Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 22:20
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AR 960. Verse 20. He who testifieth these things saith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Yea, come, Lord Jesus, signifies the Lord, who revealed the Apocalypse, and has now opened it, testifying this gospel, that He comes in His Divine Human, which He took upon He in the world and glorified, as the Bridegroom and Husband, and that the church desires Him, as the Bride and Wife. The Lord said above, "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify unto you these things in the churches" (ver. 16 of this chapter), which, that it signifies a testification by the Lord before the whole Christian world, that it is true that the Lord alone manifested the things which are written in this book, and which are now laid open, may be seen above (n. 953). Thence it is plain, that by "He who testifieth these things," is meant the Lord, who revealed the Apocalypse and has now laid it open, testifying. The reason why it means testifying this gospel, is, because He here declares His coming, His kingdom, and His spiritual marriage with the church; for He says, "Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Yea, come, Lord Jesus"; and by "the gospel," is signified the Lord‘s coming to His kingdom (n. 478, 553, 626, 664). The reason why He here comes to a spiritual marriage with the church, is, because this New Church is called the Bride and Wife, and the Lord its Bridegroom and Husband, above (Apoc 19:7-9; 20:2, 9, 10; 21:17); and here at the end of the book, the Lord speaks and the church speaks, as the Bridegroom and the Bride; the Lord speaks these words, "Surely, I come quickly. Amen"; and the church speaks these, "Yea, come, Lord Jesus," which are words of betrothing to the spiritual marriage. That the Lord will come in His Divine Human which He assumed and glorified in the world, is plain from this, that He names Himself "Jesus," and says that He is "the Root and the Offspring of David" (ver. 16), and that the church here says, "Come, Lord Jesus," see above (n. 953, 954).

AR 961. To this I will add two Relations. The first is this. Once on waking from sleep, I fell into a profound meditation concerning God; and when I looked up, I saw above me in heaven a very bright light in an oval form; and when I fixed my attention on that light, it receded to the sides, and entered into the circumference. And then behold, heaven was opened to me, and I saw some magnificent things, and angels standing in the form of a circle on the southern side of the opening, speaking with one another. And because I was enkindled with the desire of hearing what they were saying, it was therefore given me first to hear the sound, which was full of heavenly love, and afterwards their speech, which was full of wisdom from that love. They were talking with one another of the One God, of Conjunction with Him, and of Salvation thence. They spoke ineffable things, the most of which cannot be expressed by any natural language. But as I had many times been in consociation with angels in heaven itself, and then in similar speech with them, because in a similar state, I could therefore now understand them, and gather some things from their discourse, which can be expressed rationally in the words of natural language. They said that the Divine Esse is One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible; thus also the Divine Essence, because the Divine Esse is the Divine Essence; and thus also God, because the Divine Essence, which is also the Divine Esse, is God. They illustrated this by spiritual ideas, saying that the Divine Esse cannot fall into many, everyone of which has the Divine Esse, and yet be One, the Same, Itself, and Indivisible; for each would think from his Esse from himself and by himself; if he should at the same time also think from the others and by the others unanimously, there would be many unanimous gods, and not one God. For unanimity, as it is the consent of many, and at the same time of each one from himself, and by himself, does not agree with the unity of God, but with a plurality, they did not say of Gods, because they could not; for the light of heaven, from which was their thought, and in which their discourse proceeded, resisted. They also said, that when they wished to pronounce the word Gods, and each as a Person by himself, the effort of utterance immediately fell of itself into One, yea, into the Only God. To this they added that the Divine Esse is the Divine Esse in Itself, not from Itself; because from Itself supposes an Esse in Itself, from which it is, and thus supposes a God from God, which is not given. That which is from God is not called God, but is called the Divine; for what is a God from God; and thus what is a God from God born from eternity; and what is a God from God proceeding through a God born from eternity, but words in which there is not the least light from heaven? It is otherwise in the Lord Jesus Christ; in Him is the Divine Esse Itself from which all things are, to which the soul in man corresponds, the Divine Human, to which the body in man corresponds, and the Divine proceeding, to which activity in man corresponds. This Trine is a one, because from Divine from which all things are is the Divine Human, and thence from the Divine from which all things are, through the Divine Human is the Divine proceeding. Therefore also, in every angel and in every man, because they are images, there is a soul, a body, and activity, which make one; since from the soul is the body, and from the soul through the body is the activity. They said further, that the Divine Esse, which in itself is God, is the Same: not the Same simply, but Infinite; that is, the Same from eternity to eternity: it is the Same everywhere, and the Same with everyone and in everyone; but that all the variety and variableness is in the recipient; the state of the recipient does this. That the Divine Esse, which is God in Himself, is the Itself they illustrated thus. God is the Itself, because He is Love Itself, Wisdom Itself, Good Itself, Truth Itself, Life Itself; which unless they were the Itself in God, would not be anything in heaven and in the world; because there would not be anything of them having relation to the Itself. Every quality derives its quality from this that there is an Itself from which it is, and to which it has relation, that it may be such. This Itself, which is the Divine Esse, is not in place, but is with those and in those who are in place, according to reception; since of love and wisdom, and of good and truth, which are the Itself in God, yea, are God Himself, place cannot be predicated, or progression from place to place, but without place, whence is omnipresence. Wherefore the Lord says, that "He is in the midst of them"; also "He in them, and they in Him." But because He cannot be received by anyone as He is in Himself, He appears as He is in Himself as the sun above the angelic heavens, the proceeding from which as light is Himself as to wisdom, and as heat is Himself as to love. He Himself is not the sun; but the Divine love and Divine wisdom going forth from Himself proximately, round about Himself, appear before the angels as the sun. He Himself in the sun is a Man, He is our Lord Jesus Christ both as to the Divine from which, and as to the Divine Human: since the Itself, which is Love Itself and Wisdom Itself, was His soul from the Father, and thus the Divine Life, which is Life in itself. It is otherwise in every man: in him the soul is not life, but a recipient of life. The Lord also teaches this, saying:--

