The State of Peace in Heaven (Continued)

Because these are the origins of peace, the Lord is called the Prince of Peace and says that peace comes from him and that peace is in him. So too angels are called angels of peace and heaven the dwelling place of peace, as in the following passages:

A child is born to us, a son is given to us, on whose shoulder the government [shall rest], and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Hero, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace; of the increase of government and peace there shall be no end. (Isaiah 9:5-6)

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27)

I have told you these things so that you might have peace in me. (John 16:33)

May Jehovah lift his face to you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:26)

The angels of peace weep bitterly, the highways are ruined. (Isaiah 33:7-8)

The work of justice will be peace, and my people will live in a dwelling place of peace. (Isaiah 32:17-18)

We may also gather that “peace” in the Word means divine and heavenly peace from other passages where it is mentioned, as for example in Isaiah 52:7; 54:10; 59:8; Jeremiah 16:5; 25:37; 29:11; Haggi 2:9; Zechariah 8:12; Psalms 37:37; and elsewhere.

Because peace means the Lord and heaven and also heavenly joy and delight of good, greetings in ancient times were–and consequently still are–“Peace be with you.” The Lord confirmed this, too, when he sent out his disciples and told them, “When you enter a house, first say ‘Peace be upon this house’; and if a child of peace is there, let your peace rest upon it” (Luke 10:5-6). Further, the Lord himself said “Peace be with you” when he appeared to the apostles (John 20:19, 21, 26).

A state of peace is also meant in the Word when it says that “Jehovah smelled an odor of quietness,” as in Exodus 29:18, 25, 41; Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9; 6:8, 14-15, 21; 23:12-13, 18; Numbers 15:3, 7, 13; 28:6, 8, 13; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36. “An odor of quietness,” in the heavenly sense, means a perception of peace.

Since peace means the oneness of the Divine itself and the divine human in the Lord and the union of the Lord with heaven and with church and with everyone in heaven, and also with everyone in the church who accepts him, the Sabbath was instituted as a reminder of these matters and was named for quietness and peace. It became the holiest symbol of the church, which is why the Lord called himself the the Lord oh the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:27-28; Luke 6:5).

from Heaven and Hell, Section 287

The State of Peace in Heaven

ANYONE who has not experienced heaven’s peace cannot know what the peace is that angels enjoy. As long as we are in our bodies, we cannot accept heaven’s peace, so we cannot perceive it, our perception being on the natural level. In order to perceive it, we need to be the kind of person who as to thought can be raised and taken out of the body and brought into the spirit so as to be with angels. Since I have perceived heaven’s peace in this way, I can describe it, but not in words as it really is, because human words are not adequate. Using words, I can only describe what it is like compared to that peace of mind that people have who are content in God.

There are two things at the heart of heaven, innocence and peace. We say that they are at the heart because they come straight from the Lord. From innocence comes everything good about heaven and from peace comes all the delight of that good. Everything good has its own delight, and both—the good and the delight—are matters of love. This is because what is loved is what is called good and also is perceived as delightful. It follows from this that these two inmost qualities, innocence and peace, emanate from the Lord’s divine love and move angels to their very core.

In the previous chapter on the state of innocence of heaven’s angels, it was shown that innocence is the very heart of good. Now I need to explain that peace is the very heart of the delight that comes from the goodness of innocence.

First, we need to say where peace comes from. Divine peace is within the Lord, arising from the oneness of his divine nature and the divine human nature within him. The divine quality of peace in heaven comes from the Lord, arising from his union with heaven’s angels, and specifically from the union of the good and the true within each angel. These are the sources of peace. We may therefore conclude that peace in the heavens is the divine nature intimately affecting everything good there with blessedness. So it is the source of all the joy of heaven. In its essence, it is the divine joy of the Lord’s divine love, arising from his union with heaven and with every individual there. This joy, perceived by the Lord in the angels and by the angels from the Lord, is peace. It flows down from there to provide angels with everything that is blessed and delightful and happy—what is called “heavenly joy.”

