The Lord Made His Human Nature Divine out of the Divine Nature within Himself, and in This Way Became One with the Father

According to the church’s doctrinal statement accepted throughout the Christian world,

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and a human being. Although he is God and a human being, yet he is not two, but one Christ. He is one because the divine nature took the human nature to itself. Indeed, he is one altogether, because he is one person. Therefore as the soul and the body make one human being, so God and a human being is one Christ.

These words are quoted from the Athanasian statement of faith, which is accepted throughout the Christian world. These are that statement’s essential points concerning the oneness of what is divine and what is human in the Lord. Other points concerning the Lord in that statement will be explained in their proper places [Sections 35, 55–61].

This shows us very clearly that according to the statement of faith of the Christian church, the divine and human natures in the Lord are not two but one, just as the soul and the body is one human being, and that the divine nature took the human nature to itself.

It follows from this that the divine nature cannot be separated from the human or the human from the divine, because separating them would be like separating soul and body. Everyone will acknowledge this who reads the passages about the Lord’s birth cited above (see Sections 19 and 21) from two Gospels (Luke 1:26–35 and Matthew 1:18–25). It is obvious from these passages that Jesus was conceived by Jehovah God and borne by the Virgin Mary. This means that there was something divine within him, and that this was his soul.

Now, since his soul was the actual divine nature of the Father, it follows that his body or human side was made divine as well, for where the one is, the other must also be. In this way and in no other way the Father and the Son are one, the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father, and all that is the Son’s is the Father’s, and all that is the Father’s is the Son’s, as the Lord himself tells us in the Word [John 17:10].

But how this union was brought about I need to explain in the following sequence:

1. The Lord from eternity is Jehovah.

2. The Lord from eternity, or Jehovah, took on a human nature for the purpose of saving us.

3. He made the human nature divine from the divine nature within himself.

4. He made the human nature divine by the trials to which he made himself vulnerable.

5. The complete union of the divine nature and the human nature in him was accomplished by the suffering on the cross, which was his last trial.

6. Step by step he took off the human nature he had taken on from his mother and put on a human nature from what was divine within him, which is the divine human nature and the Son of God.

7. In this way, God became human on both the first [or innermost] level and the last [or outermost] level.

from The Lord, Section

Notes:

Section 19: Published 3/11/2018
Section 21: Published 3/12/2018

Advertisements

It Is Owing to the Lord’s Divine Human That Heaven, in Its Entirety and in Its Parts, Reflects a Person (Continued)

This is why people who do not share in heaven’s concept (that is, in the concept of the Divine Being who makes heaven) cannot be raised even to the first threshold of heaven. The moment any such individuals arrive, they feel a perceptible opposition and forceful resistance. This is because the deeper levels of such people, levels that are intended to accept heaven, are actually closed because they are not in heaven’s form. In fact, the nearer such people come to heaven, the more tightly their deeper levels are closed.

This is the lot of people within the church who deny the Lord and who, like the Socinians, deny his divinity. The lot of people who have been born outside the church and who have not acknowledged him or possessed the Word will be seen below.

We can tell that the ancients had an image of the Divine as human from the way the Divine appeared to Abraham, Lot, Joshua, Gideon, Manoah and his wife, and others. Even though they saw God as a person, they still worshiped him as God of the universe, calling him “God of heaven and earth” and “Jehovah.” In John 8:56, the Lord himself teaches that it was he whom Abraham had seen. We can see that it was the Lord whom others saw from the Lord’s words, “No one has seen the Father or his appearance, or heard his voice” (John 1:18; 5:37).

