(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 9033

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9033. The invalidation of spiritual truth, that is, of the truth of the doctrine of faith of the church, has been treated of in the two preceding verses; and in the two verses which follow, the subject treated of is the invalidation of memory-truth, which is the truth of the literal sense of the Word. This truth indeed appears like the former, but still it is not like it; and therefore here for the sake of elucidation take this example. It is a spiritual truth, or a genuine truth of the doctrine of faith of the church, that the Lord punishes no one, because He is mercy itself; and therefore whatsoever He does, He does from mercy, and by no means from anger and revenge; and yet the Lord says in Matthew:
Be ye not afraid of those who are able to kill the body, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna (Matt. 10:28).
Here it is said of God that He is "to be feared," because He "is able to destroy body and soul in Gehenna," when yet He destroys no one. Nevertheless this is a truth; and therefore it is not to be extinguished, that is, denied; for if it is denied, faith in the Word perishes; and if this perishes, man cannot spiritually live, for man has spiritual life through faith from the Word.
[2] The case herein is this. It is a law of Divine order that good should have its recompense-thus heaven-within itself; and it is from this that evil has in itself its punishment, thus hell. The former law is from the Lord, because the Lord wills good to all; but the latter law not so, because the Lord wills evil to no one. Nevertheless so it is done; not from the Lord, but from the man who is in evil, consequently from evil. Yet this is attributed to the Lord in the sense of the letter of the Word, because it so appears. Therefore, because it is an apparent truth, it must not be denied, that is, extinguished; for thus faith in the Word would be extinguished, which faith is for the simple (see n. 2447, 6071, 6991, 6997, 7533, 7632, 7643, 7679, 7710, 7877, 7926, 8197, 8227, 8228, 8282, 8483, 8631, 8632, 9010).


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