784. It is in accordance with Divine order that a new heaven should be formed before a new church is established on earth, for the church is both internal and external, and the internal church makes one with the church in heaven, thus with heaven itself; and what is internal must be formed before its external, what is external being formed afterwards by means of its internal. This is well known in the world among the clergy. Just so far as this new heaven, which constitutes the internal of the church with man, increases, does the New Jerusalem, that is, the New Church, descend from it; consequently this cannot take place in a moment, but it takes place to the extent that the falsities of the former church are set aside. For where falsities have already been implanted what is new cannot enter until the falsities have been rooted out, and this will take place with the clergy, and so with the laity; for the Lord said:
No one puts new wine into old wineskins, else the skins burst and the wine is spilled, but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved (Matt. 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37-38).
That these things take place only at the consummation of the age, by which is meant the end of the church, can be seen from these words of the Lord:
Jesus said, The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away; but when the blade sprang up, then appeared the tares also. The servants came and said, Wilt thou that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest haply while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat with them; let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Collect first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn; but gather the wheat into my barn. The harvest is the consummation of the age; as the tares are gathered and burned with fire, so shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:24-30, 39-40).
"Wheat" means here the truths and goods of the new church, and "tares" the falsities and evils of the former church. In the first section of this chapter it can be seen that "the consummation of the age" means the end of the church.