By Rev. Junchol Lee
We use a calendar that has 12 months and 365 days in it. As it nears December 31st, we feel as though something is getting close to an end, and yet on January 1st it feels like a new beginning. Our life is composed of many endings and beginnings. We may live one life, but within this one life we have many different journeys.
(References: Habakkuk 3:17)
639. 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'" This symbolizes a prediction by the Lord concerning the state of people after death who will belong to His New Church, namely that those who undergo temptations or trials because of their faith in the Lord and a life in accordance with His commandments will have eternal life and happiness.
To hear a voice speaking from heaven symbolizes a prediction by the Lord. It is a prediction about the state of people after death who will belong to His New Church, because that state is the subject in this verse. Those who die from now on symbolize their state after death. The injunction to write means symbolically that it be something to be remembered by people later (nos. 39, 63). The blessed symbolize people who have eternal life and happiness, since they are the people who are blessed. The dead symbolize people who have afflicted their soul, crucified their flesh, and undergone temptations or trials. That these are the people meant here by the dead will be seen below.
 Regarding those who have undergone temptations or trials because of their faith in the Lord and a life in accordance with His commandments, that they will have eternal life and happiness is apparent from the verse just preceding, which says, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus," which symbolically means that a New Church person will be examined through temptations or trials to discover his character as regards a life in accordance with the commandments and as regards faith in the Lord (see just above, no. 638). It is apparent also from the words following, that they will have rest from their labors, which means symbolically that those who undergo temptations or trials will have peace in the Lord, as explained just below in no. 640. Temptations or trials here mean spiritual temptations or trials, which occur in the case of people who have faith in the Lord and live in accordance with His commandments when they are driving away the evil spirits in them who ally themselves with their lusts. These temptations or trials are symbolically meant by a cross in the following passages:
Whoever does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (Matthew 10:38)
...Jesus said..., "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24, cf. Luke 9:23-25; 14:26-27)
And by crucifying the flesh in Galatians:
Those who are Christ's crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
 The dead symbolize people who have afflicted their soul, crucified their flesh, and undergone temptations or trials, because by so doing they have ended their previous life and so become as though dead in the eyes of the world. For the Lord said,
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. (John 12:24)
Nor are any others meant by the dead in John:
(Jesus said,) "as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will." (John 5:21)
Also in John:
(Jesus said,) "the hour is coming..., when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and... live." (John 5:25)
And also by the resurrection of the dead (Luke 14:14, Revelation 20:5, 12-13, and elsewhere). See no. 106 above.
And in the book of Psalms:
Precious in the sight of Jehovah is the death of His saints. (Psalms 116:15)
Moreover Jesus said,
Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39; 16:25, cf. Luke 9:24-25; 17:33, John 12:25)
(References: Matthew 10:38-39)