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AC 3353. Most men believe that when the Last Judgment comes, all things in the visible world will be destroyed; that the earth will be consumed by fire; the sun and the moon dissipated; that the stars will vanish away; and that a new heaven and a new earth will afterwards arise. They have conceived this opinion from the prophetic revelations in which such things are mentioned. But that the case is very different may be seen from what has been shown above concerning the Last Judgment (n. 900, 931, 1850, 2117-2133) from which it is manifest that the Last Judgment is nothing else than the end of the church with one nation, and its beginning with another, which end and beginning occur when there is no longer any acknowledgment of the Lord, or what is the same, when there is no faith. There is no acknowledgment, or no faith, when there is no charity; for faith is impossible except with those who are in charity. That at such a time there is an end of the church, and a transference of it to others, is plainly evident from all the things the Lord Himself taught and foretold in the Evangelists concerning that last day, or consummation of the age (Matt. 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21).

[2] But as these passages cannot be comprehended by anyone without the key, which is the internal sense, I may unfold in regular order the things contained in them, beginning here with these words in Matthew:--

The disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age? And Jesus answered and said unto them, See that no man lead you astray. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am the Christ and shall lead many astray. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled; for these things must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet. For nation shall be stirred up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. But all these things are the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:3-8).

It is impossible for those who remain in the sense of the letter to know whether these things and those which follow in the chapter were spoken concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish nation, or concerning the end of days, called the Last Judgment; but they who are in the internal sense see clearly that the end of the church is here treated of, which end is what is here and elsewhere called the coming of the Lord and the consummation of the age. And because this is the end which is meant, it may be known that all these expressions signify things of the church; but what they signify may appear from the several particulars in the internal sense, as when it is said that "many shall come in My name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall lead many astray," where "name" does not signify name, nor " Christ" Christ; but "name" signifies that by which the Lord is worshiped (n. 2724, 3006); and "Christ" signifies truth itself (n. 3009, 3010); thus it is meant that there would come those who would say, " This is of faith," or " This is true," when yet it is neither of faith, nor true, but false. That they "should hear of wars and rumors of wars" denotes that there would be disputes and strife concerning truths, which are wars in the spiritual sense. That " nation should be stirred up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" signifies that evil would fight with evil, and falsity with falsity. "Nation" signifies good, but in the opposite sense evil, (n. 1259, 1260, 1416, 1849); and also "kingdom" signifies truth, but in the opposite sense falsity, (n. 1672, 2547). "And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places," signifies that there would be no longer any knowledges of good and of truth, and thus that the state of the church would be changed, which is an "earthquake."

AC 3354. From these things it is manifest what is meant by these words of the Lord, namely, the first state of the church‘s perversion, which comes to pass when men begin no longer to know what is good and what is true, but dispute among themselves concerning them, whence arise falsities. As this is the first state, it is said that "the end is not yet," and that "these things are the beginning of sorrows;" and this state is called "earthquakes in divers places," which signifies in the internal sense a change of the state of the church in part, or at first. That all this was said to the disciples, signifies that it is said to all who are of the church, for the twelve disciples represented all such (n. 2089, 2129, 2130); and therefore it is said, " See that no man lead you astray;" also, " Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled."

AC 3355. That in the internal sense an "earthquake" signifies a change in the state of the church, is evident from the signification of "earth," as being the church (n. 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928); and from the signification of "quaking," or movement, as being a change of state; here, as to the things of the church, namely, in respect to good and truth. The same is also evident from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah:--

It shall come to pass that he who fleeth from the voice of the dread shall fall into the pit and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare for the cataracts from on high were opened, and the foundations of the earth were shaken in breaking the earth is broken; in moving the earth is moved; reeling the earth reeleth like a drunken man, and sways to and fro like a hut; and the transgression thereof is heavy upon it; and it shall fall and not rise again. And it shall come to pass In that day that Jehovah shall visit upon the army of the height on high, and upon the kings of the ground upon the ground (Isa. 24:18-21).

