Spiritual Meaning of
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That cold signifies no love, or no charity and faith, and that heat, or fire, signifies love, or charity and faith, is evident from the following passages in the Word. In John it is said to the church in Laodicea:--
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot; so because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth (Rev. 3:15, 16).
where cold denotes no charity, and hot much charity. In Isaiah:--
Thus hath Jehovah said unto me, I will be still, and I will behold in My place; like the clear heat upon the light, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest (Isaiah 18:4),
where the subject is the new church to be planted; heat upon the light, and heat of harvest, denote love and charity. Again:--
Saith Jehovah, whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem (Isaiah 31:9),
where fire denotes love. Of the cherubim seen by Ezekiel it is said:--
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches; it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning (Ezek. 1:13).
 And again it is said of the Lord, in the same book:--
And above the expanse that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of a throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it; and I saw as the appearance of burning coal, as the appearance of fire within it round about, from the appearance of His loins and upward; and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about Him (Ezekiel 1:26, 27; 8:2).
Here again fire denotes love. In Daniel:--
The Ancient of days did sit; His throne was flames of fire, and the wheels thereof burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him, a thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him (Daniel 7:9, 10).
Here fire denotes the Lord's love. In Zechariah:--
For I, saith Jehovah, will be unto her a wall of fire round about (Zechariah 2:5),
where the new Jerusalem is treated of. In David:--
Jehovah maketh His angels spirits, His ministers a flaming fire (Ps. 104:4),
a flaming fire denoting the celestial spiritual.
 Because fire signified love, fire was also made a representative of the Lord, as is evident from the fire on the altar of burnt-offering, which was never to be extinguished (Lev. 6:12, 13), representing the mercy of the Lord. On this account, before Aaron went in to the mercy-seat, he was to burn incense with fire taken from the altar of burnt-offering (Lev. 11:12-14). And for the same reason, that it might be signified that worship was accepted by the Lord, fire was sent down from heaven and consumed the burnt-offering (Lev. 9:24, and elsewhere). By fire is also signified in the Word self-love and its cupidity, with which heavenly love cannot agree; and therefore the two sons of Aaron were consumed by fire, because they burned incense with strange fire (Lev. 10:1, 2). Strange fire is all the love of self and of the world, and all the cupidity of these loves. Moreover heavenly love appears to the wicked no otherwise than as a burning and consuming fire, and therefore in the Word a consuming fire is predicated of the Lord, as the fire on Mount Sinai, which represented the love, or mercy, of the Lord, and that was seen by the people as a consuming fire, and therefore they desired Moses not to let them hear the voice of Jehovah God, and see that great fire, lest they should die (Deut. 18:16). The love or mercy of the Lord has this appearance to those who are in the fire of the loves of self and of the world.
from AC 934
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|