Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 14:13
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AR 639. Verse 13. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Happy are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth, signifies a prediction from the Lord concerning the state of those after death who will be of His New Church, which is, that they who suffer temptations on account of faith in the Lord and life according to His precepts, will have eternal life and happiness. "To hear a voice from heaven saying," signifies a prediction from the Lord. The reason why it relates to their state after death who will be of His New Church, is, because that state is treated of in this verse; by "them that die henceforth," is signified their state after death; "write," signifies that it may be for a remembrance to posterity (n. 39, 63). By "happy" are signified they who have eternal life and happiness, because they are happy. By "the dead" are signified they who afflicted their soul, crucified their flesh, and suffered temptations; that these are here meant by "the dead," will be seen below; that they have eternal life and happiness who have suffered temptations on account of their faith in the Lord and their life according to His commandments, appears from what goes before, where it is said, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus:" by which is signified that the man of the New Church is explored by temptations in regard to his quality as to a life according to the commandments, and as to faith in the Lord see above, (n. 638); and from the following, "and that they may rest from their labors," by which is signified that they who are tempted will have peace in the Lord, as will be seen below, (n. 640). By "temptations" are here meant spiritual temptations, which exist with those who have faith in the Lord and live according to His commandments, when they drive away the evil spirits that are with them, who act as one with their lusts. These temptations are signified by "the cross" in the following passages:--

And be that taketh not his cross and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me (Matt. 10:38).

Jesus said, If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me (Matt. 16:24; Luke 9:23-25; 14:26, 27).

Also by "crucifying the flesh" in Paul:--

They that are Christís crucify the flesh with the passions and lusts (Gal. 5:24).

The reason why they are signified by "the dead" who have afflicted their soul, crucified their flesh, and suffered temptations, is, because thereby they have mortified their former life, and therefore are become as it were dead before the world; for the Lord says:--

Except a grain of wheat falling on the earth die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24).

Nor are any others meant by "the dead" in John:--

Jesus said, As the Father raiseth up the dead, and vivifieth them, even so the Son vivifieth whom He will (John 5:21).

In the same:--

Jesus said, The hour cometh, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and live (John 5:25).

And also by "the resurrection of the dead" (Luke 14:14; Apoc. 20:5, 12, 13; n. 106), and in David:--

Precious in the eyes of Jehovah is the death of His saints (Ps. 116:15).

Jesus also said, He that loseth his soul for My sake, shall find it (Matt. 10:39; 16:25;Luke 9:24, 25; 17:33; John 12:25).

AR 640. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, signifies that the Divine truth of the Word teaches, that they who afflict their soul and crucify the flesh on account of it, shall have peace in the Lord. "Yea, saith the spirit," signifies that the Divine truth of the Word teaches (n. 87, 104). "That they may rest," signifies that they will have peace in the Lord; by "peace" is meant rest of the soul when no longer infested as before by evils and falsities, thus by hell. By "labors" are meant labors of the soul, which consist in afflicting and crucifying the flesh, and in being tempted; therefore by "they shall rest from their labors," is signified that they who afflict the soul and crucify the flesh in this world for the sake of the Lord and of life eternal will have peace in the Lord; for the Lord says:--

In Me ye shall have peace in the world ye shall have affliction (John 16:33).

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you (John 14:27).

Such affliction is meant by "labor" in these passages:--

By the labor of His soul He shall see and be satisfied, and He shall justify many (Isa. 53:11).

Jehovah seeth our affliction, and our labor, and our oppression (Deut. 26:7).

They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth in terror (Isa. 65:23).

I know thy labor, and thy patience, but hast borne, and hast patience, and for My nameĎs sake thou hast labored (Apoc. 2:2, 3).

AR 641. For their works follow with them, signifies as they have loved and believed, and thence have done and spoken. By "the works which follow with them" are signified all things which remain with man after death. It is known, that the externals, which appear before men, derive their essence, soul, and life from the internals, which do not appear before men, but which appear before the Lord and the angels; the latter and the former, or the externals and the internals taken together, are works; good works, if the internals are in love and faith, and the externals act and speak from them; but evil works, if the internals are not in love and faith, and the externals act and speak from them. If the externals act and speak as if from love and faith, those works are either hypocritical or meritorious. Ten persons may do works which are similar in externals, but still they are dissimilar, because the internals from which the externals proceed are dissimilar. Who does not see that there is an internal and an external, and that these two make one? For who does not see that the understanding and will are the internal of man, and speech and action his external? For who can speak and act without the understanding and the will? And since everyone sees this, he may also see that works are external and internal at the same time; and because the external derives its essence, soul, and life from its internal, as was said above, it follows that the external is such as is its internal; consequently, that "the works which follow with them" are according as they have loved and believed, and thence have done and spoken. That good works are charity and faith, may be seen above (n. 73, 76, 94, 141); and that the internal of man or the internal man does not consist in understanding without willing, but in willing and thence understanding, consequently that it does not consist in believing without loving, but in loving and thence believing; and that the doing these things is the external of man, or the external man, may also be seen above (n. 510). From these things it is evident, that by "the works that follow with them" is signified according as they have loved and believed, and thence have done and spoken. The same is signified by "works" in the following passages:--

In the day of judgment God will render to every man according to his works (Rom. 2:6).

We must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, that each one may give account of the things which he hath done by the body, whether good or evil (2 Cor. 5:10).

The Son of man will come in the glory of His Father, and then shall He render to everyone according to his works (Matt. 16:27).

They that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, but they that have done evil unto the resurrection of judgment (John 5:29).

They were judged according to those things which were written in the books, all according to their works (Apoc. 20:12, 13).

Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his works (Apoc. 22:12).

I will give to everyone of you according to his works (Apoc. 2:23).

I know thy works (Apoc. 2:1, 2, 4, 9, 13, 19, 26; 3:1-3, 7, 8, 14, 15, 19).

I will recompense them according to their work, and according to the deed of their hands (Jer. 25:14).

Jehovah doeth with us according to our ways and according to our works (Zech. 1:6).

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