(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 680

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680. That goods and truths are the genuine foods of man must be evident to everyone, for he who is destitute of them has no life, but is dead. When a man is spiritually dead the foods with which his soul is fed are delights from evils and pleasantnesses from falsities-which are foods of death-and are also those which come from bodily, worldly, and natural things, which also have nothing of life in them. Moreover, such a man does not know what spiritual and celestial food is, insomuch that whenever "food" or "bread" is mentioned in the Word he supposes the food of the body to be meant; as in the Lord's prayer, the words "Give us our daily bread" he supposes to mean only sustenance for the body; and those who extend their ideas further say it includes also other necessaries of the body, such as clothing, property, and the like. They even sharply deny that any other food is meant; when yet they see plainly that the words preceding and following involve only celestial and spiritual things, and that the Lord's kingdom is spoken of; and besides, they might know that the Word of the Lord is celestial and spiritual.
[2] From this and other similar examples it must be sufficiently evident how corporeal is man at the present day; and that, like the Jews, he is disposed to take everything that is said in the Word in the most gross and material sense. The Lord Himself clearly teaches what is meant in His Word by "food" and "bread." Concerning "food" He thus speaks in John:
Jesus said, Labor not for the meat [or food] which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you (John 6:27).
And concerning "bread" He says, in the same chapter:
Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living Bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this Bread he shall live eternally (John 6:49-51, 58).
But at the present day there are men like those who heard these words and said: "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" and who "went back and walked no more with Him" (John 4:60, 66), to whom the Lord said: "The words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life" (John 4:63).
[3] And so with respect to "water" which signifies the spiritual things of faith, and concerning which the Lord thus speaks in John:
Jesus said, Everyone that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life (John 4:13-14).
But at the present day there are those who are like the woman with whom the Lord spoke at the well, and who answered, "Lord, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw" (John 4:15).
[4] That in the Word "food" means no other than spiritual and celestial food, which is faith in the Lord, and love, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Jeremiah:
The enemy hath spread out his hand upon all the desirable things of Jerusalem; for she hath seen that the nations are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom Thou didst command that they should not enter into Thy congregation. All the people groan, they seek bread; they have given their desirable things for food to refresh the soul (Lam. 1:10-11).
No other than spiritual bread and food are here meant, for the subject is the sanctuary. Again:
I have cried out for my lovers, they have deceived me; my priests and mine elders in the city expired, for they sought food for themselves, to refresh their soul (Lam. 1:19),
with the same meaning. In David:
These wait all upon Thee, that Thou mayest give them their food in its season; Thou givest them, they gather; Thou openest thine hand, they are satisfied with good (Ps. 104:27, 28).
Here likewise spiritual and celestial food is meant.
[5] In Isaiah:
Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no silver; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without silver, and without price (Isa. 55:1),
where "wine" and "milk" denote spiritual and celestial drink. Again:
A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and thou shalt call His name Immanuel; butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good; and it shall come to pass that for the abundance of milk that they shall give they shall eat butter; for butter and honey shall everyone eat that is left in the midst of the land (Isa. 7:14-15, 22).
Here to "eat honey and butter" is to appropriate what is celestial-spiritual; "they that are left" denote remains, concerning whom also in Malachi:
Bring ye all the tithes into the treasure house, that there may be food in My house (Mal. 3:10).
"Tithes" denote remains. (Concerning the signification of "food" see above, n. 56-58, 276.)


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