Jesus Lives! - The Lord God
Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth
VI. IT IS A LAW OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE THAT MAN SHOULD AS FROM HIMSELF REMOVE EVILS AS SINS IN THE EXTERNAL MAN; AND THUS AND NOT OTHERWISE CAN THE LORD REMOVE EVILS IN THE INTERNAL MAN, AND THEN AT THE SAME TIME IN THE EXTERNAL
 This opposition is meant by Abraham’s words from heaven to the rich man in hell:
Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence (Luke 16:26).
Evil itself is hell and good itself is heaven; or what is the same, evil itself is the devil and good itself is the Lord; and the man in whom evil reigns is a hell in the least form, and the man in whom good reigns is a heaven in the least form. Since this is the case, how can heaven enter hell when between them there is such a great gulf fixed that there can be no crossing from one to the other? Hence it follows that hell must be completely removed that it may be possible for the Lord to enter with heaven.
 For those who give no thought to the evils in themselves, that is, who do not examine themselves and afterwards refrain from evils, cannot but be ignorant of what evil is and then love it from its delight. For he who does not know evil loves it, and he who neglects to think about it is continually in it. He is like a blind man who does not see, for it is thought that sees good and evil as the eye sees what is beautiful and what is ugly. He is in evil who thinks and wills it, as well as he who believes that evil does not appear before God, and that if it does appear it is forgiven; for thus he thinks that he is without evil. If such persons abstain from doing evils they do not abstain because these are sins against God, but because they are afraid of the laws and of their reputation. Nevertheless, they do evils in their spirit, for it Is man’s spirit that thinks and wills; and therefore what a man thinks in his spirit in the world, he does when he becomes a spirit after his departure from the world.
 In the spiritual world, into which every man comes after death, the question that is asked is not, What was your faith, or what was your doctrine? but, What was the nature of your life? Was it of this or that quality? Thus the inquiry is concerning the nature and quality of the life; for it is known that such as one’s life is, such is his faith and also his doctrine, because the life fashions doctrine and faith for itself.
 Moreover, many question within themselves, when they listen to others speaking, whether these interiorly within themselves are thinking the thoughts which they are expressing in speech, and whether they are to be believed or not, and also what their intentions are. It is well known that flatterers and hypocrites have a double thought; for they can restrain themselves and take care not to disclose their interior thought; and some can conceal it more and more interiorly and, as it were, block up the doors lest it should appear. That both exterior and interior thought are given to man is clearly evident from this fact, that from his interior thought he can view his exterior thought, reflect upon it and pass judgment on it, deciding whether it is evil or not evil. The mind of man owes this characteristic feature to the faculties which he has from the Lord, called liberty and rationality. Unless man had from these an external and an internal of thought he would not be able to perceive and view any evil in himself and be reformed; in fact, he would not be able to speak, but only to utter sounds like a beast.
 Now the life’s love of anyone Cannot exist without derivations, which are called affections. The derivations of infernal love are affections of evil and falsity, properly called lusts, and the derivations of heavenly love are affections of good and truth, properly called ardent desires. The affections of infernal love, properly called lusts, are as many as there are forms of evil; and the affections of heavenly love, properly called ardent desires, are as many as there are forms of good. Love dwells in its affections as a lord in his domain or as a king in his kingdom. The domain and sovereignty of these loves is over the things of the mind, that is, over the things of man’s will and understanding, and consequently over the things of the body. The life’s love of man, by means of its affections and their consequent perceptions, and by means of its delights and their consequent thoughts, rules the entire man--the internal of his mind by means of affections and their consequent perceptions, and the external of his mind by means of the delights of the affections and their consequent thoughts.
 Now as the end unites itself with the cause, and through the cause with the effect, so does the life’s love unite itself with the internal of thought, and through this with its external. Hence it is clear that the external of man’s thought is in itself of the same character as its internal; for the end imparts itself wholly to the cause, and through the cause to the effect. For there is nothing essential in the effect but what is in the cause, and through the cause in the end; and as the end is thus the essential principle itself which enters into the cause and the effect, therefore the cause and the effect are called respectively the mediate end and the ultimate end.
