VASTATION >> Lack of Goods >> Famine
DECISION >> Visitation >> End of the Church
DESOLATIONS >> Lack of Truths >> Sword
CONSUMMATION >> No more Truths or Goods
Such is the equilibrium of all things in the other life in both general and particular that evil punishes itself, so that in evil there is the punishment of evil. It is the same with falsity, which returns upon him who is in the falsity. Hence everyone brings punishment and torment upon himself, and rushes at the same time among the diabolical crew who inflict such torment. The Lord never sends anyone to hell, but would lead all away from hell, and still less does He lead into torment. But as the evil spirit rushes into it himself, the Lord turns all the punishment and torment to good, and to some use. No penalty is ever possible unless the Lord has in view some end of use; for the Lord's kingdom is a kingdom of ends and uses. But the uses which the infernals can perform are the lowest uses; and when they are engaged in them they are not in so much torment, but on the cessation of the use they are sent back into hell. [AC696]
There are with every man at least two evil spirits and two angels. Through the evil spirits the man has communication with hell; and through the angels, with heaven. Without communication with both no man can live a moment. Thus every man is in some society of infernals, although he is unaware of it. But their torments are not communicated to him, because he is in a state of preparation for eternal life. The society in which a man has been is sometimes shown him in the other life; for he returns to it, and thereby into the life that he had in the world; and from thence he either tends toward hell, or is raised up toward heaven. Thus a man who does not live in the good of charity, and does not suffer himself to be led by the Lord, is one of the infernals, and after death also becomes a devil. [AC697]
Besides the hells there are also vastations, concerning which there is much in the Word. For in consequence of actual sins a man takes with him into the other life innumerable evils and falsities, which he accumulates and joins to himself. It is so even with those who have lived uprightly. Before these can be taken up into heaven, their evils and falsities must be dissipated, and this dissipation is called Vastation. There are many kinds of vastations, and longer and shorter periods of vastation. Some are taken up into heaven in a comparatively short time, and some immediately after death. [AC698]
That I might witness the torment of those who are in hell, and the vastation of those who are in the lower earth, I have at different times been let down thither. To be let down into hell is not to be carried from one place to another, but to be let into some infernal society, the man remaining in the same place. But I may here relate only this experience: I plainly perceived that a kind of column surrounded me, and this column was sensibly increased, and it was intimated to me that this was the "wall of brass" spoken of in the Word. The column was formed of angelic spirits in order that I might safely descend to the unhappy. When I was there I heard piteous lamentations, such as, O God! O God! take pity on us! take pity on us! and this for a long time. I was permitted to speak to those wretched ones, and this for a considerable time. They complained especially of evil spirits in that they desired and burned for nothing else than to torment them. They were in despair, saying that they believed their torment would be eternal; but I was permitted to comfort them. [AC699]
There are many persons who during their life in this world from simplicity and ignorance have imbibed falsities of religious belief, and yet have had a kind of conscience in accordance with the principles of their faith, and have not like others lived in hatred, revenge, and adultery. In the other life these persons cannot be introduced into heavenly societies so long as they remain in these falsities, for they would contaminate them; and they are therefore kept for a time in the lower earth, in order that they may get rid of their false principles. The time that they remain there is longer or shorter according to the nature of the falsity, and the life contracted thereby, and according to the degree in which they have confirmed themselves in their principles. Some suffer there severely, others not severely. These sufferings are what are called Vastations, of which there is frequent mention in the Word.* When the period of vastation is completed, they are taken up into heaven, and as newcomers are instructed in the truths of faith, and this by the angels by whom they are received. [AC1106]
There are some who are very willing to be vastated and thus get rid of the false principles which they have brought with them from the world. (No one can get rid of his false principles in the other life except by the lapse of time and by means provided by the Lord.) While these persons remain in the lower earth, they are kept by the Lord in the hope of deliverance, and in the thought of the end in view, which is that they may be amended and prepared to receive heavenly happiness. [AC1107]
Some are kept in a middle state between sleep and waking, and think very little, except when they as it were awake-which takes place by alternations-and then they remember what they had thought and done in the life of the body, and again they relapse into the middle state between being awake and being asleep. In this way these are vastated. They are under the left foot, a little in front. [AC1108]
Those who have fully confirmed themselves in false principles are reduced to complete ignorance, and then they are in obscurity and confusion, so that when they merely think of the things in which they have confirmed themselves, they have inward pain. But after some time has passed, they are as it were created anew, and are imbued with the truths of faith. [AC1109]
Those who have assumed righteousness and merit on account of their good works, and so have attributed the efficacy of salvation to themselves, and not to the Lord and His righteousness and merit, and have confirmed themselves in this in thought and in life, in the other world have their principles of falsity turned into phantasies, so that they seem to themselves to be hewing wood: this is exactly as it appears to them. I have spoken with them. When they are engaged in their labor, and are asked whether they are not fatigued, they reply that they have not yet accomplished enough work to be able to merit heaven. When they are hewing the wood there appears to be something of the Lord under the wood, thus as if the wood were merit that they are getting. The more of the Lord there appears in the wood, the longer they remain in this condition; but when that appearance begins to cease, their vastation is drawing to an end. At length they become such that they too can be admitted into good societies, but still they long fluctuate between truth and falsity. Great care is taken of them by the Lord, because they have lived a dutiful life, and He from time to time sends angels to them. These are they who in the Jewish Church were represented by the hewers of wood (Josh. 9:23, 27). [AC1110]
