Jesus Lives! - The Lord God
Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth
VIII. IT IS A LAW OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE THAT MAN SHOULD BE LED AND TAUGHT BY THE LORD FROM HEAVEN BY MEANS OF THE WORD, AND DOCTRINE AND PREACHING FROM THE WORD, AND THIS TO ALL APPEARANCE AS OF HIMSELF
 Those who confirm in themselves the appearance and not at the same time the truth are all interior idolaters, for they are worshippers of self and the world. If they have no religion they become worshippers of nature, and thus atheists; but if they have a religion they become worshippers of men and also of images. Such are they at the present day who are meant in the first commandment of the Decalogue, who worship other gods. Those, however, who confirm in themselves the appearance and also the truth become worshippers of the Lord; for the Lord raises them up from their proprium which is in the appearance, and brings them into the light in which is truth and which is truth; and He enables them to perceive interiorly that they are not led and taught of themselves, but by Him.
 To many the rational of both classes may appear to be similar, but it is not similar. The rational of those who are in the appearance and at the same time in the truth is a spiritual rational, while the rational of those who are in the appearance and not at the same time in the truth is a natural rational. This natural rational may be compared to a garden as it is in the light of winter, while the spiritual rational may be compared to a garden as it is in the light of spring. But more will be said on these matters in what follows in this order:
 First: There is one sole essence, one sole substance, and one sole form, from which are all the essences, substances and forms that have been created. This is shown in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM (DLW 44-46); and in the Second Part of the work it is shown that the Sun of the angelic heaven, which is from the Lord and in which the Lord is, is that one sole substance and form from which are all things that have been created, and that there is nothing and can be nothing which is not from that Sun; and it is shown there in the Third Part that all things are from that Sun by derivations according to degrees.
 Everyone perceives and acknowledges from reason that there is one sole essence from which is all essence, or one sole Being (Esse) from which is all being. What can exist without being? and what is the being from which is all being but Being itself? And that which is Being itself is also the one sole Being and Being in itself. As this is the case, and everyone perceives and acknowledges it from reason, or if not, he can perceive and acknowledge it, what else then follows but that this Being, which is the Divine itself, and is Jehovah, is the All of all things that have being and existence?
 The same is true if we say that there is one sole substance from which are all things; and as substance without form has no existence, it follows also that there is one sole form from which are all things. It has been shown in the treatise mentioned above that the Sun of the angelic heaven is this sole substance and form, and also how this essence, substance and form, is varied in created things.
 Second: This one sole essence, substance and form is the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, from which are all things relating to love and wisdom in man. This also has been fully shown in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM. In man the things which appear to live have relation to his will and his understanding; and that these two constitute the life of man everyone perceives and acknowledges from his reason. What else is there in life except "I will this, and I understand this," or in other words, "I love this, and I think this?" As a man wills what he loves, and thinks what he understands, so all things of the will relate to love, and all things of the understanding to wisdom; and since love and wisdom cannot exist in anyone from himself, but only from Him who is Love itself and Wisdom itself it follows that they exist from the Lord who is from eternity, that is, Jehovah. If they did not exist from this source man would be love itself and wisdom itself, thus God from eternity; but from this human reason itself recoils. Nothing can exist except from what is prior to itself; and this prior thing can exist only from what is still prior to it, and thus finally only from the First which is in its Self.
 Third: In like manner it is Good itself and Truth itself to which all things have relation. It is received and acknowledged by every rational being that God is Good itself and Truth itself, and also that all good and truth are from Him; and therefore that all good and truth can come from no other source than Good itself and Truth itself. These things are acknowledged by every rational man as soon as they are heard. When it is afterwards stated that everything of the will and the understanding, or everything of love and wisdom, or everything of affection and thought in a man who is led by the Lord, has relation to good and truth, it follows that all that such a man wills and understands, or every activity of his love and wisdom, or of his affection and thought, is from the Lord. Hence it is that everyone in the Church knows that everything good and true from man is not good and true in itself, but only that which is from the Lord. As this is the truth it follows that everything that such a man wills and thinks is from the Lord. Moreover, it will be seen in what follows that every wicked man can will and think from no other source.
 Fourth: These are life, which is the source of the life of all and of all things pertaining to life. This has been shown in many places in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM. Human reason also accepts and acknowledges, as soon as it is heard, that the whole life of man belongs to his will and his understanding, for if these are taken away he ceases to live; or, what is the same, that the whole life of man belongs to his love and his thought, for if these are taken away he ceases to live. Now since everything of the will and the understanding, or of love and thought, in man is from the Lord, as has just been said, it follows that everything of his life is from the Lord.