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 284-286

The Third Commandment (Continued)

Remember the Sabbath Day in Order to Keep It Holy; for Six Days You Will Labor and Do All Your Work, but the Seventh Day is the Sabbath for Jehovah Your God

Heavenly peace is peace in relation to the hells–a peace because evils and falsities will not rise up from there and break in. Heavenly peace can be compared in many ways to earthly peace. For example, it can be compared to the peace after wars when all are living in safety from their enemies, protected in their own city, in their house, with their own land and garden. It is as the prophet says, who speaks of heavenly peace in earthly language:

They will each sit under their own vine and their own fig tree; no one will frighten them. (Micah 4:4; Isaiah 65: 21-23)

Heavenly peace can be compared to rest and recreation for the mind after working extremely hard, or to a mother’s consolation after giving birth, when her instinctive parental love unveils its pleasure. It can be compared to the serenity after storms, black clouds, and thunder; or to the spring that follows a severe winter, with the uplifting effect of seedlings in the fields and blossoms in the gardens, meadows, and woods; or to the state of mind felt by survivors of storms or hostilities at sea who reach port and set their feet on longed-for solid ground.

from True Christianity, Section 304

The Third Commandment (Continued)

Remember the Sabbath Day in Order to Keep It Holy; for Six Days You Will Labor and Do All Your Work, but the Seventh Day is the Sabbath for Jehovah Your God

In the Heavenly meaning this commandment refers to connecting to the Lord and having peace as a result, because we are then safe from hell. The Sabbath means “rest,” and in the highest sense “peace.” For this reason the Lord is called “the Prince of Peace,” and also calls himself peace. See the following passages:

A Child is born to us; a Son is given to us. Authority will rest on his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of his government and peace. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Jesus said, “Peace I leave to you. My peace I give to you.” (John 14:27)

Jesus said, “I have spoken these things so that you may have peace in me.” (John 16:33)

How pleasant on the mountains are the feet of the One proclaiming and making us hear peace, saying, “Your king reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7)

Jehovah will redeem my soul in peace. (Psalms 55:18)

The work of Jehovah is peace; the labor of justice is rest and safety forever so that they may live in a dwelling of peace, in tents of safety, and in tranquil rest. (Isaiah 32:17-18)

Jesus said to the seventy whom he sent out,

Whatever home you come into, first say, “The peace of the Lord,” and if the people are children of peace then your peace will rest on them. (Luke 10:5-6; Matthew 10:12-14)

Jehovah will speak peace to his people; justice and peace will kiss each other. (Psalms 85:8, 10)

When the Lord himself appeared to the disciples he said,

Peace to you. (John 20:19, 21, 26)

Isaiah 65 and 66 and other passages treat further the state of peace that people can come into with the Lord’s help. The people to be accepted into the new church that the Lord is now establishing are going to come into this peace. (For the essence of the peace that the angels of heaven and those who are in the Lord have, see the work Heaven and Hell 284-290. These sections also make it clear why the Lord calls himself the Lord of Sabbath, that is, the Lord of rest and peace.)

from True Christianity, Section 303


Heaven and Hell, Sections 284–286: Published 5/20/2018

The Third Commandment (Continued)

Remember the Sabbath Day in Order to Keep It Holy; for Six Days You Will Labor and Do All Your Work, but the Seventh Day is the Sabbath for Jehovah Your God

In the spiritual meaning, this commandment refers to our being reformed and regenerated by the Lord. The six days of labor mean battling against the flesh and its cravings and and also against the evils and falsities that are in us from hell. The seventh day means our becoming connected to the Lord and our being regenerated as a result. As long as this battle continues, we have spiritual labor; but when we have been regenerated, we rest. This will become clear from the points that will be made below in the chapter on reformation and regeneration [ Sections 571-625]– especially the following points that are discussed there:

(1) Regeneration progresses analogously to the way we are conceived, carried in the womb, born, and brought up.

(2) The first phase in our being generated anew is called “reformation”; it has to do with our intellect. The second phase is called “regeneration”; it has to do with our will and then our intellect.

(3) Our inner self has to be reformed first. Our outer self is then reformed through our inner self.

(4) Then a battle develops between our inner and outer self. Whichever self wins, it will control the other.

(5) When we have been regenerated, we have a new will and a new intellect. And so on.

In the spiritual meaning, this commandment refers to our reformation and regeneration because these processes parallel he Lord’s labors and battles against the hells, his victory over them, and then rest. The way he glorified his human manifestation and made it divine is the same way he reforms and regenerates us and makes us spiritual. This is what is meant by following him. The battles of the Lord are called labors, and were labors, as is clear from Isaiah 53 and 63. Similar things are called labors in us (Isaiah 65:23; Revelation 2:2-3).

from True Christianity, Section 302

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath Day in Order to Keep It Holy; for Six Days You Will Labor and Do All Your Work, but the Seventh Day is the Sabbath for Jehovah Your God

This is the third commandment, as you can see in Exodus 20:8-10; and Deuteronomy 5:12-14. In the earthly meaning, which is the literal meaning, it indicates that there are six days that belong to us and our labors, and a seventh day that belongs to the Lord and to the peaceful rest that he gives us. In the original language “Sabbath” means rest.

