The Reasons Why the Lord Chose to Be Born in Our World and Another (Continued)

It needs to be known that the Word in our world, which was given to us by the Lord by means of heaven, is the bond which unites heaven and the world. It is for this purpose that everything in the literal sense of the Word corresponds to Divine things in Heaven, and the Word in its highest and innermost sense refers to the Lord, His kingdom in the heavens and on earth, love and faith coming from and being in him.

These subjects are what is presented to the angels in heaven, when the Word of our world is read and preached.

In every other world Divine truth is made known by word of mouth by means of spirits and angels, as I said earlier when reporting on the inhabitants of the world of this solar system. But this is restricted to family groups, for in most worlds the human race lives apart divided into families. Divine truth so revealed by means of spirits and angels does not therefore spread far beyond family groups, and unless renewed by a succession of revelations it is perverted or lost.

In our world it is different, for here Divine truth, which is the Word, remains intact in perpetuity.

from Life on Other Planets, Sections 119, 120

Advertisements

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

The Word, once written, could be preserved for all posterity, that is, for thousands and thousands of years. As is well known, it has been so preserved.

This enabled it to be made plain that God became man. This is the first and most essential purpose of the Word’s existence. For no one can believe in God and love Him, unless he can grasp Him in some form. Consequently those who acknowledge an invisible and therefore incomprehensible deity slip into thinking of nature as god, and so come to believe in no god at all. The Lord was therefore pleased to be born here, and to make that known by means of the Word, so that it means it should be known, not only on this globe, but by this means it should be made plain to spirits and angels from other worlds too, as well as to heathen from our world.

from Life on Other Planets, Sections 117, 118

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

The Word could be written in our world, because the art of writing existed here from the most ancient times, at first on tablets, then on parchment, later on paper, and finally it could be disseminated in print. The Lord’s providence caused this for the sake of the Word.

The Word could then be circulated throughout this world, because all peoples here are in contact, not only by travels abroad, but also voyages to every part of the globe. Thus the Word, once written, could be spread from one people to another and be taught everywhere.

from Life on Other Planets, Sections 115, 116

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

The chief cause was for the sake of the Word. This is because the Word is Divine truth itself, which teaches us that there is a God, a heaven and a hell, and life after death; it also teaches ios how to live and what to believe, to enable us to reach heaven and so to be happy for ever.

All of these points would be totally unknown without a revelation, which in this world means without the Word. Yet man was created in such a way that he could not die, as far as his interior are concerned.

from Life on Other Planets, Section 114

The Reason Why The Lord Chose to Be Born in Our World and Not in Another

There are many reasons, as I was informed from heaven, why the Lord was pleased to be born and take on human nature in our world and not in another.

The Chief cause was for the sake of the Word, which could thus be written in our world; and having been written, could be circulated throughout the world; and one circulated, could be preserved for all posterity, thus enabling it to be made plain that God became man, even to all in the next life.

from Life on Other Planets, Section 113

The Catechism, or Ten Commandments, Explained in Both Its Outer and Its Inner Meanings

Every nation on the face of the earth knows that it is evil to murder, to commit adultery, to steal, and to bear false witness, and knows that any country, state, or civilized society that did not forbid these evils would be doomed. No one thinks the Israelite nation was stupider than other nations and did not know these things were evils. Anyone might be amazed, then, that these laws, universally recognized on earth as they are, were delivered on Mount Sinai in such a miraculous way by Jehovah himself.

I have been told, though, that they were delivered in this miraculous way so that people would know that these laws are not only civil and moral laws but divine laws as well. Therefore to act against them would be not only doing something evil to our neighbor (meaning our fellow citizen and our community) but also sinning against God. When they were delivered by Jehovah on Mount Sinai, therefore, these laws became laws of religion as well. It should be obvious that whatever Jehovah commands, he commands as an aspect of religion; therefore his commands are something we need to follow for the sake of our salvation. Before I explain the Commandments, though, I will give a prefatory statement about their holiness, to show that they have religious import.

