The Lord is the Word

Mark 6:1-6

1 ​​And He went out from thence, and came into His own country; and His disciples follow Him. 2 ​​And the Sabbath having come, He began to teach in the synagogue; and many hearing wondered, saying, From whence has this Man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that even such works of power are worked by His hands? 3 ​​Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and° the brother of James, and Joses, and Judah, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him. 4 ​​But° Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among kinsfolk, and in his own house. 5 ​​And He could there do no work of power, except He cured a few who were ailing by laying hands on them. 6 ​​And He marveled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages, teaching.

DP 172.3

[3] The Lord is the Word because it (the Word) is the Divine Truth of the Divine Good. That the Lord is the Word He teaches in John in these words:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. (John 1:1, 14).

While we all might affirm the truth of this statement as something we believe, this number goes on to say that few have grasped its implications, stating that

…this…has hitherto been understood to mean only that God taught men through the Word, therefore it has been explained as a hyperbolical expression, implying that the Lord is not the Word itself.  DP 172.3

How we view the Word directly impacts on the depth and quality of our work in Logopraxis.  This number points out that there is a tendency to dismiss the claim that the Lord is actually the Word as mere hyperbole.  Indeed, the natural man, whose thought is imprisoned in ideas of space and time, finds it impossible to think of the Lord apart from the idea of a historical person.  Therefore the idea that the Lord is fully present in the world as the Texts of Divine revelation, or, is actually the Word, tends to be dismissed as a mere figure of speech if not in word then in thought.  The question often asked when this claim is put before the natural man is framed something like this; Is the Heavenly Doctrine, in making this claim, actually referring to the written Texts of Divine revelation, perhaps it’s referring to something much greater than these Texts themselves?  And of course, the Divine Truth fills the heavens, being the very light of heaven itself.  In the Celestial Heaven the Divine Truth is received by the angels there as the celestial sense of the Word, as it is received by those in the Spiritual Heaven as the spiritual sense of the Word, while those of the Natural Heaven receive the Word in its celestial-natural and spiritual-natural senses, and finally those of the Church or the Lord’s heaven on earth receive the Word in the form of the its letter or what is also known as its historical sense (AC 1143, 5095).  In the work the Apocalypse Explained it states that…

AE 630.2 …as there are three heavens, so in the Word there are three distinct senses: the inmost sense, which is called the celestial sense, is for the inmost or third heaven; the middle sense, which is called the spiritual sense, is for the middle or second heaven; and the ultimate sense, which is called the celestial-natural and spiritual-natural sense, is for the lowest or first heaven. These three senses, besides the natural which is for the world, are in the Word and in all its particulars; and as the three heavens have the Word and each heaven is in its own sense of the Word, and from this is their heaven and also their worship, it follows that what signifies heaven signifies also the Word and worship.

We see then that the form that the Divine Truth takes varies in accordance with the state of the mind receiving it.  It is important to understand that this variation is not in the Word itself, but is an appearance that arises from the form of the minds within which it is being accommodated.  The Word takes on a celestial form, or appears in its celestial sense, to the minds of celestial angels precisely because the form of their minds are such that they are of a celestial quality and so are sensitive only to those things in the Word that can nourish their celestial form of life.  The same is true for spiritual and natural angels, whose form of mind determines the specific form the Word takes for them.  The same law of reception-according-to-form also determines the form the Word takes for those in the world.  The point being that these different forms don’t constitute different Words, but that it is the One and the Same Word perceived differently according to the differing forms of mind doing the perceiving as can be seen from the following…

AE 593.2 …although [the Word] differs in its sense in each heaven, still it is the same Word, because it is the Divine itself, which is in the Word from the Lord that becomes Divine celestial when it comes down to the inmost or third heaven, and becomes Divine spiritual when it comes down therefrom to the middle or second heaven, and becomes Divine celestial-natural or spiritual-natural when it comes down from that heaven to the ultimate or first heaven, and when it comes down therefrom into the world becomes a Divine natural Word, such as it is with us in the letter.

