200. The beginning of the work of God, signifies the Word. That the Word is "the beginning of the work of God," is not yet known in the church, because they have not understood these words in John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, but the world knew Him not. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father (John 1:1-14).
He who understands these words in their interior sense, and at the same time compares them with what is written in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture, as also with some things in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord, may see that the Divine truth itself in the Word which was formerly in this world (as mentioned in n. 11), which likewise is in the Word which is at this day, is meant by "the Word which was in the beginning with God, and which was God;" but not the Word regarded as to the words and letters of the languages in which it is written, but regarded in its essence and life, which from the inmost is in the senses of its words and letters. From this life the Word vivifies the affections of the will of the man who reads it as holy, and from the light of that life it enlightens the thoughts of his understanding; therefore it is said in John:
In the Word was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4);
this constitutes the Word, because the Word is from the Lord, and concerning the Lord, and thus is the Lord. All thought, speech, and writing, derives its essence and life from him who thinks, speaks, and writes; the man with his quality is therein; but the Lord alone is in the Word. No one however feels and perceives the Divine life in the Word but he who is in the spiritual affection of truth when he reads it, for he is in conjunction with the Lord through the Word. There is something intimately affecting the heart and spirit, which flows with light into the understanding and bears witness.
 What is said in John has a similar signification to that of these words in the first chapter of Genesis:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and the Spirit of God moved itself upon the face of the waters; and God said, Let there be light, and there was light (Gen. 1:1-3).
"The spirit of God" is the Divine truth, and also the Light; the Divine truth is the Word, therefore when the Lord calls Himself the Word, He also calls Himself "the Light" (John 1:4, 8-9).
Similar things are also meant by this passage in David:
By the Word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the Spirit of His mouth (Ps. 33:6).
In short, without the Divine truth of the Word, which in its essence is the Divine good of the Lord's Divine love, and the Divine truth of His Divine wisdom, man cannot have life. By the Word there is the conjunction of the Lord with man, and of man with the Lord, and by that conjunction there is life. There must be something from the Lord, which can be received by man, by which there can be conjunction and thence eternal life.
 From these things it may appear, that by "the beginning of the creation of God" is meant the Word, and if you will believe it, the Word such as it is in its literal sense, for this sense is the complex of its interior sanctities, as is abundantly shown in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture. And what is wonderful, the Word is so written, that it communicates with the entire heaven, and in particular with every society there, which it has been given me to know by living experience, of which elsewhere. That the Word in its essence is such, is moreover evident from these words of the Lord:
The words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63).