The Third Round: Jesus as the living Word in the life of our mind

The atonement and appearances of a vengeful God

Doctrine of the Lord 18. It is believed in the church that the Lord was sent by the Father to make an atonement for the human race, and that this was effected by His fulfilling the law, and by the passion of the cross; and that in this way He took away condemnation, and made satisfaction; and that without this expiation, satisfaction, and propitiation, the human race would have perished in eternal death, and this on account of justice which by some is called vengeful justice. It is true that without the Lord’s advent all in the world would have perished; but how it is to be understood that the Lord fulfilled all things of the law, and why He suffered the cross, may be seen above, in chapters II. and III., which show that it was not on account of any vengeful justice, because this is not a Divine attribute. Divine attributes are justice, love, mercy, and good; and God is justice itself, love itself, mercy itself, and good itself; and where these are, there is not anything of vengeance, and therefore no vengeful justice.

The division of the Trinity into three persons

True Christian Religion 168. When it is said that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the three essentials of the one God, like soul, body, and operation in man, it seems to the human mind as if these three essentials are three persons, which is impossible. But when it is understood that the Divine of the Father, which constitutes the soul, and the Divine of the Son, which constitutes the body, and the Divine of the Holy Spirit or the proceeding Divine, which constitutes the operation, are the three essentials of the one God, the statement is comprehensible. For God the Father is His Divine, the Son from the Father is His Divine, and the Holy Spirit from both is His Divine; and as these are one in essence and one in mind they constitute one God. But if these three Divine essentials are called persons, and if to each person is attributed his own property, to the Father imputation, to the Son mediation, and to the Holy Spirit operation, the Divine Essence, which in fact is one and not divisible, becomes divided: and thus none of the three is God in fullness, but each has a sub-triple power; and this a sound understanding must needs reject.

The Trine of the Lord

Arcana Colestia 9303… there is one God and He is the Lord, that His Human is the Deity Himself in outward form, and that the holiness proceeding from Him is the Holy Spirit, thus that though there is a Trinity the Deity is intrinsically One.

10822. People possess the idea of three entities in one Person when their thought is that the Father is within the Lord and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Lord. Then the Trinity resides within the Lord, consisting of the Divine itself, called the Father, the Divine Human, called the Son, and the Divine Proceeding, called the Holy Spirit.

10738. Before these things were said, they had believed that our company also was one of those which desired to confuse them about God by the idea of three; and therefore after hearing these words, they said that some have been sent by God (whom they then called the Lord) to teach them about Him; and that they are not willing to admit visitors who disturb them, especially by means of three Persons in the Godhead, because they know that God is one, consequently that the Divine is one, and not a unanimity of three-unless their visitors are willing to think of God as of an angel, in whom there is an inmost of life that is invisible, and from which he thinks and is wise; and an external of life that is visible under the human form, and from which he sees and acts; and also a proceeding of life which is a sphere of love and faith around him. For from the sphere of life proceeding from him, the quality of every spirit and angel in respect to his love and faith is perceived at a distance. And in regard to the Lord they said that the proceeding sphere of life from Him is the Divine Itself that fills the heavens and makes them, because it is from the very Being of the life of love and of faith. [2] After hearing these words it was given to say that such an idea about what is trine and at the same time one, is in agreement with the angelic idea about the Lord, and that it is from the very doctrine of the Lord about Himself, for He teaches that the Father and He are one, that the Father is in Him and He in the Father, that whoso seeth Him seeth the Father, and whoso believeth in Him believeth in the Father and knoweth Him, and also that the Paraclete, whom He calls the Spirit of truth and also the Holy Spirit, proceeds from Him and does not speak from Himself, but from Him, whereby is meant the Divine proceeding.[3] And it was given to say, further, that an idea of what is trine and at the same time one is in agreement with the Being and Manifestation [Esse et Existere] of the life of the Lord when He was in the world. The Being of His life was the Divine Itself, for He was conceived of Jehovah; and the being of the life of everyone is that from whom he is conceived. The Manifestation of life from this Being is the Human in form. The being of the life of every man, which he has from his father, is called the soul; and the manifestation of life thence derived is called the body. The soul and the body constitute one man. [4] The likeness between the two is like that between that which is in an endeavor and that which is in the consequent act; for an act is an endeavor acting, and thus these two are one. In man, endeavor is called “will;” and endeavor acting is called “action.” The body is the instrumental by which the will, which is the principal, acts; and in acting the instrumental and the principal are together a one. And so it is with the soul and the body. The angels in heaven have such an idea about the soul and the body; and from this they know that the Lord made His Human Divine from the Divine in Himself, which was His soul from the Father. Moreover, the faith everywhere received in the Christian world does not dissent from this, for it teaches, “As the body and soul are one man, so also in the Lord, God and Man are one Christ.”

