(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 29

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29. Verses 11, 12. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the tender herb, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree bearing fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was so. And the earth brought forth the tender herb, the herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree bearing fruit, whose seed was in itself, after its kind; and God saw that it was good. When the "earth" or man, has been thus prepared to receive celestial seeds from the Lord, and to produce something of what is good and true, then the Lord first causes some tender thing to spring forth, which is called the "tender herb;" then something more useful, which again bears seed in itself, and is called the "herb yielding seed;" and at length something good which becomes fruitful, and is called the "tree bearing fruit, whose seed is in itself" each according to its own kind. The man who is being regenerated is at first of such a quality that he supposes the good which he does, and the truth which he speaks, to be from himself, when in reality all good and all truth are from the Lord, so that whosoever supposes them to be from himself has not as yet the life of true faith, which nevertheless he may afterwards receive; for he cannot as yet believe that they are from the Lord, because he is only in a state of preparation for the reception of the life of faith. This state is here represented by things inanimate, and the succeeding one of the life of faith, by animate things. [2] The Lord is He who sows, the "seed" is His Word, and the "earth" is man, as He himself has deigned to declare (Matt. 13:19-24, 37-39; Mark 4:14-21; Luke 8:11-16). To the same purport He gives this description:
So is the kingdom of God, as a man when he casteth seed into the earth, and sleepeth and riseth night and day, and the seed groweth and riseth up, he knoweth not how; for the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear (Mark 4:26-28).
By the "kingdom of God" in the universal sense, is meant the universal heaven; in a sense less universal, the true church of the Lord; and in a particular sense, everyone who is of true faith, or who is regenerate by a life of faith. Wherefore such a person is also called "heaven" because heaven is in him; and likewise the "kingdom of God" because the kingdom of God is in him as the Lord Himself teaches in Luke:
Being demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them, and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20-21).
This is the third successive stage of the regeneration of man, being his state of repentance, and in like manner proceeding from shade to light, or from evening to morning; wherefore it is said (verse 13), "and the evening and the morning were the third day."


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