Commentary

 

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.

References:
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: www.spiritandlifebiblestudy.com

The Bible

 

Acts of the Apostles 20:16

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16 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 195, 9013


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 519, 581, 619

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  Stories and their meanings:


Bible Word Meanings

Asia
Asia, mentioned in 'Revelation 14', signifies those who from the Word are in the light of truth.

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #519

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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519. Verse 11. And the name of the star is called Wormwood, signifies truth mixed with the falsity of evil. This is evident from the signification of "name," as meaning what the state is, and what the thing is (see above, n. 148; from the signification of "star," here "a great star burning as a lamp," as being the truth of the Word falsified by self-love; and from the signification of "wormwood," as being truth mixed with the falsity of evil. This is signified by "wormwood" because of its bitterness, and bitterness springs from what is sweet mixed with the opposite unsweet; therefore "bitterness" like that of wormwood and gall means in the spiritual sense truth mixed with the falsity that is the opposite of truth, which is the falsity of evil; for savor and taste signify the affection of knowing and of becoming wise, therefore what is savory signifies the delightfulness and pleasantness of wisdom; and "delicacies," because they are savory, signify the truths of wisdom. (That this is from correspondence see Arcana Coelestia 3502, 3536, 3589, 4791-4805.) That "wormwood" and "gall" from their bitterness, signify truth mixed with the falsity of evil is evident also from what follows in this verse; for it is said that "many men died of the waters because they were made bitter," which signifies that through truths falsified all such perished in respect to spiritual life; for truths are what make the spiritual life, while falsities of evil extinguish it; and when truths are mixed with falsities of evil they are no longer true but falsified; and truths falsified are in themselves falsities.

(References: Revelation 8:11; The Apocalypse Explained 148)


[2] Such falsities were with the Jewish nation; but among the upright Gentiles they were falsities of another kind; these falsities are signified by the "vinegar," but the former by "the gall and wine mingled with myrrh," in the Gospels:

When they were come unto a place called Golgotha, they gave Jesus vinegar mingled with gall; but when He had tasted He would not drink. When He had been crucified, one of them running and taking a sponge and filling it with vinegar, and putting it on a reed gave Him to drink (Matthew 27:33-34, 48; Mark 15:23, 36).

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled said, I thirst. And there had been placed a vessel full of vinegar; and they filled a sponge and placed it upon hyssop and put it to His mouth. And when He had received the vinegar He said, It is finished (John 20:28-30).

Each and every thing that is related in the Gospels respecting the Lord's passion, signifies in the spiritual sense, the state of the church at that time in relation to the Lord and the Word; for the Lord was the Word because He was Divine truth; and as the Jews had treated the Word, or Divine truth, so they treated the Lord (respecting which see above, n. 64, 195). Their giving to the Lord "vinegar mingled with gall," which was also called "wine mingled with myrrh," signified the quality of the Divine truth from the Word with the Jewish nation, namely, that it was mingled with the falsity of evil, and thus altogether falsified and adulterated, therefore He would not drink it. But that afterwards "they gave the Lord vinegar in a sponge and placed it upon hyssop" signified the kind of falsity there was among the upright Gentiles, which was falsity from ignorance of the truth, in which there was something good and useful; because this falsity is accepted by the Lord He drank this vinegar; the "hyssop" upon which they placed it signifies the purification of the falsity; that the Lord said "I thirst," signifies Divine spiritual thirst, which is for Divine truth and good in the church, by which the human race is saved. (Respecting the falsity of evil, what it was with the Jewish nation, and the falsity of ignorance in which there is good, what this was with the upright Gentiles, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 21.)

(References: John 19:28-30; Matthew 27:34, Matthew 27:38; The Apocalypse Explained 64, The Apocalypse Explained 195)


[3] "Gall" and "vinegar" have a like signification in David:

They gave me gall for My food; and in my thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink. Let their table before them become a snare; and for retributions let there be a lure. Let their eyes be darkened that they see not; and make their loins continually to falter (Psalms 69:21-23).

