(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 3488

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3488. That the second state of the perversion of the church was described by the foregoing words of the Lord in the evangelist, is evident from their internal sense, which is as follows:
All these things are the beginning of sorrows;
signifies those things which precede-that is, which are of the first state of the perversion of the church-which as before said is that they would begin no longer to know what is good and what is true, but would dispute about it among themselves, from which would arise falsities, and therefore heresies. That such things perverted the church before many centuries had elapsed, is evident from the fact that the church in the Christian world was divided, and this according to opinions concerning good and truth; thus that the perversion of the church commenced long ago.
[2] Then shall they deliver you into tribulation, and shall kill you;
signifies that good and truth would perish, first by "tribulation," that is, by perversion; afterwards by their "killing" them, that is, by denial. (That to "kill," when predicated of good and truth, is not to receive, thus is to deny, may be seen above, n. 3387, 3395.) By "you," that is, by the apostles, are signified all things of faith in one complex, thus its good as well as its truth. That these things are signified by the twelve apostles may be seen above (n. 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, 3354) and here the same is clearly evident; for it is not the preaching of the apostles that is treated of, but the consummation of the age.
[3] And ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake;
signifies contempt and aversion for all things which are of good and truth; "to hate" is to despise and hold in aversion, for this is of hatred; "of all nations" signifies by those who are in evil (that such are meant by "nations" may be seen above, n. 1259, 1260, 1849, 1868, 2588); "for My name's sake" is on account of the Lord, thus on account of all things which are from Him (that the Lord's "name" is everything in one complex by which He is worshiped, thus everything which is of His church, may be seen above, n. 2724, 3006).
[4] And then shall many be offended, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another;
signifies enmities on account of these things; "many shall be offended" denotes enmity in itself; the Human itself of the Lord is that against which there is enmity; that this would be an offense and a stumbling-block is here and there predicted in the Word; "they shall deliver up one another" denotes enmity among themselves from falsity against truth; "and shall hate one another" denotes enmity among themselves from evil against good.
[5] And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray;
signifies preachings of falsity (that "false prophets" are those who teach falsities, thus false doctrine, may be seen above, n. 2534) "and shall lead many astray" denotes that there should be derivations therefrom.
[6] And because iniquity shall be multiplied, the charity of many shall wax cold;
signifies the expiring of charity together with faith; "because iniquity shall be multiplied" denotes according to the falsities of faith; "the charity of many shall wax cold" denotes the expiring of charity, for they keep pace together; where faith is not, there charity is not, and where charity is not, faith is not; but charity is that which receives faith, and no charity is that which rejects faith: this is the origin of every falsity and every evil.
[7] But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved;
signifies the salvation of those who are in charity; "he that endureth to the end" is he who does not suffer himself to be led astray, thus who does not succumb in temptations.
[8] And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole inhabited earth, for a testimony unto all nations;
signifies that this should first become known in the Christian world; "shall be preached" denotes that it should be made known; "this gospel of the kingdom" is this truth that it is so; "gospel" denotes the annunciation; "kingdom" denotes truth (that "kingdom" denotes truth may be seen above, n. 1672, 2547); "in the whole inhabited earth" denotes the Christian world (that "earth" is the region where the church is, thus the Christian world, may be seen above, n. 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355). The church here is called "inhabited" from the life of faith, that is, from the good which is of truth; for in the internal sense "to inhabit" denotes to live; and the "inhabitants" are the goods of truth (n. 1293, 2268, 2451, 2712, 3384); "for a testimony" denotes that they may know, and not make a pretext that they have been ignorant; "to all nations" denotes to evils (n. 1259, 1260, 1849, 1868, 2588); for when they are in falsity and evil, they no longer know what is true and what is good; they then believe falsity to be truth, and evil to be good, and the reverse; and when the church is in this state, "then shall the end come." In what now follows and what of the Lord's Divine mercy will be unfolded prefatory to the next chapter of Genesis, that state of the church is treated of which is called the "abomination of desolation," which is the third state.


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