 But if these same persons strip the love of means, the deputy of their life’s love, of the garments of purple and fine linen with which they have invested it and clothe it in its own domestic garb, they then think, and sometimes with their dearest friends whose life’s love is similar, they speak from their thought in a directly contrary manner. It may be supposed, when from their love of means they spoke so justly, sincerely and piously, that the character of the internal of their thought was not in the external of their thought; and yet it was. There is hypocrisy in them; there is the love of self and the world in them, with its cunning to secure even in outward appearance reputation for the sake of honour and gain. This character of the internal is in the external of their thought when they so speak and act.
 It should be understood that it is man’s internal will that is in lusts and his internal understanding that is in subtleties, and that it is his external will that is in the delights of lusts and his external understanding that is in devices from the subtleties. Everyone may see that lusts and their delights make one, and also that subtleties and devices make one; and that these four are in one series and together form as it were one group. From this again it is clear that the internal which consists of lusts can be cast out only by the removal of the external which consists of evils. Lusts through their own delights produce evils; but when evils are believed to be allowable, which comes from consent of the will and the understanding, then the delights and the evils make one. It is well known that consent is deed; and this is what the Lord says:
Whosoever looketh on the wife of another (A.V. a woman) to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matt. 5:28).
It is the same with all other evils.DLW 362-370). This may be illustrated by comparisons and also by examples.
 By comparisons. Lusts with their delights may be compared to fire: the more fire is fed the more fiercely it burns, and the freer the course given to it the wider it spreads until, if in a city, it consumes the houses and, if in a wood, the trees. Lusts of evil are compared in the Word to fire, and their evils to the conflagration. The lusts of evil with their delights also appear in the spiritual world as fires, infernal fire being nothing else. They may also be compared to floods and inundations of water when dykes or dams give way. Moreover, lusts may be compared to gangrenous sores and ulcers which, if they run their course, or are not cured, bring death to the body.
 By examples. It is clearly evident that if evils in the external man are not removed lusts with their delights grow and multiply. The more a thief steals the more he lusts to steal till at length he cannot refrain. The same is true of a fraudulent person, in proportion as he defrauds. It is the same with hatred and revenge, with luxury and intemperance, with adultery and blasphemy. It is well known that the love of ruling grounded in the love of self increases in proportion as restraints are relaxed, and in like manner the love of possessing wealth grounded in the love of the world; it would appear as if these evils had no limit or end. From these considerations it is clear that so far as evils in the external man are not removed their lusts multiply, and also that lusts increase in the degree that restraints on evils are relaxed.
 Nevertheless, when these same persons the same day listen to preaching concerning faith alone to the effect that the Law does not condemn them because the Lord has fulfilled it for them, and that of themselves they cannot do any good except what is merit-seeking and thus that works have nothing of salvation in them, but faith only, they return home entirely forgetful of their former confession and rejecting it in proportion as they think from the preaching concerning faith alone. Now which doctrine is true, the first or the second?-for two things contrary to each other cannot both be true, the first stating that without self-examination, recognition, acknowledgment, confession and rejection of sins, thus without repentance, there is no forgiveness of them, thus no salvation, but eternal condemnation; the second stating that such things contribute nothing to salvation because the Lord made full satisfaction for all the sins of men by the passion of the cross, for those who have faith, and that those who have faith only, being fully confident that this is true, and trusting in the imputation of the Lord’s merit, are without sins, and appear before God like those with faces washed and shining brightly.
 It is clear from this that it is the common religious belief of all the Churches in the Christian world that man should examine himself, should see and acknowledge his sins and then desist from them; and that otherwise there is no salvation but condemnation. Moreover, that this is the Divine Truth (Veritas) itself is evident from passages in the Word where man is commanded to repent, as the following:
Jesus (A.V. John) said: Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance..... Now also the axe is laid unto the root of the tree; every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Luke 3:8, 9).
Jesus said: Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3, 5).
Jesus preached: The gospel of the kingdom of God repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:14, 15).
Jesus sent forth His disciples: And they went out and preached that men should repent. (Mark 6:12).
Jesus said to the apostles that repentance and remission of sins should be preached among all nations. (Luke 24:27).
