Nine Questions ~ Nine Answers

Addendum to the Doctrine of the Lord ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
  • QUESTION 1.

In what sense did the Lord call Himself the SON OF MAN, if He took only flesh from the mother, and not a rational soul? Has the human sonship regard solely to the human flesh?

ANSWER.
The Lord called Himself the Son of man because He was the Word or Divine truth even as to the Human; for in the spiritual sense “Son of man” signifies the truth of the church from the Word. The same was signified by “prophet,” because the prophets taught truths from the Word; and therefore the Lord, who was a Prophet in a pre-eminent degree, and also the Word, and therefore the Divine truth, called Himself, as to the Human, the Son of man. This is why, in the Prophets and Psalms passim where the vastation of truth in the church is treated of, it is said that the Son of man abides not there; and this also is why the prophets themselves were called sons of man, as Ezekiel in Ezek. 2:1, 3, 6, 8; 3:1, 3-4, 10, 17, 25; and very frequently in the succeeding chapters; and also Daniel. That such is the case has been shown from many passages quoted in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Lord, which consult if at hand. 

  • QUESTION 2.

Had the Lord a rational soul from Jehovah the Father, to which was united the Divine Esse, whence He became very God and very Man? 

ANSWER.
The Lord from eternity (that is, Jehovah) was Divine love and Divine wisdom, and He then had a Divine Celestial and a Divine Spiritual; but not, before He assumed the Human, a Divine Natural. And as the Rational is predicated solely of the celestial and spiritual Natural, it follows that by the assumption of the Human, Jehovah the Lord did also put on the Divine Rational. He had a Divine Rational before the assumption of the Human, but by means of influx into the angelic heaven; and when He had manifested Himself in this world, He did so by means of an angel whom He filled with His Divinity. For the purely Divine Essence (which as just said was purely Divine celestial and Divine spiritual) transcends both the angelic and the human Rational. But that Divine Rational existed by means of influx. Its nature may be inferred from what is said below on the sixth point. Luther and Melanchthon teach that in Christ Man is God and God is Man, which also is according to Holy Scripture, as may be seen in the True Christian Religion, n. 137. But Calvin denied it, and merely affirmed that Christ is God and Man. 

  • QUESTION 3.

Was there not always a Trinity in the Divine nature, to be understood in this way: the Divine Love, the Divine Wisdom, and the quickening Spirit, or Holy proceeding? 

ANSWER.
The Divine Trinity in one Person is to be understood as soul, body, and proceeding operation, which together constitute one essence, for the one is from the other, and therefore the one belongs to the other. In the same way there is a trinity in each man, which taken together constitutes one person, to wit, the soul, the body, and the operation that goes forth. But in man this trinity is finite, because man is only an organ of life; whereas in the Lord the Trinity is infinite and thus Divine, because the Lord is life itself even in respect to the Human, as He Himself teaches in John 5:26; 14:6; and also elsewhere. 

  • QUESTION 4.

Does not the Son, by whom Jehovah is said to have created the worlds (Heb. 1:2; 11:3), signify the same as the Divine wisdom in Jer. 10:12; 51:15; so that the essential Wisdom or Logos of God in first principles, is now become the Truth or Logos of God in ultimates? 

ANSWER.
That the Lord (that is, the Word or Divine truth through which all things were made that were made, and through which the world was created, John 1:3, 10) was the Divine wisdom which together with the Divine love constitutes one Divine Essence, and thus one and the same God, follows of course; for the Divine wisdom is also the Divine truth, because all things of wisdom are truths, and wisdom produces nothing but truths, for it is their containant, exactly in accordance with Jer. 10:12; 51:15. The same is understood also by the statement that is made in Ps.33:6. The “spirit (or “breath”) of Jehovah’s mouth” also is wisdom; and the “word” there mentioned is the Divine love and the Divine wisdom together, for it is said, “And God was the Word” (John 1:1). 

  • QUESTION 5.

Is not the “Holy Spirit” in the New Testament the same as the “Spirit of God” in the Old Testament, with the sole difference that before the Lord’s incarnation it proceeded either immediately from the Divine Esse or Jehovah, or mediately through angels, and after the incarnation through the Son or Divine Human?  Is not the Holy Spirit the same as the sphere of God? 

ANSWER.
The Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit are two distinct things. The Spirit of God neither did nor could operate on man except imperceptibly; whereas the Holy Spirit, which proceeds solely from the Lord, operates on man perceptibly, and enables him to comprehend spiritual truths in a natural way; for the Lord has united the Divine Natural to the Divine Celestial and the Divine Spiritual, and He operates from these two through that. Besides, “Holy” in the Word is predicated solely of Divine truth, thus of the Lord, who is Divine truth not only in the celestial and spiritual but also in the natural sense; and therefore it is said in the Revelation that the Lord alone is Holy (15:3, 4). (See also the Apocalypse Revealed, n. 173.) It is also said in John: “The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (7:39).

