Spiritual background for EXODUS 31previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY AND FAITH
AC 10318. Without a revelation from the Divine, man cannot know anything about eternal life, nor indeed anything about God, and still less about love to Him and faith in Him. For man is born into mere ignorance, and afterward has all things to learn from what is of the world, from which he must form his understanding. He is also born hereditarily into all evil that belongs to the love of self and the love of the world. The delights from these loves reign continually, and prompt to such things as are diametrically contrary to the Divine. From this then it is that from himself man knows nothing about eternal life; and therefore there must needs be a revelation from which he may know this.
AC 10319. That the evils of the love of self and of the world induce such ignorance about the things of eternal life, is very evident from those within the church who although they know from revelation that there is a God, that there are a heaven and a hell, that there is eternal life, and that this life must be acquired by means of the good of love and of faith, nevertheless fall, both learned and unlearned, into denial. From this it is again evident what great ignorance would prevail if there were no revelation.
AC 10320. Seeing therefore that man lives after death, and this to eternity; and that a life awaits him in accordance with his love and faith, it follows that from love toward the human race, the Divine has revealed such things as will lead to that life, and will conduce to man‘s salvation. That which the Divine has revealed is with us the Word.
AC 10321. As the Word is a revelation from the Divine, it is Divine in general and in particular, for that which is from the Divine cannot be otherwise.
AC 10322. That which is from the Divine descends through the heavens down to man, and therefore in the heavens it has been accommodated to the wisdom of the angels who are there, and on earth it has been accommodated to the apprehension of the men who are there. Therefore in the Word there is an internal sense for the angels, which is spiritual; and an external sense for men, which is natural. From this it is that there is a conjunction of heaven with man by means of the Word.
AC 10323. The genuine sense of the Word is apprehended by none but those who are enlightened; and those only are enlightened who are in love to the Lord and in faith in Him, for the interiors of such are raised by the Lord even into the light of heaven.
AC 10324. The Word in the letter cannot be apprehended except by means of doctrine made from the Word by one who is enlightened. For the sense of the letter of the Word has been accommodated to the apprehension of even simple men; and therefore they need doctrine out of the Word for a lamp.
AC 10325. The books of the Word are all those which have an internal sense; and those which have not an internal sense are not the Word. The books of the Word in the Old Testament are the five books of Moses, the book of Joshua, the book of Judges, the two books of Samuel, the two books of the Kings, the Psalms of David, the Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi; and in the New Testament the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and the Revelation.
CONTINUATION ABOUT THE THIRD EARTH IN THE STARRY HEAVEN
AC 10377. The inhabitants of this, as of every earth, acknowledge God under a human form, thus our Lord. For all who acknowledge God under a human form are accepted by our Lord, and are led. No others can be led, for they think of God without a form, thus they think of nature.
AC 10378. The spirits who are from that earth are upright. The reason is that they are withheld from evils by their not loving to think of earthly and bodily things; for these things withdraw the mind from heaven, because in so far as anyone is in them, so far has he been removed from heaven, thus from the Lord; consequently so far he is in evils and is wicked.
AC 10379. The spirits of that earth appear above, in the plane of the heed toward the right; for all spirits are known by their situation in respect to the human body, which is the case because the universal heaven corresponds to all things of man. These spirits keep themselves at a distance, because their correspondence is not with the externals of man, but with his interiors. Their action is into the left knee, a little above and below, with a certain undulatory vibration that is very sensible, which is a sign that they correspond to the conjunction of natural and celestial things. For the feet correspond to natural things, the thighs to celestial things, thus the knee to their conjunction.
AC 10380. I have been informed that the inhabitants of their earth are instructed about the things of heaven by some immediate intercourse with angels and spirits, into which they can be brought more easily than others, because they reject bodily things from their thought and affection. But concerning this intercourse I can only relate what has been shod me.
AC 10381. A certain one of their spirits came to me, who was observed above the head, near the pulsating depression which is called the fontanel, whence he talked with me. He could skillfully explore all things of my thought, and keep them together in order, and show them to me But he brought forth only such things as he could find fault with. The reason was that spirits from our earth were around me, to whom he was not willing to approach freely, because they think of bodily things. When he found fault with me, it was given me to say that what he blamed was not mine, but belonged to the spirits who were around me; because what I think, I do not think from myself, but from them by influx. He wondered at this, but yet perceived that it was so. It was given to add that it is not angelic to seek for the evils with a man unless we at the same time seek for the goods. On hearing this he departed, perceiving that he had acted from the indignation mentioned above.
AC 10382. I afterward spoke with these spirits at a distance; and I asked what became of those among them who are evil They said that on their earth it is not allowable to be wicked; but that if anyone thinks and does what is evil, he is chided by a certain spirit who threatens him with death if he persists in so doing; and if he still persists, he dies by a swoon; and by this means the men of that earth are preserved from the contagion of evils. A certain spirit of this kind was sent to me, speaking with me as he does with them; and he also induced somewhat of pain in the region of the abdomen, saying that he does so to those who think and do what is evil, and whom he threatens with death. But this spirit Was a chiding spirit. He stood behind my head, and from thence talked with me in a vibratory way.
AC 10383. They said that those who profane holy things are severely punished, and that before the punishing spirit comes there appears to them a lion’s mouth wide open, of a livid color, which seems as if it would swallow the head and tear it asunder from the body, causing them to be seized with horror. This punishing spirit they call the devil.
AC 10384. As they desired to know how the case is on our earth in regard to revelation, I told them that it is effected by writing, and preaching from the Word, and not by immediate intercourse, as on other earths; and that what is written can be printed and published, and be read and comprehended by whole assemblies of people, and in this way the life may be amended. They wondered exceedingly that there is such an art‘ so entirely unknown elsewhere. But they comprehended that on this earth, where bodily and earthly things are so much loved, Divine things from heaven cannot otherwise be received, and that it would be dangerous for those on our earth to speak with angels.
AC 10385. A continuation about this third earth in the starry heaven will be found at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page