But people who judge everything on the basis of their outward senses have great difficulty grasping the fact that God is a person. In fact, the only way sense-centered people can think about the Divine Being is on the basis of this world and what it contains, so they can think about a divine and spiritual person only as they do about a physical and natural one. This leads to the conclusion that if God is to be a person, he must be as big as the universe, and if he does rule heaven and earth, it must be through many underlings the way kings on earth rule. If such individuals are told that in heaven there is not the kind of extended space we have in this world, they do not grasp it at all. People who think on the basis of nature and of its light alone cannot help thinking in terms of the kind of extended space that lies before our eyes. However, they are sadly mistaken when they think the same way about heaven. The “extension” that exists there is not like that in our world. In our world, it is fixed and therefore measurable, while in heaven it is not fixed and therefore not measurable. There will, though, be more about extension in heaven below, in the chapters on space and time in the spiritual world.

Further, everyone knows how far our eyesight reaches—all the way to the sun and stars, which are so very far away. Anyone who thinks more deeply also knows that the inner sight that pertains to thought reaches even farther, and that still deeper sight reaches still farther. What must we say, then, of the divine sight, which is the deepest and highest of all?

Since thoughts do have this kind of extension, everything of heaven is communicated to everyone there. This means all of the divine nature that makes heaven and fills it, as I have explained in the preceding chapters.

People in heaven are amazed that people here believe they are intelligent when they think of something invisible in the process of thinking about God, something that cannot be comprehended in any form, and that they call people who think otherwise unintelligent and even simpleminded, when the opposite is in fact the case. They assert that if people who regard themselves as intelligent on this account would examine themselves, they would find nature in the place of God—for some, the nature in front of their eyes, for others, a nature they cannot see with their eyes.

They would find that they are so blind that they do not know what God is, what an angel is, what a spirit is, what the soul is that will live after death, what the life of heaven is for us, or many other things that are matters of intelligence. Yet all the people whom they call simple know these things in their own way. They have an image of God as a Divine Being in human form, an image of an angel as a heavenly person, a concept of their soul that will live after death as being like an angel, and a concept of the life of heaven for us here as living by the divine commandments. Angels refer to these people as intelligent and fit for heaven, but the others they call unintelligent.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 83-86

It Is Owing to the Lord’s Divine Human That Heaven, in Its Entirety and in Its Parts, Reflects a Person (Continued)

The truth of this has been witnessed to me by an abundance of experiences, some of which now follow. None of the angels in the heavens ever sees the Divine in any form except the human form. Even more remarkably, angels in the higher heavens cannot think about what is divine in any other way. They are led into the necessity of thinking this way because of the essential divine that is flowing into them and also because of the form of heaven, which determines how their thoughts reach out around them. In fact, all the thought that angels have spreads out in heaven, and they have intelligence and wisdom in proportion to this outreach. This is why everyone there acknowledges the Lord, since the divine human exists only in him. I have not only been told this by angels, I have been allowed to perceive it when I was raised into a more inward sphere of heaven.

We can see, then, that the wiser angels are, the more clearly they perceive this, which is why the Lord is visible to them. The Lord does appear in a divine angelic form, which is a human form, to people who acknowledge and trust in a visible Divine Being, but not to people who acknowledge and trust in an invisible Divine Being. The former can see the Lord’s divine [form], but the latter cannot.

Since angels do not perceive an invisible Divine Being (which they call a formless Divine) but a visible Divine Being in human form, it is common practice for them to say that only the Lord is a person, and that they are people because of him. They also say that each of us is human in proportion to our acceptance of him. By “accepting the Lord” they understand accepting what is good and true that comes from him, because the Lord is present in everything good and true that comes from himself. Angels call this wisdom and intelligence. They say everyone knows that intelligence and wisdom are what make us human, not simply the outward form by itself.

The truth of this is actually visible to angels of the inner heavens. Since the Lord keeps them engaged in what is good and true and therefore in wisdom and intelligence, they are in the loveliest and most perfect human form; while the angels of lower heavens are in a less perfect and lovely form.

Everything is inverted in hell. In heaven’s light, the people who are there hardly look human at all. They look like monsters. They are caught up in what is evil and false and not in what is good and true, and are therefore in the opposite of wisdom and intelligence. As a result, their life is not called life, but spiritual death.

