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Apocalypse Revealed #564

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564. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon had spewed out of its mouth. (12:16) This symbolically means that the multitude of reasonings flowing from falsities that followers of the dragon put forward come to nothing in the face of the spiritual truths rationally understood that are advanced by the Michaels of whom the New Church is formed.

The earth that helped the woman symbolizes the church in respect to its doctrine (no. 285). And because the subject is the reasonings flowing from falsities that followers of the dragon put forward, truths from the Word are the means by which the earth, or rather the church, "helps the woman." To open the mouth means, symbolically, to advance those truths. The river that the dragon spewed out of its mouth symbolizes a multitude of reasonings flowing from falsities (no. 563). To swallow means, symbolically, to cause to come to nothing.

Michaels mean people of the New Church - Michael being those who are wise there, and his angels being the rest.

[2] Since in the New Church the dogma is rejected that the intellect should be held captive in obedience to faith, and accepted instead is the tenet that the church's truth must be seen to be believed (no. 224), and because truth can be seen only when it is seen rationally, therefore we say, "in the face of the spiritual truths rationally understood."

How can anyone be led by the Lord and affiliated with heaven if he closes up his intellect in such matters as have to do with salvation and eternal life? Is it not the intellect that must be enlightened and instructed? What else is the intellect that has been closed up by religion but a mass of darkness, and the kind of darkness that deflects away from itself any illuminating light?

Who, moreover, can acknowledge any truth and retain it if he does not see it? What is truth not seen but a word without meaning, which sensual, carnal people are accustomed to retain in memory, but which the wise cannot? Indeed, wise people cast empty words out of the memory, namely, words which have not entered from an understanding of them - as for example, that the one God is three in respect to persons, or that the Lord born from eternity is not identical with the Lord born in time, so that one Lord is God and not the other; or further, that a life of charity, which consists in good works and at the same time in repentance from evil works, contributes nothing to salvation. A wise person does not understand this, and consequently because of his rationality says, "Religion in that case accomplishes nothing. Is it not an article of religion to refrain from evil and do good? Is this not what the church's doctrine teaches, and what a person is also meant to believe, so that he does the goods of religion from God?"

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Many thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem, and to Rev. N.B. Rogers, translator, for the permission to use this translation.

The Bible


Revelation 12:16



16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.