Those who have lived a good civic and moral life, but have persuaded themselves that they merit heaven by their works, and have believed that it is sufficient to acknowledge an only God as the Creator of the universe, in the other life have their false principles turned into such phantasies that they seem to themselves to be cutting grass, and are called grass-cutters. They are cold, and try to warm themselves by this cutting. Sometimes they go round and inquire among those whom they meet whether they will give them some heat, which indeed spirits can do, but the heat which they receive has no effect upon them, because it is external and what they want is internal heat; and therefore they return to their cutting, and thus gain heat by their labor. Their cold I have felt. They are always hoping to be taken up into heaven, and sometimes consult together how they may introduce themselves by their own power. As these persons have performed good works, they are among those who are vastated; and at length, after some time has passed, they are introduced into good societies, and are instructed. [AC1111]
Those however who have been in the goods and truths of faith, and have gained therefrom a conscience and a life of charity, are taken up by the Lord into heaven immediately after death. [AC1112]
There are girls who have been enticed into harlotry, and thus persuaded that there is no evil in it, being in other respects rightly disposed. These, because they are not yet of an age to be able to know and judge concerning such a life, have an instructor with them, quite severe, who chastises them whenever in thought they break out into such wantonness. Of him they are in great fear, and in this way are vastated. But adult women who have been harlots and have enticed other women, do not undergo vastation, but are in hell. [AC1113]
Vastation is of two kinds; first, of those who know and do not wish to know, or who see and do not desire to see, like the Jews of old, and the Christians of the present day; and secondly, of those who, in consequence of their ignorance, neither know nor see anything, like both the ancient and modern Gentiles. When the last time of vastation comes upon those who know and do not desire to know, that is, who see and do not desire to see, then a church arises anew, not among them, but with those whom they call Gentiles. This occurred with the Most Ancient Church that was before the flood, with the Ancient Church that was after that event, and also with the Jewish Church. The reason why new light shines forth then and not before is, as has been said, that then they can no longer profane the things revealed, because they do not acknowledge and believe that they are true. [AC 410]
That the last time of vastation must exist before a new church can arise, is frequently declared by the Lord in the Prophets, and is there called "vastation" or "laying waste," in reference to the celestial things of faith; and " desolation," in relation to the spiritual things of faith. It is also spoken of as "consummation" and "cutting off." (Isa. 6:9, 11, 12; 23:8-18; 24:1-23; 42:15-18; Jer. 25:1-38; Dan. 8:1-27; 9:24-27; Zeph. 1:1-18; Deut. 32:1-52; Rev. 15:1-8; 16:1-21.). [AC 411]
In the preface to the preceding chapter there was unfolded what the Lord taught and foretold in (Matthew 24:8-14), concerning the Last Judgment, that is, the last days of the church (n. 3486-3489). There now follow in order, for explication in accordance with the same method of procedure, the contents of the 15th to 18th verse in the same chapter:--
When therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation which was told of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, let him that readeth understand, then let them that are in Judea flee into the mountains; let him that is upon the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house; and let him that is in the field not return back to take his garment (Matt. 24:15-18). [AC 3650]
Everyone may see that these words contain arcana, and that unless these arcana are disclosed it is impossible to know what is meant by "them that are in Judea fleeing to the mountains;" by "him that is upon the housetop not going down to take anything out of his house;" and by "him that is in the field not returning back to take his garment." Unless the internal sense were to teach what these words signify and enfold within them, the investigators and interpreters of the Word might be led away and fall into opinions altogether foreign to the truth; or it might even happen that those who at heart deny the holiness of the Word might come to the conclusion that such expressions merely describe flight and escape on the approach of an enemy; consequently that there is nothing more holy contained therein; when yet by these words of the Lord there is fully described a state of the devastation of the church in respect to the goods of love and the truths of faith; as may be seen from the following explication of the words in question. [AC 3651]
According to the internal sense, the signification is as now follows. When therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:15); signifies the devastation of the church, which occurs when the Lord is no longer acknowledged; consequently when there is no love and no faith in Him; also when there is no longer any charity toward the neighbor; and consequently when there is not any faith of good and truth. When this is the case in the church, or rather in the region where the Word is in existence-- that is, when men are such in the thoughts of the heart, even if not in the doctrine of their lips--then there is "desolation," and the things just mentioned are its "abomination;" so that the words "when ye shall see the abomination of desolation" signify when anyone observes such things; and what is to be done in such a case is told in what now follows in (Matt. 24:16-18).
 Which was told of by Daniel the prophet (Matt. 24:15); in the internal sense signifies by the prophets for where any prophet is mentioned by name in the Word, it is not the prophet that is meant, but the prophetic Word itself; because names never penetrate into heaven (n. 1876, 1888); and yet the same is not signified by one prophet as by another. What is signified by "Moses," "Elias," and "Elisha," may be seen in (n. 2135A, 2762); but by "Daniel" is signified everything prophetic concerning the Lord"s advent, and concerning the state of the church; in the present case concerning its last state. The subject of devastation is largely treated of in the Prophets, and by it in the sense of the letter is signified the devastation of the Jewish and Israelitish Church, but in the internal sense there is signified the devastation of the church in general, thus also the devastation which is now at hand.
 Standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15), signifies devastation as to all things which are of good and truth; the "holy place" is a state of love and faith. "Place" in the internal sense is state, (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387); the holy of this state is the good which is of love, and the derivative truth which is of faith; and nothing else than these is meant by "holy" in the Word, because these things are from the Lord, who is the Holy itself, or the Sanctuary. Let him that readeth understand (Matthew 24:15), signifies that these things are to be well observed by those who are in the church, especially by those who are in love and faith; who now come to be treated of.
