The Affirmative Principle

Does the Word have some sort of expiration date I didn’t know about? A ‘best used by’ but maybe could still be okay for a little bit after just not as good? Like food, does it become unhealthy to consume after a certain point?

Why would the Lord write something that would go out of date?

After the Lord’s first coming the Old Testament did not expire:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17

Even after the Lord’s second coming, the Old and New Testaments are not to be thrown out or disregarded. The Lord’s Word is never going to be unhealthy. If we are having an adverse reaction to it that is not because there is something wrong with the Word that needs to be changed. We can’t substitute gluten free doctrine just so we don’t react poorly to it. Of course we have sensitivities to the Word! It is not going to sit right with us, because we are not right!

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. Revelation 10:9

The only way to approach the Word is to assume that the Lord is telling us the truth. That He is not misleading us or gave us some kind of Where’s Waldo where we have to look through it for something we recognize.

There are therefore two principles; one of which leads to all folly and insanity, and the other to all intelligence and wisdom. The former principle is to deny all things, or to say in the heart that we cannot believe them until we are convinced by what we can apprehend, or perceive by the senses; this is the principle that leads to all folly and insanity, and is to be called the negative principle. The other principle is to affirm the things which are of doctrine from the Word, or to think and believe within ourselves that they are true because the Lord has said them: this is the principle that leads to all intelligence and wisdom, and is to be called the affirmative principle. Arcana Coelestia 2568:4

I’m not saying that understanding the Word is easy. But it’s easier if you assume that is is right. If you constantly have to be wondering if the Lord actually means what He says then it’s exhausting hard work. Just assume that He knows what He’s doing. AND He knew what He was doing a couple thousand years ago when He told people to write down His Word. Our problems aren’t new. He even knew (and knows) about every single thing we’re facing in 2018, and He wrote about it a long time ago. And it’s still active and living today.

There is no expiration date on the Truth.

About Alison Cole

Alison Cole likes to describe herself as “a freelance useful person”. There are all kinds of people and jobs out there, but she likes the freedom to drop everything when someone is in need and go off on adventures to help out with new babies or anything, especially when it's supporting marriages and family! When Alison is not off nannying, she likes to occupy her time with drawing, painting and writing!

4 thoughts on “The Affirmative Principle

  1. Thank you for this! This very morning I was trying to read in CL the chapter on polygamy and I said to my husband “why would Swedenborg write all this? and repeat so much of it?” and his response was quite similar to your message. Who am I to doubt the Lord?

  2. Thank you, Alison!
    When such a self-evident truth is pointed out, it makes me chuckle and nod with recognition and acknowledgment. Of course, it’s only self- evident if one already acknowledges the Divine authority of the Old and New Testaments and especially of the Heavenly Doctrines. Would that this was so throughout our church congregations and schools!

  3. ‘All folly and insanity’. Bold words, and not ambiguous. Thanks for the reminder!
    The part about how confusing, and exhausting it is to always be questioning what the Lord means in His Word reminded me of a humorous billboard I saw that said ‘What part of ‘Thou shalt not’ was difficult to understand?’

    The Lord isn’t trying to confuse or trip us up with arbitrary, hard to understand rules. He wants to bless us with order and its resulting happiness.

    The hells, on the other hand….

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