Here "gall," "vinegar," and "thirst," have a similar signification as above, since this is said of the Lord; the "table that shall be to them for a snare," signifies going astray in respect to every truth of doctrine from the Word, for "table" has reference to all spiritual food, and spiritual food is everything of doctrine from the Word; the "eyes that will be darkened that they see not," signify the understanding of truth; the "loins that will be made to falter," signify the will of good, and its marriage with the understanding of truth; "loins" have the same signification in other parts of the Word.

[4] In Lamentations:

He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. Therefore I said, My victory hath perished, and my hope from Jehovah. Remember my misery and my lament, the wormwood and the hemlock (Lamentations 3:15, 18, 19).

This, too, is said of the Lord. That the Lord found nothing but falsities and falsified truths in the church that then existed among the Jews is signified by "He hath filled me with bitterness, and hath made me drunken with wormwood," "wormwood" meaning the falsity of evil mixed with truths, thus what is falsified; the Lord's combat with the hells, and His hopelessness of ever bringing back the Jewish nation to a reception and acknowledgment of truths is signified by "My victory hath perished, and my hope from Jehovah; remember my misery and my lament, the wormwood and the hemlock;" for the spirits who are in the falsities of evil and yet in truths from the sense of the letter of the Word make longer resistance before they are subjugated and cast down into hell, and for the reason that through truths they have communication with heaven, and this communication and consequent conjunction must be broken and removed before they are cast down; this involves despair as to victory, such as the Lord experienced upon the cross when He said "I thirst," and they gave Him vinegar.

(References: Lamentations 3:18-19)


[5] In Jeremiah:

Jehovah our God hath cut us off and hath given us waters of gall to drink (Jeremiah 8:14).

In the same:

Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and make them to drink waters of gall; and I will scatter them among the nations; and I will send the sword after them until I shall have consumed them (Jeremiah 9:15, 16).

In the same:

Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink waters of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem hypocrisy hath gone forth into all the land (Jeremiah 23:15).

This, too, is said of the Jewish nation, which in a thousand ways perverted the Word, falsified its truth, and adulterated its good; "wormwood" signifies the evil of falsity, and "waters of gall" the falsity of evil, both mixed with the truths and goods of the Word. That from themselves and from their heart they were in evils and falsities from evils is signified by "Jehovah will feed them with wormwood, and make them to drink waters of gall;" for evil and falsity are attributed to Jehovah, that is, to the Lord, as in many passages elsewhere, and yet they are of man himself; the reasons for this have often been given above. "The hypocrisy that went forth from the prophets of Jerusalem" signifies such mingling of falsity and truth, for they spoke truths while they taught falsities; they spoke truths when they spoke from the Word, and they taught falsities when they taught from themselves and their doctrine; their destruction by the evils of falsity and by the falsities of evil is signified by "I will scatter them among the nations, and I will send the sword after them;" "to scatter among the nations" signifying to destroy by the evils of falsity, and "to send the sword after them" signifying to destroy by the falsities of evil. (That "nations" signify evils see above, n. 175, 331; and that "sword" signifies the combat of truth against falsity, and the combat of falsity against truth, and its destruction, see also above, n. 131, 367.)

(References: Jeremiah 9:15-16; The Apocalypse Explained 131, The Apocalypse Explained 175, The Apocalypse Explained 331, 367)


[6] In Amos:

Behold, Jehovah will smite the great house with gaps and the little house with clefts. Shall horses run upon the rock? Shall one plow with oxen? For ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood (Amos 6:11, 12).

In the same:

They turn judgment into wormwood, and thrust down righteousness to the earth (Amos 5:7).

"Jehovah will smite the great house with gaps, and the little house with clefts," signifies much perversion and falsification of truth with the learned, and some with the unlearned, a "great house" signifying a learned man, and a "little house" an unlearned man; "gaps" signify truths destroyed by falsities, and "clefts" the same, but in a less degree; that the understanding of truth and the will of good are not possible where there is the falsity of evil, is signified by "Shall horses run upon the rock? Shall one plow with oxen?;" "horses running" meaning the understanding of truth, and "plowing with oxen" the will of good. That this is because truths were falsified and the goods of the Word were adulterated is signified by, "For ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood," "judgment" signifying the truth of the Word, and "the fruit of righteousness" its good.

