The Entire Sacred Scripture Is about the Lord, and the Lord Is the Word

We read in John,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and nothing that was made came about without him. In him there was life, and that life was the light for humankind. And the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness did not grasp it. And the Word became flesh and lived among us; and we saw his glory, glory like that of the only-begotten child of the Father. He was Full of grace and truth. (John 1:1,2,3,4,5,14)

In the same Gospel,

Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

And elsewhere in the same Gospel,

While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light. I have come into the world as a light so that anyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness. (John 12:36,46)

We can see from this that the Lord is God from eternity and that he himself is that Lord who was born into the world. It actually says that the Word was with God and that the Word was God, as well as that nothing that was made came about without him, and then that the Word became flesh and that they saw him.

There is little understanding in the church of what it means to call the Lord “the Word.” He is called the Word because the Word means divine truth or divine wisdom and the Lord is divine truth itself or divine wisdom itself. That is why he is also called the light that is said to have come into the world.

Since divine wisdom and divine love are one with each other and have been one in the Lord from eternity, it also says “in him there was life, and that life was the light for humankind.” The life is divine love, and the light is divine wisdom.

from The Lord, Section 1

Sacred Scripture, or the Word, Is Divine Truth Itself (Continued)

Earthly-minded people, though, are still not convinced by all this that the Word is divine truth itself, containing both divine wisdom and divine life. They evaluate it by its style, where they do not see wisdom or life.

However, the style of the Word is the divine style itself, and no other style, however sublime and excellent it may appear to be, can be compared with it; that would be like comparing darkness to light.

It is characteristic of the Word’s style that there is something holy in every statement, even in every word, even at times in the letters themselves; so the Word unites us to the Lord and opens heaven.

There are two things that emanate from the Lord, divine love and divine wisdom, or (which amounts to the same thing) divine goodness and divine truth, since any divine goodness comes from his divine love, and any divine truth comes from his divine wisdom. In its essence, the Word is both, and since, as already stated, it unites us with the Lord and opens heaven, the Word fills us with good desires that come from love and truths that lead to wisdom, provided we read it with the help of the Lord and not just on our own. It fills our will with good desires that come from love and fills our understanding with truths that lead to wisdom. As a result, we gain life by means of the Word.

To free people from any doubt that this is the nature of the Word, the Lord has revealed to me an inner meaning of the Word, a meaning that is essentially spiritual and that dwells within the outer meaning, which is earthly, the way a soul dwells within a body. This meaning is the spirit that gives life to the letter; therefore this meaning can bear witness to the divinity and holiness of the Word and be convincing even to earthly-minded people— if they are willing to be convinced.

from Sacred Scripture–White Horse, Sections 3-4

That sun is not God. Rather, it is an emanation from the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One. The same is true of warmth and light from that sun (Continued)

If you observe carefully the thoughts of your own mind, you can recognize that there is a spiritual light completely distinct from physical light. When a mind is thinking, it sees its objects in light, and people who think spiritually see truths as readily at midnight as in daytime. This is why we attribute light to our discernment and talk about “seeing.” One person may hear what someone else says and say, “I see that this is true,” meaning “I understand.” Since this understanding is spiritual, it cannot see by physical light. Physical light does not last, but departs with the sun. We can see from this that our discernment enjoys a light other than that of our eyes, and that this light comes from a different source.

Take care not to think that the spiritual world’s sun is actually God. The real God is a person. The first emanation from his love and wisdom is something fiery and spiritual that looks like a sun to angels. When the Lord makes himself visible to angels in person, then, he does so in human form, sometimes within the sun, sometimes outside it.

It is because of this correspondence that in the Word the Lord is called not only the sun but also fire and light. “The sun” refers to him as divine love and wisdom together; “the fire” refers to him as divine love, and “the light” refers to him as divine wisdom.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 96-98

The Entire Sacred Scripture Is about the Lord, and the Lord Is the Word

We read in John,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and nothing that was made came about without him. In him there was life, and that life was the light for humankind. And the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness did not grasp it. And the Word became flesh and lived among us; and we saw his glory, glory like that of the only-begotten child of the Father. He was full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 14)

In the same Gospel,

Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

And elsewhere in the same Gospel,

While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light. I have come into the world as a light so that anyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness. (John 12:36, 46)

We can see from this that the Lord is God from eternity and that he himself is that Lord who was born into the world. It actually says that the Word was with God and that the Word was God, as well as that nothing that was made came about without him, and then that the Word became flesh and that they saw him.

There is little understanding in the church of what it means to call the Lord “the Word.” He is called the Word because the Word means divine truth or divine wisdom and the Lord is divine truth itself or divine wisdom itself. That is why he is also called the light that is said to have come into the world.