The Sabbath was the holiest thing among the children of Israel because it represented the Lord. The six days represented his labors and bettles with the hells. The seventh day represented his victory over the hells and the resulting rest. That day was holiness itself because it represented the completion of the Lord’s entire redemption.

When the Lord came into the world, however, and therefore symbols representing him were no longer needed, the Sabbath day was turned into a day for instruction in divine things, or rest from labors, for meditating on things related to salvation and eternal life, and for loving our neighbor.

It is clear that the Sabbath became a day for instruction in divine things, because the Lord taught on the Sabbath day in the Temple and in synagogues (Mark 6:2; Luke 4:16, 31-32; 13:10). On the Sabbath the Lord also said to a healed person, “Take up your bed and walk”; and he told the Pharisees that it was acceptable for the disciples to pick ears of corn and eat them on the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:1-9; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-6; John 5:9-19). In the spiritual meaning, these details all stand for being instructed in religious teachings.

The fact that the Sabbath day turned into a day for loving our neighbor is clear from the Lord’s practice and teaching (Matthew 12:10-14; Mark 3:1-9; Luke 6:6-12; 13:10-18; 14:1-7; John 5:9-19; 7:22-23; 9:14, 16).

All these passages make it clear why the Lord said that he was in fact the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5). It follows from this saying of his that [before he came] the Sabbath day used to represent him.

from True Christianity, Section 301

The Second Commandment (Continued)

You Are Not to Take the Name of Jehovah Your God in Vain, Because Jehovah Will Not Hold Guiltless Someone Who Takes His Name in Vain

The nature of names in the spiritual world makes it clear that someone’s “name” does not mean her or his name alone but also her or his full nature. In that world, people all stop using the names they were given in baptism in this world and the names they received from their parents or their family. All there are named for what they are like. Angels get a name that indicates the moral and spiritual life they have. In fact, the Lord was referring to angels in the following passages:

Jesus said, “I’m the good shepherd. The sheep hear the shepherd’s voice and he calls his sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3, 11)

The same holds true in the following passage:

I have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their clothes. Upon the person who conquers I will write the name of the city New Jerusalem and my new name. (Revelation 3:4, 12)

“Gabriel” and “Michael” are not the names of two people in heaven–these names mean all the angels in heaven who have wisdom about the Lord and who worship him. The names of people and places in the Word do not mean people and places either; they mean aspects of the church.

Even in our world a “name” means more that just a name–it also means what someone is like. People’s natures get attached to their names. We often say, “They are doing it for their name” or “to make a name for themselves.” “Those are big names” means that those people are famous for characteristics they possess, such as creativity, scholarship, achievements, or the like.

It is common knowledge that people who insult or libel other people’s names are in fact insulting or libeling the actions of the other people’s lives. The two are conceptually linked. Such attacks ruin the reputation of people’s names. Likewise, someone who says the name of a monarch, a duke, or a great person with disrespect also dishonors the person’s majesty and dignity. It is equally true that someone who mentions anyone’s name with a tone of contempt also disparages the deeds of that person’s life–this applies to everyone. Every country has laws that forbid us to abuse, attack, or insult anyone’s name (meaning anyone’s nature and reputation).

from True Christianity, Section 300

The Second Commandment (Continued)

You Are Not to Take the Name of Jehovah Your God in Vain, Because Jehovah Will Not Hold Guiltless Someone Who Takes His Name in Vain

In the heavenly meaning, taking the Lord’s name in vain parallels what the Lord said to the Pharisees:

All sin and blasphemy is forgiven people, but blasphemy of the Spirit is not forgiven. (Matthew 12:31-32)

“Blasphemy of the Spirit” means blasphemy against the divinity of the Lord’s human manifestation and against the holiness of the Word.

