(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 2986

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2986. From the sons of Heth. That this signifies that it was a church from the Gentiles, is evident from the signification of the "sons of Heth." The sons of Heth were not those with whom the church was set up anew, but are those by whom the church is represented; for all things in the Word are representative; and they do not signify the persons who are named, but through them things of the Lord's kingdom and church. That by the "sons of Heth" is signified a new church, or what is the same, those who are of the new church, has been stated above repeatedly; but that it was a new church of the Gentiles, or from the Gentiles, is plain from what was said by Abraham to the sons of Heth-"I am a sojourner and a dweller with you" (verse 4); by which is signified that the Lord was not known to them, but still that He could be with them (n. 2915). From this it is plain that by the "sons of Heth" is signified a church from the Gentiles; for it cannot be said of others that the Lord is unknown to them.
[2] Be it known, further, that when any church becomes no church, that is, when charity perishes and a new church is being set up again by the Lord, this is effected rarely if ever with those with whom the old church has been; but with those with whom there was no church before, that is, with the Gentiles. So was it done when the Most Ancient Church perished; for then the new church called "Noah," that is, the Ancient Church which was after the flood, was set up among the Gentiles, that is, among those where there was no church before. So too when this church perished; then a semblance of a church was instituted among the posterity of Abraham from Jacob, thus likewise among the Gentiles; for Abraham when called was a Gentile (see n. 1356, 1992, 2559); and Jacob's posterity in Egypt became still more Gentile, even to such an extent that they were absolutely ignorant of Jehovah, and consequently of all Divine worship. After this church had been consummated, the Primitive Church was set up from the Gentiles, the Jews being rejected; so too will it be with this church, which is called Christian.
[3] The reason why a new church will be set up by the Lord among the Gentiles, is that they have no principles of falsity contrary to the truths of faith, for they are ignorant of these truths. Principles of falsity imbued from infancy, and afterwards confirmed, must be shaken off before the man can be regenerated and become a church. In fact the Gentiles cannot by evils of life profane holy things, for no one can profane what is holy who knows not what it is (n. 593, 1008, 1010, 1059). As the Gentiles are in ignorance, and are free from stumbling-blocks [or difficulties], they are in a better state for the reception of truths than those who are of the church; and all those among them who are in the good of life receive truths easily. (Concerning these things see n. 932, 1032, 1059, 1327, 1328, 1366, 2049, 2051, 2589-2604.)


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