 Then let them that are in Judea flee into the mountains (Matthew 24:16), signifies that they who are of the church will not look else where than to the Lord, thus to love to Him, and to charity toward the neighbor. By "Judea" is signified the church, will be shown below; by a "mountain" is signified the Lord Himself, but by "mountains" love to Him, and charity toward the neighbor, (n. 795, 796, 1430, 2722). According to the sense of the letter the meaning would be that when Jerusalem was besieged, as it came to be by the Romans, then they should not betake themselves thither, but to the mountains, according to what is written in Luke:--
When ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that her devastation is at hand. Then let them that are in Judea flee upon the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the regions enter therein (Luke 21:20, 21);
 but in this passage the case is the same with Jerusalem, namely, that in the sense of the letter it is Jerusalem which is understood, while in the internal sense it is the Lord's church (n. 402, 2117); for each and all of the things recorded in the Word concerning the Jewish and Israelitish people are representative of the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, and of His kingdom on earth; that is, of the church, as has been often shown. Hence it is that by "Jerusalem" in the internal sense is nowhere meant Jerusalem, nor by "Judea," Judea. But these matters were of such a nature as to be capable of representing the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, and the events took place for the sake of the representation. In this way the Word could be so written as to be adapted to the apprehension of the man who should read it, and also to the understanding of the angels who are with the man. This likewise was the reason why the Lord spoke in the, same manner; for had He spoken otherwise, His Word would not have been adapted to the understanding of those who read it, especially at that time nor to the understanding of the angels; thus it would neither have been received by man, nor understood by the angels.
 Let him that is upon the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house (Matthew 24:17), signifies that such as are in the good of charity should not betake themselves to those things which belong to doctrinal matters of faith. In the Word the "housetop" signifies the higher state of man, thus his state as to good; but those things which are below it signify the lower state of man, thus his state as to truth (n. 710, 1708, 2233, 2234, 3142, 3538). As regards the state of a man of the church, the case is this: While he is being regenerated he learns truths for the sake of good, for he has the affection of truth on this account; but after he has been regenerated he acts from truth and good. After the man has arrived at this state he ought not to betake himself to his former state, for if he should do this he would reason from truth concerning the good in which he is, and would thereby pervert his state, for all reasoning ceases, and ought to cease, when a man is in a state to will what is true and good; for he then thinks and acts from the will, consequently from conscience, and not as before from the understanding; and if he should again think and act from this, he would fall into temptations in which he would succumb. This then is what is signified by "Let him that is upon the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house."
 And let him that is in the field not return back to take his garment (Matthew 24:18), that is, his tunic, signifies that such as are in the good of truth should not betake themselves from the good thereof to what is doctrinal of truth. In the Word a "field" signifies this state of man in respect to good. What is meant by "field" see (n. 368, 2971, 3196, 3310, 3317, 3500, 3508). A "garment" or "tunic" signifies that which clothes good, that is, what is doctrinal of truth, for this is as clothing to good. A " garment" has this signification, (n. 297, 1073, 2576, 3301). Everyone can see that in these words deeper things are hidden than those which appear in the letter, for they were spoken by the Lord Himself. [AC 3652]
From all this it is now evident that in these verses there is fully described the state of devastation of the church in respect to the goods of love and the truths of faith, and that at the same time there is given an exhortation to those who are in these goods and truths in regard to what they ought then to do. There are three kinds of men within the church; namely, those who are in love to the Lord; those who are in charity toward the neighbor; and those who are in the affection of truth. Those who belong to the first class, who are in love to the Lord, are specifically signified in the words, "let them that are in Judea flee into the mountains." Those in the second class, who are in charity toward their neighbor, are specifically signified in the words, "let him that is upon the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house." Those in the third class, who are in the affection of truth, are specifically signified in the words, and let him that is in the field not return back to take his garment." See what has been said and explained above in regard to these words, (n. 2454); and what is meant by "returning back," and "looking behind him." [AC 3653]
And the seven years of famine began to come. That this signifies the following states of desolation, is evident from the signification of "years," as being states (n. 482, 487, 488, 493, 893); and from the signification of "famine," as being a lack of the knowledges of truth and good (n. 1460, 3364), consequently desolation. That a famine denotes such a lack, or desolation, is because celestial and spiritual food are nothing else than good and truth. These are what angels and spirits are nourished by, and what they hunger for when hungry, and thirst for when thirsty; and therefore also material food corresponds thereto - as bread to celestial love, and wine to spiritual love, as well as everything that pertains to bread or food, and to wine or drink. When therefore there is a lack of such things, there is a "famine," and in the Word is this is called "desolation" and "vastation" - "desolation" when truths fail, and "vastation" when goods fail. This desolation and vastation is treated of in many passages of the Word, and is there described by the desolation of the earth, of kingdoms, of cities, of nations, and of peoples, and is also termed a "pouring out," a "cutting off," a "consummation," a "desert," and a "void;" and the state itself is called the "great day of Jehovah," the "day of His wrath" and "vengeance," a "day of darkness," and "thick darkness," of "cloud" and of "obscurity," a "day of visitation," also the "day when the earth shall perish," thus the "last day" and the "day of judgment;" and because men have not understood the internal sense of the Word, they have hitherto supposed that it meant a day when the earth will perish, and that then for the first time will there be a resurrection and a judgment, not being aware that by a "day" in such passages is signified a state, and by the "earth" the church, and thus by a "day when the earth will perish," a state when the church will come to its end; therefore when this perishing is described in the Word, a "new earth" is also described, by which is meant a new church. In regard to the "new earth" and "new heaven," see (n. 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4535). That last state of a church which precedes the state of a new church, is properly meant and described in the Word by "vastation" and "desolation." By the same words is described also the state that precedes man's regeneration, which state is here signified by the seven years of famine. [ AC 5360]
For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet consummated. That this signifies the last time, when there is no longer any good, is evident from the signification of "the Amorite," and also from the signification of "consummation." By "the Amorite" in the Word, is signified evil in general, for the reason that the land of Canaan was called the land of the Amorites (as is evident in Ezek. 16:3, 4; Amos 2:9, 10). And therefore by "the Amorite" in this passage are signified all the nations of the land of Canaan; and by these, as before said, were signified evils and falsities specifically; and consequently by "the Amorite" are signified all evils in general. By "consummation" is signified the last time, when there is no longer any good.
 But what is meant in the internal sense by the fact that the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet consummated, is an arcanum. For the state of the case with the evil in the other life is that they are not punished until their evils have reached their height, and this both in general and in particular. For such is the equilibrium in the other life that evil punishes itself, that is to say those who are evil run into the punishment of their evil, but only when it has reached its height. Every evil has its limit that varies in each individual case, beyond which it is not allowable to pass. When an evil person passes beyond this limit he precipitates himself into the penalty, and this is so in every particular.
