Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 2:19
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AR 127. Verse 19. I know thy works, signifies that the Lord sees all their interiors and exteriors at once, which may be seen in (n. 76).

AR 128. And charity and ministry, signifies the spiritual affection which is called charity, and its operation. Charity is a spiritual affection, because charity is love towards the neighbor, and love towards the neighbor is that affection: that "ministry" is its operation, follows from their being called "ministers" in the Word who do the things which are of charity. The man who is a worshiper of God is sometimes called "a servant," and sometimes a "minister," and he is called "a servant of God" who is in truths, and "a minister of God" who is in goods; the reason is, because truth serves good, and good ministers to truth. That he is called "a servant" who is in truths, may be seen in (n. 3); but that he is called "a minister" who is in good, is evident from these passages:--

Ye shall be called the priests of Jehovah, the ministers of our God (Isa. 61:6).

My covenant shall not be broken with the Levites My ministers (Jer. 33:21).

They are called "ministers," because priests represented the Lord as to Divine good.

Bless Jehovah all His hosts, ye ministers of His that do His will (Ps. 103:21, 22).

Jehovah maketh His angels spirits; His ministers a flaming fire (Ps. 104:4).

"Angels spirits" are they who are in truths, and "angels ministers" they who are in goods; "flaming fire" also signifies the good of love. Jesus said:--

Whosoever will be great, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be first, let him be your servant (Matt. 20:26, 27; 23:11, 12).

"Minister" is here predicated of good, and "servant" of truth. The same is signified by "ministering" and "ministry" in (Isaiah 61:6; John 12:26; Luke 12:37). Hence it is evident, that by "charity" and "ministry," is signified spiritual affection and its operation; for good is of charity, and truth is of faith.

AR 129. And thy faith and endurance, signifies truth, and the study to procure and teach it. That "faith" signifies truth, may be seen in (n. 111); and that in such case endurance signifies study and labor of procuring and teaching it, follows as a consequence.

AR 130. And the last to be more than the first, signifies the increase thereof from the spiritual affection of truth, which is charity. By "the last works more than the first," are meant all things of their charity and faith, for these are the interior things from which are works (n. 73, 76, 94). These things increase when charity is in the first place and faith in the second; for charity is the spiritual affection of doing good, and from it comes the spiritual affection of knowing truth, for good loves truth as food does drink, for it desires to be nourished, and is nourished, by truths; hence it is, that they who are in genuine charity have a continual increase of truth. This then is what is signified by "I know thy works the last more than the first."

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