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6);

and again:--

As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26).

Life in Himself is God. They added to this, that he who is in any spiritual light, can perceive that the Divine Esse, which is also the Divine Essence, because it is One, the Same, the Itself, and thence Indivisible, cannot be given in many; and that if it were said to be given, manifest contradictions would follow. After hearing these things, the angels perceived in my thought the common ideas of the Christian Church concerning a Trinity of Persons in Unity and their Unity in Trinity, respecting God, as also concerning the birth of a Son of God from eternity: and they then said, "What are you thinking of? Are you not thinking those things from natural light, with which our spiritual light does not agree? Wherefore, unless you remove the ideas of that thought, we close heaven to you, and go away." But I then said to them, "Enter, I pray, more deeply into my thought and perhaps you will see agreement." And they did so, and saw that by three persons I understand three proceeding Divine Attributes, which are Creation, Salvation, and Reformation; and that these Attributes are of the one God: and that by the birth of a Son of God from eternity I understood His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time. And I then related that my natural thought concerning a Trinity and Unity of Persons, and concerning the birth of a Son of God from eternity, I received from the doctrine of faith of the church, which has its name from Athanasius; and that that doctrine is just and right, provided that instead of a Trinity of Persons there be there understood a Trinity of Person, which is given only in the Lord Jesus Christ; and instead of the birth of a Son of God there be understood His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time; because as to the Human, which He took to Himself in time, He is called openly the Son of God. The angels then said, "Well;" and they requested that I would say from their mouth, that if anyone does not go to the God of heaven and earth Himself, he cannot come into heaven; because heaven is heaven from that Only God; and that that God is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah the Lord, Creator or from eternity, Saviour in time, and Reformer to eternity; thus who is at the same time the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. After this the heavenly light before seen above the opening returned, and gradually descended, and filled the interiors of my mind, and enlightened my natural ideas of the Unity and Trinity of God: and then the ideas received about them in the beginning, which were merely natural, I saw separated, as the chaff is separated from the wheat by the motion of a fan, and carried away as by a wind into the north of heaven, and dispersed.

AR 962. The Second Relation. Since it has been given me by the Lord to see the wonderful things which are in the heavens and below the heavens, I must, from command, relate what has been seen. There appeared a magnificent palace, and in its inmost a temple. In the midst of the latter was a table of gold, upon which was the Word, beside which two angels were standing. Around it were seats in three rows: the seats of the first row were covered with silken cloth of a purple color; the seats of the second row, with silken cloth, of a blue color; and the seats of the third row, with white cloth. Under the roof, high above the table, there appeared a widespread canopy, shining with precious stones, from whose splendor shone forth as it were a rainbow, as when heaven clears up after a shower. There then suddenly appeared a number of the clergy, occupying all the seats, clothed in the garments of their priestly office. At one side was a wardrobe, where an angel keeper stood; and within there lay splendid garments in beautiful order. It was a Council convoked by the Lord; and I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Deliberate." But they said, "Upon what?" It was said, "Concerning the Lord and concerning the Holy Spirit." But when they thought upon these subjects, they were not in enlightenment; wherefore they supplicated, and then light descended from heaven, which first illumined the back part of their heads, and afterwards their temples, and at length their faces: and then they began; and, as it was commanded, first, concerning the Lord. The first question proposed and discussed was, "Who assumed the Human in the Virgin Mary?" And an angel standing at the table upon which was the Word, read before them these words in Luke:--

The angel said to Mary, Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus; He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, since I know not a man? And the angel answering said, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; whence the Holy One that is born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:31, 32, 34, 35).