 It is the same in general, the wicked thrust themselves down into hell, not in a moment, but successively. This has its origin in the universal law of order established by the Lord, that the Lord never casts anyone down into hell; but that evil casts itself down, or that the evil person casts himself down, and this successively, until the evil has been consummated, and nothing of good any longer appears. So long as there is any good, he is uplifted above hell; but when there is nothing but evil, of himself he is thrust down into it. Good and evil must first be separated from each other, for they are opposites; and no one is allowed to incline both ways. This is what is signified by the iniquity of the Amorites having to be consummated. But with the good the case is otherwise; they are continually uplifted by the Lord toward heaven, and their evil is successively wiped away.
 The same is the case with the state of a church. The visitation does not come until its evil has been consummated, that is, until there is no longer any good of charity and truth of faith. This consummation is very often spoken of in the Prophets. As in Isaiah:
A consummation and a decree have I heard from the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth upon the whole earth (Isa. 28:22).
O Babel, that dwellest upon many waters, great in treasures, thine end is come, the measure of thy gain (Jer. 51:13).
Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon the city of thy holiness, to consummate the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies (Dan. 9:24).
At length upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even unto the consummation and the decree shall it pour itself out upon the devastation (Dan. 9:27).
 The consummation is also foretold by the Lord Himself in these words of Luke:
They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive among all the nations; and at length Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the nations, until the times of the nations shall be fulfilled (Luke 21:24).
To "fall by the edge of the sword," signifies by falsities, for "a sword" in the Word is the punishment of what is false; "Jerusalem" denotes the Lord's kingdom and the church (see n. 402); "nations" evils (see n. 1260). Thus the signification is that there would be a consummation when the church should be possessed by evils and falsities, and so be destroyed of itself. [AC1857]
That the consummation of the age is the last time of the church, can be seen from those passages in the Word where it is spoken of, as in the following:
A consummation and decision I have heard from Jehovah upon the whole land (Isa. 28:22).
A consummation is determined, righteousness has overflowed, for the Lord Jehovah of Hosts is making a consummation and a decision in the whole land (Isa. 10:22, 23).
The whole land shall be devoured in the fire of Jehovah's jealousy for He shall make a speedy consummation of all them that dwell in the land (Zeph. 1:18).
In these passages "the land" signifies the church, because the land of Canaan is meant, where the church was. That "the land" signifies the church may be seen proven by many passages from the Word in the Apocalypse Revealed (n. 285, 902).
At last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even to the consummation and decision shall it drop upon the devastation (Dan. 9:27).
That these words were spoken by Daniel respecting the end of the present Christian church may be seen in Matt. 24:15:
The whole earth shall be a waste, yet will I not make a consummation (Jer. 4:27).
The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet consummated (Gen. 15:16).
Jehovah said, I will go down and see whether they have made a consummation according to the cry that is come unto Me (Gen. 18:21).
This was said of Sodom. The last period of the present Christian church is also meant by the Lord by the consummation of the age in the following passages:
The disciples asked Jesus, What shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age? (Matt. 24:3).
In the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, to burn them; but gather the wheat into My barn. So shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:30, 39, 40).
In the consummation of the age the angels shall go forth and separate the wicked from the midst of the righteous (Matt. 13:49).
Jesus said to His disciples, lo, I am with you always, even unto the consummation of the age (Matt. 28:20).
It must be known that the meaning of "devastation," "desolation," and "decision" is similar to the meaning of "consummation;" but "desolation" signifies the consummation of truth, "devastation" the consummation of good, and "decision" the full consummation of both; also that "the fullness of time" in which the Lord came and is to come into the world means consummation. [TCR755]
For in them is consummated the anger of God, signifies the devastation of the church and then its end. By "consummation" is signified the devastation of the church and then its end, as will be seen presently; by "the anger of God" is signified evil with men, which, because it is against God, is called the anger of God; not that God is angry with man, but because man, from his evil, is angry with God, and because it appears to man, when he is punished and tormented for it, as is the case after death in hell, as if it were from God, therefore, in the Word, anger and wrath, yea evil, is attributed to God. But this in the sense of the letter only, because this sense is written according to appearances and correspondences, but not in the spiritual sense, for in this latter there is no appearance and correspondence, but truth in its light; concerning that wrath, see above (n. 525, 635). It is said that in those plagues "the anger of God is consummated," and that thereby is signified the devastation of the church and then its end; the reason shall be explained. Every church, in process of time, decreases, by receding from the good of love and the truths of faith, until there is nothing of them left; and this takes place by the successive increase of evil and falsity; and when there is no longer any good of love and faith, then there is nothing but evil and falsity; and when this is the case, there is an end of the church. In this end, man knows no other than that evil is good and falsity truth, for he loves them from the delight he feels in them, and therefore confirms them.
 This is the end which is signified by "consummation," and is called "devastation," in the following passages:
I have heard a consummation and decision from Jehovah upon the whole earth (Isa. 28:22).
The consummation being decreed, justice has overflowed, for the Lord Jehovih of Hosts maketh a consummation and decision in the whole earth (Isa. 10:22-23).
In the fire of the zeal of Jehovah shall the whole earth be eaten up, for He shall make a speedy consummation with all the inhabitants of the earth (Zeph. 1:18).
At length upon the bird of abominations there shall be desolation, and even to a consummation and decision shall it drop upon the devastation (Dan. 9:27).
The whole earth shall be a waste, yet will I not make a consummation (Jer. 4:27).
Jehovah said, I will go down, and will see whether they have made a consummation according to the cry which is to come unto me (Gen. 18:21).
This is concerning Sodom.
The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet consummated (Gen. 15:16).
The end of the church is also meant by "the consummation of the age" spoken of by the Lord in these passages:
The disciples asked Jesus, What shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the consummation of the age? (Matt. 24:3).
At the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares to burn; gather the wheat into the barn; so shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:30, 40).
In the consummation of the age, the angels shall go forth, and shall separate the evil from among the just (Matt. 13:49).
Jesus said to the disciples, Behold, I am with you until the consummation of the age (Matt. 28:20).
"Until the consummation of the age" is until the end of the church, when there is the New Church, with which the Lord will then be. [AR658]
And in absolving will not absolve. That this signifies bearing even to the consummation, is evident from the signification of "absolving," as being to forgive sin; but when it is added, "will not absolve" it denotes to bear. That it denotes even to the consummation, is because evil is borne by the Lord even until it is consummated or fulfilled. In the Word throughout mention is made of the "consummation of the age," and it is said of evil that it has been "consummated," or "not consummated;" and when it is consummated, that then there is "visitation." As this is signified by the words, "in absolving will not absolve," it shall be briefly told what is meant there by. In general, by "consummation" is meant the end of the church; and the end of the church is when there is no longer any charity or any faith, because then the church turns itself completely away from the Lord, and is no longer in any good, but in evil. Then is its "consummation," and then takes place its "visitation." When visitation takes place, all those who are in evil are rejected, and all those who are in good are received. Visitation takes place in the other life, where all those who have been of the church, from its beginning even to its end, are together. The rejection at that time of the evil into hell, and the salvation of the good, is what is called the "Last Judgment."
 Consummation takes place in particular with every man in almost the same way. Every person, when he comes into the other life, which takes place immediately after death, is tolerated among the good, even if he is evil. But after some lapse of time his interiors are opened, and if these are evil he is then gradually carried into his evil, until he becomes his evil in respect to the will, and the falsity of his evil in respect to the understanding. When this is done, evil is said to be "consummated" with him, and he is then cast into hell. These are the things which are meant by "in absolving will not absolve." The like is signified by what Jehovah said unto Moses: "Now go, lead the people unto that which I said to thee; behold, Mine angel shall go before thee; and in the day of My visitation, I will visit their sin upon them" (Exod. 32:34).
 That "consummation" denotes the end of the church, is evident from the following passages:
With Israel and with Judah I will not make a consummation; nor rendering will I render thee innocent, because thy breach is despaired of, thy wound is sick, thou hast no healing medicines (Jer. 30:4, 11-13; 46:28).
Thine iniquity is consummated, O daughter of Zion; He will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; He will make plain thy sins (Lam. 4:22).
Seventy weeks have been decreed upon thy people, to consummate the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to expiate iniquity. At last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even unto the consummation (Dan. 9:24, 27).
The harvest is the consummation of the age; as the tares are gathered together and burned with fire, so shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:39, 40).
The disciples said unto Jesus, Tell us what is the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age (Matt. 24:3).
Jesus said, Lo, I am with you all the days even unto the consummation of the age (Matt. 28:20). [AC10622]
The fourth state of this church was the profanation of holy things, and then its consummation or night. Vastation and consummation differ from each other, as the shade of evening and the thick darkness of night differ from each other; for vastation is a receding from the church, but consummation a full separation from it. Vastation, therefore, is as when anyone descends from heaven but not as far as to hell, and tarries in the middle, standing beside both of them; but consummation exists when anyone, standing thus, turns his face and breast to hell, and his back and the hinder part of his head to heaven; in like manner as happened with the dragon and his angels when they were cast down out of heaven (concerning whom see Apoc. 12):-- while they were fighting with Michael, they were in the middle; but when they were vanquished, they were in hell. Vastation takes place when a man looks upon the holy things of the church from falsities and falsified truths; but consummation, when he lives in evils, or in adulterated goods.
 But, that the difference and distinction between the state of vastation and the state of consummation may be still more clearly comprehended, it shall be illustrated by comparisons. The state of vastation may be compared with a garden or grove around a temple, which by reason of the Divine worship in the temple, is regarded as holy; in which are places for drinking, feasting, dancing, and play-acting and buffoonery, with the spectators in the courts and windows of the temple; but the state of consummation may be compared to the same garden or grove, in which are satyrs and priapi, along with harlots and fortune-tellers, who all together enter the temple dancing, and there celebrate their profane revels, as the pythons did on their holidays.
 The state of vastation may also be compared with a hostile army, when it enters the suburbs of a besieged city and rules in them; but the state of consummation may be compared with the same army, when it has demolished the wall, and breaks through into the city and gives the inhabitants over to destruction. The state of vastation may further be compared with a ship upon sandbanks, or a sandy shore, when it is violently tossed there, and raised and depressed, so that the pilot, captain, and sailors lament on account of their danger; but the state of consummation is when the ship's keel is fretted away by the gravel beneath, and the ship, being broken up and full of holes, sinks, and the navigators and merchandise perish in the waves.
 The state of vastation may be compared with every disease which invades the members, viscera and organs of the body, by reason of which the patient forebodes death, consults a physician, takes medicines, and all the while lies in bed in the hope of being healed; but the state of consummation may be compared to the same disease when it invades the breast, where the heart and lungs reside as in their tabernacle, into which, when the disease penetrates, it makes an end of the life of the body. [COR57]
The state of the consummation of the Israelitish Church is described in both the historical and the prophetical parts of the Word:-- in the prophecies, by the atrocious deeds of the kings, first of those of the Israelites, and afterwards of those of the Jews, by whom and under whom the land is said to have been profaned. But it is needless to recount them, because they are well known; only those passages shall be adduced from the prophecies, in which the consummation and devastation of that church are treated of. In these passages by "land," " Zion," "Jerusalem," "cities," "mountains," "hills," "valleys," and "rivers," similar things are signified as above (n. 55).
 The following are from the prophecies of the Word:--
I saw the land, and behold it was void and empty; and towards the heavens, and their light was not. Behold I saw when Carmel was a desert, and all the cities were desolated at the presence of Jehovah. For thus Jehovah hath said, the whole land shall be a waste, yet will I not make a consummation. For this the land shall mourn, and the heavens above shall be blackened. Thou, therefore, that art laid waste, what wilt thou do? (Jer. 4:23-31; 5:10, 18).
