28. The Word is the Life Giver (Jn 5:20-29)

John Chapter 5:20-29
For the Father loves the Son and shows to Him all things which He does. And He will show Him greater works than these in order that you may marvel. (21) For even as the Father raises the dead, and gives life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wills. (22) For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, (23) so that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. The one not honoring the Son does not honor the Father who has sent Him. (24) Truly, truly, I say to you, The one who hears My Word, and believes the One who has sent Me, has everlasting life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (25) Truly, truly, I say to you that an hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and the ones hearing will live. (26) For even as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave also to the Son to have life in Himself. (27) And He also gave authority to Him to execute judgment, for He is the Son of Man. (28) Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming in which all those in the tombs will hear His voice. (29) And they will come out, the ones having done good into a resurrection of life; and the ones having practiced evil into a resurrection of judgment.

Apocalypse Revealed 613 by Emanuel Swedenborg
[14] …by “the Father” in the Word the Lord meant His Divine which was the life or soul of His Human, and not another separate from Himself. Nor indeed could He have meant any other. Thus the Divine and the Human in the Lord, according to the doctrine of the Christian would, are not two but one person, altogether like soul and body; as is declared in clear terms in the Athanasian Creed. And as God and Man in the Lord are not two but one Person, and thus are united like soul and body, it follows that the Divine which the Lord had from conception was what He called “the Father,” and the Divine Human was what He called “the Son;” consequently that they were both Himself.


 

It is not easy to loose our minds from thinking naturally or literally when we come to what the Word has to say. In the literal sense it is Jesus speaking, but on a higher plane or deeper sense what Jesus spoke was representative of what the Word is continually saying to all people of all generations. In speaking these words we find in John’s Gospel the Lord framed within the very concrete limitations of human language the Divine Good in a form we can hear with our ears, read with our eyes and so grasp with our minds. The Divine Good as it is in itself is beyond our ability to grasp and so it presents itself to human consciousness in the form of truths articulated in the words of human language that we can read and study and live from if we so choose.

In its most external form the Divine Good presented Itself as a human being in historical time and space in the person of Jesus Christ. Whatever presents on the material plane to the physical senses of human kind is merely the effect of something higher, for this world is a world of effects; it is the spiritual world that is the world of causes. This is also true of the Divine presenting in the realm of physicality or materiality. Flesh and blood human beings are how goods and truths, or evils and falsities, present themselves on this level of life. Every person’s body is the form of their mind represented on the material level to the senses of other human beings in material bodies. The body of the person of Jesus Christ was how the Divine Life represented Itself on a material level so that it could be accommodated to the senses of finite human beings in a form that we can connect with.

Now it’s important to realise that the Divine didn’t choose the material human form over other possible forms. The Divine Life took the human form because this is the form that perfectly corresponds to its own Divine Essence when that essence is represented to the finite limitations that the human mind exists within. In other words when the Divine Life meets the lowest level of existence it takes a material form, and that form is one of a human person, which is how goods and truths are organised and re-presented on the most external level of life. The Divine as it is in Itself is beyond any finite being’s capacity to grasp, so in order that we might be brought into connection with the Divine, the Divine presents itself in a representative form and we call that form truth. The Lord in the world said that He was the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life. Truth is the form of good and so is the means by which concepts or ideas as to what love is and how it operates is re-presented to human consciousness. What we know from the Heavenly Doctrines is that truth takes different forms by conforming to the quality of life of those receiving it. We get a sense of this in the Doctrines where we are told that celestial angels are in ideas incomprehensible to spiritual angels, while spiritual angels are in ideas far above the grasp of those in the natural heavens, yet these lower angels are in ideas far above our comprehension.

Then there are those on earth who view the Word spiritually and the ideas they are in are beyond the comprehension of those who view it literally or naturally. There are those whose faith is focussed on a person in history and there are those whose focus is on the presence of God as the Word itself. While all these differing views the Lord exist due to the differences in perception each person has, all, if they are looking to good, have before them, in the image of the Lord they carry, the Lord in His Divine Human. Wherever the Lord presents to human consciousness He is perceived in His Divine Human. For those who are followers of the teachings for Spiritual Christianity the Lord is presented to human consciousness as the Word understood in the light of the Heavenly Doctrines. This is what is to be understood by us by the term Son in the Word.

So rather than thinking of the Son as a person, which is to think from the lowest level of our thought, let’s lift our vision so that we see in spiritual light, that is the light our Doctrines give us, that by Son is meant the Word which is the Divine Wisdom that reveals the Divine Love. The Divine Love or the Divine Good beyond finite comprehension is what is meant by the term “Father.” We cannot experience the Father, or the Divine Love as it is in Itself, directly, but we can experience the Father or the Divine Good in the Son or the Divine Truth. The Lord makes this clear when He says that the Father, the Divine Love, is in Him, the Divine Truth, which is to say that the Divine Love is in the Word. So it is that the Word says that “No one comes to the Father but by me…” Natural Christianity has take this to mean a person, but Spiritual Christianity understands this statement to mean that if you want to connect with the Divine then the only way this can be possible is through the Word. In other words good can only be realised through the practise of truth, and for us that truth is the Word understood in the light of the Heavenly Doctrines. It’s the Word that brings us to the Lord when we see that it is the Lord present in His Divine Human.

