Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 2:2
AR 76. Verse 2. I know thy works, signifies that He sees all the interiors and exteriors of man at once. "Works" are often mentioned in the Apocalypse, but few know what is meant by works. This is known, that ten men can do works which externally appear alike, but which yet are dissimilar with them all; and this because they proceed from different ends and different causes, the end and the cause rendering the works either good or evil; for every work is a work of the mind, therefore, such as is the quality of the mind, such is the work. If the mind is charity, the work becomes charity; but if the mind is not charity, the work does not become charity; still, however, they may both appear alike in externals. Works appear to men in external form, but to angels in internal form; and to the Lord their quality is apparent from inmost to outmosts. Works in their external form appear like the outside of fruits, but works in their internal form appear like the inside of fruits, where there are innumerable edible parts, and in the midst seeds, in which there are also things innumerable, which are too minute for the keenest eye to discern, yea, which are above the intellectual sphere of man. Such are all works, the internal quality of which the Lord alone sees, and which the angels also perceive from the Lord, when man is doing them. But on this subject more may be seen in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom (DLW n. 209-220, 277-281; AR n. 141, 641, 688). From these things it may appear, that by "I know thy works," is signified that the Lord sees all the interiors and exteriors of man at once.
AR 77. And thy labor and endurance; that this signifies their study and patience, is evident without explanation.
AR 78. And that thou canst not bear the evil, signifies that they cannot bear that evils should be called goods, and the reverse, because this is contrary to the truths of doctrine. That this is the signification of these words, is evident from what follows, by which is signified that they scrutinize those things in the church which are called goods and truths, when yet they are evils and falsities. To know goods, whether they are goods or evils is of doctrine, and is among its truths, but to do goods or evils is of the life this is said, therefore, of those who primarily regard the truths of doctrine, and not the goods of life (n. 73). By "the evil" in the spiritual sense, are not meant the evil but evils, because this sense is abstracted from persons.
AR 79. And has tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars, signifies that they scrutinize those things which are called goods and truths in the church, which nevertheless are evils and falsities. That this is what is signified, cannot be seen except by the spiritual sense, and unless it is thence known what is meant by "apostles" and by "liars": by" apostles" are not meant apostles, but all who teach the goods and truths of the church, and, in the abstract sense, the goods and truths themselves of its doctrine. That apostles are not meant by "apostles," clearly appears from these words addressed to them:--
When the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:30).
Who does not see that the apostles are not to judge anyone, and cannot, much less the twelve tribes of Israel, but that the Lord alone will do this according to the goods and truths of the doctrine of the church from the Word? In like manner from this passage:--
The wall of the city New Jerusalem had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Apoc. 21:14).
Because by the "New Jerusalem," is signified the New Church (n. 880, 881), and by its "foundations," all the goods and truths of its doctrine (n. 902). And also from this passage:--
Exult O heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets (Apoc. 18:20).
What can the exultation of the apostles and prophets signify, unless by them are meant all who are in the goods and truths of doctrine in the church? By the Lord‘s disciples are meant those who are instructed by the Lord in the goods and truths of doctrine; but by apostles they who, after they are instructed, teach them; for it is said:--
Jesus sent His twelve disciples to preach the kingdom of God, and the apostles, when they were returned, told Him all that they had done (Luke 9:1, 2, 10; Mark 6:7, 30).
That by "liars" are meant they who are in falsities, and, abstractly, the falsities themselves, may appear from many places in the Word, where "liars" and "lies" are mentioned, which, if they were adduced, would fill pages; "lies" in the spiritual sense, are nothing else than falsities. From these considerations it may appear, that by "thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars," is signified that they scrutinize those things in the church which are called goods and truths, but which nevertheless are evils and falsities.REVELATION 2:2 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|