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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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Apocalypse Explained 809, 893, 895

Other New Christian Commentary

Patience 1


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

From Swedenborg's Works

Apocalypse Explained #204

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)

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204. These things saith he that is holy, he that is true. That this signifies from whom is that faith is evident from the signification of holy and true, when said of the Lord, as denoting that charity and faith are from Him, the term holy being used in reference to charity, and the term true, to faith. That the Lord is called holy because charity is from Him, and hence, that holiness in the Word is said of charity and of faith therefrom, will be seen presently. But that the Lord is called true because faith is from Him, and that hence truth in the Word is spoken of faith, is because all truth has reference to faith: for that is said to be true which is believed; other things have not reference to faith, because they are not believed. But as the subject now treated of is the faith of charity, something shall first be said concerning faith and its quality.

(References: Revelation 3:7)


[2] There is spiritual faith, and there is merely natural faith. Spiritual faith is wholly from charity, and in its essence is charity. Charity, or love towards the neighbour, is to love what is true, sincere and just, and, from the will, to act accordingly. For the neighbour, in the spiritual sense, is not any particular man, but is that which is in man; if this is what is true, sincere and just, and a man be loved from these, then the neighbour is loved. That this is meant by charity in the spiritual sense, any one may know if he will but reflect; for every one loves another, not for the sake of his person, but for the sake of that which is in him; this is the source of all friendship, favour and honour.

From this it follows, that to love men for the sake of what is true, sincere and just in them, is spiritual love; for truth, sincerity and justice are spiritual things, because they are out of heaven from the Lord. No one thinks, wills and does anything good, which is good in itself, but everything is from the Lord; and truth, sincerity and justice are the goods which are essentially good when from the Lord. These things, now, are the neighbour in the spiritual sense; it is therefore clear what is meant in that sense by love towards the neighbour, or charity. This is the source of spiritual faith; for whatever is loved is said to be true when it is thought of. That this is the case every one may know if he but reflects; for every one confirms what he loves by many things in his thought, and all these he calls truths; no one has any truth but from this source: it therefore follows that, according to the quality of a man's love, such are his truths; consequently, if that love is spiritual, so also will be the truths, because they act in unity with the love. All truths in the aggregate, because they are believed, are called faith; hence it is clear, that spiritual faith in its essence is charity.

[3] So far concerning spiritual faith; but faith merely natural is not the faith of the church, although it is called faith; but is mere knowledge (scientia). The reason of this is, that it proceeds not from love towards the neighbour, or charity, which is the very spiritual itself whence faith is derived, but from some natural love which has reference either to the love of self or of the world; and whatever proceeds from these loves is natural. Love forms man's spirit, for a man as to his spirit is entirely his love, as it were: hence he thinks, wills and acts; therefore no other truth constitutes his faith but that which comes from his love; and truth which belongs to the love of self or of the world is merely natural, because it comes from man and from the world, and not from the Lord and out of heaven; for he loves truth, not for its own sake, but for the sake of honour, gain and reputation, to which it is subservient; and because his truth is of such a quality, such also is his faith. This is why such faith is not the faith of the truth of the church, or faith in a spiritual sense, but in a natural sense, which is knowledge (scientia): therefore also, because nothing thereof is in man's spirit, but only in his memory, together with other worldly things, it is dissipated after death. For that alone remains with a man after death that belongs to his love; for, as has been said, love forms man's spirit, and man as to his spirit is entirely such as his love is. Other things concerning charity and faith therefrom, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, where charity and faith are treated of (n. 84-106, and n. 108-122); also in the small work, The Last Judgment (n. 33-39), where it is shown that there is no faith where there is no charity.

(References: The Last Judgment 33-39; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 84-106, 108-122)


[4] That the term holy in the Word is used in reference to Divine truth, and hence to charity and its faith, is evident from the passages where it is used. There are two things that proceed from the Lord and are received by the angels - Divine good and Divine truth; these proceed unitedly from the Lord, but are received by the angels variously; some receive Divine good more than Divine truth, and some receive Divine truth more than Divine good. The former constitute the celestial kingdom of the Lord, and are called celestial angels, and, in the Word, they are called the just; but the latter constitute the spiritual kingdom of the Lord, and are called spiritual angels, and in the Word holy (concerning those two kingdoms and the angels thereof, see the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 20-28). This is why by just and justice in the Word is meant Divine good and what thence proceeds, and by holy and holiness is meant Divine truth and what thence proceeds.

From these considerations it will be seen what is meant in the Word by being justified, and what by being sanctified, as in the Apocalypse:

"He that is just let him be just still, and he that is holy let him be holy still" (xxii. 11).