In this passage the "earth" is the church, for it is the church that is treated of, whose foundations are said to be "shaken," and itself to be "broken and moved, and to reel and sway to and fro," when good and truth are no longer known. The "kings of the ground" are truths; here, falsities, upon which there will be visitation. "Kings" are truths, and in the opposite sense falsities, (n. 1672, 2015); and that "ground," like "earth," denotes the church, but with a difference, (n. 566, 1068).

[2] Again:--

I will make a man more rare than fine gold, and a man than the gold of Ophir therefore I will shake the heaven, and the earth shall be shaken out of her place in the indignation of Jehovah of Armies, and in the day of the wrath of His anger (Isa. 13:12, 13)

speaking of the day of judgment; and in this passage also "earth" clearly denotes the church, which is said to be "shaken out of its place," when it is changed as to state. "Place" is state, (n. 1273-1275, 1377, 2625, 2837). Again:--

Is this the man that shaketh the earth, that shaketh kingdoms, that maketh the world as a wilderness, and destroyeth the cities thereof? (Isa. 14:16, 17)

speaking of Lucifer the "earth" denotes the church, which he is said to "shake" when man attributes to himself all things of it. "Kingdoms" are the truths of the church, (n. 1672, 2547).

[3] In Ezekiel:--

It shall come to pass in that day, when Gog cometh upon the land of Israel, that My wrath shall rise in Mine anger; in My zeal and in the fire of My indignation I will speak, Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake upon the ground of Israel (Ezek. 38:18-20);

"Gog" denotes external worship separate from internal, and thus become idolatrous (n. 1151) the "earth" and the "ground of Israel" denote the spiritual church; the "earthquake," a change in its state. In Joel:--

The earth quaked before Him, the heavens trembled, the sun and the moon became black, and the stars withdrew their brightness (Joel 2:10)

where also the subject is the clay of the Last Judgment the "earth quaking" denotes a changed state of the church; the "sun and moon," the good of love and its truth (n. 1599, 1530, 9441, 2495), which are said to "become black," when goods and truths are no longer acknowledged; the "stars" denote the knowledges of good and truth (n. 2495, 2849). In David:--

The earth was shaken and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains trembled and were shaken, because He was wroth (Ps. 18:7)

the "earth shaken and quaking" denotes the state of the church become perverted.

[4] In John:--

And I beheld when he opened the sixth seal, and lo there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth (Rev. 6:12, 13);

where the "earthquake, sun, moon, and stars" have a like signification as above in Joel. Again:--

In that hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell; and them were killed in the earthquake names of men seven thousand (Rev. 11:13).

From all these passages it is evident that an "earthquake" is nothing else than a change in the state of the church; and that in the internal sense the "earth" is nothing else than the church; and as the "earth" is the church, it is evident that by the "new heaven and new earth," which were to succeed in place of the former (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; Rev. 21:1), there is signified nothing else than a new church internal and external (n. 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118).

AC 3356. The reason a" quaking" or "motion" denotes a change of state, is that it takes place in space and in time and in the other life there is no idea of space and of time but in their stead there is state. It is indeed true that in the other life all things appear as in space, and follow one another as if in time; but in themselves the space and time are changes of state, for they come from this source. This is perfectly well known to every spirit, even to the wicked, who by changes of state induced on others cause them to appear in another place, when yet they are not there. Men may know the same from the fact that in so far as a man is in a state of the affections and of the derivative joy; and in so far as he is in a state of the thoughts and of a consequent absence from the body, so far he is not in time; for many hours then appear to him scarcely as one; and this because his internal man or spirit has states to which the spaces and times in the external man correspond. "Motion" therefore being a successive progression in space and time, is in the internal sense a change of state.


AC 3472. That the things in the literal sense of the Word are each and all representative of the spiritual and celestial things of the Lord‘s kingdom in the heavens, and in the supreme sense are representative of the Lord Himself, may be seen from what has been thus far shown, and from what of the Lord’s Divine mercy is still to be shown. But as man has removed himself so far from heaven, and has immersed himself in lowest nature, and even in what is earthly, it is altogether repugnant to him to hear that the Word contains deeper things than he apprehends from the letter; and this is still more the case when it is said that it contains things incomprehensible, which are adapted solely to the wisdom of angels and this is even still more so when it is said that it contains Divine things themselves, which infinitely transcend the understanding of angels. The Christian world does indeed acknowledge that the Word is Divine, yet that it is Divine in this manner it denies at heart, if not with the lips nor is this to be wondered at, inasmuch as the earthly thought in which man is at this day does not apprehend things of a sublime character; and is not willing to apprehend them.

