(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 6637

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6637. And these are the names of the sons of Israel. That this signifies the quality of the church, is evident from the signification of "name," as being the quality (see n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2628, 2724, 3006, 3421); from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being spiritual truths (n. 5414, 5879, 5951); and from the representation of Israel, as being the good of truth, or spiritual good (n. 3654, 4598, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833). As Israel represents the good of truth, or spiritual good, and his sons spiritual truths in the natural, therefore the sons of Israel represent the church; for the church is the church from spiritual good and from the derivative truths. He who is not in spiritual good, that is, in the good of charity, and in spiritual truths, that is, in the truths of faith, is not of the church, in spite of his having been born within it. For the whole heavenly kingdom of the Lord is in the good of love and of faith; and unless the church is in the like, it cannot be the church, because it is not conjoined with heaven, for the church is the Lord's kingdom on earth.
[2] Its being called the church is not from the fact that the Word is there, and that there are doctrinal things therefrom, nor from the fact that the Lord is known there, and that the sacraments are there; but it is the church from the fact that men live according to the Word, or according to doctrine from the Word, and so that the doctrine is the rule of life. They who are not of this character are not of the church, but are outside of it; and they who live in evil, thus they who live contrary to doctrine, are further outside the church than the Gentiles who know nothing whatever of the Word, of the Lord, and of the sacraments; for the former, because they know the goods and truths of the Church, extinguish the church in themselves, which the Gentiles cannot do, because they do not know them. Be it further known that everyone who lives in the good of charity and of faith is a church and kingdom of the Lord, and from this is called a temple, and also a house, of God. The church in general is constituted of those who are churches in particular, however far apart they may be. This then is the church which is meant here and in what follows by the "sons of Israel."


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