Since heaven in its entirety and in its parts does reflect a person because of the Lord’s divine human, angels say that they are “in the Lord” and even that they are “in his body,” meaning that they are in the very substance of his love. This is also what the Lord is teaching us when he says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me; for without me you can do nothing. Abide in my love. If you keep my precepts, you will abide in my love” (John 15:4–10).

Since this is how the Divine Being is perceived in the heavens, it is instinctive in everyone who accepts any inflow from heaven to think of the Lord in a human guise. The ancients did so and even modern people do, both outside and inside the church. Simple people see him in thought as an ancient one, in glory.

But this instinct has been stifled by all the people who have distanced themselves from the heavenly inflow by pride in their own intelligence and by evil lives. The ones who have stifled it by pride in their intelligence prefer an invisible God, while the ones who have done so by evil lives prefer no God at all. Because this instinct is not in them, neither type knows that it even exists, although this is the essential heavenly divine nature that flows into us first and foremost from heaven because we are born for heaven; and no one enters heaven without some concept of the Divine Being.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 79-82

It Is Owing to the Lord’s Divine Human That Heaven, in Its Entirety and in Its Parts, Reflects a Person

THIS conclusion—that it is owing to the Lord’s divine human that heaven, in its entirety and in its parts, reflects a person—follows from all the things that have been presented in the preceding chapters:

(1) the Lord is God of heaven [Sections 2–6]

(2) it is the Lord’s divine nature that makes heaven [Sections 7–12]

(3) the heavens are made up of countless communities, and each community is a heaven in smaller form and each angel a heaven in smallest form [Sections 41–58]

(4) the whole heaven, grasped as a single entity, reflects a single individual [Sections 59–67]

(5) each community in the heavens reflects a single individual [Sections 68–72]

(6) therefore every angel is in perfect human form [Sections 73–77]

All these propositions lead to the conclusion that because the Divine is what makes heaven, the Divine is human in form.

It may be seen with somewhat greater clarity that this is the Lord’s divine human from the references to Secrets of Heaven at the close of this chapter, since this collection provides a condensation. It can also be seen from these references that the Lord’s human is divine, contrary to the belief in the church that it is not. This may be seen as well from the material about the Lord at the close of The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Teaching.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 78

Notes:

Sections 2-6: Published 6/1/2017-6/3/2017
Sections 7-12: Published 5/29/2017-5/31/2017
Sections 41-50: Published 5/7/2017-5/10/2017
Sections 51-58: Published 2/13/2018-2/15/2018
Sections 59-67: Published 3/3/2018-3/6/2018
Sections 68-72: Published 3/7/2018-3/8/2018
Sections 73-77: Published 3/9/2018-3/10/2018

The Power of Heaven’s Angels (Continued)

It does need to be known, though, that angels have absolutely no power on their own, but that all the power they have comes from the Lord. Further, they are powers to the extent that they recognize this fact. Any of them who believe that their power comes from themselves immediately become so weak that they cannot resist even a single evil spirit. This is why angels take absolutely no credit to themselves and turn down any praise or admiration for anything they have done, but attribute it all to the Lord.

It is the divine truth emanating from the Lord that possesses all power in the heavens, because the Lord in heaven is divine truth united to divine good (see Sections 126–140). To the extent that angels are open to this truth, they are powers.

Further, each individual angel is her or his own truth and own good, because the nature of each one is determined by her or his discernment and intent, discernment being a matter of what is true because all its functions originate in truths, and intent being a matter of what is good because all its functions originate in aspects of the good. You see, whatever we understand we call true and whatever we intend we call good. This is why each one of us is his or her own truth and own good. Therefore, to the extent to which an angel is truth from the Divine and good from the Divine, that angel is a power because the Lord is with her to that extent. Further, since no one enjoys exactly the same good and truth as anyone else (for in heaven and in this world there is constant variety, Section 20), one angel does not enjoy the same power as another.