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 282

The Lord as the Divine-Human One Is Called “The Son of God” and as the Word Is Called “The Son of Humanity” (Continued)

The Lord is called the Son of Humanity when the subject is redemption, salvation, reformation, and regeneration, as we can tell from the following:

The Son of Humanity came to give his life as a redemption for many. (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45)

The Son of Humanity has come to save and not to destroy. (Matthew 18:11; Luke 9:56)

The Son of Humanity has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)

The Son of Humanity came so that the world would be saved through him. (John 3:17)

The one who sows good seed is the Son of Humanity. (Matthew 13:37)

Here the subject is redemption and salvation; and since they are effected by the Lord through the Word, he refers to himself as the Son of Humanity.

The Lord said that the Son of Humanity has power to forgive sins (Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24)—that is, power to save. He also said that he was Lord of the Sabbath because he was the Son of Humanity (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5)—because he himself is the very Word that he is then teaching.

He also says in John,

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Humanity will give you. (John 6:27)

Food means everything true and good in the teaching drawn from the Word and therefore from the Lord. This is also the meaning of the manna and of the bread that comes down from heaven, as well as the meaning of these words in the same chapter:

Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Humanity and drink his blood, you will not have life within you. (John 6:53)

The flesh or bread is good actions done from love as a result of the Word, and the blood or wine is good actions done from faith as a result of the Word, both of which come from the Lord.

“The Son of Humanity” means much the same in various other passages where it is found, such as the following:

Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Humanity has nowhere to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20; Luke 9:58)

This means that the Word had no place among the Jews, as the Lord also says in John 8:37, and that the Word was not abiding in them, because they did not acknowledge him (John 5:38).

The Son of Humanity means the Lord as the Word in Revelation as well:

In the midst of seven lampstands I saw one like the Son of Humanity, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. (Revelation 1:13 and following)

In this passage various images are used to represent the Lord as the Word, so he is also called “the Son of Humanity.” In David:

Let your hand be with the man of your right hand, with the Son of Humanity whom you have strengthened for yourself. Then we will not turn back from you. Bring us to life. (Psalms 80:17, 18, 19)

The man of your right hand in this passage is also the Lord as the Word, and so is the Son of Humanity. He is called “the man of your right hand” because the Lord has power from divine truth, which is also the Word; and he gained divine power when he fulfilled the whole Word. That is why he also said that they would see the Son of Humanity sitting at the right hand of the Father with power (Mark 14:62).

The reason “the Son of Humanity” means the Lord as the Word was that the prophets were also called “children of humanity.” The reason they were called this is that they represented the Lord as the Word and therefore meant the teaching of the church drawn from the Word. That is exactly what people in heaven understand by “prophets” when they are mentioned in the Word. The spiritual meaning of “prophet” and also of “son of humanity” is the teaching of the church drawn from the Word, and when it is said of the Lord, it means the Word itself.

For the prophet Daniel being called a son of humanity, see Daniel 8:17.

For the prophet Ezekiel being called a son of humanity, see Ezekiel 2:1, 3, 6, 8; 3:1, 3, 4, 10, 17, 25; 4:1, 16; 5:1; 6:2; 7:2; 8:5, 6, 8, 12, 15; 11:2, 4, 15; 12:2, 3, 9, 18, 27; 13:2, 17; 14:3, 13; 15:2; 16:2; 17:2; 20:3, 4, 27, 46; 21:2, 6, 9, 12, 14, 19, 28; 22:18, 24; 23:2, 36; 24:2, 16, 25; 25:2; 26:2; 27:2; 28:2, 12, 21; 29:2, 18; 30:2, 21; 31:2; 32:2, 18; 33:2, 7, 10, 12, 24, 30; 34:2; 35:2; 36:1, 17; 37:3, 9, 11, 16; 38:2, 14; 39:1, 17; 40:4; 43:7, 10, 18; 44:5.

