The Lord’s Prayer
The Coming of the Son of Man with Power
Matthew 24:30. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then all the tribes of the earth shall wail, and shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory.
AC 4060:7. [This] signifies that the Word will then be revealed as to its internal sense, in which the Lord is; the “Son of man” is the Divine truth in it.... The “cloud” is the literal sense; “power” is said of the good, and “glory” of the truth in it.
AC 2694:3. Take those people who attribute everything to their own prudence, and little or nothing to Divine Providence. Even if thousands of reasons were produced to prove that Divine Providence is universal, and universal because it exists in every least thing, and that not even a hair falls from the head—that is, nothing however small exists that has not been foreseen and that has not been provided accordingly—their state of thought regarding their own prudence would remain unaltered, except for the brief moment when they feel convinced by such arguments. Indeed, if the same matter were proved to them by actual experiences, they would acknowledge the truth of it while witnessing or taking part in such experiences, but after a short while they would revert to their previous outlook.
Such experiences have a fleeting effect on people’s thought but not on their affection, and unless the affection is broken down, the thought remains in its same state as before; for the thought receives its conviction and its life from the affection. But when feelings of distress and grief enter into them because they have no power at all that is their own to do anything, and those feelings reach the point of despair, their firm persuasion is broken down and their state altered. In this case they can be brought to a conviction that they have no power that is their own to do anything, and that all power, prudence, intelligence and wisdom are from the Lord.
DP 19. (8) That which is in good and also in truth is something; but that which is in evil and also in falsity is not anything.... Not being anything means to have no power and no spiritual life. Those who are in evil and at the same time in falsity—and all such are in hell—indeed have power among themselves; for one who is wicked can do evil, and does it in a thousand ways. Nevertheless, he can only do evil to the wicked from their evil, but cannot do the least evil to the good, except, as sometimes happens, by conjoining himself with their evil. This is the source of temptations, which are infestations by the evil who are with men, and consequent combats, by means of which the good can be freed from their evils.
As the evil have no power, so before the Lord the entire hell is not only as nothing, but in respect to power is absolutely nothing, as I have seen proved by abundant experience. And yet, what is surprising, the wicked all believe themselves to be powerful, while the good all believe themselves to be destitute of power. The reason is that the evil attribute all things to their own power, and thus to shrewdness and cunning, and attribute nothing to the Lord; while the good attribute nothing to their own prudence, but all things to the Lord, who is Almighty.
AE 79:2. Spiritual power is to will the good of another, and to will to convey to another as far as possible what is with oneself.
Questions and Comments
- Why is the Lord especially present in the internal sense of the Word with His power and glory?
- Have you had experience, in yourself or with others, of the truth that “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still,” and that we must come to a point of despair, from having no power to do anything, before we can truly believe in the Lord and His providence?
- Does it make sense to you that evil and falsity are nothing and have no power? Since this is true, why are we so often worried about evils we see in our country, our church, our families, and in ourselves?
- “The good attribute nothing to their own prudence, but all things to the Lord, who is Almighty” (DP 19:2). How does this teaching fit with the self-confidence that seems to be necessary to do a good job?
- What do we need to do to receive more spiritual power? Should this be one of the main things we pray for?