(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 4311

Remove Highlights | Highlight Search Terms


4311. That in the internal historical sense by for I have seen God faces to faces, and my soul is delivered, is signified that He was present representatively, is evident from the signification of "seeing God faces to faces," when these words are predicated of the state in which the posterity of Jacob were, as being that the Lord was present representatively; for to see God faces to faces in the external form and with the bodily sight, is not to see Him present (n. 4299). That He was not present as with those who are regenerate, and thereby are in spiritual love and faith, is manifest from what has been said of that nation (n. 4281, 4288, 4290, 4293) - that they were in external worship, and not at the same time in internal, or what is the same, in bodily and worldly, and not in spiritual and heavenly love. With such the Lord could never be present except representatively.
[2] What it is to be present representatively, must be briefly told. A man who is in bodily and worldly love and not at the same time in spiritual and heavenly love, has none but evil spirits with him, even when he is in a holy external; for good spirits cannot possibly be present with such a person, because they at once perceive in what kind of love a man is. There is a sphere which is exhaled from his interiors, which spirits perceive as manifestly as a man perceives by his sense of smell offensive and foul vapors floating around him in the air. That nation which is here treated of, was in such a state as to good and truth, or as to love and faith. In order, however, that they might serve as the representative of a church, it was miraculously provided by the Lord that when they were in a holy external, and were at the same time surrounded by evil spirits, the holy in which they were might yet be uplifted into heaven; and this by good spirits and angels not within but without them, for within them there was nothing but emptiness or uncleanness. Communication was therefore given not with the man himself, but with the holy itself in which they were when they fulfilled the statutes and precepts given them, which were all representative of spiritual and heavenly things of the Lord's kingdom. This is signified by the Lord's being present with that nation representatively. But the Lord is present in a very different way with those within the church who are in spiritual love and thence in faith. With these there are good spirits and angels not only in their external worship, but also at the same time in their internal; and therefore with them there exists a communication of heaven with themselves; for the Lord flows into them through heaven through their internals into their externals. To these the holy of worship is profitable in the other life, but not to the former.
[3] It is similar with priests and elders who preach holy things, and yet are in evil life and evil belief. With these there are not good, but evil spirits, even when they are in worship that appears holy in the external form. For it is the love of self and of the world, or a love for securing honors and acquiring gain and thereby fame, that fires them and presents an appearance of affection for what is holy, sometimes to such a degree that no simulation is perceived, nor is at the time believed by them to exist; when yet they are in the midst of evil spirits, who are then in a similar state, and who breathe upon them and into them. That evil spirits can be in such a state, and are so when they are in their externals, and are inflated with the love of self and of the world, has been given me to know by manifold experience, which of the Lord's Divine mercy will be described hereafter at the end of the chapters. Such preachers have no communication with heaven in themselves; and yet those have who hear and receive the words from their mouth, if they are in a pious and holy internal; for it matters not from whom the voice of good and truth flows forth, provided their life is not manifestly wicked; for this life causes a scandal.
[4] That the nation descended from Jacob was of such a character (namely, that they were surrounded with evil spirits, and yet the Lord was present with them representatively), may be seen from many passages in the Word; for they were very far from worshiping Jehovah with the heart, and as soon as miracles were lacking, they immediately turned to other gods and became idolaters. This was a manifest proof that at heart they worshiped other gods and confessed Jehovah with the mouth only, and this merely for the reason that they might be the greatest and have preeminence over all the nations round about. That this people at heart worshiped an Egyptian idol, and only confessed Jehovah with the mouth on account of His miracles (with Aaron himself among them), is plainly evident from the golden calf which Aaron made for them, and this but a month after they had seen such great miracles on Mount Sinai, besides those which they had seen in Egypt (see Exod. 32). That Aaron also was of the same character is plainly stated at verses 2 to 5, and especially in verse 35. The same appears also from many other passages in Moses, in the book of the Judges, in the books of Samuel, and in the books of the Kings.
[5] That they were only in external worship and not in any internal worship, is evident also from the fact that they were forbidden to come near to Mount Sinai when the Law was promulgated, and were told that if they touched the mountain, they should surely die (Exod. 19:11-13; 20:16, 19). The reason was that their internal was unclean. It is also said in Moses:
That Jehovah dwelt with them in the midst of their uncleannesses (Lev. 16:16).
The quality of that nation is evident also from the song of Moses (Deut. 32:15-43), and from many passages in the Prophets. From all this it may be known that with that nation there was not any church, but only a representative of a church, and that the Lord was present with them only representatively.
[6] Compare also what has previously been stated in regard to them:
That with the posterity of Jacob there was a representative of a church, but not a church (n. 4281, 4288);
That the representative of a church was not instituted with them until after they had been altogether vastated as to a holy internal, and that they would otherwise have profaned holy things (n. 3398, 4289);
That when they remained in their statutes they could represent, but not when they turned aside from them (n. 3881e);
That on this account they were kept strictly in rituals, and that they were driven thereto by external means (n. 3147, 4281);
That their worship was made external without internal in order that they might serve as a representative of a church (n. 4281);
That for this reason also the interior things of the church were not disclosed to them (n. 301-303, 2520, 3398, 3479, 3769);
That they were of such a nature that they could more than others be in a holy external without an internal (n. 4293);
That for this reason they have been preserved to this day (n. 3479);
And that their holy external does not affect them at all as to their souls (n. 3479).


User-Contributed Related Pages

AC 3881

Add a Related Page

Translate This Page

Add Small Canon Search to Your Website

Add a Small Canon Search™ button to my Google Toolbar

Add Small Canon Search™ to my Firefox Search Bar!

Add to Google

Daily Bible Verse

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Green Hosting

5 FREE Domains with Select Hosting Plans. Get yours!