The Holy Spirit is the same as the Divine sphere if by this is meant the Divine love and Divine wisdom, which two proceed from Jehovah the Lord from the sun of the angelic heaven, as do heat and light from the sun of the natural world and constitute its sphere. For in its essence the heat of the sun of the angelic heaven is love, and the light wisdom. And to these two the heat and light of the sun of this world correspond. 

  • QUESTION 6.

Was the Divine Human of Jehovah, before the incarnation, a Person subsisting per se, as the Manifestation [existere], Form, or Body of God? Or was it an angelic form assumed on occasion for the sake of manifestation?  Does it not follow that the Divine Human before the incarnation was different from the Divine Human which now is since the incarnation, seeing that the Divine Trinity is in the Lord’s Person? 

ANSWER.
Before the incarnation there was not any Divine Human except a representative one by means of some angel whom Jehovah the Lord filled with His Spirit, as has been said above. And as that was representative, all things of the church at that time were representative, and like shadows; but after the incarnation the representatives ceased, like the shades of evening or night at the rising of the sun. That representative Human in which Jehovah then presented Himself in this world before His actual advent, was not of such efficacy as to be able spiritually to enlighten men, and therefore enlightenment was then effected solely by means of types and figures. 

  • QUESTION 7.

May not the Most Holy Trinity be properly said to be one and the same Lord in three characters, distinctions of offices, or relations toward men, as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Divine Esse, Divine Human, and Holy proceeding: not as three Persons, out of which there would necessarily be made three Gods? 

ANSWER.
The Most Holy Trinity in one Person is to be apprehended as the Divine Esse, the Divine Human, and the Divine proceeding; thus as soul, body, and derivative power [virtus] and operation, precisely as given in the Memorable Relation inserted in the work entitled The True Christian Religion, n. 188. As productions from these there follow in order creation, redemption, and regeneration; for creation is an attribute of the Divine Esse, redemption of the Divine Human from the Divine Esse, and regeneration of the Holy Spirit, which is the primary power [virtus], or operation, by the Divine Human from the Divine Esse, according to what has been advanced in the True Christian Religion, n. 153-155. 

  • QUESTION 8.

It is said in 1 Cor. 15:45, “The first man Adam was made a living soul;” and in the genealogy in Luke 3, he is placed as the first after God, and it is said, “who was the son of God.” Does not the regarding of Adam as a church contradict this? 

ANSWER.
In the genealogy in Luke it is said that Adam was “of God, “that is, created by God, and not the son of God. 

  • QUESTION 9.

If there was no individual called Noah, how comes it to be said in Ezek. 14:14: “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job,” etc.?  I lay no great stress on these matters [says Mr. Hartley], but I had a mind to propose them. 

ANSWER.
The reason Noah is mentioned in Ezek. 14:14 is that he had been mentioned in Genesis, and consequently the same is signified in the Prophet as in Moses, namely, that the man with his three sons was significative of a subsequent church, on which subject see what has been delivered in the Arcana Coelestia.

(Nine Questions)
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About mike

Finding out that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race the angelic heaven would be formed, my entire focus on life changed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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2 Responses to Nine Questions ~ Nine Answers

  1. Daniel Peterson says:

    The question I have is about the Holy Ghost. I heard once that if Jesus Christ had failed to perform the atonement for the sins of mankind, the very act of propitiation, that the Holy Ghost could perform the sacrifice that had been meant for Jesus Christ. Is this true?

    • mike says:

      Dan – I think the answer to your question can be found in the Answers to Questions 3 & 5 of this article. I will add these comments though; God has never been angry with mankind, requiring a need to be appeased. There has never been any anger or wrath in LOVE! LOVE has always been ‘absolute,’ without variableness or change; never one instance LOVE and one instance hate or anger or wrath. LOVE has always had in itself the wish to give, never for what it will do for LOVE, but for what it will do for that outside of LOVE, and when mankind ‘willing chose’ to separate from God, LOVE began providing a way of re-connection. Redemption of mankind involved LOVE subjugating the hells, which had total dominance over the entire creation because of man’s choice to be his own god. In order to do this, God, Himself, bowed the heavens and came down (Psalms 18:9). He assumed the human nature by being born of a virgin (Luke 1:26-35), but never did He acknowledge that infernal human hereditary as His own – He subjugated it, expelled it and replaced it. By doing so, He put back in order the Heavens and once again had all power both in heaven and in earth. It is upon this Rock – the Son of Man being the Son of God – that the church is built (Matthew 16:13-19). The Lord had glorified, made divine the human in Himself (see the article before this one entitled, ‘Man is Regenerated (Made New) By Temptations’) . The Holy Spirit, not another person, but the proceeding Truth from the Lord, which had not been until Jesus was Glorified (John 7:39) is now drawing all men. Mankind has been redeemed! There are only two essentials by which conjunction with the Lord, and thence salvation is effected with mankind – the acknowledgment of one God, and repentance of life. Dan, I hope this has helped. The previous articles on this blog will shed more light. –Mike

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