Joh 5v20-21 For the Father loves the Son and shows to Him all things which He does. And He will show Him greater works than these in order that you may marvel. (21) For even as the Father raises the dead, and gives life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wills.

Spiritually this statement teaches us how the Divine works through the Word to instruct us concerning all that has to do with the spiritual life. Without divine revelation to provide us with knowledge of these things no one can be saved. So we read that “the Father loves the Son and shows to Him ALL things which He does” Spiritually this is saying to us that within the Word (the Son) are all things belonging to the Divine Love or Father. The Word holds it all. The Divine Truth reveals the Divine Love; this is why the Lord says of the Word, that it speaks only of the Father.

“For even as the Father raises the dead, and gives life, so also the Son gives life to whomever He wills”. Spiritually to be raised from the dead is to have our evils and falsities removed, for it is these that render us dead to spiritual life. We see from this statement that the Word teaches that the Divine power to raise a human being from spiritual death is made available through the Word. Without the Word we have no light by which we can become conscious of our evils and falsities. The Divine Good needs the Divine Truth to achieve its goal for the salvation of the human race therefore we read in the next verse that…

Joh 5:22-23 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, (23) so that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. The one not honoring the Son does not honor the Father who has sent Him.

The Father or Divine Good judges no one, but all judgment belongs to the Son or Word. This is because the Word is the light of life and by means of the light of the Word we are able to examine our life, see our evils and seek the Lord’s help to have them removed. This is how the Son administers His judgement. Every time we examine our life, see our evils and seek to have them removed we are experiencing the operation of the Son’s judgement, for it is the truths we have from the Word that enable us to see such things. Without these we are spiritually blind. When we live from the Word by applying its truths to the life of our affections, thoughts and behaviour so we “honour the Son” for the Son, or Word, is honoured when we live in accordance with our understanding of Divine truths. To know truths and not live from them is to dishonour them, but if we live from them we honour them and if we honour them then we honour the Father or the Divine Good that presents itself in and through them.

Joh 5:24-26 Truly, truly, I say to you, The one who hears My Word, and believes the One who has sent Me, has everlasting life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (25) Truly, truly, I say to you that an hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and the ones hearing will live. (26) For even as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave also to the Son to have life in Himself.

Again these words understood as to their spiritual meaning are speaking of the relationship between the Divine and its manifestation to human consciousness as the Word. When read naturally, the mind becomes bogged down in ideas of persons, of a Divine person called the Father sending into the world another Divine person called the Son. But when a spiritual understanding is brought to the terms we see that by being “sent” is meant the coming forth or manifestation of the Divine Good to human consciousness as Divine Truth, these being two aspects belonging to One Divine. Therefore to hear the Word is to obey it and to believe is to acknowledge that the Word is God and if this is done as a matter of life then a person has passed out of death into life.

Can we see this – the Word declares; “that an hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and the ones hearing will live…” Do we hear in these words the voice of the Word telling us that it alone is the Son of God, that we who have been dead to this truth are now brought face to face with this startling revelation that even as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave also to the Son (or Word) to have life in Himself. These two terms, Father and Son are one and the same Divine, the Father is what is within the Lord and is His soul and the Son is the manifesting form or body. The Divine Love is within the Divine Truth as a soul is within its body; therefore in the Word we have the Lord’s body through which the Father or the Divine Love is reveal to us. The Scripture states that the hour of this realisation is continually presenting to us all, and so as it is perpetually coming, and because it is a perpetual or continual coming we see that it now is. The Word has life in Itself and those hearing it or obeying it will live. This is the good news, the Gospel of Spiritual Christianity.

Joh 5:28-29 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming in which all those in the tombs will hear His voice. (29) And they will come out, the ones having done good into a resurrection of life; and the ones having practiced evil into a resurrection of judgment.

Don’t think here of people who have died and who are to be raise at some time in the future. This is speaking of a spiritual reality that is active right now. It is the process by which spiritual things are separated within us from that which is of self love or the proprium. Truths when they are first heard enter the memory of a person where they sit within the natural mind. Here they are merely something of the memory and as such they are dead and inert and so they lie in the memory as a body lies in its tomb. The actual Greek word for tomb is revealing in this regard and we can see that this is what is hinted at spiritually for the Greek word translated tomb, literally means “memory vault.”

To hear His voice is to begin to obey these truths through using them to examine our own life and practise repentance. Whenever a person uses truths for the purpose for which they are given a resurrection takes place. These truths become elevated in importance and value within a person’s mind. They are lifted out of the memory and into the life. This is what is meant by the resurrection. It has to do with the things of the Word bring raised up out of the mental tomb of mere memory knowledge into the life. When this resurrection occurs we are raised up as well in the sense that we are lifted out of what is lower into what is higher and so become conscious of what is going on within us.

Those things of the Word that lead to good become alive in us as we find a new life active within. We are given a new faculty for seeing that sits above the natural man from which we are able to see those things within that support what is evil and false which opens possibilities we had not known before. We are now able to look to the Lord for the removal of what is evil and false. We undergo a resurrection into the light of a new understanding where all things in our minds are subjected to the judgement and scrutiny of the Word. Those things that lead to good can now be raised to life, and those things that are of self can be raised to consciousness for judgement. The see then that the Word is the Life Giver, that even as the Father has life in Himself so He has given the Son or Word to have life in itself, for if we can receive it, the Word is the Lord in His Human and it alone is the Saviour of us all.

Amen.

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