261 - Daily and Yearly Preparation for Heaven      

By Jonathan Rose

This video is a part of the Spirit and Life Bible Study series, whose purpose is to look at the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible through a Swedenborgian lens.

Title: Daily and Yearly Preparation for Heaven

Topic: Salvation

Summary: The daily sacrifices, weekly sabbaths, and three annual feasts prescribed in the Old Testament are a picture of how to prepare for heaven.

Use the reference links below to follow along in the Bible as you watch.

2 Peter 2:22, 10
Numbers 28:1
Exodus 23:14, 17
Leviticus 23:1, 5, 10, 33
Deuteronomy 16:1, 9, 13-14
Luke 6:1
Acts of the Apostles 2:1; 20:16
Nehemiah 8:13-14
Ezekiel 45:21, 25
Zechariah 14:16
John 7:2, 37

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Spirit and Life Bible Study broadcast from 5/4/2016. The complete series is available at:

The Bible


2 Peter 2:10

King James Version         

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10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

True Christian Religion 327

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Arcana Coelestia #9296

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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9296. 'And the feast of ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in [the fruit of] your labours from the field' means the worship of a thankful mind on account of the implanting of good after that, and so on account of regeneration and complete deliverance from damnation. This is clear from the meaning of 'the feast' as worship of the Lord and thanksgiving, dealt with above in 9286, 9287, 9294, and so the worship of a thankful mind; from the meaning of 'ingathering', when speaking of the implanting of truth in good, as the implanting of good itself; from the meaning of 'the end of the year' as the end of labours; and from the meaning of 'when you have gathered in [the fruit of] your labours from the field' as the enjoyment and use of all that has been planted in good. For not only products of the field are meant by 'labours' but also those of the vineyard and the olive-grove, so that the fruits of the earth are meant, as is evident from the description of this feast in Moses,

You shall celebrate the feast of tabernacles seven days, when you gather in from your threshing-floor, and from your winepress. And Jehovah your God will bless you in all your produce, and in all the labour of your hands. Deuteronomy 16:13, 15.

And elsewhere,

On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the earth, you shall keep the feast of Jehovah seven days. Leviticus 23:39.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9286-9287)

[2] Since this feast means worshipping the Lord with a thankful mind on account of the implanting of good, and so on account of complete deliverance from damnation, what the implanting of good is must first be explained here. It has been shown in various places already that a person has two powers of life - the understanding and the will - and that the understanding is dedicated to receiving truth and the will to receiving good. For there are two realities to which all things throughout creation, both in heaven and in the world, have connection, namely truth and good. From this it is also evident that these two realities compose a person's life, that the truth of faith and the good of charity compose his new life, and that unless they have both been implanted in the person he has no new life. In what way the truth of faith is sown and implanted in a person is well known in the Church, but in what way the good of charity is, is not as yet so well known. When a person is a young child he receives good from the Lord, that good being the good of innocence as it exists with young children. This good composes the first beginnings of a new will with a person, and it develops in the next period of life in the measure that he leads an innocent life among those of his own age, behaves properly in life and does what he is told by parents and teachers. It develops more fully however with those who subsequently allow themselves to be regenerated. This the Lord foresees, and according to the state of their subsequent life He makes provision for it. For in every present moment the Lord foresees what is bad and provides what is good; He does so from the moment the person is conceived even into eternity. At a later stage, when the person has grown up and starts to think from self, then to the extent that he is carried away by the delights of self-love and love of the world that new will, that is, first beginnings of a new will, is closed, and to the extent that he is not carried away by those delights it is opened and also perfected.

