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Luke Chapter 3

    Chapter 3


  1. BUT in the fifteenth year of the government of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, but his brother Philip being tetrarch of Iturea, and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
  2. Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the saying of God came [was brought forth] to John in the wilderness.

REVELATION is made concerning the state of the Church, as being vastated as to truth, because separated from all good, through adulteration of the Word, vs 1 to 3.

  1. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
  2. As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare you the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.

Which Word teaches, that men ought to shun evils as sins against god, and believe in the lord's Divine Human [principle], vs 3. 4.

  1. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought  low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and rough ways smooth;
  2. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

In which case the humble shall be replenished with all good, and the proud, or lofty,  shall be brought into desolation; the evil of ignorance also shall be turned into good, and the falses of ignorance into truths, and the proprium of man shall receive Divine illumination, vs 5, 6. 7.

  1. Then he said to the multitudes that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to fly from the wrath to come?

Because all will be taught, that of themselves they are nothing but infernal evil, and that they ought to explore the light which would make it manifest, vs 7.

  1. Bring forth [make] therefore worthy fruits of repentance, and begin not to say in yourselves, we have Abraham [for our] father; for I say to you that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

And to renounce their natural corruptions, and not to depend upon external sanctification, which may be communicated to those who are in false principles, vs 8.

  1. And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that brings not forth [makes] good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.

But to apply the Divine Truths of the Word to the removal of selfish and worldly love, otherwise they will perish eternally, vs 9.

  1. And the multitudes asked him, saying, what then shall we do?
  2. But he answering says to them, he that has two coats, let him impart to him that has none; and he that has meats, let him do likewise.
  3. But the publicans also came to be baptized, and said to him, teacher, what shall we do?
  4. And he said to them, exact no more than that which is appointed you.
  5. But the soldiers also asked him, saying, and what shall we do? And he said to them, do violence to no one, neither accuse [any] falsely, and be content with your wages.

And to impart the knowledge of truth and of good to such as are in ignorance j also to he just in all their dealings; and when brought into spiritual combat, not to be fretful and impatient, but to wait patiently for its good effects, vs 10 to 15.

  1. But as the people were in expectation, and all mused in their hearts about John, whether he were the Christ or not,
  2. John answered, Saying to all, I indeed baptize you with water, but there comes one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes, I am not worthy to unloose; He shall baptize you with the holy spirit and with fire.
  3. Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather His wheat into His garner, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
  4. And exhorting in many other things, he delivered glad tidings to the people.

For that by the baptism of John the Church was only inaugurated in the knowledges of truth from the Word, and thus prepared to receive the Lord, whereas the lord Himself regenerates men by Divine Truth and Divine good proceeding from Himself, from whom alone comes radical purification of the human will, through conjunction of goods and truths with heaven, and the removal of all evils and falses into hell, vs 15 to 19.

  1. But Herod the tetrarch being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife [woman], and for all the evils which Herod had done,
  2. Added yet this to all and shut up John in prison.

Yet blessed and holy as this doctrine is, it is altogether rejected by those who are in evil, because it bears witness against them, vs 19, 20.

  1. But it came to pass when all the people were baptized, and Jesus was baptized and praying, that heaven was opened.
  2. And the holy Spirit descended in a bodily shape, like a dove, upon Him, and a voice was uttered from, heaven, saying, You are My beloved Son: in You I am well pleased.

That the lord, as to His Human essence, submits to be initiated into the external truths of the Word, on which occasion interior truths and goods were manifested, even to the Divine truth itself, and also to the Divine Good, vs 21, 22.

  1. And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the [son] of Eli,
  2. The [son] of Matthat, the [son] of Levi, the [son] of Melehi, the [son] of Janna, the [son] of Joseph.
  3. The [son] of Mattathias, the [son] of Amos, the [son] of Naum, the [son] of Esli, the [son] of Nagge.
  4. The [son] of Mahath, the [son] of Mattathias, the [son] of Samei, the [son] of Joseph, the [son] of Juda.
  5. The [son] of Joanna, the [son] of Rhesa, the [son] of Zorobabel, the [son] of Salathiel, the [son] of Neri.
  6. The [son] of Melchi, the [son] of Addi, the [son] of Cosam, the [son] of Elmodam, the [son] of Er.
  7. The [son] of Josa, the [son] of Eleazer, the [son] of Jorim, the [son] of Matthat, the [son] of Levi.
  8. The [son] of Simeon, the [son] of Juda, the [son] of Joseph, the [son]of Jonan, the [son] of Eliakim.
  9. The [son] of Melea, the [son] of Menan, the [son] of Mattatha, the [son] of Nathan, the [son] of David.
  10. The [son] of Jesse, the [son] of Obed, the [son] of Booz, the [son] of Salmon, the [son] of Naasson.
  11. The [son] of Aminadab, the [son] of Aram, the [son] of Efrom, the [son]of Phares, the [son] of Juda.
  12. The [son] of Jacob, the [son] of Isaac, the [son] of Abraham, the [son] of Thera, the [son] of Nachor.
  13. The [son] of Saruch, the [son] of Ragau, the [son] of Phalec, the [son] of Heber, the [son] of Sala.
  14. The [son] of Cainan, the [son] of Arphaxad, the [son] of Sem, the [son] of Noah, the [son] of Lamech.
  15. The [son] of Mathusala, the [son] of Enoch, the [son] of Jared, the [son] of Maleleel, the [son] of Canaan.
  16. The [son] of Enos, the, [son] of Seth, the [son] of Adam, the [son] of God.

