Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 16:1
AR 676. Verse 1. And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go and pour out the vials of the anger of God into the earth, signifies influx from the Lord out of the inmost heaven into the church of the Reformed, where they are who are in faith separated from charity as to doctrine and as to life, to deprive them of truths and goods, and lay open the falsities and evils in which they are, and thus to separate them from those who believe in the Lord, and are in charity and its faith from him. This is a summary of what is contained in this chapter. By "the temple" is signified the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony, mentioned in the foregoing chapter (Apoc. 15:5), whereby is signified the inmost of heaven, where the Lord is in His holiness in the Word, and in the Law which is the Decalogue (n. 669). By "a great voice" thence, is signified a divine mandate to go and pour out the vials. By "the seven angels" the Lord is meant, as above (n. 657). By "pouring out the vials upon the earth," which contained the plagues, is signified influx into the church of the Reformed; by "pouring out the vials" is signified the influx, and by "the earth" is signified the church (n. 285). The church with the Reformed is still treated of; but in the next chapter the subject is concerning the Roman Catholic church, and afterwards concerning the Last Judgment, and finally concerning the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem (see the preface) (n. 2). Chapters 8 and 9 treat of "the seven angels who had the seven trumpets," which they sounded, and since many similar things occur there, it shall here be said what is signified by those seven angels, and what by these. By "the seven trumpets," which the seven angels sounded, is signified the exploration and manifestation of the falsities and evils, in which they are who are in faith separated from charity; but by "the seven vials full of the seven last plagues," is signified their devastation and consummation, for the Last Judgment is not executed upon them until they are devastated. Devastation and consummation in the spiritual world take place in this manner: From those who are in falsities as to doctrine, and thence in evils as to life, are taken away all the goods and truths which they possessed only in the natural man, and from which they simulated Christian men; on being deprived of which, they are separated from heaven, and conjoined with hell. And then they are arranged into societies in the world of spirits according to the varieties of lusts, and afterwards these societies sink down. They are deprived of goods and truths by an influx from heaven. The influx is effected from genuine truths and goods, by which they are tortured and tormented; scarcely otherwise than as a serpent when put near a fire, or thrown upon an ant-hill. Therefore they reject from themselves the goods and truths of heaven, which are also the goods and truths of the church, and at last they condemn them because they feel as if infernal torment proceeded from them. When this has come to pass, they enter into their own evils and falsities, and are separated from the good. These are the things which are described and signified in this chapter by "the pouring out of the vials, wherein were the seven last plagues." The vials did not contain the evils and falsities signified by "the plagues," but they were genuine truths and goods, the effect of which was such as has been described. For the angels went out of "the temple of the tabernacle of testimony," by which is meant the inmost of heaven, where there are nothing but truths and goods in Divine holiness (Apoc. 15:6). Of this devastation and consummation the Lord speaks in these words:--
Unto everyone that hath to him shall be given, that he may have more abundantly; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath (Matt. 13:12; Mark 4:25).
Take the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents; for unto everyone that hath shall be given, that he may abound, but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that he hath (Matt. 25:28, 29; Luke 19:24-26).
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|