AC 3473. That the Word in the letter stores up such things within it, is often presented to the sight of the spirits or souls who come into the other life; and it has sometimes been granted me to be present when this was done, as may be seen from the experiences adduced in the first part of this work concerning the Holy Scripture or Word, as containing things Divine which are manifest to good spirits and angels (n. 1767-1776, 1869-1879); from which experiences I may for the sake of confirmation again relate what now follows.

AC 3474. A certain spirit came to me not long after his departure from the body, as I was able to infer from the fact that he did not yet know that he was in the other life, but supposed that he was living in the world. It was perceived that he had been devoted to studies, concerning which I spoke with him. But he was suddenly taken up on high; and, surprised at this, I imagined that he was of those who have aspired to high things, for such are wont to be carried up on high; or else that he had placed heaven on high, for such likewise are often taken up on high, in order that they may know from experience that heaven is not in what is high, but in what is internal. But I soon perceived that he was carried up to the angelic spirits who are in front a little to the right at the first entrance into heaven. He then spoke with me from thence, saving that he saw things more sublime than human minds could possibly apprehend. While this was taking place I was reading the first chapter of Deuteronomy, concerning the Jewish people, in that men were sent to explore the land of land and what was in it. While I was reading this, he said that he perceived nothing of the sense of the letter, but the things in the spiritual sense and that these were wonders that he could not describe. This was in the first entrance to the heaven of angelic spirits. What wonders then would be perceived in that heaven itself! And what in the angelic heaven!

[2] Certain spirits who were with me, and who before had not believed that the Word of the Lord is of such a nature, then began to repent of their unbelief; and in this state they said that they believed because they heard that spirit say that he heard, saw, and perceived it to be so. But other spirits still persisted in their unbelief, and said that it was not so, but that these things were fancies and therefore they too were suddenly taken up, and spoke with me from thence; and they confessed that it was anything but fancy, because they really perceived it to be so, and this by a perception more exquisite than can ever be given to any sense during the life of the body.

[3] Soon others also were taken up into the same heaven, and-among them one whom I had known in the life of his body, who testified to the same effect, saying also, among other things, that he was too much amazed to be able to describe the glory of the Word in its internal sense. Then, speaking from a kind of pity, he said that it was strange that men know nothing at all of such things.

[4] on two occasions after this I saw others taken up into the second heaven among the angelic spirits, and they spoke with me thence while I was reading the third chapter of Deuteronomy from beginning to end. They said that they were only in the interior sense of the Word, at the same time asserting that there was not even a point in which there was not something spiritual that coheres most beautifully with all the rest and further that the names signify actual things. Thus they too were confirmed, for they had not believed before that each and all things in the Word have been inspired by the Lord and this they desired to confirm before other, by an oath, But it was not permitted.

AC 3475. That in the heavens there come forth continual representatives such as are in the Word, has already been several times stated and shown. These representatives are of such a nature that spirits and angels see them in a much clearer light than that of this world at noonday; and they are also of such a nature that when seen in their external form the spirits and angels perceive what they signify in their internal form and therein things still more interior. For there are three heavens: in the first heaven these representatives appear in an external form, with a perception of what they signify in the internal form in the second heaven they appear such as they are in then internal form, with a perception of what they are in a more interior form; in the third heaven they appear in this more interior form, which is their inmost form. The representatives that appear in the first heaven are the generals of those things which appear in the second and these are the generals of those which appear in the third; thus within those which appear in the first heaven are those which appear in the second; and within these are those which appear in the third. And as they are thus presented according to degrees, it may be seen how perfect and full of wisdom, and at the same time how happy, are the representatives in the inmost heaven; and that they are utterly unspeakable; for myriads of myriads of them present only one single particular of the general representative. In both general and particular these representatives involve such things as are of the Lord‘s kingdom; and these such as are of the Lord Himself. They who are in the first heaven, in their representatives see such things as come forth in the interior sphere of that kingdom and within these such things as come forth in the sphere still more interior and thus see representatives of the Lord, but remotely. They who are in the second heaven, in their representatives see such things as come forth in the inmost sphere of that kingdom, and within these see representatives of the Lord more nearly. But they who are in the third heaven see the Lord Himself.