[3] But in what way it is perfected through the implanting of truth must be stated next. That new will, which is formed from the good of innocence, is the dwelling-place by means of which the Lord comes in and resides with a person, rousing the person to will what is good, and from willing good to doing it. This influx is effective with a person to the extent that he refrains from evils. It gives him the ability to know, see into, reflect on, and have an understanding of truths and forms of good. The truths and forms of good occur on the level of both private and public life, and he receives that ability according to his delight in service. After this the Lord flows by way of that good into the truths the person knows from the teachings of the Church; He then summons from his memory the kinds of truths that may help him serve usefully in life, implanting those truths in the good and perfecting it. So it is that the good present with a person depends entirely on his service in life. If that service is rendered for his neighbour's benefit, that is, for the good of fellow-citizen, country, Church, heaven, and for the Lord, then that good is the good of charity. But if his service in life is rendered solely for the sake of self and the world, then those first beginnings of a new will are closed. Below them a will is formed from the evils of self-love and love of the world, and arising from this an understanding from falsities. This will is closed above and open below, that is, it is closed in heaven's direction and open in the world's. All this shows in what way truths are planted in good and give it form. It also shows that when a person is governed by good he is in heaven with the Lord; for as stated above, the new will, where the good of charity resides, is the Lord's dwelling-place and is therefore heaven with a person. And the new understanding extending from it is so to speak a tabernacle or booth through which people pass in and out.

[4] These kinds of things in general and in particular were represented by this feast, which was a feast of ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and was called the feast of tabernacles. The establishment of this feast, spoken of in Moses as follows, shows that this is so,

On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the earth, you shall keep the feast of Jehovah seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day a sabbath. And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of a fine tree, 1 fronds of palm trees, and the bough of a thick tree, and willows of the powerful stream; and you shall be glad before Jehovah your God seven days. You shall dwell in tabernacles seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in tabernacles, that your generations may know that I caused the children of Israel to dwell in tabernacles when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. Leviticus 23:39-44.

And elsewhere,

You shall celebrate the feast of tabernacles seven days, when you gather in from your threshing-floor, and from your press. You shall be glad in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male slave and your female slave and the Levite and the sojourner and the orphan and the widow who are within your gates. And you will be altogether glad. Deuteronomy 16:13-15.

(References: Deuteronomy 16:13-16; Leviticus 23:39-43)

[5] The state when good has been implanted by the Lord through truth, thus the state when heaven resides with a person, was represented by this feast. This is evident from the internal sense of all that is mentioned in these passages, which is this: The fifteenth day of the seventh month means the end of the former state and the beginning of a new state. (That this is the meaning of the fifteenth, see 8400, and also of the seventh, 728, 6508, 8976, 9228.) The fruit of the earth, which had been gathered in by then, means the good of charity, 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847, 3146, 7690, 7692. Gathering in from the threshing-floor and from the press has a similar meaning. For grain, which is a product of the threshing-floor, is the good of truth, 5295, 5410; wine, which is a product of the press, is truth derived from good, 6377; and oil, which is also a product of the press, is good which is a source of truth, 886, 3728, 4582, 4638. A sabbath on the first day and a sabbath on the eighth day mean the joining of truth to good, and in a reciprocal manner the joining of good to truth, the sabbath meaning truth and good joined together, 8495, 8510, 8890, 8893, 9274. The reason why the eighth day too was called a sabbath is that eighth meant the beginning of a new state, 2044, 8400 (end).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2846-2847)

[6] The fruit of a fine tree which they were to take on the first day meant festivity and joy because good had been implanted, which is why the words you shall be glad before Jehovah follow; fronds of palm trees meant internal truths of that good, 8369; the bough of a thick (or tangled) tree meant relatively external truths of good, or known facts, 2831, 8133; and willows of the powerful stream meant rather more external truths, which belong to impressions received by the bodily senses. The tabernacles in which they were to dwell seven days means the holiness of love received from the Lord and offered in return to the Lord, 414, 1102, 2145, 2152, 3312, 3391, 4391, 4599, also the holiness of union, 8666. Native Israelites means those governed by the good of charity, and therefore also means - in the abstract sense - that good, 3654, 4598, 5801, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833, 6426, 7957. The rejoicing of all at that time meant the joy such as that felt by those who are governed by good received from the Lord, thus such as that felt by those in heaven. For one who is governed by the good of charity received from the Lord is in heaven with the Lord. These are the things on account of which that feast was established.


1. literally, a tree of honour


(References: Deuteronomy 16:13-16; Exodus 23:16)

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9297, 9334, 9596, 10671

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 186

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 946

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