Since divine wisdom and divine love are one with each other and have been one in the Lord from eternity, it also says “in him there was life, and that life was the light for humankind.” The life is divine love, and the light is divine wisdom.

This oneness is what is meant by saying both that “in the beginning the Word was with God” and that “the Word was God.” “With God” is in God, since wisdom is in love and love is in wisdom. This is like the statement elsewhere in John, “Glorify me, Father, together with yourself, with the glory I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:5). “With yourself” is “in yourself.” This is why it adds “and the Word was God.” It says elsewhere that the Lord is in the Father and the Father is in him [John 14:10], and that the Father and he are one [John 10:30].

Since the Word is the divine wisdom of the divine love, it follows that it is Jehovah himself and therefore the Lord, the one by whom all things were made that were made, since everything was created out of divine love by means of divine wisdom.

from The Lord, Section 1

Note: This Section was published 4/4/2016.

The Essence of God: Divine Love and Wisdom

I have drawn a distinction between God’s underlying reality and God’s essence because there is a difference between God’s infinity and God’s love. Infinity pertains to God’s underlying reality; love pertains to God’s essence. As I said above [Sections 18, 21], God’s underlying reality is more universal than God’s essence. Likewise, God’s infinity is more universal than God’s love. “Infinite” is an adjective modifying God’s attributes and the components of God’s essence. All these are said to be infinite. In the same way, divine love is said to be infinite, and so are divine wisdom and divine power. I do not mean that God’s underlying reality came about before God’s essence, but rather that it is an ingredient or component of that essence that is connected with that essence, that gives that essence direction, and that forms and also elevates that essence.

This part of this chapter, like the parts that went before, will be divided into points, as follows:

1. God is love itself and wisdom itself. These two constitute his essence.

2. Because goodness comes from love and truth comes from wisdom, God is goodness itself and truth itself.

3. Love itself and wisdom itself are life itself, or life in itself.

4. Love and wisdom are united in God.

5. The essence of love is loving others who are outside of oneself, wanting to be one with them, and blessing them from oneself.

6. These essential characteristics of divine love were the reason the universe was created, and they are the reason it is maintained.

I will take up these points one by one.

from True Christianity, Section 36

The Lord The Redeemer: 5. Through acts of redemption the Lord became justice. (Continued)

Our contemporaries who hold high offices in the church describe the Lord’s justice in a completely different way. In fact, they say that what renders the faith capable of saving is that the Lord’s justice is written into us. The truth is this: because of its nature and origin, and because in and of itself it is purely divine, the Lord’s justice could not become part of anyone or produce any salvation any more than the divine life could, which is divine love and divine wisdom. The Lord does come into every one of us bringing his love and wisdom; but unless we are following the divine design in our lives, that life, although it may indeed be in us, makes no contribution whatever to our salvation. It gives us only the ability to understand what is true and do what is good.

Following the divine design in the way we live is following God’s commandments. When we live and function in this way, then we acquire justice for ourselves; but we do not gain the justice of the Lord’s redemption, we gain the Lord himself as justice. This is what the following passages mean: “Unless your justice is more abundant than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of the heavens” (Matthew 5:20). “Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens” (Matthew 5:10). “At the close of the age angels will go out and separate the evil from among the just” (Matthew 13:49), and elsewhere. Because the divine design is justice, “the just” in the Word means those who have followed the divine design in their lives.

The justice itself that the Lord became through acts of redemption cannot be ascribed to us, written into us, fitted into or united with us any more than light can belong to the eye, sound can belong to the ear, will can belong to the muscles that act, thought can belong to the lips that speak, air can belong to the lungs that breathe, or heat can belong to the blood, and so on. These elements all flow in and work with our body parts but do not become part of them, as everyone intuitively knows.

We acquire justice the more we practice it. We practice justice the more our interaction with our neighbor is motivated by a love for justice and truth.

Justice dwells in the goodness itself or the useful functions themselves that we do. The Lord says that every tree is recognized by its fruit. Surely we get to know other people well through paying attention not only to what they do but also to what outcome they want—what they are intending and why. All angels pay attention to these things, as do all wise people in our world.

Everything that grows and flourishes in the ground is identified by its flowers and seeds and by what it is good for. All types of metal are differentiated by their usefulness, all types of stone by their properties. Every piece of land is assessed on the basis of its features, as is every type of food, and even every animal on land and every bird in the sky. Why not us?

The factors that give our actions their quality will be disclosed in the chapter on faith [see especially Sections 373–377].

from True Christianity, Section 96