AC 3476. From all this men may know how the case is with the Word; for the Word has been given by the Lord to man and also to the angels in order that by it they may be with Him; for the Word is the medium that unites earth heaven, and through heaven with the Lord. Its literal sense is that which unites man with the first heaven; and as within the literal there is an internal sense which treats of the Lord’s kingdom, and within this a supreme sense which treats of the Lord and as these senses are in order one within another, it is evident what is the nature of the union with the Lord that is effected by means of the Word.

AC 3477. It has been said that there are continual representatives in the heavens, and indeed such as involve the deepest arcana of wisdom. Those which are manifest to man from the literal sense of the Word are relatively as few as are the waters of a small pool as compared with those of the ocean. The nature of representatives in the heavens may be seen from what has been occasionally related above from things seen, and likewise from the following. There were represented before certain spirits, as I myself saw, a broad way and a narrow way such as are described in the Word; a broad way which led to hell, and a narrow way which led to heaven. The broad way was planted with trees, flowers, and the like that in outward form appeared beautiful and delightful, but unseen snakes and serpents of various kinds were hidden there. The narrow way did not seem to be so much adorned with trees and flowers, but appeared sad and dark; and yet there were in it angel infants most beautifully adorned, in delightful paradises and flower-gardens, which the spirits did not see. They were then asked which way they wished to go. They said, The broad way; when suddenly their eyes were opened, and in the broad way they saw the serpents, but in the narrow way the angels. They were then again asked which way they wished to go, whereupon they remained silent; and so far as their sight was opened, they said that they wished to go the narrow way; and so far as their sight was closed, that they wished to go the broad way.

AC 3478. There was also represented before certain spirits the tabernacle with the ark; for they who during their abode in the world have been greatly delighted with the Word, have such things actually presented to view. Such was the case with the tabernacle, together with all its appurtenances, its courts, its curtains round about, its veils within, the golden altar, or altar of incense, the table with the loaves upon it, the lampstand, the mercy-seat with the cherubim. At the same time it was given to the well-disposed spirits to perceive what each thing signified: that the three heavens were represented by the tabernacle, and the Lord Himself by the Testimony in the ark on which was the mercy-seat; and in proportion as their sight was opened, they saw therein things more and more heavenly and Divine, of which they had no knowledge in the life of the body; and wonderful to say there was not the smallest thing there that was not representative, even to the hooks and rings.

[2] For instance, the bread that was on the table - in this as in a representative and symbol they perceived that food by which angels live, thus celestial and spiritual love together with their joys and felicities; and in these loves and joys they perceived the Lord Himself, as the bread or manna from heaven; besides many particulars from the form, position, and number of the loaves; and from the gold encompassing the table, and from the lampstand, by which these things when illuminated exhibited still further representations of things unspeakable; and the same with everything else; from all which it might also appear that the rituals or representatives of the Jewish Church contained within them all the arcana of the Christian Church; and likewise that they to whom the representatives and significatives of the Word of the Old Testament are opened may know and perceive the arcana of the Lord‘s Church on earth while they live in the world; and the arcana of arcana which are in the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens when they come into the other life.

AC 3479. The Jews who lived before the coming of the Lord, as well as those who lived afterwards, had no other opinion concerning the rituals of their church than that Divine worship consisted solely in external things, and cared naught for what these represented and signified. For they did not know, and were not willing to know, that there was anything internal in worship and in the Word, thus that there was any life after death, nor consequently that there was any heaven, for they were altogether sensuous and corporeal; and inasmuch as they were in externals separate from things internal, relatively to these externals their worship was merely idolatrous, and therefore they were very prone to worship any gods whatsoever, provided only they were persuaded that such gods could cause them to prosper.

