Q Does the Bible have a deeper meaning?
a Yes! The Writings for the New Church reveal that there is a deeper meaning within every single part of the Word. Jesus told the disciples that He spoke to them in “figurative language” (John 16:25).
Q How does God communicate with me?
a The primary way the Lord communicates with us is in His Word, in the stories and teachings of the Old and New Testament. And in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, He has given us a new revelation that helps us see Him in a deeper way. When we go to His Word with the intention of seeing how it can help us love our neighbor better and love the Lord more, we are given insight into how it applies to our own lives.
Q How can I communicate with God?
a We can communicate with God daily by praying to Him. Sometimes it seems He does not answer our prayers —but the truth is that He gives us what we need most. In all spiritual prayer, we acknowledge that we do not know what is best for us, and we pray, “Your will be done,” as the Lord Himself did in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42). No matter the material outcome, when we pray from love for and faith in heavenly things, the Lord always responds by giving us “hope, consolation, and a certain inward joy” (Secrets of Heaven 2535).
Q Do I have to know Jesus?
a If we want to know God, we need to get to know Jesus, because He is God made visible. Heaven and Hell, a book of the Writings for the New Church, says, “Throughout all heaven, no one other than the Lord alone is acknowledged as the God of heaven” (n. 2). “The Lord” means Jesus. The Lord Himself said, “If God were your Father, you would love Me” (John 8:42).
However, a person is not condemned for ignorance. Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would have no sin” (John 9:41). Some people have never heard of Jesus, and others have rejected Him because they were given a false impression of who He is. These people can still love Him in their hearts, because they can still follow His commandments: to love God and to love others. The Lord said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:21). When a person like this is taught the truth that Jesus is God Himself, because He is the embodiment of Divine love and wisdom, he gladly accepts the Lord as God.
Q How does one reconcile the Trinity with one God?
a In John 16:25, Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language.” The things that He had just spoken to the disciples were statements about Himself and the Father. The Lord’s words about Himself and the Father are figurative. The reality is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all aspects of the Lord Jesus Christ—his soul, body and activity. When Philip asked the Lord to show him the Father, Jesus said, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus could not show Philip the Father in any other way than by showing him Himself. If a person said, “Show me your soul,” you might reply the same way Jesus did: “If you want to know my soul, get to know me.”
By Rev. Coleman Glenn, assistant to the pastor at the Olivet New Church in Toronto, www.olivetnewchurch.org, email email@example.com. .