John preached: The baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3).
Consider this with some degree of understanding; and if you have any religious principles you will see that repentance from sins is the way to heaven, that faith separate from repentance is not faith, and that those who are not in faith because they are not repentant are on the way to hell.
Do we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Law. (Rom. 3:3).
Those who, from this saying, have confirmed themselves in faith separate (from charity), by gazing at this passage as at the sun fail to see where Paul enumerates the laws of faith as being the very works of charity; and what is faith without its laws? Nor do they see where he enumerates evil works while he declares that those who do them cannot enter into heaven. From this it is evident what blindness has been induced by a wrong understanding of this single passage.
 This is the state of many who have confirmed themselves in faith separate from charity who, believing that the Law does not condemn them, pay no regard to sins; and some doubt whether there are any sins, and if there are, they think they are not sins in the sight of God, because they have been remitted. Such also are natural moralists, who believe that civil and moral life, together with the prudence belonging to it, accomplishes all things and that nothing is effected by the Divine Providence. Such also are those who with great zeal strive after a reputation for honesty and sincerity for the sake of honour and gain. Those, however, who are of this character and who have also despised religion become after death lustful spirits, appearing to themselves as real men, but to others some distance off as lewd deities; and like birds of night they see in the dark and not in the light.
 Another reason is that the Lord acts upon man’s inmost, and from the inmost upon all that follows even to the ultimates, while man is at the same time in the ultimates. As long, therefore, as the ultimates are kept closed by the man himself there can be no purification. There can only be such operation by the Lord in man’s interiors as He performs in hell; and the man who is in lusts and at the same time in evils is a form of hell. This operation is solely to dispose things so that there should be no destruction of one thing by another, and to prevent good and truth from being violated. The Lord continually urges and presses upon man to open the door for himself as is clear from His words in Revelation:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with aim, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20).
 Until he does these things, the actions just mentioned avail nothing, for they are merit-seeking or hypocritical; and those who do them appear in heaven in the sight of angels like beautiful courtesans giving forth the offensive odour of their defilement; or like ill-favoured women made to appear handsome by the application of paint; or like clowns and actors wearing masks on the stage; or like apes in human clothing. When, however, men have removed their evils then the actions mentioned above are acts of their love, and they appear as beautiful men in heaven in the sight of angels and as their associates and companions.
 Can anyone of sound reason, when he thinks from his own rationality, and is willing to think from his own liberty, believe that there are three Gods, equal in essence, and that the Divine Being (Esse) or Divine Essence can be divided? That there is a Trine in the one God can be thought and comprehended, just as one can comprehend that there is a soul, a body and an out-going life from these in an angel and in a man; and as this Trine in One is in the Lord alone, it follows that conjunction must be with Him. If you make use of your rationality and at the same time of your liberty of thought you will see this truth in its own light; but you must first grant that there is a God and a heaven and that there is eternal life.
 Now since God is One, and man from creation was made an image and likeness of Him, and since through infernal love and its lusts and their delights he has come into the love of all evils; and has thereby destroyed in himself the image and likeness of God, it follows that it is the continual endeavour of the Divine Providence of the Lord to unite man to Himself and Himself to man, and thus make man to be His image. It also follows that this is to the end that the Lord may be able to bestow upon man the felicities of eternal life, for such is the nature of Divine Love. However, the Lord cannot bestow these upon man, nor make him an image of Himself unless man as of himself removes sins in the external man; because the Lord is not only Divine Love but also Divine Wisdom, and Divine Love does nothing but from its own Divine Wisdom and according to it. Moreover, it is according to His Divine Wisdom that man cannot be united to the Lord and thus reformed, regenerated and saved unless he is permitted to act from freedom according to reason, for by this man is man; and whatever is according to the Divine Wisdom of the Lord pertains also to His Divine Providence.
1. The Lord in no wise acts upon any particular thing in man separately but upon all things at the same time. The reason is that all things of man are linked together in such a connected series and through this connection in such a form that they act not as many but as one. It is well known that man in respect to his body is in such a connected series and through this connection is in such a form. Moreover, the human mind is also in a similar form from the connection of all things in it, for the human mind is the spiritual man and is actually the man. Consequently the spirit of man, which is his mind in his body, is in its entire form a man. Therefore a man after death is as much a man as when in the world, with this difference only, that he has cast off the outer covering which formed his body in the world.