 Fifth: This One Only and the Self is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent. This also every Christian acknowledges from his doctrine, and every Gentile from his religion. Hence it is also that everyone, wherever he may be, thinks that God is where he is, and prays to God as present. As everyone so thinks and so prays, it follows that he cannot think otherwise than that God is everywhere, and thus omnipresent. In like manner he thinks that He is omniscient and omnipotent. Therefore, everyone who prays in his heart to God implores Him to lead him because He is able to do so. Thus at such a time everyone acknowledges the Divine Omnipresence, Omniscience and Omnipotence: this he does because he then turns his face to the Lord, and this truth then flows in from the Lord.
 Sixth: This One Only and the Self is the Lord from eternity, or Jehovah. It was shown in THE DOCTRINE OR THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE LORD that God is One in essence and in person, and that this God is the Lord; and that the Divine itself, which is called Jehovah the Father, is the Lord from eternity; that the Divine Human is the Son conceived from His Divine from eternity and born in the world, and that the Divine Proceeding is the Holy Spirit. The expressions the Self and the One Only are used because it was said above that the Lord from eternity, or Jehovah, is Life itself, since He is Love itself and Wisdom itself, or Good itself and Truth itself, from which are all things. That the Lord created all things from Himself and not from nothing, may be seen in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM (DLW 282-284, 349-357). From these considerations this truth, that man is led and taught by the Lord alone, has been established on rational grounds.
I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
The Word was God. In Him was Me; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1, 4).
The Word in this passage means the Lord.
As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26).
That man is led and taught by the Lord alone is clear from the following passages:
Without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven (John 3:27).
A man cannot make one hair white or black (Matt. 5:36).
By a hair in the Word is signified the least of all things.
 But since it is according to the appearance that the Lord rules the universal heaven and through it the world from the Sun which is from Him and in which He is (concerning which Sun see the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, Second Part), and since everyone is permitted to speak from the appearance, nor can he do otherwise, therefore everyone who is not in wisdom itself is permitted to think that the Lord rules all things in general and in particular from His Sun; and also that He rules the world through the angelic heaven. From this appearance also the angels of the lower heavens think; but the angels of the higher heavens speak indeed from the appearance but they think from the truth, which is, that the Lord rules the universe from the angelic heaven, that is, from Himself.
 That the simple and the wise speak alike but do not think alike, may be illustrated from the sun of the world. All speak about it according to the appearance, saying that it rises and sets; but the wise, although they speak in the same way, nevertheless think of it as standing still, which also is the truth while the other is the appearance. The same may also be illustrated from appearances in the spiritual world; for there spaces and distances appear as in the natural world; but yet they are appearances according to the dissimilarity of affections and of thoughts therefrom. It is the same with the appearance of the Lord in His Sun.
1. All, men and angels alike, are in the Lord and the Lord is in them according to their conjunction with Him, or, what is the same, according to their reception of love and wisdom from Him.
2. Each of these has a place appointed in the Lord, thus in heaven, according to the nature of this conjunction or reception of Him.
3. Each one in his own place has his state distinct from the state of others; and draws his portion from the common stock according to his position, his function and his need, precisely as each part does in the human body.
4. Everyone is initiated into his place by the Lord according to his life.
5. Everyone from infancy is introduced into that Divine Man whose soul and life is the Lord; and in the Lord, not outside Him, he is led and taught from His Divine Love according to His Divine Wisdom. But as freedom is not taken away from man, he can be led and taught only in the measure that he receives love and wisdom as of himself.
6. Those who receive are conducted to their places through an infinite maze of winding paths, much as the chyle is carried through the mesentery and the lacteal vessels to its cistern, and from this through the thoracic duct into the blood, and so to its own place.
7. Those who do not receive are separated from those who are within the Divine Man, as excrement and urine are separated from man. These are interior truths of heavenly wisdom which man can in some measure comprehend; but there are many more which he cannot.DLW 371-432), that there is a correspondence of the heart with the will, and of the lungs with the understanding, and that the conjunction of the will with the understanding is like the inflow of the blood from the heart into the lungs.
 In the spiritual world there are three degrees of light, celestial light, spiritual light, and spiritual natural light. Celestial light is a flaming light with a reddish glow, and is the light of those who are in the third heaven. Spiritual light is a gleaming white light, and is the light of those who are in the middle heaven, while spiritual natural light is like the light of day in our world. This is the light of those who are in the lowest heaven, and also of those who are in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell; but in the world of spirits this light with the good is like that of summer on earth, and with the wicked like that of winter.
