God is Divine Love and Divine Truth, thus scripture also states that God is Light as Light represents Truth:
The work Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom forms the foundation of the theology of the New Church, which is universal in nature. Whereas most religions are focus on truth or "enlightenment" or faith or belief, the central aspect of God many lose sight of is that God is Love. When one is focused on belief alone, the focus divides people and one turns their effort towards "converting" others. However when the focus is on love and charity, love unites, love is universal. Love is universal and is not particular to any one religion:
"Every man with any religion knows and acknowledges that one who lives a good life is saved, and that one who lives wickedly is condemned: for he knows and acknowledges that one who lives well thinks well, not only concerning God but concerning the neighbor also, while he who lives wickedly does not. A man's life is his love; and what a man loves, he not only does willingly, but also willingly thinks. It is therefore said that the life is to do good, for the reason that doing good acts as one with thinking good; for these are not of a man's life if they do not act as one in him." (Doctrine of Life, n. 1)Below I will try to summarize some of the points of the universal theology of love and truth.
SUMMARY: GOD IS DIVINE LOVE AND DIVINE TRUTH
God is Divine Love and Divine Truth, and Love and Truth are united in One Being. Love and Truth flows into all life as the will and understanding in each person. In the human form, it manifests as the female and male form, for females are volitional and are thus forms of love, and males are intellectual and thus forms of truth. Love constantly seeks union with its corresponding Truth, and Truth constantly seeks its corresponding Love, and this is the origin of earthly love between male and female. Divine Love and Divine Truth also flows into all creation as substance and form, and also as space and time. For Love is the One Substance, and Truth is what provides form to Love. The universe was not created from nothing, as many now suppose, but the universe was created from Divine love and Divine truth in the spiritual world before the natural world was created. Everything created symbolically represents the substance and form of love and truth.
The Union of Love and Truth is universal, and is applicable to all that exists.
DIVINE INFLUX INTO THE HUMAN FORM
God as Love and Truth flows into our soul into our will as love, and into our understanding as truth. Love and Truth are always united: love is one's intent or purpose of the will, and truth is the means by which it is thought of how to fulfill that love or purpose. The union of love and truth thus seeks to be useful in its ultimate reality, and the most useful form in the ultimate or lowest reality is the human form. How this influences us is determined how we receive this Divine influx. This Divine influx is the source of our life. This flows in from the Lord, who is the central Sun in the heavenly spiritual world:
"Love and wisdom, and hence the will and the understanding, make the life itself of man. Scarcely any one knows what life is. When one thinks about it, it appears as if it were something volatile of which there can be no idea. This is the appearance because it is not known that God alone is life, and that His life is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom. From this it is plain that life with man is nothing else, and that he has life in the degree in which he receives these. ...heat and light proceed from the sun where the Lord is, the heat proceeding from which is love, and the proceeding light is wisdom... From these two things, therefore, which proceed from the Lord as a sun, is life. That love and wisdom from the Lord is life, may also be evident from this, that man becomes torpid as love withdraws from him, and becomes stupid as wisdom withdraws from him, and if they withdrew altogether he would be destroyed." (Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 363).Love and truth flow into our body, and even our organs correspond to this influx. For example, Swedenborg notes that the heart and lungs correspond to love and truth. This was ancient knowledge that still persists today, for it is common to say that love resides in our heart.
DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM SOLVES THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTIANITY
[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God. (Col. 1:15)
There are three things that form the Divine essense: Love, Wisdom, and Use. In its ultimate form, this manifests in the human form. As the Divine descends, in order to communicate with us it manifests in human form. This is known in scripture as the "Angel of the Lord." This Divine presence can flow into an angel, and the angel would then speak as if it was the Lord to represent His message. With time, however, this communication with angels began to get cut off as we separated ourselves from heaven due to sin.
In order to maintain this communication of Divine influx into the human race, and to ensure their salvation it became necessary for the Divine to become incarnate in human form. The Divine has the capability, as there is Divine influx into the human form, and we are thus made in His image. The Father is the Divine Love, and the Son is the Divine Truth, for as the Divine descends towards us it becomes the human form. It is a falsehood to divide the Divine being into multiple persons, which is an invention of men. This is a falsehood propagated by the Nicene and Athanasian Creed, which are not scriptural (see also The Corrected New Athanasian Creed and The Nicene Creed: a distorted version of the Apostle's Creed). I may have to do another updated post on the Nicene Creed, as many tend to follow the religious traditions of men without question.
