Spiritual background for REVELATION 21previous - next - text - Revelation - BM Home - Full Page
AR Chapter 21
AR 926. To this I will add this Relation.
When I was explaining the twentieth chapter, and was meditating about "the dragon," "the beast," and "the false prophet," a certain one appeared to me, and asked, "What are you meditating upon?" I said that it was upon the false prophet. He then said to me, "I will lead you to the place where they are who are meant by the false prophet." He said that they were the same as are meant (chap. 13) by "the beast out of the earth, which had two horns like a lamb, and spoke as a dragon." I followed him, and behold, I saw a multitude, in the midst of which were leaders, who taught that nothing else saves man but faith; and that works are good, but not for salvation; and that still they are to be taught from the Word, that the laity, especially the simple, may be held the more strictly in the bonds of obedience to the magistrates, and as from religion, and thus interiorly, may be compelled to exercise moral charity. And then one of them, seeing me, said, "Do you wish to see our shrine, in which there is an image representative of our faith?" I drew near, and saw; and behold, it was magnificent, and in the midst of it an image of a woman, clothed in a scarlet garment, and holding a golden coin in the right hand; and in the left a chain of pearls. But both the shrine and the image were induced by fantasies; for infernal spirits can by fantasies represent magnificent things, by closing up the interiors of the mind, and opening only its exteriors. But when I noticed that they were such sorceries, I prayed to the Lord, and suddenly the interiors of my mind were opened; and I then saw in place of the magnificent shrine a house full of chinks, from the roof to the bottom, in which nothing cohered; and instead of a woman I saw hanging in that house an image, the head of which was like a dragonís, the body like a leopardĎs, and the feet like a bearís, thus like the description of the beast out of the sea (Apoc. xiii); and instead of the ground was a swamp, in which was a multitude of frogs; and it was said to me that under that swamp was a great hewn stone, beneath which lay the Word well concealed. On seeing these things, I said to the sorcerer, "Is this your shrine?" and he said that it was. But suddenly his interior sight was then opened, and he saw the same things that I did: on seeing which he cried out with a great cry, "What is this? and whence is this?" And I said that it is from the light of heaven, which discloses the quality of every form, and here the quality of your faith separated from spiritual charity. And immediately there came an east wind, and carried away everything that was there, and also dried up the swamp, and thus laid bare the stone, under which lay the Word. And after this there breathed as it were a vernal heat from heaven; and behold, there then appeared in the same place a tabernacle, simple in its external form. And the angels who were with me said, "Behold, the tabernacle of Abraham, such as it was when the three angels came to him, and announced that Isaac was to be born. This appears before the eyes as simple, but it becomes more and more magnificent according to the influx of light from heaven." And it was given them to open the heaven in which were the spiritual angels, who are in wisdom: and then, from the light flowing in thence, that tabernacle appeared like a temple similar to that at Jerusalem. When I looked into it, I saw the foundation stone, under which the Word had been deposited, set around with precious stones; from which as it were lightning flashed upon the walls, upon which were the forms of cherubim, and beautifully variegated them with colors. These things I wondered at. The angels said, "You shall see something still more wonderful." And it was given them to open the third heaven, in which were the celestial angels, who are in love; and then, from the light flowing in thence, the whole of that temple vanished; and in place of it was seen the Lord alone, standing upon the foundation stone, which was the Word, in appearance similar to that in which He was seen by John (Apoc. 1:13). But because a holiness then filled the interiors of the minds of the angels, by which there was an impulse to fall down upon their faces, suddenly the way of the light from the third heaven was closed by the Lord, and the way was opened for the light from the second heaven; in consequence of which the former appearance of the temple returned, and likewise of the tabernacle, but in the temple. By this was illustrated the meaning of these words in this chapter:--
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them (Apoc 21:3; n. 882);
and by these:--
I saw no temple in the New Jerusalem; for the Lord God Almighty is the temple of it, and the Lamb (Apoc. 21:22; n. 918).