From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Revealed #255

Apocalypse Revealed (Rogers translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 962  

← Previous   Next →

255. To this I will append the following account:

To prevent someone from entering into the spiritual meaning of the Word and perverting the genuine truth found in that meaning, the Lord has set protections, which in the Word are meant by cherubim, which is what the four living creatures here are.

That protections have been set was represented to me in the following way:

[2] I was given to see large purses, looking like sacks, which had stored away in them a great deal of silver. And since they were open, it seemed as if anyone might take the silver deposited in them, even to make off with it, but next to those purses two angels were sitting as guards. The place where the purses rested looked like a manger in a stable. In the next room I saw modest maidens, together with a chaste wife. Near that room were two little children, and I heard it said that they were not to be played with in a childish way, but wisely. And afterward a harlot appeared, then a horse lying dead.

[3] Having seen these things, I was told that they represented the literal meaning of the Word, which has a spiritual meaning within. The large purses full of silver symbolized concepts of truth and goodness in great abundance. The purses' being open and yet guarded by angels, meant symbolically that anyone might acquire concepts of truth there, but that one should take care not to falsify the spiritual meaning, which contains only truths.

The manger in the stable where the purses were sitting symbolized spiritual instruction for the intellect. (A manger has this symbolism, like the manger where the newborn Lord lay, because a horse, which eats from it, symbolizes an understanding of the Word.)

[4] The modest maidens I saw in the next room symbolized affections for truth, and the chaste wife the conjunction of truth and good. The little children symbolized the innocence of the wisdom in the Word (they were angels from the third heaven, all of whom appear like little children). The harlot together with the dead horse symbolized the falsification of the Word by many people today, by which all understanding of the truth has perished. (A harlot symbolizes falsification, and a dead horse no understanding of truth.)

[5] I have been given to speak with many people after death who believed they would shine like stars in heaven. They believed this, they said, because they held the Word holy, read it often, took many things from it, and used them to defend the tenets of their faith. As a result they were celebrated as learned in the world, so that they believed they would become Michaels or Raphaels. 1 A number of them were examined, however, to see what love prompted them to study the Word. And it was discovered that some did so out of self-love, in order to appear great in the world and to be worshiped as leaders of the church, while others did so out of a love of the world, in order to acquire riches.

When they were explored to discover what they knew from the Word, they were found to know no genuine truth, but only what we call falsified truth, which in itself is false; and in the spiritual world this stinks in the nostrils of angels. Moreover the people were told that this was the case with them because their objectives were focused on themselves and the world, or to say the same thing, on their loves of these, and not on the Lord and heaven. And when people have themselves and the world as their focus, then when they read the Word their mind fastens on themselves and the world, and therefore they think continually in accord with their self-interest, which is in darkness regarding everything connected with heaven. In this state a person cannot be withdrawn from his own light and so be raised into the light of heaven. Consequently, neither can he receive anything flowing in from the Lord through heaven.

[6] I have also seen people like this let into heaven. But when they were discovered to be without truths, they were divested of their clothing and were seen with their private parts exposed. And because those who had falsified truths stunk, they were expelled. Still, however, there remained in them the conceit and confidence that they were deserving.

The outcome was different with people who had studied the Word out of an affection for knowing the truth because it is true, and because it served the useful ends of a spiritual life, not only their own life, but their neighbor's as well. I saw them raised into heaven and so into the light in which Divine truth exists there, and raised at the same time then into angelic wisdom and into its felicity, which is eternal life.

-----
Footnotes:

1. I.e., archangels.

-----

Go to section / 962  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 316, 678


   Parallel Passages:

De Verbo (The Word) 1, 9

Sacred Scripture 26, 61

Last Judgment (Posthumous) 191

Spiritual Experiences 3605

True Christian Religion 233, 277

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation.

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Revealed #678

Apocalypse Revealed (Rogers translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 962  

← Previous   Next →

678. And an evil and noxious sore formed. This symbolizes interior evils and falsities destructive of every good and truth in the church.

The sore here symbolizes nothing else than evil arising from a life in accordance with this chief point of the doctrine, that faith alone justifies and saves without works of the law. For we are told next that it formed in people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image, which symbolizes that faith and a life in accordance with it. Therefore an evil and noxious sore symbolizes interior evils and falsities destructive of every good and truth in the church. Its being noxious symbolizes its destructiveness, and evil cannot but destroy goodness, and falsity truth.

This is the symbolic meaning of the sore because sores of the body arise from a vitiated condition of the blood or some other internal malignancy. So, too, with sores viewed according to their meaning in the spiritual sense. Those sores arise from lusts and their accompanying delights, which are their internal causes. The evil itself symbolized by the sore, which in its outward expressions seems to be delightful, inwardly conceals in itself lusts, from which it arises and of which it consists.

(References: Revelation 16:2)


[2] It should rightly be known, however, that the interior constituents of the human mind in everyone exist in a sequential order and in a concurrent one. They exist in sequential order from its higher or prior constituents to ones lower or subsequent. They exist in concurrent order in their outmost or final expressions, though they range in these from interior elements to outer ones, as from a center to the peripheries. The reality of this is something we showed many times in Angelic Wisdom Regarding Divine Love and Wisdom, nos. 173-281, in a section on degrees. It is apparent from those numbers that the outmost degree embraces all the prior ones.

It follows, therefore, that all lusts for evil exist inwardly in a concurrent order in the evil itself that a person perceives in himself. Every evil that a person perceives in himself exists in its outmost expressions. Consequently, when a person rejects evil, he at the same time rejects also its lusts, though he still does not do this on his own, but from the Lord. A person can indeed on his own reject evil, but not its lusts. Therefore, when he wishes to reject some evil and is fighting against it, he must look to the Lord, since the Lord operates from inmost elements to outmost ones. For He enters through a person's soul and purifies him.

We have said this much to make known that a sore symbolizes evil appearing in its outmost or final expressions, arising from an internal malignancy. This is the case with all people who persuade themselves that faith alone saves, and for that reason do not reflect upon any evil in themselves or look to the Lord.

[3] Sores and wounds symbolize evils in outmost expressions arising from interior ones, or lusts, also in the following places:

From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness... A wound and a scar, and a fresh blow, have not been expressed, have not been bound up, have not been softened with oil. (Isaiah 1:6-7)

...my iniquities have passed through my head... My wounds have putrefied, have decayed, because of my foolishness. (Psalms 38:4-5)

In the day that Jehovah binds up the fracture of His people... He will heal the blow's wound. (Isaiah 30:26)

...if you do not obey the voice of Jehovah..., being careful to do... His commandments... Jehovah will strike you with the sore of Egypt, with hemorrhoids and scabies, and itching... and with an evil sore upon the knees and upon the legs... from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. (Deuteronomy 28:15, 27, 35)

The sore of the boils that broke out on man and beast in Egypt (Exodus 9:8-11) has just this symbolic meaning; for the miracles done there symbolized the evils and falsities with which the Egyptians were taken up.

Moreover, because the Jewish nation engaged in a profanation of the Word, and this is the symbolic meaning of leprosy, therefore leprosy occurred not only in their flesh, but also in their garments, houses, and vessels. The various kinds of profanation were also symbolized by the various evil consequences of leprosy, namely swellings, the sores of the swellings, white and reddish pimples, abscesses, burning feelings, losses of skin pigmentation, scaly patches of skin, and so on (see Leviticus 13). For the church with that nation was a representational church, in which internal things were represented by external ones that corresponded to them.

(References: Isaiah 1:6; Revelation 16:2)

Go to section / 962  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 676, 697

True Christian Religion 635

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation.


Translate: