Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 20:6
AR 852. Verse 6.Happy and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, signifies that they who come into heaven, have the felicity of life eternal, and enlightenment by conjunction with the Lord. He is called "happy" who has the felicity of life eternal (n. 639); and he is called "holy" who has enlightenment in Divine truths by conjunction with the Lord, for the Lord alone is holy; and the Divine proceeding from Him, from which there is enlightenment, is what is called the Holy Spirit (n. 173, 586, 666). By "the first resurrection" is signified elevation into heaven by the Lord, and thus salvation, as above (n. 851). Hence it is evident, that by "Happy and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection" is signified that they who come into heaven have the felicity of life eternal, and enlightenment by conjunction with the Lord.
AR 853. Upon these the second death hath no power, signifies that they are not condemned. By "the second death" nothing else is signified but spiritual death, which is damnation; for the first death is natural death, which is the death of the body;-but the second death is spiritual death, which is the death of the soul, and that this is damnation is known. And since the second death is damnation, and the first death is the decease, and this latter death is not spiritual, therefore the first death is nowhere mentioned in the Apocalypse, but the second death spoken of again in this chapter, (verse 14); also in the following (Apoc. 21:8), and likewise before (Apoc 2:11). He who does not observe this, may readily believe that there are two spiritual deaths, because it is said "the second death," when nevertheless there is only one spiritual death, which is here meant by "the second death"; and in like manner that there are two resurrections, because it is said "the first resurrection," when yet there is only one resurrection, wherefore neither is there any second resurrection mentioned, see above (n. 851). Hence it is evident that by "On these the second death hath no power," is signified that they are not condemned.
AR 854. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, signifies because they are kept by the Lord in the good of love and thence in the truths of wisdom. By "priests" in the Word are meant they who are in the good of love, and by "kings" they who are in the truths of wisdom; wherefore it is said above:--
Jesus Christ hath made us kings and priests (Apoc. 1:6);
The Lamb hath made us kings and priests, that we may reign over the earth (Apoc. 5:10).
And it may be clearly seen that the Lord will not make men kings and priests, but that He will make them angels who are in the truths of wisdom, and in the good of love from Him. That by "kings" are meant they who are in the truths of wisdom from the Lord, and that the Lord is called "king" from the Divine truth, may be seen above (n. 20, 483, 664, 830). The reason why by "priests" are meant those who are in the good of love from the Lord, is because the Lord is the Divine love and the Divine wisdom, or what is the same, the Divine good and the Divine truth; and the Lord from the Divine love or the Divine good, is called "priest," and from the Divine wisdom or the Divine truth, is called "king." Hence it is, that there are two kingdoms, into which the heavens are distinguished, the celestial and the spiritual; and the celestial kingdom is called the Lord‘s priestly kingdom, for the angels there are recipients of the Divine love or the Divine good from the Lord, and the spiritual kingdom is called the Lord’s royal kingdom, for the angels there are the recipients of the Divine wisdom or the Divine truth from the Lord; but more may be seen concerning these two kingdoms above (n. 647, 725). It is said that they are recipients of the Divine good and the Divine truth from the Lord; but it is to be known that they are perpetually receiving them, for the Divine good and the Divine truth cannot be appropriated by any angel or man, so as to be his own, but only that they may appear to be his, because they are Divine; wherefore no angel or man can produce from himself anything good or true, which in itself is good and true; from which it is evident that they are kept in good and truth by the Lord, and this continually; for which reason, if anyone comes into heaven, and thinks that good and truth are appropriated to him as his own, he is immediately let down from heaven and instructed. From these things it may now appear, that by "they shall be priests of God and of Christ," is signified because they were kept by the Lord in the good of love, and thereby in the truths of wisdom. That by priests in the Word are meant such as are in the good of love from the Lord, may appear from many passages therein, but as they are adduced in the Arcana Coelestia published at London, I will only quote therefrom the following: "That priests represented the Lord as to the Divine good (AC n. 2015, 6148). That the priesthood was a representative of the Lord as to the work of salvation, because this was from the Divine good of His Divine love (AC n. 9809). That the priesthood of Aaron, of his sons, and of the Levites, was a representative of the Lord‘s work of salvation in successive order (AC n. 10017). That therefore by "priests" and by "the priesthood" is signified the good of love from the Lord (AC n. 9806, 9809). That by the two names, "Jesus" and "Christ," is signified as well the priesthood as the royalty of the Lord (AC n. 3004, 3005, 3009). That priests administer ecclesiastical affairs, and kings civil affairs (AC n. 10793). That priests are to teach truths, and by these lead to good, and thus to the Lord (AC n. 10794). That they are not to claim power to themselves over the souls of men (AC n. 10795). That priests ought to have dignity on account of holy things, but that they ought not to attribute the dignity to themselves, but to the Lord, from whom alone are holy things, because the priesthood is not in the person, but is adjoined to the person (AC n. 10796, 10797). That priests who do not acknowledge the Lord have in the Word a contrary signification (AC n. 3670).
AR 855. And shall reign with Him a thousand years, signifies that they were already in heaven, when the rest, who did not yet live again, that is, receive heavenly life, were in the world of spirits. "To reign with Christ" does not signify to reign with Him, but to be in His kingdom, or in heaven, see above (n. 284, 289). By "a thousand years" is not meant a thousand years, but it signifies some time, as above (n. 842); that "a thousand years" signifies nothing else but that space of time which intervened between the shutting up of the dragon in the abyss and his release, is evident because it is said that he was cast into the abyss, shut up, and a seal set upon him for a thousand years, and then that he was loosed (verses 3, 7). This same space of time is also here signified; therefore, "they shall reign with Christ a thousand years," signifies that they were already in heaven, while the rest of the dead who did not yet live again were in the world of spirits, of whom (verse 5). But these things cannot be comprehended by those who do not know that by numbers, in the Apocalypse, are not meant numbers, but things. I can assert that the angels do not understand any number naturally, as men do, but spiritually; yea, that they do not know what a thousand years are, except that it is some interval of time, small or great, which cannot be otherwise expressed than by some time. REVELATION 20:6 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
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