Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 1:18
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AR 58. Verse 18. And am He that liveth, signifies, who alone is life, and from whom alone life is. Jehovah, in the Word of the Old Testament, calls Himself the Living, and He that liveth, because He alone lives; for He is love itself and wisdom itself, and these are life. That there is one only life, which is God, and that angels and men are recipients of life from Him, is abundantly shown in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom. Jehovah calls Himself "the Living" and "He that Liveth" (Isa. 38:18, 19; Jer. 5:2; 12:16; 16:14, 15; 23:7, 8; 46:18; Ezek. 5:11). The Lord as to His Divine Human also is life, because the Father and He are one; therefore He says:--

As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26).

Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).

Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

In the beginning was the Word, and God was the Word; in Him was life; and the Word became flesh (John 1:1-4, 14).

Because the Lord is the only life, it follows, that from Him alone life is derived, therefore He says:--

Because I live, ye shall live also (John 14:19).

AR 59. And was dead, signifies that He was neglected and His Divine Human not acknowledged. By "His becoming dead" is not meant that He was crucified, and so died, but that He was neglected in the church, and His Divine Human not acknowledged, for so He is dead with men. His Divine from eternity is indeed acknowledged, but this is Jehovah Himself; but His Human is not acknowledged to be Divine, although the Divine and the Human in Him are like soul and body, and therefore are not two but one, yea, one Person, according to the doctrine received throughout the whole Christian world, which has its name from Athanasius. When, therefore, the Divine in Him is separated from the Human, by saying that His Human is not Divine, but like the human of another man, in this case He is dead with men. But concerning this separation and thus making dead the Lord, more may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord; and in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Providence (DP n. 262, 263).

AR 60. And behold, I am alive for ages of ages, signifies that He is life eternal. Now as, "Who am living," signifies that He alone is life, and from Him alone life is (n. 58), it follows that, "Behold I am alive for ages of ages," signifies that He alone is life to eternity, and consequently that eternal life is from Him alone; for eternal life is in Him, and consequently from Him. "Ages of ages," signifies eternity. That eternal life is from the Lord alone, is plain from the following passages:--

Jesus said, Whosoever believeth in Me shall not perish, but shall have eternal life (John 3:16).

Everyone that believeth in the Son hath eternal life, but he who believeth not in the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36; 6:40, 47, 48).

Verily, I say unto you, he that believeth in Me hath eternal life (John 6:47).

I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he die, shall live; and whosoever believeth in Me, shall not die to eternity (John 11:25, 26).

Hence, then, the Lord is called, "He that liveth for ages of ages;" as also in (Apocalypse 4:9, 10; 5:14; 10:6; Dan. 4:34).

AR 61. Amen, signifies the Divine confirmation that it is the truth. That "Amen" is the truth, which is the Lord, may be seen in (n. 23).

AR 62. And I have the keys of hell and death, signifies that He alone can save. By "keys" is signified the power of opening and shutting; here the power of opening hell, that man may be brought forth, and of shutting, lest, when he is brought forth, he should enter again. For man is born in evils of all kinds, thus in hell, for evils are hell; he is brought out of it by the Lord, to whom belongs the power of opening it. That by "having the keys of hell and death," is not meant the power of casting into hell, but the power of saving, is because it immediately follows after these words:--

Behold, I am alive for ages of ages;

by which is signified that He alone is eternal life (n. 60); and the Lord never casts anyone into hell, but man casts himself. By "keys" is signified the power of opening and shutting, in (Apocalypse 3:7; 9:1; 20:1; Isa. 22:21, 22; Matt. 16:19; Luke 11:52). The power of the Lord is not only over heaven, but also over hell; for hell is kept in order and connexion by oppositions against heaven; for which reason, He who rules the one must necessarily rule the other; otherwise man could not be saved; to be saved is to be brought out of hell.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info