Because of the Word, Even People Who Are outside the Church and Who Do Not Have the Word Have Light (Continued)

It has been predicted that at the end of this church darkness will arise again through ignorance that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth and through separation of faith from goodwill. Therefore to prevent the loss of a genuine understanding of the Word and a consequent loss of the church, the Lord has now chosen to reveal the spiritual meaning of the Word. He has chosen to reveal the fact that in this meaning, and from it in the earthly meaning, the Word contains countless things for restoring the church’s light of truth, which has almost gone out.

Many passages in the Book of Revelation predict that at the end of this church the light of truth will almost go out. This is also the meaning of the following words of the Lord:

Immediately after the affliction of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Humankind coming in the clouds of heaven with glory and power. (Matthew 24:29-30)

“The sun” here means love for the Lord, “the moon” means faith in the Lord, and “the stars” mean concepts of what is good and true. “The Son of humankind” means the Lord in his role as the Word. “The cloud” means the Word’s literal meaning, and “the glory” means the Word’s spiritual meaning and the way it shines through the literal meaning. “The powers” mean the Word’s power.

from True Christianity, Section 271

Because of the Word, Even People Who Are outside the Church and Who Do Not Have the Word Have Light (Continued)

You can see then that the Word that exists among Protestants and the Reformed enlightens all nations and peoples through a spiritual communication. You can also see that the Lord ensures that there is always a church on earth where the Word is being read and the Lord is becoming known through it. When the Word was virtually rejected by Catholics, in the Lord’s divine providence the Reformation took place. As a result, the Word was taken from its hiding place, so to speak, and put to use. In fact, when the Word among the Jewish nation had been thoroughly falsified and contaminated, and more or less ceased to be the Word, then the Lord chose to come down from heaven, become the Word, and fulfill it. By doing this he put the Word back together and restored it, giving light once again to the inhabitants of our world, as the Lord himself says in this word: “The people sitting in darkness have seen a great light; on the people sitting in the realm and shadow of death the light has dawned (Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16)

from True Christianity, Section 270

Because of the Word, Even People Who Are outside the Church and Who Do Not Have the Word Have Light (Continued)

One can determine that the whole of heaven is like this from a similar situation that exists in every individual community in heaven. Every community is a heaven in a smaller form, but a form that is nonetheless human. (On this situation, see Sections 41-86 in the work of Heaven and Hell.) In every community in heaven, angels who are at the center of the community similarly play the role of the heart and the lungs. They have the most light. That light and a resulting awareness of truth spread out toward the edges in every direction–to all who are in the community–and give them spiritual life. It was once demonstrated that when the angels at the center, who constitute the realm of the heart and the lungs and who have the most light, were taken away, the angels around them came into an intellectual shadow and into so little awareness of truth that they started lamenting. As soon as the central angels returned, however, the others saw the light again and had the awareness of truth they had had before.

You could draw a comparison with heat and light from the sun in our world. They give trees and shrubs the power to grow even if the sun is low or behind a cloud, provided it is above the horizon. It is the same for the light and heat of heaven that come from the Lord as the sun there. That light is essentially the divine truth, the source of all the intelligence and wisdom that angels and people have. This is why we read that the Word was with God and was God, that is enlightens everyone who comes into the world, and that this light shines even in the darkness (John 1:1, 5, 9). “The Word” here means the Lord in his role as divine truth.

from True Christianity, Section 269

Notes:

Heaven and Hell, Sections 41-50: Published 6/7/2019-6/10/2019

Heaven and Hell, Sections 51-58: Published 6/11/2019-6/13/2019

Heaven and Hell, Sections 59-72: Published 2/20/2020-2/25/2020

Heaven and Hell, Sections 73-77: Published 12/27/2019-12/28/2019

Heaven and Hell, Sections 78-86: Published 2/26/2020-2/28/2020

Because of the Word, Even People Who Are outside the Church and Who Do Not Have the Word Have Light (Continued)

Now to say how the Word allows people throughout all parts of the world to experience the presence of, and a connection to, the Lord and heaven. To the Lord the entire angelic heaven is like one person. The same is true for the church across the earth. (For heaven and the church actually appearing as a human, see Heaven and Hell, Sections 59-86). The church where the Word is read and where the Lord is therefore known is like the heart and the lungs in that human being. The Lord’s heavenly kingdom is like the heart, and his spiritual kingdom is like the lungs. Just as all the other limbs, internal organs, and parts of the human body have life and continued existence because of these two fountains of life, so too all the people around the world who have a religion, worship one God, and live good lives have life and continued existence because the church is connected to the Lord and heaven through the Word. Non-Christians are in that human being and play the part of its limbs and internal organs outside the thorax that holds the heart and lungs. Nom-Christians have life from the Lord through heaven because of the Word in the Christian church, just as the limbs and organs throughout the body have life because of the heart and lungs. There is also a similar exchange between them.