And in Luke:

"To serve him in holiness and justice" (i. 74).

(References: Heaven and Hell 20-28; Luke 1:74-75; Revelation 22:11)


[5] Because Divine truth proceeding from the Lord is meant by holy, therefore in the Word the Lord is called the Holy One, the Holy One of God, the Holy One of Israel, the Holy One of Jacob; and therefore, also, angels are called holy, and also prophets and apostles; hence also Jerusalem is called holy. That the Lord is called the Holy One, the Holy One of God, the Holy One of Israel and the Holy One of Jacob, may be seen in Isa. xxix. 23; xxxi. 1; xl. 25; xli. 14, 16; xliii. 3; xlix. 7; Dan. iv. 13; ix. 24; Mark i. 24; Luke iv. 34. He is also called King of saints in the Apocalypse:

"Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints" (xv. 3).

The reason why the Lord is called the Holy One, the Holy One of God, the Holy One of Israel and the Holy One of Jacob, is, because He alone and none else is holy, which is also declared in the Apocalypse:

"Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy" (xv. 4).

(References: Daniel 4:13, 9:24; Isaiah 29:23, 31:1, 40:25, 41:14, 41:16, 43:3, Isaiah 49:7; Luke 4:34; Mark 1:24; Revelation 15:3, Revelation 15:4)


[6] The reason why angels, prophets and apostles are called holy is, that by them, in the spiritual sense, is meant Divine truth; and the reason why Jerusalem is called the holy city is, that by that city, in the spiritual sense, is meant the church as to the doctrine of truth. That angels are in the Word called holy, may be seen in Matt. xxv. 31; Mark viii. 38; Luke ix. 26. That prophets are called holy, may be seen, Mark vi. 20; Luke i. 70; Apoc. xviii. 20. That the apostles are called holy, may be seen, Apoc. xviii. 20. And that Jerusalem is called the holy city, may be seen, Isa. xlviii. 2; lxvi. 20, 22; Dan. ix. 24; Matt. xxvii. 53; Apoc. xxi. 2, 10. (That by angels in the Word is meant Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, may be seen above, 130, 200; that the same is signified by prophets, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia, n. 2534, 7269; as also by the apostles, see above, n. 100; that by Jerusalem in the Word is meant the church as to the doctrine of truth, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 6.)

From these considerations it is evident why the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord is called the Spirit of truth, and the Holy Spirit, as may be seen above (n. 183), also why heaven is called the habitation of holiness (Isa. lxiii. 15; Deut. xxvi. 15), and why the church is called the sanctuary (Jer. xvii. 12; Lam. ii. 7; Ps. lxviii. 35).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2534, Arcana Coelestia 7269; Daniel 9:24; Deuteronomy 26:15; Isaiah 48:2, Isaiah 63:15, 66:20, 66:22; Jeremiah 17:12; Lamentations 2:7; Luke 1:70, Luke 9:26; Mark 6:20, 8:38; Matthew 25:31, 27:53; Psalms 68:35; Revelation 18:20, 21:2, 21:10; The Apocalypse Explained 100, 130, 183, 200; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 6)


[7] That holiness is said of Divine truth, is clear in the following passages. In John:

Jesus, when praying, said, "Father, sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified in the truth (xvii. 17, 19).

Here to be sanctified is clearly said of Divine truth, and sanctified of those who receive Divine truth from the Lord. In Moses:

"Jehovah came from Sinai, out of the myriads of holiness; from his right hand they had the fire of the law; even he who loveth the people, in thy hand are all his saints, and they are prostrated at thy foot; he shall receive of thy words" (Deut. xxxiii. 2, 3).

Sinai signifies heaven, where the Lord is, from whom proceeds Divine truth, or from whom comes the law, both in a limited and a general sense; myriads of holiness signify Divine truths; the law signifies, in a limited sense, the ten precepts of the Decalogue, and in a general sense, the whole Word, which is Divine truth. Those are called peoples in the Word who are in truths, and those of the people who are in truths are called holy. By they are prostrated at thy foot, he shall receive of thy words, is meant holy reception of Divine truth in ultimates, which is the Word in the sense of the letter, and instruction therefrom.

