Apocalypse Explained # 978

By ემანუელ შვედენბორგი

შეისწავლეთ ეს პასაჟი.

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978. Verse 7 (Revelation 16:7). And I heard another out of the altar saying, signifies the preaching of the Lord's justice from His celestial kingdom. This is evident from the signification of "an angel out of the altar," as being the Lord's celestial kingdom; for the "altar" signifies the Lord as to the Divine good, thus also the heaven that is in the Divine good; that heaven or those heavens constitute the Lord's celestial kingdom. (That the "altar" signifies the Lord as to the Divine good may be seen in n. 391, 490, 915.) The angel speaking "out of the altar" signifies the Lord's celestial kingdom, because "the angel of the waters" speaking, described in the fifth verse, means the Lord's spiritual kingdom (See above, n. 971). As the Lord's justice is here preached from the heavens, and as the heavens consist of two kingdoms, namely, the spiritual and the celestial, therefore there is preaching from each kingdom; and one is meant by "the angel of the waters," and the other by "the angel of the altar."

(Continuation respecting the Fifth Commandment)

[2] Take merchants as an example: All their works are evil works so long as they do not regard as sins, and thus shun as sins illegitimate gains and unlawful usury, also fraud and craft; for such works cannot be done from the Lord, but are done from man himself. And the more expert they are in skillfully and artfully contriving devices from within for overreaching their companions the more evil are their works. And the more expert they are in bringing such devices into effect under the pretense of sincerity, justice, and piety, the more evil still are their works. The more delight a merchant feels in such things the more do his works have their origin in hell. But if he acts sincerely and justly in order to acquire reputation, and wealth through reputation, even so as to seem to act from a love of sincerity and justice, and yet does not act sincerely and justly from affection for the Divine law or from obedience to it, he is still inwardly insincere and unjust, and his works are thefts, for through a pretense of sincerity and justice he seeks to steal.

[3] That this is so becomes evident after death, when man acts from his interior will and love, and not from the exterior; for then he thinks about and devises nothing but sharp practices and robberies, and withdraws himself from those who are sincere, and betakes himself either to forests or deserts, where he devotes himself to stratagems. In a word, all such become robbers. But it is otherwise with merchants who shun as sins thefts of every kind, especially the more interior and hidden, which are effected by craft and deceit. All their works are good, because they are from the Lord; for the influx from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord, for accomplishing such works is not intercepted by the evils just mentioned. To these, riches do no harm, because to them riches are means for uses. Their tradings are the uses by which they serve their country and their fellow-citizens; and through their riches they are in a condition to perform those uses to which the affection of good leads them.

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.