The lion hath come up from his brier-thicket, and the destroyer of nations hath gone forth from his place to reduce the land to a waste. In chat day the heart of the king and the heart of the princes shall perish; and the priests shall be astonished (Jer. 4:7, 9).
In that day every place where there were a thousand vines shall be for briers and thorns, because all the land shall be briers and thorns (Isa. 7:23, 24).
A voice of the cry of the shepherds and, of the powerful ones of the flock, for Jehovah is laying waste their pastures: whence the sheep-folds of peace were devastated. Jehovah hath forsaken His tabernacle, for their land was reduced to a desolation (Jer. 25:36-38).
This house shall be like Shiloh, and Jerusalem shall be a devastation (Jer. 26:9; 27:17).
Jerusalem and all the cities of Judah shall be a desolation and a devastation in this day, because of the wickedness of your works; your land is become a desolation, an astonishment, and a curse (Jer. 44:2, 6, 22).
I will give the land to devastation, because they have committed a trespass (Ezek. 15:8).
They shall be devastated in the midst of the devastated lands, and her cities in the midst of the desolated cities. Then I will make the rivers dry. I will give the land into the hand of the evil, and I will lay waste the land and the fulness thereof (Ezek. 30:7, 12).
When I shall extinguish thee, I will cover the heavens, and will make the stars thereof black. I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine; and I will give darkness upon the land, when I shall bring on thy breaking up (Ezek. 32:7-9).
 In like manner as the Lord foretold concerning the consummation of the present Christian Church (Matt. 24:29).
I will make Mount Seir a waste and a devastation. I will make thee the wastes of eternity (Ezek. 35:3, 4, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15).
In that day they shall bring up a proverb upon you, and shall say, In wasting we are laid waste (Micah 2:4).
Fear and the pit have come upon us, devastation and breaking up (Lam. 3:47).
The mountain of Zion is laid waste (Lam. 5:18).
Thine iniquity is consummated, O daughter of Zion (Lam. 4:22).
Woe to the sinful nation, heavy with iniquity; they have provoked the Holy One of Israel. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness. Your land is a solitude. The daughter of Zion is left as a tent in a vineyard, as a besieged city (Isa. 1:4-9).
What will ye do in the day of visitation and devastation? Consummation is finished, justice is inundated; for the Lord Jehovah is making a consummation and decision in the whole land (Isa. 10:3, 22, 23).
The Lord Jehovih is making a consummation and decision in the whole land (Isa. 28:22).
The prophet fell upon his face, and said, Lord Jehovih, Thou art making a consummation with the remnants of Israel (Ezek. 11:13).
My sanctuary was profaned, and the land of Israel was devastated (Ezek. 25:3).
Were even Noah, Daniel, and Job in the midst thereof, they only shall be delivered, but the land shall become a desolation (Ezek. 14:14, 16).
The final consummation of the Israelitish and Jewish Church was accomplished, when the Lord our Saviour, after receiving the sponge of vinegar, cried out upon the cross:--
It is consummated (John 19:29, 30);
for it is said in David:--
They gave gall for My food, and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink; let their habitation he devastated (Ps. 69:21, 25).
And in another place:--
Without cause have they hid for Me the pit of the net; without cause have they digged for My soul. Let devastation come upon him before he is aware; let him fall into devastation. Lead back My soul from their devastators, and My only one from the lions' whelps (Ps. 35:7, 8, 17);
that is, the church.
I will make Jerusalem into heaps, a habitation of dragons; I will reduce the cities of Judah to a waste. Behold, I am feeding them, even this people, with wormwood, and I will give them waters of gall to drink (Jer. 9:10-16).
 Full consummation, after this, is described thus in Hosea:--
The sons of Israel shall sit many days: no king, no prince, no sacrifice, no statue, no ephod, and no teraphim (Hosea 3:4).
Such is their state at this day. We have not time to adduce more passages. The passages in which the vastation, desolation, and consummation of this church, are further mentioned, shall be only named, as for example (Isa. 9:13-21; 22:4-14; Jer. 7:31-34; 25:33; 47:4; Ezek. 13:14, 15; 14:8, 15; 19:7; 25:12, 13; 26:2; 29:9, 10, 12; 32:12, 15; Joel 1:15-20; 2:3; 3:19; Nah. 1:8, 9; Zeph. 1:15; 2:9; Lam. 1:16; Ps. 73:17-19; 73:3). The devastated are also called the "thrust through" (Ezek. 11:6, 7; 21:14, 29; 26:6; 28:8, 23; 31:17, 18; 32:20-24, 28-32; 35:8; Zeph. 2:12; Lam. 4:9; Ps. 69:26). They are said to be "thrust through," because a "sword," by which this is done, signifies falsity destroying truth. [AC58]
Before this state, and after it, promise was made of the Coming of the Lord Jehovih into the world, and of a New Church at that time, wherein justice and judgment should reign. It is known, from the reading of the prophetic Word of the Old Testament, that in many places there the Coming of our Lord was foretold, and also that the Lord is there designated by various names; as that He is called "Jehovah Zebaoth," "Jehovah our Justice," " Jehovah our Saviour and Redeemer," "Lord Jehovih," "Lord" (Adonai), "Immanuel" or "God with us," " God of Israel," " Holy One of Israel," "Rock of Israel," "Messiah," or "Anointed of Jehovah," "King," "David," " Strong One of Jacob," " Shepherd of Israel," " High Priest," "Priest after the manner of Melchizedech," "Son of God," "Son of Man," "Angel of Jehovah," "Angel of the Covenant," the Greatest Prophet," "Shiloh ;" also, in Isaiah, " Counselor," "Prince of Peace," "Father of Eternity;" and in the New Covenant, "Jesus Christ," and " Son of God." That our Lord's Coming was foretold in very many places in the Prophets, will be seen from the citation of the predictions in the following pages. But it may be asked, Why was such frequent prediction of His Coming made? There were several reasons, some regarding the Israelitish and Jewish people, and some regarding the Christian people after them.
