Apocalypse Explained #813

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)

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813. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. This signifies that these are the things by means of which temptation takes place, and afterwards the implantation of truth from good among those who are made spiritual by the Lord, is evident from the signification of the patience of the saints, of which we shall speak presently; and from the signification of faith, as denoting the implantation of truth; and from the signification of saints, as denoting those who are in truths from good from the Lord (concerning which see above, n. 204). Thus those who are made spiritual by the Lord are meant; for man is made spiritual by means of truths from good.

The reason why faith signifies the implantation of truth is, that faith in man is truth acknowledged in the heart; for unless it is acknowledged in the heart it cannot be his own faith. This is why, in the Old Testament, faith is nowhere mentioned, but truth instead of it. Indeed, the ancients, among whom the church existed, had not the least notion that faith was anything else but truth. They said, indeed, that they believed in God; but they understood by this the knowledge and understanding of truths, and at the same time, the willing and doing of them, and this from the Lord. It is, therefore, evident that faith signifies the implantation of truth.

(References: Revelation 13:10; The Apocalypse Explained 204)

[2] The reason why the patience of the saints signifies the temptation of the faithful, or of those who are made spiritual by the Lord is, that patience signifies spiritual patience, which is patience in sustaining temptations. And those are in that patience who, in themselves, fight against the falsities that are contained in and adhere to the dogma of faith alone, confirmed by reasonings from the natural man, also from a sinister application, and thereby a falsification, of the Word. The temptations which they sustain while they fight against falsities, are meant by patience. The signification of patience in Luke is similar:

[3] "Ye shall be delivered up by parents, and brethren, and kindred, and friends; they shall also put some of you to death; yea, ye shall be hated of all, on account of my name; in your patience possess ye your souls" (xxi. 16, 17, 19).

These words are spoken of the last time of the church, when judgment takes place. The temptations which the faithful shall then undergo on account of truths, are described by being delivered up by fathers, brethren, kindred, and friends, and by being put to death; also by being hated on account of the Lord's name. By parents, brethren, kindred, and friends, are meant those who belong to the same church, but are in evils and falsities. That these will undergo temptations are meant by being delivered up to death and being hated. Hence now the preservation of the life of truth amongst falsities, is signified by possessing their souls in patience, the soul signifying the life of truth.

(References: Luke 21:16-17, 21:19)

[4] To the same purpose are these words:

"Those who are sowed in good land, are they who hear the Word in a simple and good heart, and retain it, and bring forth fruit in patience" (viii. 15).

To bring forth fruit in patience signifies to do truths and goods, although they live amongst falsities and evils, that is, amongst those who are in falsities and evils. The Lord's patience in temptations, of which He suffered the most grievous, is described in these words in Isaiah:

"He sustained exaction, and he was afflicted, yet as a lamb he opened not his mouth" (liii. 7).

To sustain exaction signifies temptations. To be afflicted signifies their grievousness. To open not His mouth signifies patience.

(References: Isaiah 53:7; Luke 8:15; Revelation 13:10)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 809, 893, 895

Other New Christian Commentary

Patience 1

Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.