 Now since the human form is such that all its parts form a general whole which acts as one, it follows that one part cannot be moved out of its place and changed in state except with the concurrence of the rest. For if one part were to be moved out of its place and changed in state the form which must act as one would suffer. From this it is clear that the Lord in no wise acts upon any particular thing but upon all things at the same time. In this way the Lord acts upon the universal angelic heaven because it is in His sight as one man; in this way the Lord acts upon each angel because each angel is a heaven in the least form; and in this way He acts upon every man first, as being nearest to Him, upon all things of his mind, and through these upon all things of his body. For the mind of man is his spirit and is an angel according to his degree of conjunction with the Lord, and his body is its obedient instrument.
 It should, however, be clearly observed that the Lord also acts upon every particular thing in man separately, and most meticulously, but at the same time through all things of his form, yet without changing the state of any part, or of anything in particular, unless in accord with the form as a whole. But more will be said concerning this in following numbers, where it will be shown that the Divine Providence of the Lord is universal because it is in particulars, and that it is particular because it is universal.
 2. The Lord acts from inmost things and from ultimates at the same time. The reason is that in this way and in no other all things in general and in particular are held together in a connected series, intermediates depending successively from inmost things to ultimates, and all are in ultimates at the same time; for in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, Part Three, it was shown that in the ultimate there is the simultaneous presence (simultaneum) of all the series from the first. For this reason also the Lord from eternity or Jehovah came into the world and there put on and assumed the Human in ultimates, in order that He might be from first things and in ultimates at the same time; and so that from first things by means of ultimates He might rule the whole world and thus save men, whom He is able to save according to the laws of His Divine Providence which are also the laws of His Divine Wisdom. Thus also is it true, as is acknowledged in the Christian world, that no mortal could have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world. On this subject see THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING FAITH (Faith 35). Hence it is that the Lord is called the First and the Last.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matt. 7:19, 20).
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt. 7:22, 23).
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the earth without a foundation. (Matt. 7:24, 26; Luke 6:46-49).
For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father, and then He shall reward every man according to his works. (Matt. 16:27).
The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matt. 21:43).
Jesus said: My mother and my brethren are those which hear the Word of God, and do it. (Luke 8:21).
Then shall ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are, depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. (Luke 13:25-27).
And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment. (John 5:29).
We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth. (John 9:31).
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:17).
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me and I will love him, and I will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:15, 21-24).
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you, I have chosen you, that ye should bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain. (John 15:14, 16).
 The Lord said to John:
Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus write: I know thy works I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first charity, repent, and do the first works, else I will remove thy candlestick out of his place. (Apoc. 2:1, 2, 4, 5).
Unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write I know thy works. (Apoc. 2:8, 9).
To the angel of the Church in Pergamos write, I know thy works. Repent. (Apoc. 2:12, 13, 16).
Unto the angel of the Church in Thyatira write, I know thy works, and charity, and thy last works to be more than the first. (Apoc. 2:18, 19).
Unto the angel of the Church in Sardis write, I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. I have not found thy works perfect before God, repent. (Apoc. 3:1, 2, 3).
To the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write I know thy works. (Apoc. 3:7, 8).
Unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write, I know thy works repent. (Apoc. 3:14, 15, 19).
I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth their works do follow them. (Apoc. 14:13).
A book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged all according to their works. (Apoc. 20:12, 13).
Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according to his work. (Apoc. 22:12).
These are passages in the New Testament.
 There are still more in the Old Testament, from which I quote only this:
Stand in the gate of JEHOVAH and proclaim there this word... Thus saith JEHOVAH ZEBAOTH, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings;... Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of JEHOVAH, the temple of JEHOVAH, the temple of JEHOVAH are these... Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered, while ye do these abominations? Is this house become a den of robbers? Behold, I, even I have seen it, saith JEHOVAH. (Jer. 7:2-4, 9-11).