Thus He attained a full state of remains, by which He united the Human essence to the Divine, and made it Divine, although it was supposed to be merely human, vs 23 to the end.

Chapter III. Extracts from the Theological Writings



Verse 2. The saying of God, came to John in the wilderness. For the meaning of the word wilderness, see extract at chap. 1. verse 80. Verse 3. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. That sins, when they are remitted, are also removed, in an error of the present time, and in that error are they who believe that their sins are remitted by the Sacrament of the Supper, although they have not removed them from themselves by repentance. In the same error are those who believe they shall he saved by faith alone; also they who believe they shall be saved by papal indulgences; for all such believe in immediate mercy, and instantaneous salvation. But when this belief is inverted, namely when it is believed that on the removal of sins, they are also remitted, then the truth appears, for repentance must precede remission, and without repentance there is no remission; wherefore the Lord commanded the Disciples that they should preach repentance for the remission of sins, Luke 24:27; and John preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, Luke 3:3. The Lord remits sins to all, neither accusing nor imputing, but still he cannot take them away except according to the laws of His divine providence. DP 280.

Verse 4. The voice of one crying in the wilderness. From what has been said it may be manifest what is signified by these words, namely,. that the Church at that time was altogether vastated, so that there was no longer any good, or any truth, which is very manifest from this consideration, that at that time no one knew that man had any internal principle, nor that there was any internal principle in the Word, thus neither that the Messiah or Christ was to come to save them to eternity. AC 2708.

That the Church, which acknowledges faith alone, has extinguished that essential truth (the Divinity of the Lord's Humanity) is a known thing; for who in such a Church believes the humanity of the Lord to be divine? Is not such a proposition held in aversion? When yet it was believed in the ancient churches, that the Lord, who was about to come into the world, was a Divine Man, and he likewise, when seen by them, was called Jehovah, as is evident from several passages in the Word; suffice it for the time to adduce only this passage from Isaiah, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare you the way of Jehovah,and make plain in the desert a path for our God" Is 40:3; that these words were spoken of the Lord, and that a way was prepared and a path made plain for Him by John the Baptist, is manifest from the Evangelists, Matt 3:3. Mark 1:3. Luke 3:4. John 1:23; and besides from the Lord's words themselves, that He was one with the Father, and the Father in Him, and He in the Father; also that all power was given to Him in the heavens and in the earths; and likewise that judgement was committed to Him; he who has the slightest knowledge concerning power in heaven and in earth, and concerning judgement, may know that they are nothing, unless He Himself was Divine even as to His Humanity. AC 4727.

Verse 5. Every valley shall be filled, &c. A valley denotes what is lowly; a mountain and hill what is elate; the crooked being made straight denotes the evil of ignorance turned into good, for length, and the things of length, are predicated of good; the rough ways being made smooth denote that the falses of ignorance shall be turned into truths, for way is predicated of truth. AC 3527.

Verse 9. Every tree therefore that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Every man, who from natural becomes spiritual, must pass through two states, and through the first enter into the second, and thus pass from the world to heaven. The first state is called a state of reformation, in which man is in full liberty of acting according to the rationality of His understanding; and the second state is that of regeneration, in which likewise he is in similar liberty, but in this state he wills and acts, he thinks and speaks from new love and; new intelligence which are from the Lord; for in the first state the understanding is principally active, and the will secondarily, but in the second state the will is principally active, and the understanding secondarily, nevertheless the understanding acts from the will, but not the will by the understanding. The man, who stops in the first state, and does not enter into the other, is like a tree which bears leaves only, and not fruits, of which it is said in the Word, that it must be hewn down and cast into the fire. Luke 3:9. TCR 105, 106.

By fire is here meant infernal fire, which is nothing else than hatred, revenge and cruelty, or, what is the same thing, the love of self; by good fruit is meant charity, of which, whoever deprives himself cuts himself down, and casteth himself into such a fire, AC 1861.