We can see from this that the Lord as the Divine-Human One is called “the Son of God,” and as the Word is called “the Son of Humanity.”

from The Lord, Sections 27, 28

The Lord as the Divine-Human One Is Called “The Son of God” and as the Word Is Called “The Son of Humanity” (Continued)

The Lord is called the Son of Humanity when the subject is judgment. This we can tell from the following passages:

When the Son of Humanity comes in his glory, then he will sit on the throne of his glory and set the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. (Matthew 25:31, 33)

When the Son of Humanity sits on the throne of his glory, he will judge the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

The Son of Humanity is going to come in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay all people according to their deeds. (Matthew 16:27)

Be wakeful at every moment, so that you may be found worthy to stand before the Son of Humanity. (Luke 21:36)

The Son of Humanity is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:44; Luke 12:40)

The Father does not judge anyone; he has given all judgment to the Son, because he is the Son of Humanity. (John 5:22, 27)

The reason the Lord calls himself the Son of Humanity when the subject is judgment is that all judgment is executed according to the divine truth that is in the Word. He himself says in John that this is what judges everyone:

If people hear my words but do not believe, I do not judge them. I have not come to judge the world. The Word that I have spoken will judge them on the last day. (John 12:47, 48)

And in another passage,

The Son of Humanity came not to condemn the world but so that the world would be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe have already been condemned because they have not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. (John 3:17, 18)

See Heaven and Hell 545–550 and 574 on the fact that the Lord never condemns anyone to hell or casts anyone into hell. Rather, evil spirits cast themselves in. The name of Jehovah, the Lord, or the Son of God means divine truth and therefore the Word as well, since this is from him and about him and therefore is he himself.

The Lord is called the Son of Humanity when the subject is his Coming, as we can see from the following: the disciples said to Jesus, “What will be the sign of your Coming and of the close of the age?”; and then the Lord foretold the states of the church in succession all the way to the end, saying this about its end: “Then the sign of the Son of Humanity will appear, and they will see the Son of Humanity coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory” (Matthew 24:3, 30; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27). The close of the age means the last time of the church; coming in the clouds of heaven with glory means opening the Word and making it clear that it was written about him alone.

In Daniel:

I was watching, and behold, the Son of Humanity was coming in the clouds of the heavens! (Daniel 7:13)

In Revelation:

Behold, he is coming with clouds, and every eye will see him. (Revelation 1:7)

This too is about the Son of Humanity, as we can see from verse 13 in the same chapter. Again in Revelation:

I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat someone like the Son of Humanity. (Revelation 14:14)

In his own mind, the Lord understood “the Son of God” and “the Son of Humanity” to mean different things, as we can see from his response to the high priest:

The high priest said to Jesus, “I put you under oath by the living God: tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. I am. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Humanity sitting at the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:63, 64; [Mark 14:61, 62])

Here he first declares that he is the Son of God, and then says that they are going to see the Son of Humanity sitting at the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven. This means that after suffering on the cross he would have access to the divine power to open the Word and establish a church, things that he could not do before because he had not yet overcome the hells and glorified his human nature.

The meaning of coming in the clouds of heaven and coming with glory has been explained in Section 1 of Heaven and Hell.

from The Lord, Sections 25, 26

The Lord as the Divine-Human One Is Called “The Son of God” and as the Word Is Called “The Son of Humanity” (Continued)

Anyone who knows what it is about the Lord that “the Son of God” means and what it is about him that “the Son of Humanity” means can see many hidden wonders in the Word, since the Lord calls himself sometimes the Son, sometimes the Son of God, and sometimes the Son of Humanity, in each case depending on the subject of the discourse.

When the subject is his divinity, or his being one with the Father, or his divine power, or faith in him, or life from him, then he calls himself “the Son” and “the Son of God,” as in John 5:16–26 and elsewhere. When the subject is his suffering, though, or his judging, or his Coming, or more generally his redeeming, saving, reforming, or regenerating us, then he calls himself the Son of Humanity. This is because it then means himself as the Word.

The Lord is identified by various names in the Word of the Old Testament. There he is called Jehovah, Jah, the Lord, God, the Lord Jehovih, Jehovah Sabaoth, the God of Israel, the Holy One of Israel, the Mighty One of Jacob, Shaddai, the Rock, as well as Creator, Maker, Savior, Redeemer—always depending on the subject of the discourse. This is the case in the Word of the New Testament, too, where he is called Jesus, the Christ, the Lord, God, the Son of God, the Son of Humanity, the Prophet, and the Lamb, among other names, again always depending on the subject of the discourse.