This is also the reason why Christians who read the Word make up the chest that [giant] human being. They are in fact central among all people. Surrounding them are Catholics. Surrounding the Catholics are Muslims who acknowledge the Lord as the greatest prophet or the Son of God. Farther out than these are Africans. People and nations in the Middle East and the Indies make up the farthest circumference.

from True Christianity, Section 268

Notes:

Heaven and Hell, Sections 59-72: Published 2/20/2020-2/25/2020

Heaven and Hell, Sections 73-77: Published 12/27/2019-12/28/2019

Heaven and Hell, Sections 78-86: Published 2/26/2020-2/28/2020

Because of the Word, Even People Who Are outside the Church and Who Do Not Have the Word Have Light

No connection to heaven is possible unless somewhere on the earth there is a church where the Word exists and where the Lord is known through that Word. This is because the Lord is the God of heaven and earth–without the Lord there is no salvation. (For the Word providing a connection to the Lord and association with angels, see Sections 234-239 above.) It is enough if there is one church where the Word exists. Even if this church consists of comparatively few people, still the Lord is present throughout the world by means of the Word, since heaven is connected to the human race through the Word.

from True Christianity, Section 267

Notes:

Sections 234-239: Published 7/23/2020-7/28/2020

Because of the Word, Even People Who Are outside of the Church and Who Do Not Have the Word Have Light: The Third Memorable Occurrence

Seven years ago, when I was remembering that Moses mentions two books called The Wars of Jehovah and the Pronouncements (Number 21), some angels became present and said to me that these books were the ancient Word. Its historical portion was called the Wars of Jehovah and its prophetical portion was called the Pronouncements. The angels said that that word is still preserved in Heaven and is used by ancient peoples there who had had that Word when they were in the world. Some of the ancient peoples who are still using that Word in Heaven came from the land of Canaan and its neighbors, such as Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Chaldea, Assyria; Egypt; and Sidon, Tyre, and Nineveh. The people in all these countries had symbolic worship and therefore studied correspondences. The wisdom of their times was in fact based on the study of correspondences. That study gave them times inner awareness and communication with the heavens. The people who knew the correspondences in that Word were called “the wise” and “the intelligent.” Later they were called “diviners’ and “magi.”

Since that Word was full of correspondences that referred indirectly to heavenly and spiritual realities, and consequently many people began to falsify its correspondences, by the Lord’s divine providence that Word disappeared over the course of time.

Another Word, written in correspondences that were less indirect, was given through the prophets of the children of Israel. In it many of the names of places were retained–places not only in the land of Canaan but also in the surrounding areas in the Middle East. All these names referred to aspects and conditions of the church. Their meanings were taken over from the ancient Word. This is why Abram was commanded to go into that country and why his descendants through Jacob were established there.

Here I am allowed to relate something previously unknown about the ancient Word that used to exist in the Middle East before the Israelite Word: it is still preserved among the peoples who live in Great Tartary.

I have spoken with spirits and the angels in the spiritual world who were originally from that area. They said that they possessed this Word and had done so since ancients times; that they followed this Word in conducting their divine worship; and that their Word consisted entirely of correspondences.

They said that their Word included the Book of Jasher that is mentioned in Joshua 10:12-13 and 2 Samuel 1:17-18. Other books it contains are The Wars of Jehovah and the Pronouncements, which are mentioned by Moses (Number 21:14-15, 27-30). When I read these people the words that Moses quoted from it, they looked up the passages to see whether the words were still in their text, and they found the passages. These events made it clear to me that the ancient Word still exists among them. During our conversation they said that they worship Jehovah. Some of them worship Jehovah as a God who can be seen, some as a God who cannot be seen.

They were on to say that they do not let in foreign immigrants except the Chinese, with whom they have peaceful relations because the Chinese emperor is from their area. They also said that their territory is so heavily populated that they cannot imagine that any other part of the entire world is populated more heavily. This seems plausible given the many miles of the Great Wall that the Chinese once built to protect themselves from an invasion of these people.

I have also heard from angels that the first chapters in Genesis, which deals with creation. Adam and Eve, the garden of Eden, their children and descendants right down to the flood, and also Noah and hid children, are in that Word as well. Moses copied these stories from that Word.

The angels and spirits from Great Tartary are found in a southern region toward the east. They are separated from all others by their location on a high plateau. They do not let in people from the Christian world. If some manage to climb up to them, they put them under guard to keep them from leaving. The reason for this separation is that they have a different Word.

from True Christianity, Section 279

Before the Word That Exists in the World Today, There Was a Word That Has Been Lost (Continued)

Clearly then, there was an ancient Word on earth, especially in the Middle East, that predated the Israelite Word. This earlier Word is still extent in heaven among the angels who lived during those centuries. It is also still extent today among the nations in Great Tartary, as you can see from the third memorable occurrence after this treatment on the Sacred Scripture [Section 279].

from True Christianity, Section 266

Before the Word That Exists in the World Today, There Was a Word That Has Been Lost (Continued)

The works of Moses make it clear that there was a Word among earlier people. Moses cites it and quotes something from it (Numbers 21:14-15, 27-30). The historical part of that Word was called the Wars of Jehovah, and its prophetical part was called the Pronouncements.

