According to Emanuel Swedenborg, who is the man Jesus, born of a woman, who died and then was resurrected?

The title is a question recently asked on the website Christianity StackExchange, here. After several quotations from Swedenborgian sources, the questioner asks:

Did the Lord (God Almighty) incarnate as a human in the body of Jesus of Nazareth? Does this mean that Jesus did not have a pre-incarnate existence in heaven? So who died on the cross? And is it up to humans to earn their salvation by good deeds in this life and in the life to come?

Whilst seeking Swedenborgian sources, I also request references from the Bible.

To keep things simple, what I really want to know is: who, according to Swedenborg, is this Jesus, born of a woman, who died and then was resurrected, and what part did Jesus play in our salvation?

The rest of this post will be a slightly edited version of my answer. You can read my original answer on Christianity StackExchange here.

Because the question specifically asked for Swedenborgian and biblical sources, this post will contain more direct quotation from Swedenborg than is usual here on Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life, including examples of Swedenborg’s ample quotations from the Bible. For readers who want to dig deeper into Swedenborg’s teachings about who Jesus Christ was and is, this post will provide some great food for thought.
For more on who Jesus is, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God

The Eternal Word

The Eternal Word

Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. (Psalm 119:89)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being that has come into being. In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. . . . And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1–4, 14)

The Word as presented in these Bible passages is vast, eternal—a cosmic being or presence that exists beyond all the created universe as its source and as the instrument of its creation. In its essence, it is above human comprehension. The words of the Lord through Isaiah the prophet come to mind:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9)
For more on The Eternal Word, please click here to read on.

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Posted in The Bible Re-Viewed

How Can I Be Sure that My Partner will Be Waiting for Me in Heaven?

The Meeting of a Family in Heaven, by William BlakeThe article “Will Happily Married Couples be Together in Heaven?” has become one of the most heavily read posts here on the Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life website. Since the time it was published five years ago, it has been visited over 125,000 times. Clearly there is a great yearning for good and comforting news among people who have lost a wife, husband, or other romantic partner. For partners who dearly love one another, the unbiblical “Christian” belief that there is no marriage in heaven is very bad news, not the good news of the Gospel. (See: “Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?” and the articles linked at the end of it.)

And yet, people want assurance. Many times since that article was originally published, we’ve heard from readers who are concerned that perhaps their partner will not be waiting for them on the other side, and may not be with them in spirit.

Of course, I do not have God’s infinite vision nor God’s infinite wisdom. It’s not for me to say whether a particular couple will be together in heaven. The most I can say for sure is that couples who love one another will meet on the other side, and can then continue their relationship forever if that’s what they want.

And it will be even better than it was before.

For most people whose partner has moved on to the spiritual world, any assurance that their relationship will continue forever must come from within, and from the relationship itself. Let’s take a look at one reader’s questions about this.

For more on partners in heaven, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, The Afterlife

The Right and Left Agree: The Bible Oughta Be Banned!

Recently seen on Yahoo!Life:

Viral photo of near-empty library shelves sends powerful message: ‘We removed every book with content that could offend someone’

The article begins:

Efforts to ban books at school libraries — particularly those telling the stories of LGBTQ youth — have been in overdrive recently. And now a Facebook post on the topic has gone viral.

Near-empty library shelves - Pflugerville, Texas, Public Library demonstrationThe pair of side-by-side photos, shared by Pflugerville Public Library in Texas, aims to provide a visual of what library shelves might look like if everything containing subject matter that could cause someone discomfort was to be removed.

“This is a before and after shot of what a single shelving unit in the library’s Teen Space would look like if we removed every book with content that could offend someone,” the caption begins. “Out of 159 books, there are ten left on the shelves. We removed books that contained profanity, teen drinking, religious content, racism, magic, abuse, sexual content, and more. But in taking away those books, we also removed examples of friendship, love, courage, creativity, faith, forgiveness, reality, resilience, humor, and history.”