So far we have been talking about why the Lord is called the Son of God. Now we must turn to why he is called the Son of Humanity.

He is called the Son of Humanity when the subject is his suffering, his judging, his Coming, or more generally his redeeming, saving, reforming, or regenerating us. This is because the Son of Humanity is the Lord as the Word; and it is as the Word that he suffered, judges, comes into the world, redeems, saves, reforms, and regenerates. What follows may serve to demonstrate that this is the case.

The Lord is called the Son of Humanity when the subject is his suffering. This we can tell from the following passages.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Humanity will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles, and they will whip him, and spit on him, and kill him. On the third day, though, he will rise again.” (Mark 10:33, 34)

Likewise elsewhere, where it foretells his suffering, as in Matthew 20:18, 19; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22:

Jesus said to his disciples, “Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Humanity is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.” (Matthew 26:45)

The angel said to the women who came to the tomb, “Remember what he said to you: ‘The Son of Humanity must be betrayed into the hands of sinful people and be crucified and rise again on the third day.’” (Luke 24:6, 7)

The reason the Lord then called himself the Son of Humanity is that he allowed people to treat him the way they were treating the Word, as has already been explained more than once [Sections 14–16].

from The Lord, Sections 22-24

Notes:

Sections 14: Published 3/2/2018
Sections 15-16: Published 3/7/2018-3/11/2018

The Lord as the Divine-Human One Is Called “The Son of God” and as the Word Is Called “The Son of Humanity” (Continued)

Since “the Son of God” means the Lord in the human nature that he assumed in the world, which is a divine human nature, we can see what was meant by the Lord’s frequently saying that he was sent into the world by the Father and that he had gone forth from the Father. His being sent into the world by the Father means that he was conceived by Jehovah the Father. This and nothing else is the meaning of “being sent” and “sent by the Father,” as we can tell from all the places where it also says that he was doing the will of the Father and doing his works, which were overcoming the hells, glorifying his human nature, teaching the Word, and establishing a new church. The only way these things could have been done was by means of a human nature conceived by Jehovah and born of a virgin—that is, by God becoming human. Open up the passages where it says “being sent” and “sent,” and you will see: Matthew 10:40, for example, and Matthew 15:24; Mark 9:37; Luke 4:43; 9:48; 10:16; John 3:17, 34; 4:34; 5:23, 24, 36, 37, 38; 6:29, 39, 40, 44, 57; 7:16, 18, 28, 29; 8:16, 18, 29, 42; 9:4; 11:41, 42; 12:44, 45, 49; 13:20; 14:24; 15:21; 16:5; 17:3, 8, 21, 23, 25; 20:21. There are also the places where the Lord calls Jehovah “Father.”

Many people these days think of the Lord only as an ordinary person like themselves because they think only of his human nature and not at the same time of his divine nature, when in fact his human and divine natures cannot be separated. “The Lord is both God and a human being; and God and a human being in the Lord are not two but one person. He is one altogether, as the soul and the body are one human being”—this is according to what is taught throughout the Christian world, a teaching that has been ratified by councils and is called the Athanasian statement of faith. So that people will not keep thinking of the divine nature and human nature in the Lord as separate, I would ask them to read the passages from Luke cited above, and also this from Matthew:

The birth of Jesus Christ was like this. His mother, having been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together was found to be carrying a child from the Holy Spirit; and Joseph her husband, being an upright man and not wanting to disgrace her, decided to divorce her secretly. But while he was considering this, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is being born in her is from the Holy Spirit; and she will give birth to a son, and you will call his name ‘Jesus.’ He will save his people from their sins.” And Joseph woke from his dream and did as the angel of the Lord had commanded, and took [Mary] as his wife. But he did not have intercourse with her until she had given birth to her firstborn son. And he called his name “Jesus.” (Matthew 1:18–25)

We are assured by this passage and by what Luke says about the circumstances of the Lord’s birth, as well as by the passages cited earlier, that the Son of God is the Jesus who was conceived by Jehovah the Father and born of the Virgin Mary, the one of whom all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John [Matthew 11:13; Luke 16:16].

from The Lord, Sections 20, 21