(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 9192

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9192. He that sacrificeth to gods. That this signifies the worship of falsities from evil, is evident from the signification of "sacrificing," as being worship (that "to sacrifice" denotes worship is because sacrifices were the chief things of worship with the Israelitish and Jewish people, see n. 923, 6905, 8680, 8936); and from the signification of "gods," as being falsities (n. 4402, 4544, 7873, 8941). The worship of falsities from evil is here mentioned, because this is opposed to the worship of truths from good. For all worship has matters of doctrine for its rules; and these matters of doctrine are truths insofar as they are from good; and they are falsities insofar as they are from evil; for truths have their essence and life from good, and on the other hand falsities have their death from evil.
[2] But the case herein is as follows. There are some who are in genuine truths, some who are in truths not genuine, and some who are in falsities; and yet those who are in genuine truths are often damned, while those who are in truths not genuine, and also those who are in falsities, are often saved. This will appear paradoxical to most people, but still it is the truth. Experience itself has confirmed it; for there have been seen in hell those who had been more learned than others in truths from the Word and from the doctrine of their church, both dignitaries and others; on the other hand there have been seen in heaven those who had been devoid of truths, and even those who had been in falsities, both Christians and Gentiles.
[3] The reason why the former were in hell, was that they had indeed been in truths as to doctrine but in evils as to life; and the reason why the latter were in heaven, was that they had not indeed been in truths as to doctrine but nevertheless had been in good as to life. Some spirits recently deceased, with whom it was given me to speak, wondered that those who had been preeminent for learning in the Word and in the doctrine of their church, were among the damned, whom they nevertheless had believed would become shining lights in heaven, according to these words in Daniel:
The intelligent shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever (Dan. 12:3).
But they were told that "the intelligent" are those who are in truth, and who teach truths, and that "they who turn others to righteousness" are those who are in good, and who lead to good; and that therefore the Lord said:
The righteous shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matt. 13:43).
(That righteousness is predicated of good, and thus that "the righteous" are those who are in good, see n. 2235.)
[4] And they were further told that those who are learned as to doctrine, but evil as to life, are those who are meant by the Lord in the following passages:
Many shall say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name, and by Thy name have cast out demons, and in Thy name done many mighty deeds? But then will I confess unto them, I know you not; depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity (Matt. 7:22, 23).
Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets. But He will say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity (Luke 13:26-27).
And they were also told that the same were meant by "the foolish virgins who had no oil in their lamps," of whom it is written in Matthew:
At last came the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answering said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Matt. 25:11-12);
"to have oil in the lamps" denotes good in the truths which are of the faith of the church (n. 4638; that "oil" denotes the good of love, see n. 886, 4582).
[5] They were told furthermore, that those who are not in truths, nay, who are in falsities from ignorance, and yet are in good and from this in the affection of knowing truth, were meant by the Lord when He said:
I say unto you, that many shall come from the east even unto the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of the heavens; but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into the outer darkness (Matt. 8:11-12).
They shall come from the east and west, and from the north and south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And behold, there are last who shall be first, and there are first who shall be last (Luke 13:29-30).
(That the Gentiles who are in good, though from ignorance in things not true, are received into heaven, see n. 2589-2604, 2861, 2863, 3263, 4190, 4197.)
[6] From all this it can now be seen that by "those who sacrifice unto gods" are signified those who are in the worship of falsity from evil, and that these are they who shall be "accursed," that is, shall be cast out. For falsities from evil are evils in form, because when evil shows itself in the light, and takes form, it is called falsity. Hence it is that those who are in evil as to life, although in truths as to doctrine, are nevertheless in the falsities of their evils. That this is so is clearly visible in the other life; for when these persons are left to themselves they think from their evil against the truths which they had known and professed; thus they think falsities. And they do the very same in this world when thinking by themselves; for they then either pervert truths, or deny them, in order to defend the evils of their life.
[7] But they who are in good, and yet in things not true, nay, who are in falsities from ignorance, as are many within the church, and many also outside of the church who are called Gentiles, these indeed regard their falsities as truths; but because their falsities come forth from good, they bend them to good, and therefore there is nothing wicked in these falsities, as there is in those which are from evil. And as falsities from good are mild and pliant, such persons are in the capacity of receiving truths, and moreover, do receive them when they are instructed by the angels. These falsities may be compared to foods which look unclean, but yet are savory; whereas falsities from evil may be compared to unclean foods which inwardly are putrid. But truths from evil may be compared to foods which look clean, but are inwardly baneful, and if attended with hypocrisy are poisonous; as the Lord teaches in Matthew:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make yourselves like unto whited sepulchers which outwardly indeed appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27).


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