 But we will recount the reasons which especially regarded the Israelitish and Jewish people. The first was, that by His being named and recalled to mind, they might be kept in the interior worship of Jehovah, since without that there was no entrance of Jehovah to anyone of them, nor access of anyone of them to Jehovah. The case was then as it is at this day:--
That no one hath seen God the Father; the Only Begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; He hath set Him forth (John 1:18; 5:37).
No one cometh to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).
The second reason regarding that people, was, that the representative types of their church, which all looked to our Lord and to the church to be established by Him after His Coming, might serve them as so many indicators and symbols of their worship, consequently, that they might acknowledge Him when He came, and suffer themselves to be introduced into the internals of the worship of Him, and, together with the nations that surrounded them, become Christian. The third reason was, that by the recollection of His Coming, scene notion of idea of the resurrection and eternal life might enter into their thoughts. For who of them could not have thought interiorly in himself or in his heart, "What is the Messiah to us after we are dead, unless we return then, see His glory, and reign with him?" From this source was derived that religious notion of theirs, that at that time they were to be raised again, everyone out of his grave, and return into the land of Canaan. The fourth reason was, that they might be lifted up and healed in their state of vastation and oppression, when they were in temptations and afflictions, as their fathers and brethren had been in the desert (Num. 21:1-9; John 3:14, 15) for without such uplifting and healing, they would have cast aspersions against Jehovah, and departed in crowds from the representative worship of Him to idolatry.
 For temptations and afflictions in the state of vastation and oppression, are nothing else but combats of the Lord with the Devil respecting man, that is, respecting his soul, which shall possess it. And of that state it may be said that the God of Israel, or the Lord the Messiah, stands on one side, and Beelzebub and the serpent the Devil on the other, and that the latter casts forth blasphemies against the Lord out of his mouth like a river, but that the Lord turns them aside and removes them, and thus delivers man from spiritual captivity and servitude. This combat is felt in the man as if from himself. That temptation is such a combat, and there is such a perception by man, and hence cooperation, I can testify upon oath, for, having often experienced it, I know it. That it is carried on outside the man, and is felt in him as from himself, and that man is standing in the middle and cooperates, is for the end that reward may be imputed to him when he conquers; but that man alone conquers who looks to the Lord, and trusts in Him alone for help.
 That everyone conquers who calls upon the Lord in temptations, but that otherwise he succumbs, shall be illustrated by comparisons. He is like a ship hurled by storms near rocks; unless the captain knows how to turn it aside from its danger, and to direct it to an exit and thus to port, it must perish. He is like a city besieged by enemies; unless there be escape or aid somewhere, the commander and his troops become hopeless and disheartened, and deliver themselves up prisoners, and surrender their lives to the pleasure of the enemy. He is like a person on a journey entering unawares into a cottage where there are robbers; unless when he is shut in, a friend comes and knocks at the door, or shows himself at the window, and thereby terrifies those villains, and saves him from the outrage. He is like a person filing into a cave where there is a bear with its cubs, or into a pit containing a wolf and a leopard, where he must perish unless his father or his brother, on seeing this, immediately lets down to him a ladder or a rope, and draws him up thence. He is like a person who stands or walks in the day-time in a thick fog, who consequently does not know which way to turn, unless he lights a lamp, and thereby shows himself the place where he may stand, or the way in which he may walk. He is like one who is in the depth of winter, and in want of provisions, if he is not supported by the hope of a harvest to come on the return of the sun. In like manner he is as one who wanders about at midnight in a forest, unless he comfort himself with the hope of light, and in that hope lies down and sleeps quietly until the morning. He is also like one who for the sake of salvation desires to be instructed in those things which are of the Christian Religion, and who meets with mitred doctors and laurelled teachers, who expound them by terms borrowed from the metaphysical art, and involves them in mystical things, unless there be some other person to dissect those terms, and thereby unravel the perplexities, and to bring forth from the Word, thus from the Lord, the holy things of the church into clear light. Would he not in such case be bewildered by the falsities respecting faith and other dogmas, which depend on the faith laid down, just as the links of a chain hang connectedly from a hook fixed to the wall?
 The case would be similar in temptations and the infestations at that time from satans, unless man looked with confidence to the Lord, and fully assured himself that the whole work and ability of deliverance came from Him alone. It is for these reasons that the Coming of the Lord is so frequently foretold in the Old Prophetic Word, and for the same reasons also the Lord is proclaimed in the New Evangelic and Apostolic Word, and His Second Coming foretold; concerning which in the following passages. [COR59]
Now follow some passages concerning the Coming of the Lord, collected from the prophecies of the Old Word; which are these:--
Jehovah God said, Lo, I come; in the roll of the Book it is written of Me (Ps. 40:7).
Jehovah God said to the serpent, Be thou cursed. I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; and He shall trample thy head, but thou shalt injure the heel (Gen. 3:14, 15).
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; to Him shall the cleaving of the peoples be (Gen. 49:10).
These words are part of the prophecy of the father Israel concerning his sons:--
A Star shall rise out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise up out of Israel (Num. 24:17).
Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet out of the midst of thy brethren, like unto Me; Him ye shall obey. And I will put My words in His mouth. Whence it shall come to pass, that the man who will not obey His words, I will require it of him (Deut. 18:15-19).
The Lord Himself giveth you a sign, Behold a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name, God with us (Isa. 7:14).
Unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given, on whose shoulder shall be the government; His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace; of the increase of His government there shall be no end (Isa. 9:6, 7).
There shall come forth a Shoot out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch out of his root shall bear fruit. Upon Him shall rest the spirit of wisdom and intelligence, the spirit of counsel and might (Isa. 11:1, 2).
In that day the nations shall seek the Hoot of Jesse, which standeth for an ensign of the peoples, and His rest shall be glory (Isa. 11:10).