So when the Heavenly Doctrine speaks of the Divine truth, it speaks to all its forms simultaneously so that what is said of the Divine truth on any level is equally applicable to every other level and that includes the “Divine natural Word such as it is with us in the letter.”  This same letter, the Sacred Scripture, the Word as it exists with us in the world, the Lord’s divine natural, has undergone a relentless assault by hellish forces for centuries who have sought to discredit it in people’s minds, and especially in the minds of those who belong to the Church.  This was foreseen by the Lord who in making His Second Advent through the letter of the Word as its spiritual sense, provided the true light by which ignorance regarding the true nature of the Sacred Scriptures could be dispelled once and for all for those who are willing to receive it as the Lord and so experience the power of the Word to transform their life.

The implication is that on the material plane of existence the most perfect embodiment of the Word is to be found in the Sacred Texts of Divine revelation.  From a Logopraxis perspective by the Word we mean the Texts themselves and all that they contain, and this being the case, the Word, in the form of these Texts, are held to be the LORD.  They are provided by the Lord as the means by which He is able to be reflected back into our awareness so that we can experience His presence within.  He is to be found in all His fullness and power in the letter of the Sacred Scripture and cannot be found anywhere else in the same fullness and power apart from the Sacred Texts of Divine revelation.  This is seen in that when the Lord came into the world He did so to fulfil the Scriptures and in doing this made His Human Divine by becoming the Word down to the very letter itself.  There are many, many, numbers in the Heavenly Doctrine that openly declare the truth of these facts, of which the following are but a few…

SS 50 …that the Word in the sense of the letter is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in its power; and as the Lord is the Word (for He is the all of the Word), it follows that He is most of all present in the sense of the letter, and that from it He teaches and enlightens man.

AE 790b …the Word is from the Lord, and consequently the Lord is in the Word, even so that He is the Word; for the Word is Divine truth all of which is from the Lord.

AE 612 …the Lord is the Word, wherefore when the Word is opened the Lord appears.

SS 78. Further: it is through the Word that the Lord is present with a man and is conjoined with him, for the Lord is the Word, and as it were speaks with the man in it… The Lord is indeed present with a man through the reading of the Word, but He is conjoined with him through the understanding of truth from the Word,..

AE 19  the Lord is the Word, so is He also the doctrine of the church, for all doctrine is from the Word. That the Lord is the doctrine of the church, because all truth that is of doctrine is from the Word, thus from the Lord, (AC n. 2531, 2859, 3712).

AC 10355  For, if you will believe it, the Lord is the Word itself, because the Word is Divine truth, and Divine truth is the Lord in heaven, because it is from the Lord.  Wherefore they who love Divine truth for the sake of Divine truth, love the Lord; and with those who love the Lord heaven flows in and enlightens them.

SS 100.  Few understand how the Lord is the Word, for they think that the Lord may indeed enlighten and teach men by means of the Word without His being on that account called the Word. Be it known however that every man is his own love, and consequently his own good and his own truth. It is solely from this that a man is a man, and there is nothing else in him that is man. It is from the fact that a man is his own good and his own truth that angels and spirits are men, for all the good and truth that proceeds from the Lord is in its form a man. And as the Lord is Divine good and Divine truth itself, He is the Man, from whom every man is a man. That all Divine good and Divine truth is in its form a man may be seen in Heaven and Hell (n. 460)…

If we accept these statements as true then this has profound implications regarding our understanding of what the Word as Sacred Texts truly is and how we engage with it.  It stands to reason that if we really believed this then it would be reflected in our level of commitment to the Texts of Divine revelation as the source of our life.  The very openness with which this truth is stated in the Heavenly Doctrine presents anyone willing to give it serious thought with many challenging questions; Questions that have the potential to radically alter their sense of how the Lord works to regenerate the human mind and the paramount importance of the Word in accomplishing this wonderful transformation.  But ultimately they are questions that can only be explored when a person is willing to lay down the objections of the natural man and actually engage with the Word in an effort to practise its truths.   Logopraxis helps in this for it seeks to place the practise of the Sacred Texts of Divine revelation at the centre of people’s sense of spirituality by supporting them to experience first-hand the LORD as the WORD working in their life.  All that is required is for a person to do what Logopraxis asks of them which is to consciously apply the truths of the Word to the life of their mind using the spiritual disciplines of self-examination and repentance.

