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Arcana Coelestia #8858

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8858. A person's whole character is determined by the nature of whatever dominates his life; this is what marks him off from others. His heaven is formed in accordance with it if he is good, or his hell if he is bad. For it constitutes his true will and so the true being of his life, which is unchangeable after death. From all this one may see what the life is like in a person who has been regenerated, and what it is like in one who has not been regenerated.

  
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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 8865, 8886, 9286, 9394, 9410, 9832


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

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Arcana Coelestia #9410

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9410. 'He did not lay a hand' means that truth in its power is not present there. This is clear from the meaning of 'hand' as the power which comes through truth. For the meaning of 'hand' as power, see 878, 3091, 3387, 4931-4937, 5327, 5328, 5544, 6947, 7011, 7188, 7189, 7518, 7673, 8050, 8153, 8281, 9025, 9133; for its coming through truth, 3091, 3503, 6344, 6423, 8304; and for the fact that truth derives all its power from good, that is, from the Lord through good, 6948, 8200, 9327. From all this it is evident that 'He did not lay a hand towards the children of Israel who had been set apart' means that truth in its power is not present with those restricted to the outward sense of the Word, separated from the inward. The reason why truth is not present with them in its power is that they are separated from heaven and so from the Lord; for the Word joins a person to heaven, and through heaven to the Lord, because all the things constituting the sense of the letter of the Word correspond to the spiritual and celestial realities which exist with angels. There is no connection with the angels if the Word is understood according to the letter alone and not at the same time according to some teaching of the Church on the inner level of the Word.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3502, 5327-5328, 7188-7189)


[2] Take for example the Lord's words to Peter,

You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:18-19.

In like manner to the disciples,

Truly I say to you, Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:18.

Those who are restricted to the outward sense of the Word, separated from the inward, thus those who are separated from the true teachings of the Church, convince themselves that such power was given to Peter by the Lord, and also to the rest of the Lord's disciples. This conviction leads to the hellish heresy that certain people possess the power to let into or shut out of heaven whomsoever they please, when in fact according to the true teachings of the Church, which lie on the inward level of the Word, the Lord alone has that power. Those therefore who know the outward sense of the Word and at the same time its inward sense understand that these things spoken by the Lord had regard to faith and the truths of faith which are received from the Lord, and that such faith received from the Lord possesses that power, thus the Lord Himself, and not at all any mere human being.

[3] The truth of this may be recognized from the representation of Peter and of the twelve disciples, also from the meaning of 'rock', and from the meaning of 'keys' as well. Peter represented faith, see Prefaces to Genesis 18, 22, also 3750, 4738, 6000, 6073 (end); the Lord's twelve disciples, like the twelve tribes of Israel, represented all aspects of faith and love, 3488, 3858, 6397; 'rock' means the Lord in respect of faith, and so faith which is received from the Lord, 8581; and 'keys' means power, as is clear from places in the Word where keys are mentioned, such as in John,

I am the First and the Last, He who lives; and I was dead, but behold, I am alive for ever and ever, and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:17-18.

In the same book,

These things says the One who is Holy, the One who is True, He who has the key of David, He who opens in order that no one may close, and closes in order that no one may open ... Revelation 3:7-8.

And in Isaiah,

I will place the key of the house of David on His shoulder, in order that He may open and none shut, and He may shut and none open. Isaiah 22:22.

In these places it is evident that 'key' means power and that the Lord alone possesses it.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135, 2760; Revelation 1:18, 3:7)


[4] From all this one can see what those people are like who are restricted to the outward sense of the Word, separated from the inward, namely people who are not at all joined to heaven, nor thus to the Lord. This is so with those who explain those words addressed by the Lord to Peter and to the disciples according to their literal meaning, in that they arrogate to themselves the power to save the human race and make themselves the gods of heaven and earth, which they do on account of their insane self-love and love of the world. Anyone sound in mind may see and appreciate that a mere human being cannot absolve any sin at all, because no sin is absolved except through the development of a new life, that is, through being regenerated by the Lord. Regeneration continues right on to the end of a person's life in the world, and after that for evermore, see 8548-8553, 8635-8640, 8742-8747, 8853-8858, 8958-8968.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 8958-8969)


[5] What truth in its power is must also be stated briefly. In the Word angels are called 'powers'; and it is also well known in the Church that they are such. Yet they are not powers by virtue of anything their own, only by virtue of the Lord; for they are recipients of God's truth which emanates from the Lord. The power they have from the Lord is such that one of them can drive away a thousand of the devil's crew, confine them to the hells, and keep them in check. For God's truth emanating from the Lord fills the heavens and forms them; and if you are willing to believe it, all things were made and created through that truth. The Word which was in the beginning with God and which was God, and through which all things were created and the world was made, spoken of in John 1:1-14, is Divine Truth. Divine Truth is the one true substance from which all things come into being; but this is something few are able to understand, because at the present day the idea which people have of Divine Truth is no different from that of words coming from the lips of one who rules over all, whose orders are carried out according to those words. As for the kind of idea people ought in fact to have of Divine Truth, see 9407 (end). The omnipotence of Divine Truth emanating from the Lord is described in many places in the Word, and especially in John, in the Book of Revelation,

War took place in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels, but they did not prevail, nor was their place found any longer in heaven. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:7-8, 11.

'The blood of the Lamb', it is evident, is Divine Truth emanating from the Lord's Divine Human, see 4735, 6978, 7317, 7326, 7850, 9127, 9393, 9395; and 'the word of their testimony' is God's truth which has found acceptance.

[6] People who are restricted to the outward sense of the Word, separated from the inward, that is, those who are separated from the true teachings of the Church, understand these words of prophecy in solely a literal way. That is to say, they take 'blood' to mean blood, thus the Lord's passion, when in fact Divine Truth emanating from the Lord is what is meant in those words by 'blood'. People with the true teachings of the Church are able to know that they are saved not by blood but by hearing God's truth and doing it, thus [that all are saved] who allow the Lord to regenerate them by means of Divine Truth. All who receive enlightenment from the Lord are able to know, understand, see, and perceive this, thus all who are governed by the good of charity and faith are able to do so, since it is they who receive enlightenment. I myself can certainly say that when I read the blood of the Lamb and think of the Lord's blood the angels present with me know no other than that Divine Truth emanating from the Lord is what I read and that that Truth is what I think of. But let simple people hold on to the teaching they have that they are saved by the Lord's blood, so long as they are leading a life in keeping with His Divine Truth; for those who lead such a life receive enlightenment in the next life.

(References: Exodus 24:11)

  
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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9496, 9638, 9643, 9807, 9809, 10019, 10082, 10105, 10400, 10584

The White Horse 8, 9

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 257, 258


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 63, 86, 209, 270, 701


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Related New Christian Commentary

  Spiritual Topics:

Divine Truth

Power


Word or Phrase Explanations:

Blood

Key


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

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The 12 Disciples in Us

Twelve is a number in the Bible with spiritually symbolic meaning. We explore how what Jesus taught to the twelve disciples applies to different parts of our spirit.

Arcana Coelestia #9410 >> 12:24, 54:58

What Angels Think Jesus' Blood Means - News From Heaven

In this episode, we’re exploring passages from Swedenborg’s "Secrets of Heaven", number 9410.


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


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