(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 10243

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10243. They shall wash with waters. That this signifies purification by means of the truths of faith, is evident from the signification of "washing," as being purification from evils and falsities (see above, n. 10237); and from the signification of "waters," as being the truths of faith (see also above, n. 10238). He who does not know what is signified by "washing," and what by the "feet" and "hands," cannot know what these words involve, in John:
Jesus poureth water into the basin, and beginneth to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the linen towel wherewith He was girded. And He cometh to Simon Peter, who saith unto Him, Dost Thou wash my feet? Jesus answered, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto Him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me. Peter saith to Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that hath been washed, needeth not save to be washed as to his feet, but is wholly clean. Ye are clean already (John 13:5-10).
Who can know what is involved in what the Lord said, "What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter," and "if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me"? and, "he who hath been washed needeth not save to be washed as to his feet, but is wholly clean"?
[2] That the subject here treated of is purification from evils and falsities, cannot be known except from the internal sense, from which it is evident that by "washing" is meant purification from evils and falsities; by the "water in the basin," the truth of faith in the natural; by the "linen towel, with which the Lord was girded and with which He wiped," the Divine truth proceeding from Him; by the "feet," the natural of man; by "washing the head, hands, and feet," regeneration, and in like manner by "him who hath been washed." Thus by "washing the feet" is meant to purify the natural of man, for unless this is purified and cleansed with man while he lives in the world, it can never be purified afterward. For such as the natural of man is when he dies, such it remains. It is not amended afterward, because it is this plane into which the interiors, which are spiritual, flow, it being their receptacle; and therefore when it has been perverted, the interiors are perverted into its image when they flow in. This is as when the eye is injured, or any other organ of sense, or member of the body, in that the interiors then feel and act through the organ or member no otherwise than according to the reception of them there.
[3] That for this reason a man can never be purified unless he is purified in the world in respect to his natural, is meant by the Lord's words, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter." That he who has been regenerated is not to be purified except in respect to the natural, is meant by these words, "He that hath been washed needeth not save to be washed as to his feet, and is wholly clean." And that all purification is effected by the Lord alone, by these words, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me." And that this is effected by means of the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord, is signified by His "wiping with the linen towel with which He was girded." That a "linen cloth" denotes truth from the Divine, see above (n. 7601); thus the linen cloth with which the Lord was girded denotes the Divine truth from Him. (That "water" denotes the truth of faith, see n. 10238; that a "basin" or "laver" in which is water denotes the natural, see n. 10235; that the "washing" of the head, hands, and feet, or of the whole body, denotes regeneration, n. 10239; and that the "feet" denote the natural of man, n. 10241.) From all this it can be seen again that the Lord spoke by correspondences, thus from the internal sense, because from heaven in which is this sense; and therefore unless the Word of the Lord is understood as to this sense, it is understood but little.


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