In the highest or heavenly meaning, the “names of Jehovah God” stands for the Lord’s divine-human manifestation, as the following passages make clear:

Jesus said, “Father, glorify your name.” And a voice came out of heaven that said, “I both have glorified it and will glorify it again.” (John 12:27-28)

whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, so that the Father is glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14)

In the heavenly sense the phrase in the Lord’s prayer “Your name must be kept holy” [Matthew 6:9] has the same meaning, as does the word “name” in Exodus 23:21 and Isaiah 63:16.

Since Matthew 12:31 and 32 says that “blasphemy of the Spirit” is not forgiven us, and this is what the heavenly meaning refers to, for this reason the following phrase is added to this commandment: “because Jehovah will not hold guiltless someone who takes his name in vain.”

from True Christianity, Section 299

The Second Commandment (Continued)

You Are Not to Take the Name of Jehovah Your God in Vain, Because Jehovah Will Not Hold Guiltless Someone Who Takes His Name in Vain

In the spiritual meaning, the name of God stands for everything that the church teaches on the basis of the Word–everything through which the Lord is called on and worshiped. Taken together, all these are names for God. Taking God’s name in vain, then, means misusing any of these things for idle chatter, lies, deceptions, curses, sorcery, or magic spells. This too is abusing and blaspheming God, and therefore his name.

From the following passages you can see that the Word and anything from it that is used in the church or in any worship is God’s name:

From rising of the sun my name will be invoked. (Isaiah 41:25)

From the rising of the sun to the setting of it, great is my name among the nations. In every place incense is offered to my name. But you desecrate my name when you say, “Jehovah’s table is defiled.” And you sneeze at my name when you bring offerings that are stolen, lame, and sick. (Malachi 1:11-13)

All peoples walk in the name of their God; we walk in the name of Jehovah our God. (Micah 4:5)

They are to worship Jehovah in one place, the place where he will put his name (Deuteronomy 12:5, 11, 13-14, 18; 16:2, 6, 11, 15-16).

that is, where Jehovah will locate their worship of him.

Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

As many as received him, he gave them power to be children of God, if they believed in his name. (John 1:12)

Those who do not believe have already been judged because they have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)

Those who believe will have life in his name. (John 20:31)

Jesus said, “I have revealed your name to people and have made your name known to them.” (John 17:26)

The Lord said, “You have a few names in Sardis.” (Revelation 3:4)

There are also many passages similar to these in which the name of God means the divine quality which radiates from God and through which he is worshiped.

The name of Jesus Christ, however, however, means everything related to his redeeming humankind and everything related to his teaching, and therefore everything through which he saves. “Jesus” means all his efforts to save the human race through redemption; “Christ” means all his efforts to save the human race through teaching.

from True Christianity, Section 298

The Second Commandment

You Are Not to Take the Name of Jehovah Your God in Vain, Because Jehovah Will Not Hold Guiltless Someone Who Takes His Name in Vain

In its earthly meaning, which is the literal meaning, taking the name of Jehovah God in vain includes abusing is name in various types of talking, especially in lies and deceptions, in swearing and oath-taking for no reason or to avoid blame; and using his name with evil intent, which is cursing, or in sorcery and magic spells.

To swear by God or by his holiness, by the Word or by the Gospel during coronations, inaugurations into the priesthood, and confirmations of faith is not taking God’s name in vain, unless the people who take the oath later reject their promises as impossible or pointless.

Furthermore, because it is holiness itself, the name of God is used constantly in the sacred activities of the church, such as in prayers, hymns, and all aspects of worship, as well as in sermons and books on church-related topics. The reason is that God is in every aspect of religion. When he is ritually called forth by his name, he is present and hears. In these activities the name of God is kept holy.

The name of Jehovah God is intrinsically holy, as you can see by the fact that after their earliest times the Jews did not dare, nor do they now dare, to say the name Jehovah. Out of respect for the Jews, the Gospel writers and apostles did not want to say the name either. Instead of “Jehovah” they said “the Lord,” as you can see from passages from the Old Testament that are quoted in the New Testament but use “the Lord” instead of “Jehovah,” such as Matthew 22:37 and Luke 10:27 that quote Deuteronomy 6:5 and so on.

The name of Jesus is also holy, as people generally know because the apostle said that at that name knees bend and should bend in heaven and on earth [Philippians 2:10]. For another thing, no devil in hell can pronounce the name of Jesus.

There are many names for God that are not to be taken in vain: Jehovah, Jehovah God, Jehovah Sabaoth, the Holy One of Israel, Jesus, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

from True Christianity, Section 297