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By what authority do You do these things?
1 And it came to pass on one of those days, as He taught the
people in the temple and brought good tidings1, the chief
priests and the scribes stood by with the elders,
AE 293. “Power [or authority]” here signifies salvation, because all Divine power looks to salvation as the end. For by Divine power man is reformed, and afterwards introduced into heaven, and there he is withheld from evil and falsity and held in good and truth; and only the Lord can make this happen....
Moreover, the Lord has power over all things because He alone is God; but the salvation of the human race is the principal object of power, since for the sake of it, the heavens and the worlds were created; and salvation is the reception of the proceeding Divine.
AC 10795. Priests must not claim for themselves any power [or authority] over the souls of men, because they do not know in what state are a man’s interiors; and still less must they claim for themselves the power of opening and closing heaven, because this power belongs to the Lord alone.
AC 7456:2. As regards the signification of “stoning,” be it known that there were two death penalties among the Israelites and Jews, with whom the representative of a church had been instituted, of which the one was stoning, and the other was hanging upon wood. Stoning was for anyone who desired to destroy the truths of worship that had been commanded, and hanging was for anyone who desired to destroy the good of life. That those were stoned who desired to destroy the truths of worship, was because a “stone” signified truth, and in the opposite sense falsity... and that those were hanged upon wood who desired to destroy the good of life, was because “wood” signified good, and in the opposite sense the evil of cupidities....
AC 7456:8. In Luke:
They concluded among themselves that if they were to say that the baptism of John was from heaven, He would say, Why did you not believe him? But if they said, From men, all the people would stone them (Luke 20:5-6); where also “stoning” is predicated of what is contrary to truth. The Jews desired to stone Jesus because He said that before Abraham was, He was (John 8:58, 59); and this was because that nation believed it to be false. It was the same when they desired to stone Jesus because He said that He and His Father are one (John 10:30- 33); for this they believed to be blasphemy, as is said there.
From all this it is now evident what “stoning” involves, and why it was commanded, and also that the penalty of stoning, being in Egypt from ancient times, had been derived from the representatives of the Ancient Church.
1 Or “preached the gospel”
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