New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 33

     would be instantly cleared up in the spiritual world, but after all, that world is really just the world of our own spirits, our own minds, and we don’t change much after death, least of all as to our ruling loves. But mixed motives and confused ideas do not provide for a heavenly life, which is why the Writings speak of false or imaginary heavens, realms inhabited by spirits who were either simple enough to be misled or deceptive enough to be able to mislead others by their misinterpretation of the Word. People therefore who had read the Word and tried to live a good life were in a sense “bound” or imprisoned by improper thinking about God, and so had not been able to enter fully “into the joy of their Lord.” In effect, they were like the people described in Revelation as “the souls under the altar” who cried out, “How long, O Lord, How long?” until they could fully understand and be released from these false ideas. However when the Lord Himself came into the world and corrected all these misguided concepts, the men and women in the spiritual world who needed His help to sort things out received that help because the spiritual light that radiated from His life and teaching filled that world even more than it filled this natural world, which is of course limited by time and space. There is a dramatic and very interesting teaching about this in Divine Love and Wisdom 233, where we read: It has been told me from heaven that in the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, before the assumption of the Human in the world, the two prior degrees existed actually, and the third degree in potency, as they do also with angels, but that after the assumption of a Human in the world, He put on also the third degree, which is called the natural, thereby becoming Man, like a man in the world, the only difference being that in the Lord, this degree as were the prior ones, is infinite and uncreate, while in angel and in man these degrees are finite and created. For the Divine which, apart from space, had filled all space (n. 69-72), penetrated even to the ultimates (the lowest levels) of nature. But before the assumption of the Human, there was a Divine influx into the natural degree mediate through the angelic heavens, but after the assumption, immediate from Himself. This is the reason that all Churches in the world before His advent were representative of spiritual and celestial things, but after His advent they became spiritual-natural and celestial-natural, and representative worship was abolished. This was also the reason that the Sun of the angelic heaven which, as was said above, is the first proceeding of His Divine Love and Wisdom, after the assumption of the Human, shone forth with greater radiance and splendor than before the assumption. This also is what is understood by these words in Isaiah: In that day the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold as the light of seven days. (30:26) 99