As also what is in (Matt. 1:20-25); and what is in (Matt 1:25) there he read emphatically. Besides these, he read many things from the Evangelists, where the Lord as to His Human is called "the Son of God," and where He from His Human calls Jehovah His "Father," as also from the Prophets, where it is foretold that Jehovah Himself would come into the world; among which also these two, in Isaiah:--

It shall be said in that day, Lo, This is our God, whom we have waited for, that He may free us; This is Jehovah, whom we have waited for; let us exult and rejoice in His salvation (Isaiah 25:9).

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way for Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God: for the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: Behold, the Lord Jehovah cometh in strength; He shall feed His flock as a shed herd (Isa. 40:3, 5, 10, 11).

And the angel said, "Since Jehovah Himself came into the world, and assumed the Human, and thereby saved and redeemed men, He is therefore called `the Saviour’ and `the Redeemer‘ in the Prophets." And then he read before them these passages following:--

Surely God is in thee, and there is no God besides; verily thou art a hidden God, O God of Israel, the Saviour (Isa. 45:14, 15).

Am not I Jehovah? and there is no God else besides Me; a just God and a Saviour, there is none besides Me (Isa. 45:21, 22).

I am Jehovah, and besides Me there is no Saviour (Isa. 43:11).

I Jehovah am thy God, and thou shalt acknowledge no God besides Me, and there is no Saviour besides Me (Hos. 13:4).

That all flesh may know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer (Isa. 49:26; 60:16).

As for our Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts is His name (Isa. 47:4).

Their Redeemer is strong, Jehovah of Hosts is His name (Jer. 50:34).

O Jehovah, my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps. 19:14).

Thus said Jehovah thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I Jehovah am thy God (Isa. 48:17; 43:14; 49:7; 54:8).

Thou O Jehovah art our Father, our Redeemer, Thy name is from an age (Isa. 63:16).

Thus said Jehovah thy Redeemer, I am Jehovah that maketh all things, and alone by Myself (Isa. 44:24).

Thus said Jehovah King of Israel, and his Redeemer Jehovah of Hosts, I am the First and the Last, and besides Me there is no God (Isa. 44:6).

Jehovah of Hosts is His name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called (Isa. 54:5).

Behold, the days come, that I will raise up unto David a just Branch who shall reign King, and this is His name, Jehovah our Justice (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16).

In that day shall Jehovah be King over all the earth; in that day shall Jehovah be one; and His name one (Zech. 14:9).

Being confirmed from all these passages, those that sat upon the seats said unanimously that Jehovah Himself assumed the Human to save and redeem men. But there was then heard a voice from the Roman Catholics, who had hid themselves in a corner of the temple, saying, "How can Jehovah the Father become Man? is He not the Creator of the universe?" And one of them that sat upon the seats of the second row turned himself, and said, "Who then?" And he from the corner answered, "The Son from eternity." But he received for answer, "Is not the Son from eternity, according to your confession, the Creator of the universe also? And what is a Son or a God born from eternity? And how can the Divine Essence, which is one and indivisible, be separated, and some of it descend and take on the Human, and not the whole?" The second discussion concerning the Lord was, whether God the Father and He thus are one, as the soul and the body are one? They said that this is a consequence, because the soul is from the Father. And then one of those who sat upon the seats in the third row, read from the Creed which is called Athanasian these words: "Although our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man, still they are not two, but one Christ; yea, He is altogether one, He is one Person; since as the soul and the body make one man, so God and Man are one Christ." The reader said that this faith is received in the whole Christian world, even by the Roman Catholics. And they then said, "What need is there of more? God the Father and He are one, as the soul and the body are one." And they said, "As it is so, we see that the Lord’s Human is Divine, because it is the Human of Jehovah; then that the Lord as to the Divine Human is to be approached; and that thus and not otherwise can the Divine which is called the Father be approached." This conclusion of theirs the angel confirmed by many more passages from the Word, among which were these in Isaiah:--

Unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given, whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Hero, the Father of eternity, the Prince of peace (Isa. 9:6).

In the same:--

Thou art our Father, Abraham hath not known us, and Israel doth not acknowledge us, Thou, O Jehovah; art our Father, our Redeemer from everlasting is Thy name (Isa. 63:16).

And in John:--

Jesus said, He that believeth in Me, believeth in Him that sent Me, and He that seeth Me seeth Him who sent Me (John 12:44, 45).

Philip said unto Jesus, Show us the Father; Jesus saith unto him, He that seeth Me seeth the Father; how sayest thou then, show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me (John 14:8-11).

And lastly this:--

Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one cometh to the Father but by Me (John 14:6).