Divine Love and Divine Truth correspond to fire and light, the light is an emanation of fire. Swedenborg describes the explanation for the incarnation in more detail in True Christian Religion:
"Jehovah descended as Divine truth, which is the Word, and yet He did not separate Divine good. Two things make God's essence, Divine love and Divine wisdom; or what is the same, Divine good and Divine truth. ...These two in the Word are meant also by Jehovah God; by Jehovah, Divine love or Divine good, and by God, Divine wisdom or Divine truth. This is the reason of the distinction in the Word in various ways, when sometimes only Jehovah is named, and sometimes only God; for where the subject is Divine good, Jehovah is said; and where it is Divine truth, God is named; and where both are meant, Jehovah God is said. That Jehovah God descended as Divine truth, which is the Word, is evident in John, where are these words: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. . . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (i. 1, 3, 14). By the Word is there meant Divine truth because the Word which is in the church is Divine truth itself; for it was dictated by Jehovah Himself, and what is dictated by Jehovah is purely Divine truth, and can be no other; but because that passed through the heavens even into the world, it became accommodated to angels in heaven and also to men in the world. Hereby there is in the Word a spiritual sense in which Divine truth is in light, and a natural sense in which Divine truth is in shade; therefore Divine truth in this Word is what is meant in John." (True Christian Religion, n. 85)Jesus, during the time he was on earth, was in an inferior state due to the human form he inherited from Mary, and thus could be tempted. But as to his soul He is Jehovah Himself. This inferior form was put off upon the resurrection, after which He became a Divine Human accessible to all humanity, to dwell within us in love, whoever is willing to receive Him.
LOVE AND TRUTH MUST ALWAYS BE IN UNION
Although the revelations of the New Church is specifically Christian, the truths are universal, in that the universal truths can be used to evaluate the validity of other religions or systems of spirituality, or psychological or self-help practices for that matter. The universal truth is this: no love can exist without its corresponding truth, and no truth can persist without its corresponding love. Love and truth are always in union, and this is the origin of marriage love. In the opposite sense, no evil exists without its corresponding falsehood, and no falsehood exists without its corresponding evil. Thus those who do evil will always seek a reason to "justify" it, to make it appear good in their own eyes. Swedenborg describes the descent of love and truth from heaven to our lower plane as follows:
"For the truth is this: celestial and spiritual things when they descend out of heaven into a lower sphere, are there turned completely into the likeness of marriages, and this from the correspondence that exists between spiritual and natural things — which correspondence will by the Divine mercy of the Lord, be treated of elsewhere. But when they are perverted in the lower sphere, as is done where evil genii and evil spirits are, the same are then turned into such things as belong to adulteries and whoredoms." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2466.2)In the spiritual sense, adultery corresponds to the perversion of good, and whoredom corresponds to the perversion of truth. Everything in spirituality and its opposite corresponds to different states of sexual union in personal relationships. The highest sexual union is that of monogamous marriage, and there are various degrees from best to worst, and this is why the union between the Lord and the church is presented in scripture as a marriage.
