says that in a dream an angel told Joseph, who was betrothed to Mary, that the child that had been conceived in her was from the Holy Spirit. And Joseph did not have intercourse with her until she gave birth to a Son and called his name Jesus (Matthew 1:20, 25). The “Holy Spirit” means the divine power that radiates from Jehovah God, as we will see in the third chapter of this work [Sections 138–188].

Everyone knows that an offspring’s soul and life come from its father, and the body comes from that soul. To state it very openly, then, the Lord’s soul and life came from Jehovah God; and because divinity cannot be divided, the Lord’s soul and life was the Father’s divinity itself. This is why the Lord frequently called Jehovah God his Father, and Jehovah God called the Lord his Son. What would be more absurd to hear therefore than the idea that the soul of our Lord came from Mary his mother? Yet this is the very thing that both Roman Catholics and Protestants are dreaming today, and they have not been awakened by the Word yet.

from True Christianity, Section 82

The Lord the Redeemer

The previous chapter was on God the Creator, and also included material on creation. This chapter is on the Lord the Redeemer, and also includes material on redemption. The following chapter is on the Holy Spirit, and will also include material on divine action.

By “the Lord, the Redeemer” we mean Jehovah in his human manifestation. In what follows, we will show that Jehovah himself came down and took on a human manifestation for the purpose of redeeming.

We speak of “the Lord” rather than “Jehovah” because Jehovah of the Old Testament is called “the Lord” in the New, as you can see from the following passages. In Moses it says, “Hear, O Israel, Jehovah your God, Jehovah is one. You are to love Jehovah God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 6:4–5); but in Mark it says, “The Lord your God is one Lord. You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Mark 12:29–30). Likewise in Isaiah it says, “Prepare a way for Jehovah; make a level pathway in the solitude for our God” (Isaiah 40:3); but in Luke it says, “I will go before the face of the Lord to prepare the way for him” (Luke 1:76). There are other instances elsewhere.

Furthermore, the Lord commanded his disciples to call him Lord [John 13:13]. Therefore this is what he was called by the apostles in their letters, and afterward what he was called in the apostolic church, as is clear from its creed, called the Apostles’ Creed.

One reason for this change of names was that the Jews did not dare to say the name Jehovah, because of its holiness. Another reason is that “Jehovah” means the underlying divine reality, which existed from eternity; but the human aspect that he took on in time was not that underlying reality. The nature of the underlying divine reality or Jehovah was shown in the previous chapter, Sections 18–35.

Because of this, here and in what follows when we say “the Lord” we mean Jehovah in his human manifestation.

The concept of the Lord has an excellence that surpasses all other concepts that exist in the church or even in heaven. Therefore we need to adhere to an orderly sequence, as in the following, to make this concept clear:

1. Jehovah, the Creator of the universe, came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them.

2. He came down as the divine truth, which is the Word; but he did not separate the divine goodness from it.

3. In the process of taking on a human manifestation, he followed his own divine design.

4. The human manifestation in which he sent himself into the world is what is called “the Son of God.”

5. Through acts of redemption the Lord became justice.

6. Through these same acts he united himself to the Father and the Father united himself to him, again following the divine design.

7. Through this process God became human and a human became God in one person.

8. When he was being emptied out he was in a state of progress toward union; when he was being glorified he was in a state of union itself.

9. From now on, no Christians will go to heaven unless they believe in the Lord God the Savior and turn to him alone.

I need to address these statements one by one.

from True Christianity, Section 81

Notes:

Sections 18-35: See 7/25/2017-8/11/2017

Marriage in Heaven (continued)

Marriages on earth are the seedbed of the human race and also of the angels of heaven, for as already noted in its own chapter, heaven is from the human race. For this reason, and because they do have a spiritual origin (from the marriage of the good and the true), and because the Lord’s divine nature flows especially into this love, these earthly marriages are seen as most holy by heaven’s angels. Correspondingly, adultery, as the opposite of marriage love, is seen by them as unholy; for as angels see in marriages a marriage of the good and the true, which is heaven, so in adultery they see a marriage of the false and the evil, which is hell. So if they even hear adultery mentioned, they turn away. This is why heaven is closed to people if they commit adultery because they enjoy it. Once it is closed, the Divine Being is no longer acknowledged, nor is anything of the faith of the church.

I could tell that everyone in hell is opposed to marriage love from the aura that emanated from hell. It was like a ceaseless effort to break up and destroy marriages. This showed that the dominant pleasure in hell is the pleasure of adultery, and that the pleasure of adultery is also the pleasure of destroying the union of the good and the true, the union that makes heaven. It follows from this that the pleasure of adultery is a hellish pleasure, diametrically opposed to the pleasure of marriage, which is a heavenly pleasure.

There were some spirits who plagued me with particular ingenuity because of their practice during their physical life. They did this by a rather subtle inflow, almost wavelike, a kind that is characteristic of honest spirits; but I could tell that there were elements of deception and the like within them, intended to ensnare and deceive. Eventually I talked with one of them who had been in command of an army when he lived in the world, so I was told. Since I could tell that there was something licentious in what he was processing mentally, I talked with him about marriage in a spiritual language, using images—many of them very brief—that expressed my sentiments fully. He said that during his physical life he had thought nothing of acts of adultery.

It occurred to me to tell him, though, that acts of adultery are unspeakable, no matter how different and even permissible they may look to people like him because of the pleasure they are grasping and their consequent rationalizations. He might realize this simply because marriages are the seedbed of the human race and therefore the seedbed of the kingdom of heaven. Because of this, they should never be violated but should be regarded as holy. He might also realize this because he must know that he was now in the other life and in a state to perceive that marriage love was coming down from the Lord through heaven, and that mutual love, the foundation of heaven, was derived from that love as from a parent. There was also the fact that when adulterers merely approach heavenly communities they become aware of their own stench and dive down toward hell. He should at least know that violation of marriage is against divine laws and against the civil laws of all kingdoms as well as contrary to genuine rational light because, among many other things, it is contrary to both divine and human order.

However, he answered that he had not thought that way during his physical life. He wanted to quibble about whether this was true or not; but he was told that there is no quibbling about the truth. Quibbling favors whatever pleases us, and therefore supports what is evil and false. He should first think about what he had been told, because it was true. Or again, he could start from the principle widely acknowledged in the world that we should not do anything to others that we do not want them to do to us. So if anyone had practiced this kind of deception on his own wife, whom he loved (as is the case in the early stages of every marriage), then when he was at the peak of his blazing rage about it and gave voice to his feelings, wouldn’t he himself hold adultery to be detestable and, being intellectually gifted, wouldn’t he of all people defend his condemnation to the point of damning adultery to hell?

I have been shown how the pleasures of marriage love lead to heaven and how the pleasures of adultery lead to hell. The path of marriage love toward heaven led into constantly increasing blessings and delights until they were beyond number or description. The deeper they were, the more of them there were and the more indescribable they were, all the way to the delights of the inmost heaven, the heaven of innocence. All this was accomplished with the greatest freedom, because all freedom stems from love; so the greatest freedom comes from marriage love, which is the essential heavenly love.

On the other hand, the path of adultery led toward hell, step by step to the very lowest where there is nothing that is not grim and terrifying. This is the kind of fate that awaits adulterers after their life in the world. By “adulterers,” we mean people who find pleasure in acts of adultery and not in marriage.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 384-386