On hearing these, they all said with one voice and heart, that the Lord‘s Human is Divine, and that this is to be approached that the Father may be approached; since Jehovah God, who is the Lord from eternity, through it sent Himself into the world, and made Himself visible to the eyes of men, and thus accessible. Likewise He made Himself visible and thus accessible in the human form to the ancients, but then through an angel. After this followed the deliberation concerning the Holy Spirit. And first was disclosed the idea of many respecting God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which was as if God the Father was sitting on high, and the Son at His right hand, and they were sending forth the Holy Spirit from them, to enlighten and teach men. But a voice was then heard from heaven, saying, "We cannot endure that idea of thought. Who does not know that Jehovah God is omnipresent? He who knows and acknowledges this, will also acknowledge that He Himself enlightens and teaches; and that there is not an intermediate God, distinct from Him, and still less from two, as one person from another. Therefore let the former idea, which is vain, be removed; and let this, which is just, be received, and you will see this clearly. But a voice was then heard again from the Roman Catholics, who had hid themselves in the corner of the temple, saying, "What then is the Holy Spirit, who is named in the Word in the Evangelists and in Paul, by whom so many of the learned men from the clergy, especially from ours, say that they are led? Who in the Christian world at this day denies the Holy Spirit and its operation?" At this one of those who were sitting upon the second row of seats, turned himself and said, "The Holy Spirit is the Divine proceeding from Jehovah the Lord. You say that the Holy Spirit is a Person by Himself and a God by Himself. But what is a Person going forth and proceeding from a Person, but operation going forth and proceeding? One person cannot go forth and proceed from another through a third, but operation can. Or what is a God going forth and proceeding from a God, but the Divine going forth and proceeding? One God cannot go forth and proceed from another through a third, but the Divine can. Is not the Divine Essence one and indivisible? And as the Divine Essence or the Divine Esse is God, is not God one and indivisible?" On hearing these things, they who sat upon the seats concluded unanimously that the Holy Spirit is not a Person by itself, nor a God by itself; but that it is the Holy Divine going forth and proceeding from the Only Omnipresent God, who is the Lord. At this the angels that stood by the golden table upon which was the Word, said, "It is well. We do not anywhere read in the Old Testament, that the prophets spoke the Word from the Holy Spirit, but from Jehovah the Lord; and where `the Holy Spirit’ is mentioned in the New Testament, the proceeding Divine is meant, which is the Divine enlightening, teaching, vivifying, reforming, and regenerating." After this there followed another discussion concerning the Holy Spirit, which was, From whom does the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit proceed? is it from the Divine which is called the Father, or from the Divine Human which is called the Son? And when they were discussing this, the light shone on them from heaven, from which they saw that the Holy Divine, which is meant by the Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Divine in the Lord through His glorified Human, which is the Divine Human, comparatively as all activity proceeds from the soul through the body with man This the angel standing at the table confirmed from the Word by these passages:--

He whom the Father hath sent, speaketh the words of God; He hath not given the Spirit by measure unto Him; the Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand (John 3:34, 35).

There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and intelligence, the Spirit of counsel and might (Isa. 11:1, 2).

That the Spirit of Jehovah was given upon Him, and that it was in Him (Isa. 42:1; 59:19, 20; 61:1; Luke 4:18).

When the Holy Spirit shall come, which I will send unto you from the Father (John 15:26).

He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine, and announce it unto you: all things that the Father hath are Mine; therefore I said that He shall receive of Mine, and announce it unto you (John 16:14, 15).

If I go away, I will send the Comforter unto you (John 16:7).

The Comforter is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26).

The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:39).

After the glorification, Jesus breathed on them, and said to the disciples, Receive ye the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).

Since the Lord‘s Divine operation from His Divine omnipresence is meant by the Holy Spirit, therefore when He spoke to the disciples concerning the Holy Spirit which He would send from God the Father, He also said:--

I will not leave you orphans; I go away, and come unto you: and in that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you (John 14:18, 20, 28).

And just before His departure out of the world, He said:--

Lo, I am with you all the days until the consummation of the age (Matt. 28:20).

Having read these words before them, the angel said, "From these and many other passages in the Word, it is manifest that the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Divine in the Lord through His Divine Human." To this they that sat upon the seats said, "This is the Divine Truth." At length this decision was made, "That from the deliberations in this Council we have clearly seen, and thence acknowledge as the holy truth, that in our Lord Jesus Christ there is a Divine Trinity, which is, the Divine from Which, that is called the Father; the Divine Human, which is the Son; and the proceeding Divine, which is the Holy Spirit. Thus there is One God in the Church." After these things were concluded in that magnificent Council, they rose up: and the angel keeper of the wardrobe, came and brought to each of those who sat upon the seats, splendid garments interwoven here and there with threads of gold, and said, "Receive these wedding garments." And they were conducted in glory into the New Christian Heaven, with which the Lord’s Church on earth, which is the New Jerusalem, will be conjoined.

Apoc. xxii. 21

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info