7090. And they said unto Pharaoh. That this signifies exhortation to those who are against the truths of the church, is evident from the signification of "saying," because it was by Moses and Aaron from Divine command, as being exhortation (see n. 7033); and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being memory-knowledge that is against the truths of the church (n. 6651, 6673, 6683), thus those who are of such a character. Here and in what follows are treated of those of the spiritual church who were saved by the coming of the Lord into the world, and who before His coming were detained in the lower earth, and there agitated by falsities, that is, by the infernals who are in falsities from evil. That earth is beneath the soles of the feet, surrounded by the hells; in front by those who have falsified truths and adulterated goods; on the right by those who pervert Divine order, and from this study to acquire to themselves power; at the back by evil genii, who from the love of self have secretly plotted evil against the neighbor; deep under these are they who have utterly spurned the Divine, and have worshiped nature, and consequently have put away from them everything spiritual. With such are they surrounded who are in the lower earth, where before the coming of the Lord they who were of the spiritual church were reserved, and were there infested; nevertheless they were protected by the Lord, and were carried up into heaven with the Lord when He rose again (about this see what has been said and shown above, n. 6854, 6855, 6914, 6945, 7035).
 The lower earth, where were reserved those who were of the spiritual church till the Lord's coming, is sometimes mentioned in the Word, as in Isaiah:
Sing, ye heavens, for Jehovah hath done it; shout ye lower parts of the earth; resound with singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein; because Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob, and hath rendered Himself glorious in Israel (Isa. 44:23);
speaking of those who are in the lower earth, that they were saved by the Lord; "Jacob" and "Israel" are the spiritual church, "Jacob" the external church, "Israel" the internal (see n. 3305, 4286, 6426). In Ezekiel:
I will make thee come down with them that descend into the pit, to the people of eternity, and I will make thee dwell in the earth of lower things, in the desolations (Ezek. 26:20).
To the earth of lower things, in the midst of the sons of man, to them that go down to the pit; whence all the trees of Eden shall be comforted in the lower earth, the choice and the chief of Lebanon, all that drink water (Ezek. 31:14, 16);
here the "lower earth" is where were those who had been of the spiritual church.
 At this day also, they who are of the church and have filled their ideas with worldly and also with earthly things, and have caused the truths of faith to be joined to such things, are let down to the lower earth, and are also in combats there; and this until these worldly and earthly things have been separated from the truths of faith, and such things have been implanted as will prevent their being further joined together. When this is over, they are lifted up from thence into heaven; for until such things have been removed, they cannot possibly be with the angels, because these worldly and earthly things are darkness and defilements, which do not accord with the light and purity of heaven. These worldly and earthly things cannot be separated and removed except by means of combats against falsities. These combats take place in this way: they who are in the lower earth are infested by the fallacies and derivative falsities which are sent forth from the infernals round about, but are refuted by the Lord through heaven; and at the same time truths are instilled, and these truths appear as if they were in those who are in the combats.
 Hence it is that the spiritual church is to be called "militant." But at this day it is rarely a militant church with anyone in the world, for while the man of the church lives in the world he cannot endure combat, because of the crowd of evil ones in the midst of whom he is; and because of the flesh in which he is, which is weak. In the other life a man can be kept firmly in the bonds of conscience, but not so in the world; for if in the world he is brought into anything of despair, as those are wont to be who are in combats, he forthwith bursts these bonds; and if he bursts them, he then yields; and if he so yields, it is all over with his salvation. Hence it is that few within the church at this day are admitted by the Lord into combats for truths against falsities. These combats are spiritual temptations. (See also what has been before shown concerning the lower earth and vastations there, n. 4728, 4940-4951, 6854.)