Apocalypse Revealed 613… by “Father” is meant the Divine good of the Lord’s Divine love, which in the Word of the Evangelists is everywhere meant by “the Father,” when named by the Lord, and the Divine truth of the Divine wisdom by “the Son;” which two were united as soul to body and body to soul, when the Lord glorified His Human … [2] That the Divine, which is called the Father, and the Divine Human, which is called the Son, are One, like soul and body, and consequently that the Lord is to be approached as to the Divine Human, and that thus and not otherwise the Divine, which is called the Father, is approached, appears from so many passages in the Word, that they would fill many pages, if they were to be adduced; a large collection of them may be found in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord 29-36, 38-45, and following; from which a few only shall here be quoted by way of confirmation, which are these: The angel said to Mary, Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest. But Mary said, How shall this be, since I know not a man. The angel answered, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee, therefore also, that Holy One which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, (Luke 1:30-35).

AC 10067.. no one can be conjoined by faith and love with the Divine Itself without the Divine Human; for the Divine Itself, which is called the “Father,” cannot be thought of, because it is incomprehensible, and what cannot be thought of cannot become a matter of faith, nor therefore an object of love; when yet the chief of all worship is to believe in God, and to love Him above all things. That the Divine Itself, which is the “Father,” is incomprehensible, the Lord also teaches in John: No man hath ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath set Him forth (John 1:18).

Doctrine of Holy Scripture 28. The learned reader will comprehend that these three may be called end, cause, and effect; also esse, fieri, and existere; 1 and that the end is the esse, the cause the fieri, and the effect the existere; consequently, that in every complete thing there is a trine, which is called first, middle, and ultimate; also end, cause, and effect; and also esse, fieri, and existere. When these things are comprehended, it is also comprehended that every Divine work is complete and perfect in its ultimate; and likewise that the whole is in the ultimate, which is a trine, because the prior things are together, or simultaneously, in it. Footnote 1. That is, “being,” “becoming,” and “coming forth.” The “being” of a thing is what we call its existence; and therefore it was said by the ancients that “in God we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts of the Apostles 17:28). Here our being means the inmost of our life (Arcana Coelestia, 5605e). The “becoming” of a thing is its being taking form. And the “coming forth” of a thing is the presentation or manifestation of that thing as an actual reality. Thus the Latin word existere has a very different meaning from the English “exist,” and cannot be translated by it without causing a complete misconception in the mind of the English reader. [Translator]

AC 3704 [15] From all these places it is clear that it is Divine Good which is called ‘the Father’ and Divine Truth ‘the Son’, and that the Lord governs every single thing in all creation from Divine Good by means of Divine Truth. This being so, manifestly so from the Word, it is astounding that people in the Christian world know and teach that the whole of the Trinity resides in the Lord, and yet they do not, as those in heaven do, acknowledge and adore the Lord alone, and so one God. The truth that the Holy Spirit, who also is worshipped as God distinct and separate from Father and Son, is the holiness of the spirit – or the holiness that proceeds from the Lord through spirits or angels, that is, from His Divine Good through the Divine Truth – will in the Lord’s Divine mercy be made plain elsewhere.

