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Apocalypse Explained #103

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103. And hast not failed, signifies so far as they could. This is evident from the signification of "not failing," in reference to those who are eager for the knowledges of truth and good, as being so far as they could; for in what now follows, a life according to these knowledges is treated of. Those who are in a life according to these go forward and do not fail; but those who are as yet in knowledges alone, go forward as far as they can, but do not yet have the light of life, from which is vigor.

(References: Revelation 2:3)

  
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Apocalypse Explained 94, 151


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Apocalypse Explained #94

        
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94. EXPOSITIOn.

Verses 1-7. To the angel of the Ephesian church write: These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand; He that walketh in the midst of the seven golden lampstands; I know thy works and thy toil, and thy endurance, and that thou canst not bear the evil, and hast tried them that say, that they are apostles and they are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne and hast endurance, and for My name's sake hast toiled, and hast not failed. But I have against thee that thou hast left thy first charity. Be mindful therefore of whence thou hast fallen, and repent, and do the first works; but if not I will come unto thee quickly, and will move thy lampstand out of its place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

1. "To the angel of the Ephesian church write," signifies for remembrance to those within the church who are in the knowledges of truth and good from the Word (n. 95); "these things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand," signifies from whom are all the knowledges of good and truth (n. 96); "He that walketh in the midst of the seven golden lampstands," signifies from whom is life to all in the new heaven and the new church (n. 97 [1-2]).

2. "I know thy works, and thy toil, and thy endurance," signifies all things that they think, will, and do, thus all things of love and faith in the spiritual and in the natural man n. 98; ["and that thou canst not bear the evil," signifies that they reject evils (n. 99)] and hast tried them that say they are apostles and they are not, and hast found them liars," signifies also falsities, so far as they are able to search them out n. 100.

3. "And hast borne, and hast endurance," signifies resistance against those who assail the truths of faith, and diligence in instructing (n. 101); "and for My name's sake hast toiled," signifies acknowledgment of the Lord and of the knowledges of truth that have respect to Him n. 102; "and hast not failed," signifies so far as they could (n. 103).

4. "But I have against thee that thou hast left thy first charity," signifies that they do not make such a life as those lived who were in the church at its beginning the essential of knowledges (n. 104).

5. "Be mindful therefore of whence thou hast fallen, and repent, and do the first works," signifies the remembrance of former things, and thus the remembrance of having deviated from the truth, and this in order that the good of life of the church at its beginning may come into mind n. 105; "but if not I will come unto thee quickly, and will move thy lampstand out of its place, except thou repent," signifies that if not, it is certain that heaven cannot be given (n. 106).

6. "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate," signifies an aversion, derived from the Divine, towards those who separate good from truth, or charity from faith, from which separation there is no life n. 107.

7. "He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches," signifies that he who understands should hearken to what Divine truth proceeding from the Lord teaches and says to those who are of His church n. 108; "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life," signifies that he who receives in the heart shall be filled with the good of love, and with heavenly joy therefrom n. 109; "which is in the midst of the paradise of God," signifies that all knowledges of good and truth in heaven and in the church look thereto and proceed therefrom n. 110.

(References: Revelation 2:1-7; The Apocalypse Explained 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110)

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


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