You see it’s all about what we are willing to give authority to in our life, and just as the natural minds of those who came into contact with the historical Jesus were confronted with the challenge of accepting that this man, who by all external appearances, was a finite being like themselves, being subject to the limitations of finite life, was not as He appeared to be, but was in fact God in human form, so too we are being asked to accept that the written Texts of Divine revelation, which to all finite appearance seem to be limited and lack a certain sophistication are in fact that same God.  What the historical Jesus was to the first Christian Church or natural Christianity the Word is to the New Church or spiritual Christianity.  And just as the Lord’s power was hampered in his home town of Nazareth due to their unbelief so to, the power of the Word to transform our life is rendered relatively ineffective to the degree that we view the statement, that the Word is the Lord, as a figure of speech and not statement of fact.

We need to take care that we don’t diminish the status of the Sacred Scripture in our thinking. For it to be viewed as anything less than the LORD goes against the central tenant of angelic wisdom and so can do nothing but weaken the Word’s power to effect change in people’s lives.  For the Word to carry authority in our life it has to be seen to be Divine, viewed as anything less it becomes subject to the judgment of the human proprium and natural reasoning. So if you are unsure of the status of the Word, and if you are struggling to see how it can be what the Heavenly Doctrine claims it to be, then lay aside the objections of the natural man to at least entertain the possibility that the Lord is the Word so that you can test this truth for yourself through a sincere effort to practise its truths.  The letter of the Heavenly Doctrine points to the Word being the LORD even as John the Baptist pointed to Jesus;

John 1:35-39

35 ​​​Again on the morrow, John stood, and two of his disciples. 36 ​​​And looking upon Jesus walking, he says, Behold, the Lamb of God! 37 ​​​And the two disciples heard him speaking, and they followed Jesus. 38 ​​​And° Jesus turning, and seeing them following, says to them, What do you seek? And° they said to Him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Teacher), where abidest Thou? 39 ​​​He says to them, Come and see°. They came and saw where he abode, and they abode with him that day, and° it was about the tenth hour.

It is only through intentionally practising truths, which is what it means to follow the Lord, that you can verify them so as to know their truth in the reality of your experience.  This kind of knowing, experiential knowing, far surpasses intellectual knowledge about truths. It is to know that the Lord’s abode is the Word and is the kind of knowing spoken of in…

John 8:31-32

31 ​​​Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed in Him, If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples, 32 ​​​and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make◜ you ◝free.

So just in case there remains any doubt about what the Heavenly Doctrine has to say on the nature of the Sacred Scripture consider the witness provided through the work True Christian Religion no. 6 where we read that…

The Sacred Scripture is the fullness of God…

Logopraxis seeks to place the central tenant of angelic wisdom front and centre by highlighting this truth as the basis from which the spiritual practise of the Word is to be carried out and our regeneration effected.

Amen.

 

About David Millar

My passion revolves around supporting people to engage with the Lord's Word, or Divine truths in the form of sacred texts, to cultivate an intentional spiritual practice. Through the works penned by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) we find that the Biblical texts contain a deeper meaning that, once understood, enables them to be applied in ways that open the human mind to the realisation of its spiritual potential. The goal of the Divine Life is to free each and every human being from the pain of self centred living and bring them into the experience of all that is heavenly through the promotion of what is genuinely good and true. The material shared here is offered in the pursuit of that aim.
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