Verse 10. John answered saying to all, I indeed baptize you with water, but there comes one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose; He will baptize you with the holy spirit and with fire. That the Lord regenerates man by faith and charity, is meant by these words of John the Baptist; to baptize with the holy spirit and with fire, is to regenerate by Divine Truth which is of faith, and by Divine good which is of charity. The like is signified by these words of the Lord, "Unless a man be generated of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," John 3:5; by water in this passage, as In other parts of the Word, is signified truth in the natural or external man, and by spirit truth derived from good in the spiritual or internal man. TCR 144,

By the holy spirit is meant the Divine Truth of faith, and by fire the Divine Good of love or charity both proceeding from the Lord. TCR 684. See also AR 378.

By the above words Is meant, that John only inaugurated them into knowledges from the Word, concerning the Lord, and thus prepared them to receive Him, but that the Lord Himself regenerates them by Divine Truth and Divine Good proceeding from Himself; for John represented the same as Elias, namely the Word; the waters with which John baptized, introductory truths, which are knowledges concerning the Lord from the Word; the holy spirit signifies Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, and fire signifies Divine Good proceeding from Him; and baptism signifies regeneration by Divine Truths from the Word by the Lord. AE 475.

Inasmuch as shoes' latchet signified the ultimate natural and corporeal principle, it hence became a form of speaking, by which was signified the least and vilest of all things, for the ultimate natural and corporeal principle is the vilest of all things belonging to man, and this was meant by John the Baptist, when he said, "One mightier than I comes, whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose," AC 1748.

Verse 22. And the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him. That by a dove are signified the truths and goods of faith belonging to one who is about to be regenerated, is manifest from the signification of a dove in the Word, especially from the dove which came over Jesus when He was baptized, concerning which it is written in Matthew, "Jesus being baptized went up immediately out of the water, and lo the heavens were opened, and He saw the spirit of God descending, like a dove, and coming upon Him," 3:16, 17, and in John 1:32; Luke 3:22; Mark 1:10, 11, where dove signified nothing else than the holy principle of faith; baptism itself denotes regeneration; hence with the new Church, which was to arise, it denotes the truth and good of faith, which were to be received by regeneration from the Lord. Similar things were represented and involved in the young doves or turtles, which were offered for sacrifice and burnt-offerings in the Jewish Church. AC 870.

It is written, that when Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened, and John saw the holy spirit descending as a dove: This was done, because baptism signifies regeneration and purification, in like manner a dove. Who cannot perceive that the dove was not the holy spirit, nor that the holy spirit was in the dove? In heaven there often appear doves, and as often as they appear, the angels know that they are correspondences of affections and thence of thoughts, concerning regeneration and purification with some who are in the neighbourhood, wherefore as soon as they come to them and discourse with them on any other subject, than what was in their thoughts when the appearance was presented, the doves instantly vanish. This case is similar to many, where things were seen by the prophets, and also by John, when He saw a lamb upon Mount Sion, Rev 14:1, and elsewhere: Who does not know that the Lord was not that lamb, nor in the lamb, but that the lamb was a representation of His innocence? Hence is discoverable the error of those, who deduce the doctrine of three persons in the trinity from the dove seen above the Lord when He was baptized, and from the voice then heard from heaven, this is My beloved Son. TCR 144.

Verse 22. And a voice was uttered from heaven, saying, you are my beloved son, in you I am well pleased. That the Law and the Prophets, or the whole word of the Old Testament, treats of the Lord, has been shown in the first article, wherefore no other can be meant by the Son of God about to come, than the Human [principle], which the Lord assumed in the world. Hence it follows, that this [ principle ] was meant by the Son, so named by Jehovah out of heaven when he was baptized, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased," for his human [principle] was baptized, Doc. Lord. 19.

Verse 23. And Jesus Himself was about thirty years, &c. By thirty years is signified a full state of remains, and whereas man cannot be regenerated, that is, admitted into spiritual combats, by which regeneration is effected, until he has received remains to the full, therefore it was ordained that the Levite should not do work in the tent of assembly until he had fulfilled thirty years. From these considerations it is now evident, why the Lord did not manifest himself, until He was thirty years old, for He was then in the fullness of remains, but the remains, which the Lord had, He had procured to Himself, and they were Divine, by which He united the Human essence to the Divine, and made it Divine. AC 5335.

Chapter III. Translator's Notes and Observations.

Verse 23. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age &c. There is a difficulty in this passage, arising from the proper meaning of the Greek term archomenos, which, in the common version of the New Testament, is rendered began to be, but by some learned writers, especially Dr. Campbell and Parkhurst, is conceived to signify being subject to, and is thus applied to denote, not the lord's entrance upon his thirtieth year of age, but his subjection to his parents during a period of thirty years. The reader is at liberty to put his own construction on the passage, but certain it is, that there is an unmeaning awkwardness in the manner in which it is expressed in the common version.

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