(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 109

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All the churches that existed before the Lord's coming were representative churches; and only in shadow could Divine truths be seen by them. But after the Lord's coming into the world a church was established by Him which saw, or rather was able to see, Divine truths in light. The difference is like that between evening and morning; likewise in the Word the state of the church before the Lord's coming is called evening, and the state after His coming is called morning. Before the Lord came into the world He was present with men of the church, but only mediately, through angels who represented Him; but since His coming He is present with men of the church immediately; and this for the reason that in the world He put on also a Divine Natural in which He is present with men. The glorification of the Lord is the glorification of His Human, which He assumed in the world; and the Lord's glorified Human is the Divine Natural. The truth of this is evident from the fact that the Lord rose from the tomb with the whole of the body that He had in the world, leaving nothing in the tomb, and therefore took with Him from the tomb the Natural Human itself from the firsts to the lasts of it. So after the resurrection when His disciples thought that what they saw was a ghost, He said to them:
See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me and see; for a ghost hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have (Luke 24:37, 39).
This makes it clear that by means of His glorification His natural body was made Divine. Therefore Paul says:
That in Christ dwelleth all the fullness of Divinity bodily (Col. 2:9);
and John:
That Jesus Christ the Son of God is the true God (1 John 5:20).
From all this the angels are aware that in the whole spiritual world the Lord alone is complete Man.
[2] In the church it is well known that with the Israelitish and Jewish nation all worship was merely external, and shadowed forth an internal worship which the Lord opened up; thus before the Lord's coming worship consisted in types and figures which represented true worship in its faithful imagery. The Lord Himself was indeed seen by the ancients; for He said to the Jews:
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw and was glad. I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:56, 58).
But as the Lord in those times was merely represented (which was done by means of angels), so all things of the church with them were made representative; but after the Lord had come into the world those representations vanished. The interior reason of this was that in the world the Lord put on also a Divine Natural, and from this not only is the internal spiritual man enlightened, but also the external natural; and unless these two are simultaneously enlightened, man is, as it were, in shadow; but when both are enlightened, he is, as it were, in the light of day. For when the internal man alone is enlightened, and not the external also, or when the external man alone is enlightened and not the internal also, it is as when one sleeps and dreams, and as soon as he wakes remembers his dream, and from it draws various conclusions, but all imaginary. Or he is like one walking in his sleep, and fancying that the objects he sees are seen by daylight.
[3] Again, the difference between the state of the church before the Lord's coming, and after it, is like the difference between reading at night by the light of the moon and stars, and reading by the light of the sun. Evidently, in the former light, which is a purely white light, the eye sees amiss, while in the latter, which is also flame-like, it does not. So we read respecting the Lord:
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to Me, He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, a morning without clouds (2 Sam. 23:3, 4);
"the God of Israel" and "the Rock of Israel" meaning the Lord. And again:
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, in the day when Jehovah shall bind up the breach of His people (Isa. 30:26).
All this is said of the state of the church after the Lord's coming. In a word, the state of the church before the Lord's coming may be compared to an old woman whose face has been painted and who because of the glow of the paint seems to herself to be beautiful; while the state of the church after the Lord's coming may be likened to a maiden who is beautiful from the native glow of her complexion. Again, the state of the church before the Lord's coming may be likened to the skin of any fruit (as an orange, an apple, a pear, or a grape) and the taste of the skin; while its state after His coming may be likened to the insides of these fruits and their taste; with other like things; and this for the reason that the Lord having now put on also the Divine natural, enlightens both the internal spiritual man and the external natural man; for when only the internal man is enlightened, and not the external as well, there is shadow; and the same is true when the external man is enlightened and not the internal.


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