884. Verse 4. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither mourning nor crying, neither shall labor be anymore, for the former things have passed away, signifies that the Lord will take from them all grief of mind, fear of damnation on account of evils and falsities from hell, and of temptations from them, and they shall not remember them, because the dragon, which had occasioned them, is cast out. "God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes" signifies that the Lord will take away from them all grief of mind, for shedding tears is from grief of mind; by "death" which shall not be anymore is signified damnation (as n. 325, 765, 853, 873), here the fear of it; by "mourning" which shall not be anymore is signified the fear of evils from hell, for "mourning" has various significations, having relation in all cases to the subject treated of, here the fear of evils from hell; because the fear of damnation is mentioned just before, and the fear of falsities from hell, and of temptations from them follows; by "crying" is signified the fear of falsities from hell, as will be seen in the next article; by the "labor" which shall be no more, are signified temptations (n. 640); by "it shall not be anymore because the former things are passed away" is signified that they shall not remember them because the dragon, who had occasioned them, is cast out, for these constitute the former things which had passed away.
 But these things shall be illustrated. Every man after death first comes into the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell, and is there prepared, the good for heaven and the evil for hell, concerning which world see above (n. 784, 791, 843, 850, 866, 869). And because there are consociations there as in the natural world, it could not be otherwise before the Last Judgment, than that they who in externals were civil and moral, but in internals were evil, should be together, and should hold converse with those who likewise in externals were civil and moral, but in internals were good. And since there is inherent in the evil the continual lust of seducing, therefore the good, who were in consort with them, were infested in various ways. But they who were in grief by their infestations, and came into the fear of damnation, and of evils and falsities from hell, and of grievous temptation, were removed by the Lord from consort with them, and sent to a certain earth below that, where also there were societies, and were guarded there, and this until such time as all the evil were separated from the good, which was effected by the Last Judgment; and then they who had been guarded in the lower earth, were taken up by the Lord into heaven.
 These infestations were induced for the most part by those who are meant by "the dragon" and his "beasts." Therefore when the dragon and his two beasts were cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, then, because all infestation and thence grief and fear on account of damnation and of hell ceased, it is said to those who had been infested, that "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither mourning, nor crying, nor labor, shall be anymore, for the former things are passed away" by which is signified that the Lord will take from them all grief of mind, fear of damnation, and of evils and falsities from hell, and of grievous temptation from them, nor would they remember them, because the dragon who had induced them was cast out. That the dragon and his two beasts were ejected, and cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, may be seen above (Rev. 19:20; 20:10); and that the dragon infested, appears from many places; for he fought with Michael, and wished to devour the offspring which the woman brought forth, and persecuted the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (Rev. 12:4-5, 7-9, 13-17; 13:1, also 16:13, 16), and in other places. That many who were interiorly good, were thus guarded by the Lord lest they should be infested by the dragon and his beasts, appears from Rev. 6:9-11; and that they were infested, Rev. 7:13-17, and that they were afterwards taken up into heaven, Rev. 20:4, 5, and elsewhere. The same are also meant by "the captives" and by "them that are bound in the pit" and delivered by the Lord (Isa. 24:22; 61:1; Luke 4:18, 19; Zech. 9:11; Ps. 79:11). This is also signified in the Word, where it is said that the graves were opened; also where the souls are spoken of that expect the last judgment, and then the resurrection.