The angels who constitute the arm in the universal human or heaven have the most power because they are the ones who more than any others are focused on things true, and good flows into their truths from the entire heaven. So too, all our strength is concentrated in our arms, and the whole body expresses its powers through them. This is why “arms” and “hands” in the Word mean power.

Sometimes a bare arm appears in heaven that has so much power that it could crush any obstacle, even if it were a boulder on earth. Once it moved toward me, and I saw that it could crush my bones to powder.

It may be seen in Section 137 above that all power belongs to the divine truth that emanates from the Lord and that angels are powers to the extent that they accept divine truth from the Lord. However, angels are open to divine truth to the extent that they are open to divine good, since all the power that truths have comes from good. Truths apart from good have none. Further, all the power good has is by means of truth; good has no power apart from truths. Power arises from the union of the two. The same holds true for faith and love, since it is all the same whether you say truth or faith, since everything that makes up faith is true, and whether you say good or love, since everything that makes up love is good.

I have been able to see how much power angels have through truths from good from the fact that when angels simply look at them, evil spirits fall down in a faint and no longer look human, and that this lasts until the angel looks away. The reason this sort of thing results from the gaze of angels is that their sight comes from the light of heaven, and heaven’s light is divine truth (see above, Sections 126–132). Eyes correspond to truths from good.

Since all power belongs to truths from good, deliberate distortions have none. All the people in hell are preoccupied with deliberate distortions, so they have no power against what is true and good. However, I will be describing later the kind of power they have among each other and the kind of power evil spirits have before they are thrown into hell.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 230-233

Notes:

Sections 126-140: Published 11/22/2016-12/2/2016
Section 20: Published 4/22/2016 and 6/27/2017
Section 137: Published 12/1/2016

The Power of Heaven’s Angels

PEOPLE who do not know anything about the spiritual world and its inflow into the natural world cannot grasp the fact that angels have power. They think that angels cannot have power because they are spiritual and so pure and insubstantial that they cannot even be seen by our eyes. People who probe more deeply into the causes of things, though, feel otherwise about it. They are aware that all the power we ourselves have comes from our intellect and volition, since without these we cannot move the slightest part of our bodies. Intellect and volition are our spiritual person. This person is what animates the body and its members at will, for the mouth and tongue say what it thinks and the body does what it intends. It even bestows energy at will. Our intention and discernment are governed by the Lord through angels and spirits; and since this is true of our intention and discernment, it is true of all aspects of our bodies because these latter come from the former. Believe it or not, we cannot move a step without the inflow of heaven.

I have been shown that this is true by a great deal of experience. Angels have been allowed to activate my walking, my actions, my tongue, and my conversation as they wished, by flowing into my intention and thinking, and I learned at first hand that I could do nothing on my own. They told me later that everyone is governed in this way, and that we might learn this from the doctrine of the church and from the Word. We actually pray that God will send his angels who may lead us, guide our steps, teach us, and inspire us as to what we should think and say, and so on—this even though we talk and believe quite differently in our private thoughts apart from doctrine.

These things have been mentioned to illustrate the kind of power angels have with us.

In the spiritual world angels have so much power that if I were to highlight everything I have seen, it would strain credulity. If anything there is in the way and needs to be removed because it is opposed to the divine design, they raze and overturn it simply by an effort of will and a look. So I have seen mountains that were the abode of evil people leveled and overturned, sometimes shaken from end to end as happens in our earthquakes. I have seen cliffs split down the middle right to the bottom and the evil people on them swallowed up. I have also seen angels scatter some hundreds of thousands of evil spirits and cast them into hell. A vast multitude is powerless against them. The skills and wiles and alliances of evil spirits amount to nothing. Angels see everything and dispel it instantly. But there is more about this in the story of Babylon destroyed. They do have this kind of power in the spiritual world.