From the historical part of that Word, Moses quoted the following:

Therefore it says in the Book of the Wars of Jehovah: “I was going to Suphah and the brooks of the Arnon, and the channel of the rivers of water that sloped down where Ar is living and then appears by the border of Moab.” (Numbers 21:14-15)

The “wars of Jehovah” in that Word, like the wars in ours, meant and depicted the Lord’s battles with the hells and victory over them when he would come into the world. The same battles are meant and depicted in the historical portions of our Word–for example, Joshua’s wars with the nations in the land of Canaan and the wars waged by the judges and the kings of Israel.

The following is a quotation from the prophetic parts of that Word:

Therefore the Makers of Pronouncements say: “Walk to Heshbon. the city of Sihon will be built and reinforced. For a fire went out from Heshbon, a flame the city of Sihon; it consumed Ar of Moab, the possessors of the heights of the Arnon. Woe to you, Moab. You have perished, O people of Chemosh. He has given his sons as fugitives and his daughters into captivity to Sihon, king of the Amorites. We killed them with arrows. Heshbon has perished all the way to Dibon, and we devastated [it] all the way to Nophah, which [stretches] all the way to Medeba.” (Numbers 21:27-30)

Translators have rendered the name here as “the Maker of Proverbs,” but it ought to be “the Maker of Pronouncements” or “the Prophetic Pronouncements.” This is clear from the meaning of the word meshalim in Hebrew: it means not only proverbs but also prophetic pronouncements. For example, in Numbers 23:7, 18 and 24:3, 15 it says Balaam gave his pronouncements, which was in fact a prophecy about the Lord. His pronouncement is called a mashal, which is the singular. For another thing, the material that Moses quotes from the Word is in fact prophecies, not proverbs.

That Word was just as divinely inspired. This is clear from Jeremiah where we read almost identical words:

A fire went out from Heshbon and a flame from the midst of Sihon that consumed the corner of Moab and the top of children of tumult. Woe to you, Moab. The people of Chemosh have perished. For they have taken your sons into captivity and your daughters into captivity. (Jeremiah 48:45-46)

Both David and Joshua also mention a prophetic book of the ancient Word called the Book of Jasher (“Book of the Upright Person”). David refers to it thus:

David lamented over Saul and over Jonathan and wrote to teach the children of Judah the bow; look at what was written in the book of Jasher. (2 Samuel 1:17-18)

And Joshua refers to it thus;

Joshua said, “O sun, stand still in Gibeon. O moon, stand still in the valley of Aijalon. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher?” (Joshua 10:12)

from True Christianity, Section 265

Before the Word That Exists in the World Today, There Was a Word That Has Been Lost

Before the Word existed that was given through Moses and the Prophets among the Israelite nation, people knew a form of worship through sacrifices, and their prophets spoke the word of Jehovah. This is clear from things mentioned in the books of Moses.

The following is evidence that people knew a form of worship through sacrifices: The children of Israel were commanded to overturn the altars of other nations, shatter their statues, and cut down their groves (Exodus 34:13; Deuteronomy 7:5; 12:3). “At Acacis, Israel began to commit harlotry with daughters of Moab; they invited the people to sacrifices for their gods, and the people ate” (Numbers 25:1-3). Balaam, who was from Syria, built altars and sacrificed oxen and sheep (Numbers 22:40; 23:1-2, 14, 29-30). Balaam also gave a prophecy about the Lord saying, “A star will rise out of Jacob and a scepter out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17); and Balaam spoke the word of Jehovah in prophecy (Numbers 22:13, 18; 23:5, 8, 16, 26; 24:1, 13).

The passages just given make it clear that a divine worship existed among other nations that was virtually the same as the worship instituted by Moses among the Israelite nation. From words in Moses (Deuteronomy 32:7-8) it appears that this worship existed even before the time of Abraham. This is still clearer from Melchizedek, king of Salem, who brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram, and Abram in turn gave Melchizedek tithes of all he possessed (Genesis 14:18-20). Melchizedek represented the Lord–he is called a priest to God the highest (Genesis 14:18). In David it says of the Lord, “You are a priest forever on the order of Melchizedek” (Psalms 110:4). This is why Melchizedek brought out bread and wine as the holiest things in the church, just as bread and wine are holy in the Holy Supper also. Besides many others, these things are outstanding indications that before the Israelite Word there was a Word that gave these revelations.

from True Christianity, Section 264

God-Man

In the Lord, God and Man are not two but one Person, Yea, altogether one, as soul and body are. This is plain in many of the Lord’s own utterances; as that the Father and He are one; that all things of the Father are His, and all His the Father’s; that He is in the Father, and the Father in Him; that all things are given into His hand; that He has all power; that whosoever believes in Him has eternal life; that He is God of heaven and earth. — Doctrine Concerning the Lord, Section 60

There is one God, and the Lord is He, His Divinity and Humanity being one Person. — Divine Providence, Section 122

They who think of the Lord’s Humanity, and not at the same time of His Divinity, by no means allow the expression “Divine Humanity”; for they think of the Humanity by itself and of the Divinity by itself, which is like thinking of man apart from his soul or life, which, however, is no conception of man, still less of the Lord. — Apocalypse Explained, Section 26

from The Gist of Swedenborg, The Light of Love and Truth