Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 1:3
AR 8. Verse 3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things which are written therein, signifies the communion of those with the angels of heaven, who live according to the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem. By "blessed," is here meant one who, as to his spirit, is in heaven; thus, one who, while he lives in the world, is in communion with the angels of heaven; for as to his spirit he is in heaven. By "the words of the prophecy" nothing else is meant than the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, for by "prophet," in the abstract sense, is signified the Doctrine of the church derived from the Word, thus here the Doctrine of the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem; the same is signified by "prophecy." By "reading, hearing, and keeping the things which are written therein," is signified, to desire to know that doctrine; to attend to the things which are in it, and to do the things which are therein; in short, to live according to it. That they are not blessed who only read, hear and keep or retain in the memory the things which were seen by John, is evident (n. 944). The reason why "a prophet" signifies the Doctrine of the church from the Word, and "prophecy" the same, is, because the Word was written through prophets, and in heaven a person is regarded according to that which belongs to his function and office. From this, also, is every man, spirit, and angel, named there. Therefore, when a prophet is mentioned, because his function was to write and teach the Word, the Word is meant as to doctrine, or doctrine from the Word. Hence it is, that the Lord, because He is the Word itself, was called the Prophet (Deut. 18:15-20; Matt. 13:57; 21:11; Luke 13:33). To show, that by "prophet" is meant the doctrine of the church from the Word, some passages shall be adduced, from which this may be collected. In Matthew:--
In the consummation of the age many false prophets shall rise up, and shall seduce many. There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and, if it were possible, they shall lead into error the elect (Matthew 24:11, 24).
"The consummation of the age" is the last time of the church, which is now, when there are not false prophets, but falsities of doctrine. In the same:
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive a just man‘s reward (Matthew 10:41).
"To receive a prophet in the name of a prophet," is to receive the truth of doctrine because it is true; and "to receive a just man in the name of a just man," is to receive good for the sake of good; and "to receive a reward," is to be saved according to reception. It is evident that no one receives a reward, or is saved, because he receives a prophet and a just man in the name of such. Those words cannot be understood by anyone, without a knowledge of what "a prophet" and "a just man" signify; nor can those which follow:--Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only, in the name of a disciple, shall not lose his reward.
By a "disciple" is meant charity, and at the same time faith from the Lord. In Joel:--
I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, so that your sons and your daughters shall prophesy (Joel 2:28).
This is concerning the church which was to be established by the Lord, in which they would not prophesy, but receive doctrine, which is to "prophesy." In Matthew:--
Jesus said, Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? but then will I confess unto them, I have not known you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22, 23).
Who does not see, that they will not say that they have prophesied, but that they knew the doctrine of the church, and taught it? In the Apocalypse:--
The time is come for judging the dead and for giving reward to the prophets (Apoc. 11:18);
and in another place:--
Exult, O heaven, and holy apostles and prophets, for God hath judged your judgment (Apoc. 18:20).
It is evident that a reward would not be given to the prophets alone, and that the apostles and prophets would not alone exult at the Last Judgment, but all who have received the truths of doctrine, and have lived according to them. These, therefore, are meant by "apostles" and "prophets." In Moses:--
Jehovah said unto Moses, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet (Exod. 7:1);
"a god" here means the Divine truth as to reception from the Lord, in which sense the angels are also called gods, and by "prophet" is meant one who teaches and speaks it, therefore Aaron is there called a prophet. The same is signified by "prophet" in other places, as in the following:--
The law shall not perish from the priest, nor the Word from the prophet (Jer. 18:18).
From the prophets of Jerusalem hath gone forth hypocrisy into all the land (Jer. 23:15, 16).
The prophets shall become wind, and the Word is not in them (Jer. 5:13).
The priests and the prophets err through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they stagger in judgment (Isa. 28:7).
The sun setteth over the prophets, and the day groweth dark over them (Micah 3:6).
From the prophet even unto the priest, everyone doeth a lie (Jer. 8:10).
In these passages, by "prophets" and "priests," in the spiritual sense, are not meant prophets and priests, but the entire church; by "prophets," the church as to the truth of doctrine, and by "priests" the church as to the good of life, both of which were destroyed; these things are so understood by the angels in heaven; while by men in the world they are understood according to the sense of the letter. That the prophets represented the state of the church as to doctrine, and that the Lord represented it as to the Word itself, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (L n. 15-17).
AR 9. For the time is near, signifies that the state of the church is such, that it cannot endure any longer as to its conjunction with the Lord. There are two essentials by which conjunction with the Lord, and thence salvation is effected, the acknowledgment of one God, and repentance of life; but at this day, instead of the acknowledgment of one God, there is an acknowledgment of three, and instead of repentance of life, there is repentance of the mouth only that one is a sinner; and by these two there is not any conjunction; therefore unless the New Church should arise, which acknowledges these two essentials, and lives accordingly, no one can be saved; on account of this danger the time is shortened by the Lord, according to His words in Matthew:--
For then shall be great affliction, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, nor shall be; yea, except those days should be shortened, no flesh should be saved (Matthew 24:21, 22).
That near or nearness of time is not meant, may be seen below (n. 947).REVELATION 1:3 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|