(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 3355

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3355. That in the internal sense an "earthquake" signifies a change in the state of the church, is evident from the signification of "earth," as being the church (n. 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928); and from the signification of "quaking," or movement, as being a change of state; here, as to the things of the church, namely, in respect to good and truth. The same is also evident from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah:
It shall come to pass that he who fleeth from the voice of the dread shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare; for the cataracts from on high were opened, and the foundations of the earth were shaken; in breaking the earth is broken; in moving the earth is moved; reeling the earth reeleth like a drunken man, and sways to and fro like a hut; and the transgression thereof is heavy upon it; and it shall fall and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day that Jehovah shall visit upon the army of the height on high, and upon the kings of the ground upon the ground (Isa. 24:18-21).
That in this passage the "earth" is the church, is plainly evident; for it is the church that is treated of, whose foundations are said to be "shaken," and itself to be "broken and moved, and to reel and sway to and fro," when good and truth are no longer known. The "kings of the ground" are truths; here, falsities, upon which there will be visitation. (That "kings" are truths, and in the opposite sense falsities, see above, n. 1672, 2015; and that "ground," like "earth," denotes the church, but with a difference, n. 566, 1068.)
[2] Again:
I will make a man more rare than fine gold, and a man than the gold of Ophir; therefore I will shake the heaven, and the earth shall be shaken out of her place; in the indignation of Jehovah of Armies, and in the day of the wrath of His anger (Isa. 13:12-13);
speaking of the day of judgment; and in this passage also "earth" clearly denotes the church, which is said to be "shaken out of its place," when it is changed as to state. (That "place" is state may be seen above, n. 1273-1275, 1377, 2625, 2837.) Again:
Is this the man that shaketh the earth, that shaketh kingdoms, that maketh the world as a wilderness, and destroyeth the cities thereof? (Isa. 14:16-17);
speaking of Lucifer; the "earth" denotes the church, which he is said to "shake" when man attributes to himself all things of it. (That "kingdoms" are the truths of the church may be seen above, n. 1672, 2547.)
[3] In Ezekiel:
It shall come to pass in that day, when Gog cometh upon the land of Israel, that My wrath shall rise in Mine anger; in My zeal and in the fire of My indignation I will speak, Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake upon the ground of Israel (Ezek. 38:18-20);
"Gog" denotes external worship separate from internal, and thus become idolatrous (n. 1151); the "earth" and the "ground of Israel" denote the spiritual church; the "earthquake," a change in its state. In Joel:
The earth quaked before Him, the heavens trembled, the sun and the moon became black, and the stars withdrew their brightness (Joel 2:10);
where also the subject is the day of the Last Judgment the "earth quaking" denotes a changed state of the church; the "sun and moon," the good of love and its truth (n. 1599, 1530, 2441, 2495), which are said to "become black," when goods and truths are no longer acknowledged; the "stars" denote the knowledges of good and truth (n. 2495, 2849). In David:
The earth was shaken and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains trembled and were shaken, because He was wroth (Ps. 18:7);
the "earth shaken and quaking" denotes the state of the church become perverted.
[4] In John:
And I beheld when he opened the sixth seal, and lo there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth (Rev. 6:12-13);
where the "earthquake, sun, moon, and stars" have a like signification as above in Joel. Again:
In that hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell; and there were killed in the earthquake names of men seven thousand (Rev. 11:13).
From all these passages it is evident that an "earthquake" is nothing else than a change in the state of the church; and that in the internal sense the "earth" is nothing else than the church; and as the "earth" is the church, it is evident that by the "new heaven and new earth," which were to succeed in place of the former (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; Rev. 21:1), there is signified nothing else than a new church internal and external (n. 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118).


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