The Word, too, shows that angels have power like this in the natural world when it is granted them. For example, they are said to have brought death upon whole armies, to have brought about a plague that killed seventy thousand people. We read of this latter angel:

The angel stretched out a hand against Jerusalem to destroy it; but Jehovah, repenting of his evil, said to the angel who was destroying the people, It is enough, now hold back your hand: and David saw the angel who was striking the people. (2 Samuel 24:15, 16, 17)

among other passages.

Because angels do have this kind of power they are called powers. It also says in David,

“Bless Jehovah, you angels most powerful in strength” (Psalms 103:20).

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 228, 229

Forms of Government in Heaven (Continued)

In the Lord’s spiritual kingdom there are various forms of government, not the same in one community as in another but varying depending on the functions the communities fulfill. Their functions parallel those of the human [body], to which they correspond; and the variety of these is well known. The heart has one function, the lungs another, the liver another, the pancreas and spleen others, and so also for each sensory organ. Just as we have these various services going on in our bodies, so services are carried on in the universal human that is heaven, since it is its communities that correspond to them. (The reader may see in the appropriate chapter above, Sections 87–102, that everything in heaven corresponds to something in us.)

Still, all the forms of government share a central focus on the public good as their end, and within that good, the good of each individual. This is because everyone in all heaven is under the guidance of the Lord, who loves everyone and who from his divine love arranges things so that it is the common good from which individuals receive what is good for them. Each individual receives benefit in proportion to his or her love of the whole, for to the extent that they love the whole they love all the individuals. Since this love is the Lord’s they are proportionally loved by the Lord and are benefited.

We may conclude from this what the officials are like—namely, that they are the people who more than others enjoy love and wisdom and who therefore, out of that love, wish well to everyone and out of that wisdom know how to make sure it happens. People like this do not control and command but minister and serve, for doing good for others out of a love for what is good is serving, and making sure that it happens is ministering. They do not make themselves more important than other people but less so, for they put the welfare of the community and of their neighbor first and their own later. What is first is more important, and what is later is less.

They do have respect and renown, though. They live in the center of their communities, loftier than others, and in splendid mansions as well; and they accept this renown and respect. However, they do so not on their own account but for the sake of obedience. They all know that this respect and this renown are gifts from the Lord, so that they may be obeyed.

This is the meaning of the Lord’s words to the disciples:

Whoever among you wants to be great needs to minister to you; and whoever among you wants to be first needs to serve you; just as the Human-born One did not come to be ministered to, but to minister. (Matthew 20:27–28 [26–28])

Let the greatest among you be as the least, and the one who is your guide be as one who ministers. (Luke 22:26)

A similar form of government, on the smallest scale, is found in each household. There is a master and there are servants; and the master loves the servants and the servants love their master, so out of this love they serve each other. The master teaches how to live and says what needs to be done and the servants obey and fulfill their functions. Being useful is the essential delight of life for everyone. We can see from this that the Lord’s kingdom is an organized structure of functions.

There are forms of government in the hells as well; for unless there were, they would not be kept in restraint. However, the forms of government there are exact opposites of those in the heavens because they all derive from selfishness. All people there want to control others and to be preeminent. They hate the people who do not agree with them, and use vicious means to get even with them because this is what selfishness is like. So for them it is the more vicious ones who hold office, and who are obeyed out of fear. But more on this later, where I discuss the hells.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 217-220

Notes:

Sections 87-102: Published 6/4/2017-6/12/2017

Forms of Government in Heaven (Continued)

Government in the Lord’s spiritual kingdom is called judgment, since they are intent on that spiritual good that is the good of thoughtfulness toward their neighbor, and this good is in essence true. What is true is a matter of judgment, and what is good is a matter of justice.

These angels too are led by the Lord, but indirectly (Section 208); so they have officials, fewer or more depending on the needs of the community they live in. They also have laws that they observe in their life together. The officials manage everything according to the laws; they understand them because they are wise, and in matters of doubt they are enlightened by the Lord.

