“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church
 

Week 1    Day 3

    Listen:

The First Commandment

Exodus 20

1 And God spoke all these words, saying,

2 I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servants.

Arcana Coelestia (Secrets of Heaven) 8861. And God spoke all these words, saying... This signifies Divine truths for those in the heavens and for those on earth...

AC 8862. ...The Ten Commandments, which are called the Decalogue, and the following statutes promulgated and commanded from Mount Sinai, are such truths as are not only for those who are on the earth, but also for those who are in the heavens; for all the words, that is, all the truths that are from the Lord, are not only for men but are also at the same time for the angels, since they come through heaven and thus pass over to earth. But in the heavens they do not sound as they do on the earth, for in the heavens they are in a spiritual form, but on the earth in a natural form.

AC 8864. I am Jehovah thy God. That this signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human, universally reigning in each and all things of good and truth, is evident from the fact that in the Word, no one else than the Lord is meant by “Jehovah” ....

AC 8864:2. That the Lord’s Divine Human is meant by “Jehovah God,” is because the Divine Itself which is in the Lord cannot be seen in heaven, and not even perceived, thus cannot be received in faith and love, but only the Divine Human. That the Divine Itself cannot be communicated to the angels in heaven, and still less to men on earth, except through the Divine Human, is known in the churches from the words of the Lord in the Evangelists [the Gospels], where He says that He is the “door,” that He is the “mediator,” that “no one can come to the Father but through Him,” that “no one knows the Father but He,” and that “no one has seen the Father,” not even any “shape” of Him. From this it is plain that it is the Lord who is here meant by “Jehovah God.”

That it is He also who redeemed the human race and liberated it from hell is likewise known. This is signified by the words which follow: “who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servants.” From all this it is now plain that Jehovah God who spoke from Mount Sinai is the Lord as to the Divine Human.

AC 8864:3. That this is the first thing which is said by the Lord from Mount Sinai is because this ought to reign universally in each and all things that follow; for what is said first must be kept in the memory in the things that follow, and must be regarded as the universal thing that is in them....

AC 8865. ...The Lord becomes regnant [or reigning] when one not only believes that all good and all truth are from Him, but also loves it to be so....

AC 8865:2. Be it further known that the kind of spirits or the kind of angels who are present with a person is determined by the nature of what reigns universally in him.... All the cheerfulness and all the contentment a man has, even when he is thinking about other things, are from it; for in it the angels and spirits who are with him dwell and as it were have their abode, and their gladness flows into the man, and causes his cheerfulness and content. That such is its source does not come to the perception of the man, because he does not know that his life flows in, nor that whatever is universally reigning makes his life....

AC 8866. Who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servants. That this signifies liberation by Him from hell, is evident from the meaning of “bringing forth,” as being liberation; from the meaning of “the land of Egypt,” as being infestations by the infernals... and from the meaning of “the house of servants,” as being spiritual captivity.... That “the house of servants” means spiritual captivity and also hell, is because it is slavery to be held captive and to be led by those who are in hell, and it is freedom to be led by the Lord....

Questions and Thoughts for Reflection
  1. How does thinking about the first commandment affect the way you say or think about the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer?
  2. The first thing in the Ten Commandments is that God spoke all these words, and that He is Jehovah our God. The first point in New Church doctrine is that “God is one, in whom is the Divine Trinity, and He is the Lord God the Savior, Jesus Christ.” How would life be different if instead we believed in three separate Persons as God?
  3. What are some clues to tell what is “universally reigning” in our life, that is, what is most important to us, what we care about more than anything else? How can we move more and more into letting the Lord God Jesus Christ reign over us?
  4. One of the first things Jehovah says about Himself is that He is the One who brought the sons of Israel out their slavery in Egypt, or in other words, that He is our Savior. Have you had experience of the Lord leading you out of slavery, a bondage that you could not escape from without His help? (Not that you have to talk about it; but it’s good to be thankful to the Savior.)
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