[2] But as that nation was of such a nature that they could be in a holy external, and thus could have holy rituals by which the heavenly things of the Lord‘s kingdom were represented, and could have a holy veneration for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and also for Moses and Aaron, and afterwards for David; by all of whom the Lord was represented; and especially could have a holy reverence for the Word, in which each and all things are representative and significative of Divine things, therefore in that nation a representative church was instituted. If however that nation had known internal things so far as to acknowledge them, they would have profaned them, and thereby when in a holy external would have been at the same time in a profane internal, so that there could have been through them no communication of representatives with heaven; and for this reason interior things were not disclosed to them, not even that the Lord was within, in order that He might save their souls.

[3] Inasmuch as the tribe of Judah was of this character more than the other tribes, and at this day just as of yore account the rituals holy which can be observed out of Jerusalem, and as they have a holy veneration for their fathers, especially as they regard the Word of the Old Testament as holy, and inasmuch as it was foreseen that Christians would almost reject this Word, and would likewise defile its internal things with things profane, therefore that nation has been preserved until this time, according to the words of the Lord in (Matt. 24:34). It would have been otherwise if Christians, being acquainted with internal things, had also lived as internal men; in this case that nation, like other nations, would before many generations have been cut off.

[4] But the case with that nation is that their holy external or holy of worship cannot at all affect their internals, because these are unclean from the base love of self and from the unclean love of the world; and also from the idolatry of worshiping external things separate from internal and thus because they have not anything of heaven in them, neither can they carry anything of heaven with them into the other life, except a few who live in mutual love, and thus do not despise others in comparison with themselves.

AC 3480. It was also shown how the unclean things with that nation did not prevent the interiors of the Word, or its spiritual and celestial things, from being nevertheless presented in heaven for the unclean things were removed so as not to be perceived, and evils were turned to good, so that the mere external holiness served as a plane, and thus the internal things of the Word were presented before the angels, without the interposition of any hindrances. From this it was made manifest how that people, interiorly idolatrous, could represent things holy, and even the Lord Himself; and thus how the Lord could dwell in the midst of their uncleanness (Lev. 16:16) consequently how there could be something like a church there for a church merely representative is a semblance of a church, and not a church.

[2] With Christians this cannot be the case, because they are acquainted with the interior things of worship, but do not believe them; thus they cannot be in a holy external separate from its internal. Moreover with those who are in the life of faith, communication is effected by the goods pertaining to them, evils and falsities being in the meantime removed; and it is a remarkable fact that all things of the Word, when being read by them, he open to the angels, and this even though they who read do not attend to its meaning (as has been shown me by much experience); for the internal in them, which is not so perceptible, serves as a plane.

AC 3481. I have very frequently spoken with the Jews in the other life. They appear in front, in the lower earth, beneath the plane of the left foot. I once spoke to them concerning the Word, the land of Canaan, and the Lord: concerning the word, that there are in it deepest arcana which are not manifest to men; and this they affirmed; then, that all the arcana which are therein treat of the Messiah and His kingdom which also they were willing to allow: but when I said that Messiah in the Hebrew tongue is the same as Christ in the Greek, they were not willing to hear. Again, when I said that the Messiah is most holy, and that Jehovah is in Him, and that no other is meant by the Holy One of Israel and by the God of Jacob and that because He is most holy, none can be in His kingdom but those who are holy, not in external form but internal, thus who are not in the unclean love of the world, and in the exaltation of themselves against other nations, and in hatred among themselves, this they could not hear.

[2] Afterwards when I told them that according to the prophecies the Messiah’s kingdom must be eternal, and that they who are with Him will also inherit the earth forever; and that if His kingdom were of this world, and they were to be introduced into the land of Canaan, it would only be for the few years which are of a man‘s life besides that all those who died after they were driven out of the land of Canaan would not enjoy such blessedness and that from this they might know that by the land of Canaan is represented and signified the heavenly kingdom; and especially as they now know that they are in the other life, and are to live forever, so that it is manifest that the Messiah has His kingdom there; and that if it were given them to speak with angels they might know that the universal angelic heaven is His kingdom; and moreover that by the new earth, the New Jerusalem, and the new temple in Ezekiel, nothing can be signified but such a kingdom of the Messiah - to these things they could make no reply, except merely that they who were to be introduced into the land of Canaan by the Messiah, and were to die after so few years and leave the blessedness which they were to enjoy there, would weep bitterly.

