(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 1850

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1850. Will I judge. That this signifies visitation and judgment, may be seen without explication. By "judging," or "judgment," there is not signified any last judgment, as people in general suppose, that is, that the heaven and the earth are to perish, and that so a new heaven and a new earth will be created, as spoken of in the Prophets and in Revelation; and thus that all things are to perish, which opinion has spread itself so widely that it has even taken possession of the minds of those who are best instructed; and this to such a degree that they do not believe that the dead are to rise except at that time. And therefore because this time was foretold, and still, after so many centuries have since passed by, they see that it has not come and is not at hand, feeling safe they confirm themselves in their assurance that there is no such thing, and therefore that they will not rise again. But it is to be known that by the last judgment, or by the destruction of heaven and earth, no such thing is meant. According to the sense of the letter it is so; but not at all according to the internal sense: in this sense the last judgment means the last time of the church; the heaven and earth that will perish, mean the church as to internal and external worship, which becomes no church when there is no charity.
[2] There was a last judgment of the Most Ancient Church when all charity and faith had failed, and when there was no perception, as was the case just before the flood. The flood itself, treated of above, was the last judgment of that church; heaven and earth, that is, the church, then perished; and a new heaven and a new earth, that is, a new church, were created, which was called the Ancient Church, and which also has been treated of. This church likewise had its last time, namely, when all charity grew cold and all faith was darkened, which was about the time of Eber. This time was the last judgment of that church; which was the heaven and earth that had perished.
[3] The Hebrew Church was a new heaven and a new earth, and this too had its last time, or last judgment, when it became idolatrous; and then a new church was raised up among the descendants of Jacob, which was called the Jewish Church, and which was a church that was merely representative of charity and faith. In this church, that is, among the descendants of Jacob, there was neither charity nor faith, and therefore no church, but only the representative of a church, for the reason that it had become impossible for there to be immediate communication of the Lord's kingdom in the heavens with any true church on earth, and therefore a mediate communication was effected by means of representatives. The last time of this so-called church, or its last judgment, was when the Lord came into the world; for the representatives then ceased, that is, the sacrifices and similar rites; and in order that these might cease, the Jews were cast out of the land of Canaan.
[4] After this a new heaven and a new earth were created, that is, a new church, which is to be called the Primitive Church, which was commenced by the Lord, and afterwards gradually became stronger, and which at first was in charity and faith. The destruction of this church is foretold by the Lord in the Gospels, and by John in Revelation; and this destruction is what is called the Last Judgment. Not that heaven and earth are now to perish, but that in some quarter of the globe a new church will be raised up, the present one remaining in its external worship, as the Jews do in theirs, in whose worship it is well known that there is nothing of charity and faith, that is, nothing of the church. So far as regards the last judgment in general.
[5] In particular, there is a last judgment for everyone immediately after he dies; for he then passes into the other life, in which, when he comes into the life that he had had in the body, he is adjudged either to death or to life. There is also a last judgment in the singular, for with a man who is adjudged to death, every single thing condemns him, for there is nothing in his thought and will, not even the least thing, that does not resemble his last judgment, and that does not drag him to death. In like manner with the man who is adjudged to life: in him every single thing of his thought and of his will presents an image of his last judgment, and all carry him on to life. For such as is man in general, such is he in the singulars of his thought and of his affection. These are the things that are signified by the last judgment.


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