 It should be known, however, that all the light of the spiritual world has nothing in common with the light of the natural world; they differ as what is living and what is dead. From these circumstances it is clear that it is not natural light, such as that before our eyes, that enlightens the understanding, but spiritual light. Man does not know this, because hitherto he has known nothing about spiritual light. It has been shown in the work HEAVEN AND HELL (HH 126-140), that spiritual light is in its origin Divine Wisdom or Divine Truth.
 Nevertheless, all in the spiritual world, both those who are in the heavens and those who are in the hells, see in their own light as clearly as man by day sees in his. The reason for this is that everyone’s eyesight is formed for the reception of the light in which it functions. Thus the eyesight of the angels of heaven is formed for the reception of the light in which it functions, and the eyesight of the spirits of hell for the reception of their light; and this, to use a comparison, is as sight with night birds and bats, which see objects at night and in the evening as clearly as other birds see them by day, for their eyes are formed to receive such light.
 The difference, however, between these lights appears very clearly to those who look from one light into the other; as when an angel of heaven looks into hell he sees nothing there but merely thick darkness; and when a spirit of hell looks into heaven he sees nothing there but thick darkness. The reason of this is that heavenly wisdom is like thick darkness to those who are in hell; and, on the other hand, infernal insanity is like thick darkness to those who are in heaven. From these circumstances it may be evident that the light a man has is such as his understanding is; and that after death everyone comes into his own light, for he does not see in any other. Moreover, in the spiritual world, where all are spiritual even as to their bodies, the eyes of all are formed to see from their own light. The life’s love of everyone makes an understanding for itself, and so also a light; for love is like the fire of life, from which is the light of life.
 A rational man by interior enlightenment from the Lord at once perceives, when he hears them, whether many things are true or not; as, for example, that love is the life of faith, that is, that faith lives from love. By interior enlightenment a man also perceives that what a man loves he wills, and what he wills he does, and consequently that to love is to do; and again, that whatever a man believes from love, this he also wills and does, and consequently that to have faith is also to do; and also that an irreligious man cannot have love to God, and so cannot have faith in God. By interior enlightenment also a rational man perceives the following truths as soon as he hears them: that God is One; that He is omnipresent; that all good is from Him; also that all things have relation to good and truth; and that all good is from Good itself and all truth from Truth itself. These and other similar truths a man perceives interiorly within himself when he hears them; and he has this perception because he has rationality, and this in the light of heaven is what enlightens.
 Exterior enlightenment is enlightenment of thought derived from this interior enlightenment; and thought is in this enlightenment so far as it remains in the perception that it has from interior enlightenment and also so far as it has knowledges of truth and good, for from these it draws reasons for confirmation. Thought from this exterior enlightenment sees a matter on both sides; on the one it sees reasons which confirm it, and on the other appearances which invalidate it; the latter it dispels and the former it stores up.
 Interior enlightenment from man, however, is wholly different. By it a man sees a matter on one side and not on the other; and when he has confirmed it he sees it in a light similar in appearance to the light treated of above, but it is the light of winter. For example, a judge who judges unjustly because of bribes and for the sake of gain, when he has confirmed his decision by the laws and by reasons, sees in his judgment nothing but what is just. Some, indeed, see the injustice, but as they do not wish to see it, they darken the issue and blind themselves, and so do not see it. It is the same in the case of a judge whose decisions are influenced by friendship, by the desire to gain favour, and by the ties of relationship.
 In similar fashion such persons treat everything that they receive from the mouth of a man in authority or a man of celebrity, or that they have hatched out from their own intelligence. They are blind reasoners; for their sight is from falsities, which they confirm; and falsity closes the sight, while truth opens it. Such persons do not see any truth from the light of ruth, or any justice from a love of what is just, but only from the light of confirmation, which is a delusive light. In the spiritual world these appear like faces with no head, or like faces that resemble human faces with heads of wood behind them; and they are called rational animals, because their rationality is merely potential. Exterior enlightenment from man is possessed by those who think and speak from mere knowledge impressed upon the memory; and these have but little ability to confirm anything from themselves.
1. The Lord is the Word because the Word is from Him and treats of Him.
2. Also because it is the Divine Truth of the Divine Good.
3. Therefore to be taught from the Word is to be taught from Him.
4. The fact that this is done mediately through preaching does not destroy its immediate nature.
 First: The Lord is the Word because it is from Him and treats of Him. That the Word is from the Lord is not denied by anyone in the Church; but that the Word treats of the Lord alone is not indeed denied, neither is it known. This has been shown in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE LORD (L 1-7, 37-44); and in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE (Sacred 62-69, 80-90, 98-100). Now since the Word is from the Lord alone and treats of the Lord alone, it follows that when a man is taught from the Word he is taught from the Lord, for the Word is Divine. Who can communicate the Divine and implant it in the heart except the Divine Himself from whom it is derived and of whom it treats? When, therefore, the Lord speaks of this conjunction of Himself with the disciples He says:
That they should abide in Him, and His words in them. (John 15:7).