More on the Holy Spirit

AC 9818 [3] From this it can be known what is meant by “Spirit” when said of the Lord, namely, the Divine truth that proceeds from His Divine good, and that when this Divine truth flows in with man, and is received by him, it is “the Spirit of Truth,” “the Spirit of God,” and “the Holy Spirit;” for it flows in immediately from the Lord, and also mediately through angels and spirits (see the pl aces cited in n. 9682); that “the Spirit of Truth,” “the Spirit of God,” and “the Holy Spirit,” denote this, will be seen in what follows. For it must first be shown that in the Word, “spirit,” when said of man, denotes the good and truth that has been inscribed on his intellectual part, consequently that it denotes the life of this. For there is the life of the intellectual part, and the life of the will part; the life of the intellectual part is to know, to see, and to understand, that truth is true, and that good is good; whereas the life of the will part is to will and to love truth for the sake of truth, and good for the sake of good. This latter life is called in the Word “heart;” but the former is called “spirit.”

TCR 138… (1) The Holy Spirit is the Divine Truth and also the Divine Energy and Operation proceeding from the one God in whom is the Divine Trinity, that is, from the Lord God the Savior. (2) The Divine Energy and Operation, which are meant by the Holy Spirit, are, in general, reformation and regeneration; and in accordance with these, renovation, vivification, sanctification, and justification; and in accordance with these latter, purification from evils and forgiveness of sins, and finally salvation.

139. (1) The Holy Spirit is the Divine Truth and also the Divine Energy and Operation proceeding from the one God in whom is the Divine Trinity, that is, from the Lord God the Savior. The Holy Spirit signifies strictly the Divine truth, thus also the Word; and in this sense the Lord Himself is the Holy Spirit. … the Divine operation is effected by means of the Divine truth which goes forth from the Lord; and that which goes forth is of one and the same essence with Him from whom it goes forth, as the three things, soul, body, and what goes forth from them, together constitute one essence, which in man is purely human, but in the Lord is Divine and Human at the same time; and these after glorification are united as what is prior is with its posterior, or as essence is with its form. Thus the three essentials, called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are one in the Lord.
The need for presentation to the sensual and corporeal mind

Arcana Ceolestia 5110 [3] Nevertheless, as man is such that he can have no idea of thought whatever about abstract things unless he adjoins something natural which has entered from the world through the senses (for without some such natural thing his thought perishes as in an abyss and is dissipated), therefore lest what is Divine should perish in man when he is wholly immersed in bodily and earthly things, and with whomsoever it remained it should be defiled by an unclean idea, and together with what is Divine everything celestial and spiritual thence derived should also perish, it pleased Jehovah to present Himself such as He actually is, and such as He appears in heaven, namely, as a Divine Man. For everything of heaven conspires to the human form, as may be seen from what has been shown at the end of the chapters concerning the correspondence of all things of man with the Grand Man, which is heaven. This Divine, or this of Jehovah in heaven, is the Lord from eternity. The same the Lord took also upon Him when He glorified or made Divine the human in Himself, as is very evident from the form in which He appeared before Peter, James, and John, when He was transfigured (Matt. 17:1, 2); and also in which He at times appeared to the prophets. It is from this that everyone is able to think of the Divine Itself as of a Man, and at the same time of the Lord, in whom is all the Divine, and a perfect Trinity, for in the Lord the Divine Itself is the Father, this Divine in heaven is the Son, and the Divine thence proceeding is the Holy Spirit. That these are a one, as He Himself teaches, is hence manifest.