(References: Amos 6:11-12)


[7] That the quality of the sons of Jacob, who were called Israelites and Jews, was such, is plainly declared by Moses in his song, in which they are described in these words:

Their vine is of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall, they have clusters of bitterness. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel gall of asps (Deuteronomy 32:32, 33).

"Vine" signifies the church, and this is said to be "of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah" because "Sodom" signifies all evils springing from the love of self, and "Gomorrah" all the falsities of those evils; "grapes" signify the goods of the church, and "clusters" the truths of the church. That instead of the goods of the church they had the worst evils and falsities mingled with truths is signified by "their grapes are grapes of gall, they have clusters of bitterness;" "wine" signifies the truth and good of faith; that this with them was external, in which was evil from the interior, is signified by "their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel gall of asps." (That the sons of Jacob were such, although there was a church among them, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 248.)

(References: Deuteronomy 32:32-33)


[8] That "gall" and "wormwood" signify evil and falsity mingled with good and truth, is further evident from these words in Moses:

Lest there be among you man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart looketh back this day from with Jehovah our God, to go to serve the gods of the nations; lest there be among you a root bearing gall and wormwood (Deuteronomy 29:18).

Here, too, "gall" and "wormwood" signify the mingling of good and truth with evil and falsity, which is done when other gods are worshiped with the heart, and Jehovah only with the lips; then the external sounds like good and appears like truth, but the internal is evil and falsity; and when the interiors are evils and falsities, and the exteriors are goods and truths, there is a mingling of the two, and then the good becomes gall, and the truth becomes wormwood. It is similar when man in his heart hates the neighbor and denies the truths of the church, and yet outwardly avows charity towards the neighbor and professes the truths of the church; there is then in him "a root bearing gall and wormwood," for he lets in evils and falsities from the interior, and mixes them with the goods and truths that he displays in the externals.

[9] In Job:

Though evil shall have been sweet in his mouth, though he shall have hidden it under his tongue; though he shall have spared it and not forsaken it but shall keep it within his mouth, his bread in his bowels shall be changed, it shall be the gall of asps in the midst of him; he hath swallowed riches and he shall vomit them up again, God shall cast them out of his belly. He shall suck the poison of asps, the viper's tongue shall slay him (Job 20:12-16).

Thus is described the hypocrisy from which man speaks things holy and stimulates good affections, while inwardly he denies and blasphemes. What is within is described by "he hides evil under his tongue, and keeps it within his mouth." That consequently good is infected with evil and is cast out, is signified by "his bread in his bowels shall be changed, it shall be the gall of asps in the midst;" "bread" meaning the good of love, "in the bowels" is inwardly, and "the gall of asps" means good mingled with evil. That truth also is cast out by falsity is signified by "he hath swallowed riches and he shall vomit them up again, God shall cast them out of his belly;" this falsity is meant by "the poison of asps."

(References: Acts of the Apostles 20:12-16)


[10] It is to be known that good and evil, and the truth of good and the falsity of evil, are mingled when evil and falsity are in man's spirit while good and truth are in the deeds and speech of his body. But what is in the spirit of man, that is, what is interior, acts into that which belongs to the body or what is exterior; for it flows in and causes the exterior, which appears to be good and true, nevertheless to be bitter like gall and wormwood, although before men it seems to be sweet. And because the good and truth of their mouth and speech are such, therefore when man after death becomes a spirit the good is separated from the evil and the falsity from the truth, and good and truth are taken away, and thus the spirit becomes his own evil and falsity. But it must be known that this mingling of good and evil and of truth and falsity is not the profanation of good and truth; profanation occurs only with those who have first received truth and good in heart and faith, and afterwards in heart and faith deny them.

(References: John 19:28-30; Matthew 27:34, Matthew 27:38)

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References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 515, 522, 653, 714


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


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