Light ans Warmth in Heaven (Continued)

It says in John,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word: all things were made by means of him, and without him nothing was made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of humankind. He was in the world, and the world was made by means of him. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory. (John 1:1, 3, 4, 10, 14)  

It is clear that the Lord is the one who is meant by “the Word,” since it says that the Word was made flesh. Precisely what is meant by “the Word,” though, is not yet known and must therefore be stated. The Word in this passage is the divine truth that is in the Lord and from the Lord, so here it is also called the light, which is divine truth, as has been shown earlier in this chapter. Now we need to explain the statement that all things were made and created by means of divine truth.

In heaven, it is divine truth that possesses all power, and apart from it there is no power whatever. All angels are called “powers” because of divine truth, and are powers to the extent that they are recipients or vessels of it. Through it they prevail over the hells and over all who oppose them. A thousand enemies there cannot bear one ray of heavenly light, which is divine truth. Since angels are angels because of their acceptance of divine truth, it follows that all heaven is from this source and no other, since heaven is made up of angels.

People cannot believe that this kind of power is inherent in divine truth if the only concept of truth they have has to do with thought or speech, which have no power in them except to the extent that other people concede it by being obedient. There is an intrinsic power within divine truth, though, power of such nature that by means of it heaven, the world, and everything in them was created.

We can illustrate the fact that this kind of power is inherent in divine truth by two comparisons—by the power of what is true and good in us, and by the power of light and warmth from the sun in our world.

By the power of what is true and good in us: Everything we do, we do out of our discernment and intent. Out of our intent, we act by means of what is good, and out of our discernment by means of what is true. In fact, all the elements of our volition are related to what is good, and all the elements of our discernment are related to what is true. On this basis, then, we set our whole body in motion and a thousand things there rush to do our bidding of their own accord. We can see from this that our whole body is formed for obedience to what is good and true and therefore from what is good and true.

By the power of light and warmth from the sun in our world: Everything that grows in our world—things like trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses, fruits, and seeds—arises only by means of the warmth and light of the sun. So we can see what kind of productive power is inherent in that warmth and light. What about the divine light that is divine truth, then, and the divine warmth that is divine good, the source from which heaven comes into being and consequently the world as well, since as we have shown above, it is through heaven that the world comes into being?

This enables us to determine how to understand the statement that all things were made by means of the Word, and that without him nothing was made that was made, and further that the world was made by means of him, namely that this was accomplished by means of divine truth from the Lord.

This is also why in the book of creation it first mentions light and then the things that arise from light (Genesis 1:3, 4). It is also why everything in all heaven and earth has to do with what is good and true and to their union if it is to be anything at all.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 137


Previously Cited: 12/1/2016

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.

Sacred Scripture, or the Word

Without revelation from the Divine, we cannot know anything about eternal life or even about God, and even less about love for God and faith in God. This is because we are born into utter ignorance and have to learn from worldly sources everything that gives form to our understanding. It is also because by heredity we are born with evils of every kind, which come from love for ourselves and for the world. These loves give rise to pleasures that retain constant control over us and prompt us to think things that are diametrically opposed to the Divine. This, then, is why we know nothing about eternal life; so there must of necessity be some revelation that makes it possible for us to know.

If we consider people in the church, we can see very clearly that the evils of love for ourselves and for the world bring about this kind of ignorance about eternal life. Even though people in the church are informed from revelation that God exists, that heaven and hell are real, that there is an eternal life, and that this eternal life is gained by doing good things that are inspired by love and faith, still they fall into denial; and the educated are as prone to this denial as the uneducated.

This shows how great the ignorance would be if there were no revelation.

So since we live after death and our life after death is eternal, and since the particular life that lies ahead for us is based on the state of our love and faith, it follows that the Divine, out of love for the whole human race, has revealed the kinds of thing

In the Christian world, what the Divine has revealed for us is the Word.

Since the Word is a revelation from the Divine, it is divine in every detail. This is because whatever comes from the Divine cannot be otherwise.

Whatever comes from the Divine comes down to us through the heavens, so in the heavens it is adapted to the wisdom of the angels who live there, and on earth it is adapted to the grasp of the people who live here. Consequently, the Word has an inner meaning, which is spiritual and intended for angels, and an outer meaning, which is earthly and intended for us. For this reason it is the Word that joins heaven and us together.

The true meaning of the Word is understood only by those who are enlightened, and we are enlightened only when we are devoted to loving the Lord and having faith in him. In that case our inner levels are lifted into the light of heaven by the Lord.

The Word in its letter cannot be understood properly except by means of a body of teaching drawn from the Word by an enlightened person. Its literal meaning has been accommodated so that it is possible even for those with no education to comprehend it; therefore [to find their way to a truer understanding] they need a body of teaching drawn from the Word to serve as a lamp.

from New Jerusalem, Sections 249-254