From these considerations it can be known what the particulars in that prophecy signify in the spiritual sense. (That Sinai in the Word signifies heaven, where the Lord is, from whom is Divine truth, or from whom is the law, both in a limited and a general sense, Arcana Coelestia, n. 8399, 8753, 8793, 8805, 9420. That the law signifies, in a limited sense, the ten precepts of the Decalogue, and, in a general sense, the whole Word, n. 2606, 3382, 6752, 7463. That those who are in truths are called peoples, and nations those who are in goods, n. 1259, 1260, 2928, 3295, 3581, 6451, 6465, 7207, 10,288. That foot, a place for the feet, and footstool, when said of the Lord, signify Divine truth in ultimates, thus the Word in the letter, n. 9406.) Hence it is clear that by myriads of holiness are meant Divine truths, and that those who are in Divine truths are called holy.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1259-1260, Arcana Coelestia 2606, 2928, 3295, 3382, 3581, Arcana Coelestia 6451, 6465, 6752, 7207, Arcana Coelestia 7463, 8399, 8753, 8793, 8805, 9406, 9420, Arcana Coelestia 10288; Deuteronomy 33:2-3; John 17:17, 17:19)


[8] Again, in Moses:

"Speak unto the whole assembly of the sons of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy, for I Jehovah of Israel am holy" (Lev. xix. 2).

The subject treated of in that chapter is the statutes, judgments and precepts that were to be observed; and because Divine truths are thereby signified, it is therefore commanded that they should be holy. By Israel is also signified the spiritual church, or the church which is in Divine truths, and therefore it is said, I Jehovah of Israel am holy.

In Moses:

"Ye shall sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy. And ye shall keep my statutes that ye may do them" (Lev. xx. 7, 8).

The subject here treated of is also the statutes, judgments and precepts which were to be observed. Again:

"If they keep my statutes and judgments, they shall be a people holy to Jehovah" (Deut. xxvi. 17, 19).

In David:

"We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, with the holiness of thy temple" (Ps. lxv. 4).

Here they are said to be satisfied with the goodness of the house of Jehovah, and with the holiness of His temple, because the house of God, in the highest sense, signifies the Lord as to Divine good, and temple as to Divine truth (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 3720). In Zechariah:

"In that day there shall be upon the bells of the horses holiness unto Jehovah" (xiv. 20).

The establishment of a new church is there treated of, and by the bells of the horses are signified scientific truths (scientifica vera) from the Intellectual. (That bells signify scientific truths may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 9921, 9926; and that a horse signifies the Intellectual, may be seen in the small work. The White Horse, n. 1-4.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3720, Arcana Coelestia 9921, 9926; Deuteronomy 26:16-19, Deuteronomy 26:17, 26:19; Leviticus 19:2, 20:7-8; Psalms 65:4; The White Horse 1-4; Zechariah 14:20)


[9] From these considerations it is evident what was represented and signified by it being commanded,

That upon the mitre, which was upon the head of Aaron, should be placed a plate of pure gold, upon which was engraved "holiness to Jehovah" (Exod. xxviii. 36-38; xxxix. 30, 31);

for the mitre signified wisdom, which pertains to Divine truth (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 9827, 9949). It may also be known what is signified and represented

By Aaron and his sons, their garments, the altar, the tabernacle, with everything pertaining thereto, being anointed with oil, and that thus "they should be sanctified" (Exod. xxix. 1-36; xxx. 22, 24-30; Lev. viii. 1 to the end).

For oil signified the Divine good of the Divine love, and sanctification the proceeding Divine; for it is the Divine good which sanctifies, and the Divine truth is that which is thence holy.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9827, Arcana Coelestia 9949; Exodus 28:36-38, 29:1-36, 30:22, 30:22-30, 30:24-30, 39:30-31; Leviticus 8)


[10] That the word holy is used of charity, is evident from what was said above concerning the angels of heaven, namely, that there are some of them who receive more Divine good than Divine truth, and that there are others who receive more Divine truth than Divine good: the former constitute the celestial kingdom of the Lord, and are those who are in love to the Lord, and because they are in love to the Lord, they are called just; but the latter constitute the spiritual kingdom of the Lord, and are those who are in charity towards the neighbour, and on that account are called holy. (That there are two loves which constitute heaven - love to the Lord, and love towards the neighbour, or charity, and that the heavens are thence distinguished into two kingdoms, a celestial kingdom and a spiritual kingdom, may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 13-19 and n. 20-28.)

(References: Deuteronomy 26:17, Deuteronomy 26:19; Heaven and Hell 13-19, 20-28; Revelation 3:7, Revelation 15:3-4)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 202, 205, 227, 228, 285, 316, 325, 326, 340, 391, 401, 458, 493, 632, 644, 695, 700, 802, 813, 893, 941, 972, 973, 975, 1193, 1223

Other New Christian Commentary

Holy and true 1

Sanctification 1

Turban 1


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


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