(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 4674

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4674. And Joseph brought their evil report unto their father. That this signifies that from it their quality was apparent, is evident from the representation of Joseph, as being the Divine spiritual or Divine truth which is from the Lord (n. 4286, 4675); from the signification of "father," as being good (n. 3703, 3704), here the good of the Ancient Church which is represented by Jacob, as will be seen toward the end of this chapter; and from the signification of an "evil report," as being the faults and vices of those signified by Joseph's brethren, who as before said (n. 4671) denote those of the church who turn away from good and truth. This shows what is signified by these words in the proximate internal sense, namely, that the faults and vices signified by Joseph's brethren were exposed to view or made apparent by Divine truth when they were regarded from the good of the Ancient Church; or what is the same thing, that from this truth their quality was apparent.
[2] In regard to these things the case is this: The falsities and evils of the church (that is, of those who are in the church) do not appear to those who are therein, for falsities are not seen from falsities, nor evils from evils, because principles of falsity completely befog truths, and a life of evil extinguishes them. Both principles of falsity and a life of evil induce an appearance that falsities are truths and truths falsities, and that good is evil and evil good. That this is so is evident from manifold experience. But the church, or they who are in the church, appear entirely different in heaven; for in heaven there is Divine truth from the Lord, and Divine truth in heaven is light, and in this light their quality is apparent. For every man as to his soul or spirit is in some society, either angelic or diabolical. His thought is there, but his speech and actions are among men in various interactions with them.
[3] How the case further is in regard to the quality of those who are in the church being made apparent by Divine truth, or in Divine light, may appear from the following considerations. Before evil spirits who are recently from the world cast themselves into hell, they above all others suppose that they will be received into heaven, believing that only reception is needed, and that everyone, of whatever quality, may of grace be admitted into heaven. But they are sometimes told that heaven is denied by the Lord to no one, and that they may be admitted if they are able to stay there. Some of them are even taken up into the first societies, at the entrance to heaven; but when they come thither they begin to be tormented and almost suffocated, so distressed is the life of their thought and will-the life of their thought from principles of falsity, and the life of their will from a life of evil, in the world. And when they look at themselves in the light there, they appear to themselves as devils, some as corpses, and others as monsters, and they therefore cast themselves headlong down from that society, and from its light into some dark infernal mist, where they recover their former respiration, and where from phantasy they appear to themselves as spirits not evil. In this way they learn their quality. From this it is now clear in what manner it should be understood that from it (that is, from Divine truth) their quality was apparent.


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