(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 9297

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9297. Three times in the year shall every male of thine appear before the faces of the Lord Jehovah. That this signifies the continual appearance and presence of the Lord, therefore also His appearance and presence in the truths of faith, is evident from the signification of "three times in the year," as being what is complete and continual (see n. 4495, 9198); from the signification of "to be seen," as being appearance and presence (n. 4198, 5975, 6893); from the signification of "a male," as being the truth of faith (n. 2046, 7838); and from the signification of "the faces," when said of Jehovah, that is, of the Lord, as being the Divine good of the Divine love, or mercy (n. 222, 223, 5585, 7599); and as the Divine good of the Divine love is Jehovah Himself, that is, the Lord, therefore by "appearing before the faces of the Lord Jehovah" the same is signified as by being seen by the Lord. Moreover, it is the Lord who sees man, and makes Himself present with him, and gives to the man to see Him. Thus man does not see the Lord from himself, but from the Lord with himself.
[2] How it is to be understood that there is also a continual appearance and presence of the Lord in the truths of faith, shall be briefly told. The presence of the Lord with a man is in the good in him, because good makes his life; but not truth, except insofar as it is from good. From this it is that (as before said, n. 9296) the dwelling place of the Lord with a man is in the good of innocence; and therefore when a man has been regenerated, the Lord is present with him not only in good, but also in truths which are from good; for the truths then have life from good, and are the good in a form, by means of which the quality of the good can be perceived. These are the truths that make the new understanding of the man, which makes a one with his new will. For, as before said, all things bear relation to truth and to good, and the understanding of man is allotted to truths, but the will to the good from which are the truths. From this it is evident how it is to be understood that the appearance and presence of the Lord are then also in the truths of faith. These are the things which are signified by "three times in the year shall every male appear before the faces of the Lord Jehovah." It is said that "the male" shall appear, because by a "male" is signified the truth of faith; and therefore it is said "before the faces of the Lord Jehovah," for the reason that by "Jehovah" is signified the Divine being, and by "Lord" the Divine coming-forth from being; consequently the being in man is good, and the coming-forth from this truth.
[3] It is said in the church that faith is from the Lord; but be it known that the faith which is from charity is from the Lord, but not the faith which is separate from charity; for this latter faith is from man's own, and is called "persuasive faith" (of which in the Doctrine of Charity and Faith before the next chapter). A man is able to know whether the faith in him is from the Lord or from himself; one who is affected by truths merely for the sake of a reputation for learning, in order that he may gain honors and wealth, and not for the sake of the good use of life, is in persuasive faith, which is from himself, and not from the Lord.
[4] In the truth of faith there are theoretical matters and practical ones; and he who regards the theoretical for the sake of the practical, and who sees the former in the latter, and who thus from both conjoined regards the good use of life, and is affected by both for the sake of this end, is in faith from the Lord. The reason is that the use of life, being the end, with him is good, and all things are formed according to the use of life; and the truths of faith are that by which the formation is effected. That this is so, is very manifest from those who are in the other life. All there, without exception, are reduced to the state of their good, or to the state of their evil, and thus to the use of their life, which had been their end, that is, which they had loved above all things, and which consequently had been the very delight of their life. All are reduced to this. The truths or falsities which had made a one with this use, remain, and more besides are adopted which conjoin themselves with the former, and complete the use, and cause the use to appear in its own real form. From this it is that spirits and angels are forms of their use; evil spirits forms of evil use, and these are in hell; good spirits or angels forms of good use, and these are in heaven. From this also it is that the quality of spirits is known the moment they are present; their truths of faith are known from their faces and the beauty of these in respect to their form; and the good itself, which is the use, from the fire of love therein which gives life to the beauty; and also from the sphere which surges from them. From all this it is again evident what is the presence of the Lord in the truths of faith.


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