AC 3482. Although the language used in the Word to man appears simple, and in some passages unpolished, it is the angelic language itself, but in its lowest form; for when the angelic speech, which is spiritual, falls into human words, it cannot fall into any other speech than such as this; every single thing therein being representative, and every single word being significative. As the ancients had intercourse with spirits and angels, they had no other speech than this, which was full of representatives, and in every expression of which there was a spiritual sense. The books of the ancients were also written in this way for it was the study of their wisdom so to speak and so to write. From this also it is evident how far man afterwards removed himself from heaven. At this day he does not even know that there is in the Word anything else than that which appears in the letter not even that there is a spiritual sense within and whatever is said beyond the literal sense is called mystical, and is rejected merely on this account. Hence also it is that communication with heaven is at this day intercepted, insomuch that few believe there is any heaven, and wonderful to say, among the learned and erudite much fewer than among the simple.

AC 3483. Whatever is seen anywhere in the universe is representative of the Lord’s kingdom, insomuch that there is not anything in the atmospheric and starry universe, or in the earth and its three kingdoms, which is not in its own manner representative. All things in nature, in both general and particular, are ultimate images, inasmuch as from the Divine are celestial things which are of good, from celestial things spiritual things which are of truth, and from both celestial and spiritual things are natural things. From this it is evident how gross, nay, how earthly and also inverted is that human intelligence which ascribes everything to nature separate or exempt from art influx prior to itself, or from an efficient cause. Moreover they who so think and speak seem to themselves to be wiser than others that is, in attributing all things to nature when yet on the contrary angelic intelligence consists in ascribing nothing to nature, but all and everything to the Divine of the Lord, thus to life, and not to anything dead. The learned know that subsistence is a perpetual coming forth but still it is contrary to the affection of falsity and thence to a reputation for learning to say that nature continually subsists, as it originally came into existence, from the Divine of the Lord. Inasmuch therefore as each and all things subsist, that is, continually come forth, from the Divine, and as each and all things thence derived must needs be representative of those things whereby they came into existence, it follows that the visible universe is nothing else than a theater representative of the Lord‘s kingdom and that this kingdom is a theater representative of the Lord Himself.

AC 3484. From very much experience I have been instructed that there is but one only life, which is that of the Lord, and which flows in and causes man to live, nay, causes both the good and the evil to live. To this life correspond forms which are substances, and which by continual Divine influx are so vivified that they appear to themselves to live from themselves. This correspondence is that of the organs with their life; but such as are the recipient organs, such is the life which they live. Those men who are in love and charity are in correspondence, for the life itself is received by them fitly but they who are in what is contrary to love and charity are not in correspondence, because the life itself is not received fitly hence such a life comes forth as is in accordance with their quality. This may be illustrated by natural forms into which the light of the sun flows; such as are the recipient forms, such are the modifications of light in connection with them. In the spiritual world the modifications are spiritual; and therefore in that world such as are the recipient forms, such is their intelligence and such their wisdom. Hence good spirits and angels appear as the very forms of charity, while wicked spirits and infernals appear as forms of hatred.

AC 3485. The representations that come forth in the other life are appearances, but living ones, because they are from the light of life. The light of life is the Divine Wisdom, which is from the Lord alone. Hence all things that come forth from this light are real; and are not like those things that come forth from the light of the world. Wherefore they who are in the other life have sometimes said that the things they see there are real things, and the things which man sees are in comparison not real; because the former things live, and thus immediately affect their life, while the latter things do not live, thus do not immediately affect the life, except in so far and in such a manner as the things in their minds which are of this world’s light conjoin themselves fitly and correspondently with the things of the light of heaven. From all this it is now evident what representations are, and what correspondences.

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