Since government on the basis of what is good (the kind in the Lord’s heavenly kingdom) is called justice, and government on the basis of what is true (the kind in the Lord’s spiritual kingdom) is called judgment, in the Word it says “justice and judgment” when it is talking about heaven and the church; “justice” meaning heavenly good, and “judgment” spiritual good—which latter good, as explained above, is in essence true. The following examples may serve:

There will be no end to peace on the throne of David and on his kingdom, to establish it and to sustain it in judgment and justice from now on and even to eternity. (Isaiah 9:7)

“David” here means the Lord, and his kingdom means his heaven, as we can see from the next passage:

I will raise up for David a just shoot and he will reign as king and act discerningly and make judgment and justice on earth. (Jeremiah 23:5)

Let Jehovah be extolled because he lives on high and fills Zion with judgment and justice. (Isaiah 33:5)

Zion too means heaven and the church.

I, Jehovah, am he who makes judgment and justice on earth, because in them I take pleasure. (Jeremiah 9:24)

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

Jehovah, in the heavens your justice is like the mountains of God, and your judgment like the great deep. (Psalms 36:5–6)

They ask me for judgments of justice, they long for the approach of God. (Isaiah 58:2)

And elsewhere.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 215, 216

Forms of Government in Heaven

SINCE heaven is differentiated into communities, and the larger communities consist of some hundreds of thousands of angels (Section 50), and since all the people in a given community are involved in similar good but not in similar wisdom (Section 43), it follows of necessity that there are forms of government. Good order needs to be kept, and all matters of good order seen to.

The actual forms of government in heaven vary, though. There is one kind in the communities that constitute the Lord’s heavenly kingdom and another in the communities that constitute the Lord’s spiritual kingdom. They even vary depending on the particular function of each community. However, in the heavens there is no government except the government of mutual love, and the government of mutual love is heavenly government.

The form of government in the Lord’s heavenly kingdom is called justice, since all the people there are intent on the good the Lord’s love does in and through us, and anything that results from this good is called just. This government belongs to the Lord alone. He leads them and teaches them in matters of life. The truths that we associate with judgment are engraved on their hearts. Everyone knows them, grasps them, and sees them. So matters of judgment never come into dispute for them, only matters of justice that are matters of life. The less wise ask the wiser ones about them, and they in turn ask the Lord and bring back the responses. Their heaven—their deepest delight—is to live justly from the Lord.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 213, 214

Notes:

Section 43: Published 5/7/2017
Section 50: Published 5/10/2017

The Reasons Why the Lord Chose to Be Born in Our World and Not in Another (Continued)

It needs to be known that the Lord acknowledges and accepts all from whatever world they come, who acknowledge and worship God in human form, since the Lord is God in human form. Since the Lord appears to the inhabitants of these worlds in the form of an angel, which means in human form, when the spirits and angels from these worlds are told by the spirits and angels from our world that God is truly Man, they accept that saying recognizing and pleased that it is so.

In addition to the reasons already noted, the inhabitants and spirits of our world answer in the Grand Man to the natural and external sense. This sense is the ultimate point at which the interiors of life come to an end, and in which they come to rest as on their common base. Divine truth in the letter, which we call the Word, is similar; and it was for this reason that it was given in this world and not in another. And because the Lord is the Word, and its First and Last, it was so that everything should come into being in proper order that He chose to be born in this world, and to become the Word. This is in agreement with John’s words:

In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. This was the beginning with God. All things were made by His means, and nothing that was made was made without Him. And the Word was made flesh, and lived among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only son of the Father. No one has ever seen God, but the only son, who is in the Father’s bosom, He has explained Him. (John 1:1-4, 14, 18)

The Word is the Lord in respect of Divine truth, and so Divine truth coming from the Lord. But this is mystery which few can understand.

from Life on Other Planets, Sections 121, 122