Just for the record, Annette and I strongly oppose censorship, no matter what the motivation for it might be. And it occurs to us: by the standards of both the right and the left, the Bible should definitely be banned!
For more on banning the Bible, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Current Events, The Bible Re-Viewed

Marriage in Heaven: A Response to Tom Wenig

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Deeply Wounded:

Hi Lee, it’s me again. I am still struggling with how I am single and alone. I saw this article and found it ludicrous. I also cringed because it claims that sin permanently altered marriage, which was originally going to be permanent but now will end because of sin. Would love it if you would respond to this and help heal my deep wounds, if you’ve got some extra time on your hands:

I long for marriage and intimacy and a husband so bad. If this article were true, then I should be extra angry at Adam and Eve for taking away my opportunity to be together forever with my soulmate.


Deeply Wounded

Hi Deeply Wounded,

When people have wrong doctrine in their head, it clouds their vision. In the very first sentence of the article you linked, Pastor Tom Wenig gets Jesus’ words about marriage in the resurrection wrong. And it all goes downhill from there.

Let’s take a closer look. Along the way, perhaps we can exorcise a few more of the false “Christian” demons that have been tormenting you for so long.
For more on reading the Bible rightly and wrongly, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, The Afterlife

Swedenborg’s Solution to the Fermi Paradox

Aliens“Where is everybody?”

That is the question physicist Enrico Fermi asked several of his fellow physicists over lunch one summer day in 1950. And that’s how the Fermi paradox got its name.

What is the Fermi paradox?

Here’s the short version: There should be intelligent life on other planets. But so far, we haven’t found credible evidence of any civilization other than the one here on Earth. Why not?

We now know that in our galaxy alone, there are over one hundred billion stars. We think that most of them have planets. We know that intelligent life is possible, because it exists on our planet. Even if only a small percentage of stars have habitable planets, intelligent life could have developed on millions of other planets in our galaxy. (The Drake Equation is one tool for making such estimates.)

Since most stars are billions of years older than our sun (which is about 4.5 billion years old), some of those intelligent beings would have had billions of years to develop technology far beyond what we earthlings have achieved since we first started on a technological path a few thousand years ago.

By now, there should be spaceships zipping all over the universe! Aliens should be exploring every corner of the galaxy, as portrayed in popular science fiction series such as Star Trek and Star Wars.

And yet, there is no scientifically sound evidence that alien civilizations have ever visited our planet, nor have we been able to detect any signals or other evidence for the existence of any intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe.

So where is everybody?

Many answers have been suggested to the thorny question raised by the Fermi paradox. Most conclude that intelligent life on other planets is very rare, and maybe even unique to Earth.

A common assumption in these answers is that other intelligent species would naturally follow the scientific and technological path that we humans on Earth have followed. Any cultures that didn’t develop advanced technology would be primitive, and far below our level of development.

Swedenborg had a different view.

For more on Swedenborg and the Fermi paradox, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Science Philosophy and History

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine the Mark of the Beast?

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Ray:

Is the COVID-19 vaccine the mark of the beast? I’ve heard some disturbing things like people saying they can’t feel God anymore and that their soul is dead. Also the Great Reset sounds like the end times. You should research it and do an article on it.

Thanks for the question, Ray. A reader named Kristen recently asked the same question. I guess it’s time to answer it! And the short answer is:

covid19_vaccineNo the COVID-19 vaccine is not the mark of the beast.

That idea is the latest incarnation of decades-old conspiracy theories that just won’t die, no matter how baseless they are.

These conspiracy theories are themselves a type of intellectual virus. They are false and destructive ideas that eat away at people’s minds, morphing and adapting to every new scare that sweeps around the world via the Internet. If some people feel that after they get vaccinated, they can’t feel God anymore and their soul is dead, that feeling is not caused by the vaccine. It is caused by the conspiracy theory virus that has infected their mind.