Send ye the lamb of the Ruler of the land, from the rock towards the wilderness. His throne has been made firm by mercy, and one shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking judgment, and hastening justice (Isa. 16:1, 5).
It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, for whom we have waited that He may deliver us; this is Jehovah, for whom we have waited; we will exult and be glad in His salvation (Isa. 25:9; 26:8, 9).
The voice of one crying in the desert, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make plain in the solitude a highway for our God. The glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together (Isa. 40:3, 5).
O Zion, thou evangelizer, get thee up upon the high mountain; O Jerusalem, thou evangelizer, lift up thy voice with might; say to the cities of Judah, Behold your God. Behold, the Lord Jehovih cometh in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold His reward is with Him. He shall feed His Bock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs into His arm, and carry them in His bosom; He shall gently lead the sucklings (Isa. 40:9-11).
My people shall know My name in that day; for I am He that doth speak; Behold Me. How delightful upon the mountains are the feet of Aim that evangelizeth, that causeth to hear peace, that evangelizeth good, that causes them to hear salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy King reigneth. They shall lift up the voice and sing, when they shall see eye to eye that Jehovah is returned to Zion. He hath consoled His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem. All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God (Isa. 52:6-10).
Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; His reward is with Him, and the price of His work before Him (Isa. 62:11).
Shout for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; behold I come that I may dwell in the midst of thee. Then many nations shall cleave to Jehovah (Zech. 2:10, 11).
Exult greatly, O daughter of Zion; resound, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh to thee, just (Zech. 9:9).
Behold, the days come when I will raise up to David a just Branch, who shall reign King and prosper, and He shall do judgment and justice in the land; and this is His name, Jehovah our Justice (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16).
Behold, I send My angel, who shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, and the Angel of the covenant whom ye desire, behold He shall come (Mal. 3:1).
Thou Bethlehem Ephratah, it is little that thou art among the thousands of Judah; out of thee shall One go forth unto Me, who will be the Ruler in Israel, and whose goings forth are from of old, from the days of eternity. He shall stand and feed in the strength of Jehovah, and shall increase even to the ends of the earth (Micah. 5:2, 4).
I anoint My king upon Zion. I will proclaim concerning the statute, Jehovah saith unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee; ask of Me, and I will give the nations for Thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Thy possession. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way; Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him (Ps. 2:6-12).
Behold the God of my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. Cry out and shout for joy, O inhabitress of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee (Isa. 12:2, 6).
In that day a man shall look to his Maker, and his eyes shall regard the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 17:7).
My Beloved had a vineyard in the horn of (a son of) oil (Isa. 5:1).
Jehovah Zebaoth, Him shall ye sanctify. He shall be for a sanctuary, although for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence, and for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitant of Jerusalem (Isa. 8:13, 14; Matt. 21:42-44; Luke 20:17, 18).
The people walking in darkness shall see a great light; the dwellers in the land of the shadow of death, upon them shall the light shine (Isa. 9:2).
Out of Zion God shall shine forth; our God shall come, and shall not keep silence (Ps. 50:2, 3).
The vision is yet for the appointed time, and speaketh out to the end; yet it shall not lie; though He tarry, wait for Him; because coming He will come, He will not be delayed (Hab. 2:3).
O Jehovah, I have heard Thy fame; I have revered, O Jehovah, Thy works; make it present in the midst of the years; God shall come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His honor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. His brightness shall be as the light; rays from His Hand; and there is the hiding of His strength (Hab. 3:2-4).
Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Behold, I will lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner of well established foundation; then I will set judgment for the rule, and justice for the plummet (Isa. 28:16, 17).
The Lord, as to the Word, is described by the appearance, over the expanse of the cherubim, and is called "Lord Jehovih" (Ezek. 1:26-28; 2:4; 3:11, 27; 4:14; 5:7, 11; 6:3, 11; 7:2, 5; 8:1). In Isaiah liii., throughout, the Lord is treated of, and the state of His life in the world is described by these expressions:--
He had no form nor honor (Isa. 53:1, 2).
He was despised and not esteemed (Isa. 53:3).
He was thrust through on account of our trespasses, He was bruised for our iniquities (Isa. 53:4, 5).
Jehovah caused the iniquities of us all to meet in Him Isa. (Isa. 53:6).
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter (Isa. 53:7).
He was cut off out of the land of the living (Isa. 53:8. 9).
Because he placed their guilt on His soul, His days shall be prolonged (Isa. 53:10).
And for them He poured out His soul even to death (Isa. 53:11, 12).
He was numbered with the trespassers, and interceded for the tree passers (Isa. 53:12).
I have roused Him up in justice. He shall build My city; and He shall release My captivity, not for price, nor reward, Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel the Saviour (Isa. 45:13, 15).
I have caused My justice to draw near, and My salvation shall not tarry (Isa. 46:13).
As for our Redeemer, Jehovah Zebaoth is His Name, and the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 47:4).
O Jehovah our Lord, how magnificent is Thy Name in all the earth, giving to it honor above the heavens. Thou hast caused Him to be a little less than the angels, but Thou hast crowned Him with glory and honor; Thou hat made Him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands, Thou hast put all things under His feet (Ps. 8:1, 5, 6, 9).
God shall come down like rain upon the herb. He shall have dominion also from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. The barbarians shall bow themselves down before Him, and His enemies shall lick the dust; the kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring their present; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer their gift. All kings shall bow themselves down to Him, all nations shall serve Him; for He shall deliver the miserable, who hath no helper. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence'. His Name shall be to eternity He shall have the name of a Son before the sun, and they shall be blessed in Him. Blessed be God, the God of Israel; blessed be the Name of His glory; the whole earth shall be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen (Ps. 72:1-19).
I have made a covenant with My Chosen. Thy seed will I establish even to eternity, and I will build up Thy throne to generation and generation; and the heavens shall confess Thy wonders (Ps. 89:3-5). [COR60]
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)