AC 4211[3] But as regards the Lord’s Human, men think in various ways, one in one way and another in another, and one in a more holy way than another. They who are within the church are able to think that His Human is Divine, and also that as He says He is one with the Father, and that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father. But they who are without the church cannot do this, both because they know nothing about the Lord and because they have no idea of the Divine except from the images which they see with their eyes, and the idols which they can touch with their hands. And yet the Lord conjoins Himself with these by means of the good of their charity and obedience that is within their gross idea of Him. For this reason it is here said that such have an “appropriation of good from the Lord’s Divine natural;” for the conjunction of the Lord with man is according to the state of his thought and the derivative affection. They who are in the most holy idea concerning the Lord, and at the same time in the knowledges and affections of good and truth-as those can be who are within the church-are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine rational; whereas they who are not in such holiness, nor in such interior idea and affection, and yet are in the good of charity, are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine natural. They who have a holiness of a still grosser kind are conjoined with the Lord in respect to His Divine sensuous;

When the sense of the letter perishes

AC 4857…when the literal sense passes into the spiritual, such things perish as relate to person, place, and the world; and those take their place that relate to the church, its state, and use therein. [3] It indeed appears incredible that it should be so, but this is because so long as man lives in the world he thinks from the natural and worldly things which are there, and not from spiritual and celestial things; and they who are immersed in bodily and earthly things do not know that there is anything spiritual and celestial, and still less that spiritual and celestial things are distinct from worldly and natural things, when yet they are distinct as the spirit of man is distinct from his body. Neither do they know that the spiritual sense lives in the literal sense as the spirit of man in his body, and also that the spiritual sense in like manner survives when the literal sense perishes; whence the internal sense may be called the soul of the Word.

AC 1874. In conversation with good spirits, I said that in the Word many things, even more than one can believe, are said according to appearances and according to the fallacies of the senses, as that Jehovah is in anger, wrath, and fury against the wicked; that He takes pleasure in bringing them to ruin and destruction, and even that He kills them. But these things have been said in order that persuasions and cupidities might not be broken, but that they might be bent; for to speak otherwise than as man apprehends (that is, from appearances, fallacies, and persuasions) would have been to sow seed in the waters, and to say that which would be at once rejected. Nevertheless such forms of speech are able to serve as general vessels in which spiritual and celestial things may be contained, for into them it may be insinuated that all things are from the Lord; then that the Lord permits, but that evil is wholly from diabolical spirits; afterwards that the Lord provides and disposes that evils should be turned into goods; and at last that nothing but good is from the Lord. Thus the sense of the letter perishes as it ascends and becomes spiritual, then celestial, and at last Divine.

The glorification of the Human

TCR 109… The glorification of the Lord is the glorification of His Human, which He assumed in the world; and the Lord’s glorified Human is the Divine Natural.

Doctrine of the Lord. 35. vi. By successive steps the Lord put off the human taken from the mother, and put on a Human from the Divine within Him, which is the Divine Human, and is the Son of God. That in the Lord were the Divine and the human, the Divine from Jehovah the Father, and the human from the virgin Mary, is known. Hence He was God and Man, having a Divine essence and a human nature; a Divine essence from the Father, and a human nature from the mother; and therefore was equal to the Father as to the Divine, and less than the Father as to the human. It is also known that this human nature from the mother was not transmuted into the Divine essence, nor commingled with it, for this is taught in the Doctrine of Faith which is called the Athanasian Creed. For a human nature cannot be transmuted into the Divine essence, nor can it be commingled therewith. [2] In accordance with the same creed is also our doctrine, that the Divine assumed the Human, that is, united itself to it, as a soul to its body, so that they were not two, but one Person. From this it follows that the Lord put off the human from the mother, which in itself was like that of another man, and thus material, and put on a Human from the Father, which in itself was like His Divine, and thus substantial, so that the Human too became Divine. This is why in the Word of the Prophets the Lord even as to the Human is called Jehovah, and God; and in the Word of the Evangelists, Lord, God, Messiah or Christ, and the Son of God in whom we must believe, and by whom we are to be saved.

Also listen to The Third Round: Everything described in the Word is a re-presentation of what has to take place in us all

Third Round posts are short audio clips taken from Round 3 comments offered in the online Logopraxis Life Group meetings. The aim is to keep the focus on understanding the Text in terms of its application to the inner life along with reinforcing any key LP principles that have been highlighted in the exchanges.


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