That His words were spirit and life. (John 6:63).
And that He makes His abode with those who keep His words. (John 14:20-24).
Therefore to think from the Lord is to think from the Word and, as it were, through the Word. It has been shown in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE from beginning to end, that all things of the Word have communication with heaven; and as the Lord is heaven, this means that all things of the Word have communication with the Lord Himself. The angels of heaven do indeed have communication; but this also is from the Lord.
 Second: The Lord is the Word because it is the Divine Truth of the Divine Good. That the Lord is the Word He teaches in John in these words:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. (John 1:1, 14).
As this passage has hitherto been understood to mean only that God taught men through the Word, therefore it has been explained as a hyperbolical expression, implying that the Lord is not the Word itself. The reason is that men did not know that by the Word is meant the Divine Truth of the Divine Good, or, what is the same, the Divine Wisdom of the Divine Love. That these are the Lord Himself is shown in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, First Part; and that these are the Word is shown in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE (Sacred 1-86).
 How the Lord is the Divine Truth of the Divine Good will also be briefly stated here. Every man is a man not from his face and body but from the good of his love and the truths of his wisdom; and because a man is a man from these, every man is also his own truth and his own good, or his own love and his own wisdom; and without these he is not a man. But the Lord is Good itself and Truth itself, or, what is the same, Love itself and Wisdom itself; and these are the Word which in the beginning was with God and which was God, and which was made flesh.
 Third: Therefore to be taught from the Word is to be taught by the Lord Himself, because it is to be taught from Good itself and from Truth itself, or from Love itself and from Wisdom itself, which are the Word, as has been said; but everyone is taught according to the understanding appropriate to his own love; what is taught beyond this does not remain. All those who are taught by the Lord in the Word are instructed in a few truths while in the world, but in many when they become angels. For the interiors of the Word, which are Divine spiritual and Divine celestial things, are implanted at the same time but are not opened in a man until after his death, when he is in heaven where he is in angelic wisdom; and this in comparison with human wisdom, that is, his former wisdom, is ineffable. It may be seen in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE (Sacred 5-26) that Divine spiritual and Divine celestial things, which constitute angelic wisdom, are present in all things of the Word in general and in particular.
 Fourth: The fact that this is done mediately by preaching does not destroy its immediate nature. The Word can only be taught mediately through parents, teachers, preachers, books, and especially through the reading of it. Nevertheless, it is not taught by these, but by the Lord through them. This, moreover, is in keeping with what preachers know, for they say that they do not speak from themselves but from the spirit of God, and that all truth, as also all good, is from God. They are indeed able to declare the Word and bring it to the understanding of many, but not to the heart of anyone; and what is not in the heart perishes in the understanding; and by the heart is meant man’s love. From these considerations it may be seen that man is led and taught by the Lord alone; and that he is taught immediately by Him when this is done from the Word. This is the central truth (arcanum) of angelic wisdom.
That without Him men can do nothing. (John 15:5).
That a man can receive nothing except it has been given him from heaven. (John 3:27).
And that the father in the heavens makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matt. 5:45).
By the sun here as elsewhere in the Word in its spiritual sense is meant the Divine Good of the Divine Love; and by rain the Divine Truth of the Divine Wisdom. These are given to the evil and to the good, to the just and to the unjust, for unless they were given no one would have perception and thought. It has been shown above that there is only one life from which all have life. Now perception and thought belong to life; therefore perception and thought are from the same fountain from which life springs. That all the light forming the understanding is from the Sun of the spiritual world, which is the Lord, has already been abundantly shown.
 Everyone knows that man thinks, wills, speaks and acts to all appearance as of himself, and everyone can see that without this appearance man would have no will and understanding, and thus no affection and thought, and also no reception of any good and truth from the Lord. This being so, it follows that without this appearance there would be no rational conception of God, no charity and no faith, consequently no reformation and regeneration, and therefore no salvation. From these considerations it is clear that this appearance is given to man by the Lord for the sake of all these uses; and especially that he might have the power to receive and to reciprocate, whereby the Lord may be conjoined to man and man to the Lord; and that man through this conjunction may live forever. This is the meaning of appearance to be understood here.