556. And they loved not their soul unto death, signifies who loved not themselves more than the Lord. By "loving their soul" is signified to love themselves and the world, for by the soul is signified man's own life, which everyone has by birth, which is to love himself and the world above all things; therefore by "not loving his soul" is signified not to love himself and the world more than the Lord and the things which are of the Lord; "unto death," signifies to be willing to die rather; consequently it is to love the Lord above all things, and the neighbor as one's self (Matt. 22:35-39); and to be willing to die rather than recede from those two loves. The same is signified by these words of the Lord:
Whosoever will find his soul, shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his soul for the sake of Jesus, shall find it (Matt. 10:39; Luke 17:33).
He that loveth his soul shall lose it; but he that hateth his soul in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal (John 12:25).
Jesus said, If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself; for whosoever will save his soul, shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his soul, for My sake, shall find it. What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, but cause the loss of his soul? or what shall a man give as a sufficient price of redemption for his soul? (Matt. 16:24, 26; Mark 8:35-37; Luke 9:24-25).
By "loving the Lord" is meant to love to do His commandments (John 14:20-24). The reason is, because He Himself is His own commandments, for they are from Him, consequently He is in them, thus in the man in whose life they are inscribed; and they are inscribed in man by willing and doing them.