Many of the doctrines of the New Church concern the union of love and truth. When one is becoming spiritually regenerated, it is necessary to be first exposed to truth before proceeding directly to love:
"Truth has need of good, and good has need of truth; and when truth has need of good, truth is conjoined to good, and when good has need of truth, good is conjoined to truth; for the reciprocal conjunction of good and truth, namely of truth with good and of good with truth, is the heavenly marriage. In the early stages during man's regeneration, truth is multiplied, but not good; and as truth has then no good with which to be conjoined, it is therefore drawn in and stored up in the interiors of the natural mind, that it may be called forth thence according to the increase of good. In this state truth is in need of good, and also a conjunction of truth with good takes place according to the inflow of good into the natural; but still no fruitfulness is effected by this conjunction. But when man is regenerated, then good increases; and as it increases it is in need of truth, and also procures truth for itself with which it may be conjoined, and thus there is a conjunction of good with truth. When this takes place, truth is made fruitful from good, and good from truth." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5365.2)Another reason why introduction is first effected by truths, is that from truth one can fight against falsehoods of evil within oneself. Thus those who harbored evils must first remove them by means of truths. This opens oneself up to receiving love and truth from heaven. Good and truth together must flow into one's will and thought:
"As regards the influx of celestial good from the Lord, and its reception, it should be known that man's voluntary receives good, and his intellectual receives truth, and that the intellectual can by no means receive truth so as to appropriate it, unless at the same time the voluntary receives good, and so also the converse; for the one thus flows into the other, and disposes it to receive." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5147.2)As one can see, the doctrines of the New Church are diametrically opposed by the Protestant doctrine which separates faith from works, and makes faith merely "belief" or "knowledge" instead of living by the truth. As God is love, other than the belief of a trinity of three persons it is this belief which has destroyed the Christian church from within more than anything else.
THE AFTERLIFE IS DETERMINED BY ONE'S RULING LOVE
One's afterlife is not determined by one's belief or religion, but rather it is determined by one's ruling love. There are two opposing loves: there is the heavenly love of love towards God, and there is the infernal love of the self. The selfish ego is opposed to everything that is the love of God:
"The whole heaven is distinguished into societies according to all the differences of loves; in like manner hell, and in like manner the world of spirits. But heaven is distinguished into societies according to the differences of heavenly loves; and hell into societies according to the differences of infernal loves; but the world of spirits, according to the differences of loves both heavenly and infernal. There are two loves which are the heads of all the rest, or to which all other loves are related; the love which is the head of all heavenly loves, or to which they are related, is love to the Lord; and the love which is the head of all infernal loves, or to which they are related, is the love of ruling from the love of self. These two loves are diametrically opposed to each other." (Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 141).Love rules all things, thus when we meet another person, and there is a connection, it is not by chance. Try to see why a person is brought into your life. And that love will grow to eternity in heaven:
God is loving and caring. From the new Testament we find the definition of love and forgiveness through Lord Jesus. But, the old Testament describes that God ordered the Israelites to slay some tribes completely. However those people were extremely sinful and disobeyed God. But, God is almighty and he can punish any evil. He had punished all the evil doers by sending a flood during Noah's time. So, the old Testament seems very contradictory as the almighty god ordered Israelites to slay the sinners where he could have punished them himself.ReplyDelete
The short answer is that the ancient Jews were barbaric and evil. They were not a church, but a representative of the church, and some of the commandments given to them were given by way of permission to restrain their evil nature. In other words God could not stop them from being evil. However what could be done is they could be representative of a church, thus the nations they were commanded to destroy represents the expulsion of evil from the church by the Lord.Delete
An example of a commandment given by way of permission are the animal sacrifices, which are completely unnecessary. However the ritual of animal sacrifices are representative of spiritual regeneration. When the Lord came, these representative laws were abrogated.
Swedenborg comments on this:
"That the Jewish nation were in the external without the internal, and therefore believed truth to be falsity, and falsity truth, is very evident from their teaching, that it was allowable to hate an enemy; and also from their life, that they hated all who were not of their religion. They even believed that they were pleasing and serving Jehovah, when they treated the Gentiles with barbarity and cruelty, exposing their bodies after they had been slain to be devoured by birds and wild beasts, cutting them in two while alive with saws, lacerating them with harrows and axes of iron, and making them pass through the brick-kiln (2 Sam. xii. 31). Moreover, it was in accordance with their teachings, to treat in almost the same way a companion who for any cause was declared an enemy. Thus it may be plainly evident that there was nothing internal in their religion. If any one had then said to them that such things were contrary to the internal of the church, they would have replied that this internal was false. That they were merely in externals, were wholly ignorant of what the internal is, and led a life contrary to the internal, is plain also from what the Lord teaches in Matthew (v. 21-48)." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4903.2)
So its a large subject: we need to understand that God adapts the truth to those who receive it, and some things are given by way of permission to slowly bend evil towards the good. Thus Divine revelation is progressive and comes in dispensations.