As for the Great Reset, it sounds like more of the same vague and grandiose proclamations that the wealthy elite are always broadcasting in public while privately they go about the business of doing what they really care about: becoming wealthier and more elite.

Back to the main question, the mark of the beast mentioned in the book Revelation is not a physical mark. Revelation is a prophetic and symbolic book. It is talking about spiritual events, not earthly events. See:

Is the World Coming to an End? What about the Second Coming?

Now let’s take a closer look at the mark of the beast, what it is, and what it isn’t.

For more on the mark of the beast, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Current Events, The Bible Re-Viewed

Hate Speech Says More About the Hater than the Hated

Hate Speech“You’re a baby!”

“I know you are, but what am I?”

“You’re stupid!”

“I know you are, but what am I?”

“You’re a jerk!”

“I know you are, but what am I?”

Not exactly an adult conversation. But there’s a certain wisdom in that old schoolyard comeback. Calling someone a baby is a babyish thing to do. Calling someone stupid is not the smartest thing to do. Calling someone a jerk is a jerky thing to do.

People who insult other people and call them names are saying more about themselves than they are about the ones they are attacking.

Hate speech is wrong, hurtful, immoral, and sometimes illegal—especially if it encourages violence against particular groups or individuals. People who engage in hate speech should stop it.

But if we step back and look at it from a coolly rational perspective, people who engage in insults and hate speech are giving us information about their own character.

For more on hate speech as information, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Current Events

The Christian Church is Coming to an End

The previous article, “The Christian Church is Not Christian,” spoke of the doctrinal destruction of the Christian church. Over the centuries, the Christian church has adopted human-invented beliefs that ignore, reject, and deny the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. That church is therefore Christian in name only. Christians follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

And that church is coming to an end.

It is coming to an end not only because its key teachings are unbiblical and false, but because over the centuries its actions have been diametrically opposed to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. History itself tells us that century after century, the false doctrines of the corrupted Christian church have justified and supported the most horrendous and unchristian behavior imaginable on the part of that institution and its people.

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, by François Dubois

St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, by François Dubois

These unfortunate realities, and the question of what comes next in the spiritual journey of humankind, were the subject of a recent email exchange with a reader named Radko. This post is built around two emails in that exchange.

It is not only the traditional Christian church’s words that are wrong and must be rejected, but also its actions over so many centuries. The reform it has engaged in more recently, under pressure from the outside world, is too little, too late. The Christian church as it has existed up to now is coming to an end. And it must come to an end so that true Christianity, as originally taught by Jesus Christ, can take root in our world.

For more on the end of the Christian Church, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Science Philosophy and History

The Christian Church is Not Christian

The Holy Bible

The Christian Church is not Christian

There, I’ve said it.

And it needs to be said.

Religions and churches are distinguished from each other primarily by their beliefs, and by the way their adherents live as guided by those beliefs. Most religions get their beliefs from their sacred literature, and from their great spiritual leaders and teachers.

Hinduism follows the Vedas, particularly the Upanishads.

Buddhism follows the teachings of Gautama Buddha.

Judaism follows the teachings of the books of Moses and the rest of the Hebrew Bible, as interpreted and expanded by many rabbinic teachers over the centuries.

Islam follows the teachings in the Qur’an, as delivered by its great prophet, Muhammad.

And Christianity follows the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Gospels, and of the Bible as a whole.

Only it doesn’t.

None of the key teachings of the vast bulk of Christian churches are taught anywhere in the Bible. Jesus Christ himself did not teach any of the beliefs that these churches have set up as their primary, distinguishing doctrines.

Are some of their members Christians? Certainly, if they live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

But the churches themselves are not Christian. They have long since abandoned the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible in favor of doctrines that human theologians and councils have invented over the centuries.

Let’s look at some of the major non-Christian teachings that are at the center of these “Christian” churches.

For more on Christianity not being Christian, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, The Bible Re-Viewed
Lee & Annette Woofenden

Lee & Annette Woofenden

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