Sacred Scripture, or the Word, Which Conceals a Divine Message That Lies Open to the View of Good Spirits and Angels (Continued)

I cannot describe how the Lord’s Word appears before angels, but it can be grasped to some extent by people who have seen optical cylinders in museums. These cylinders reflect beautiful images from distorted drawings projected in a circle around them. Although the surrounding drawing appears to have no shape, organization, or pattern but to be simply a confused projection, it presents a lovely picture when focused onto the cylinder. That is how the Lord’s Word is, especially the prophetic part of the Old Testament. Hardly anything can be seen in the literal meaning besides a disorganized jumble; but when it is read by a person on earth (particularly a little boy or girl), it gradually rises up, turning more beautiful and more pleasing as it goes. In the end it presents itself to the Lord as a human figure representing the whole of heaven—not as heaven actually is but as the Lord wishes it to be; in other words, as his likeness.

A beautiful, bright-faced girl appeared to me, moving quickly to the right, darting slightly upward as she went. She seemed to be in the first bloom of her years, since she was neither a child nor a full adult. Her clothing was black, shiny, and attractive. She skipped happily from one patch of light to another this way. I was told that this is what the inner levels of the Word are like as they begin to rise. The black clothes were the Word in its letter.

Later a young woman flew to my right cheek, but I could see her only with my inner eye. I was told that these are the things in the Word’s inner sense that do not reach our consciousness.

Some spirits were talking about the Word’s inner sense. In order to present its nature intelligibly, they illustrated it by asking what the fruit of faith is, for example, and said that good deeds are the fruit of faith in an outward or literal sense. Good deeds, though, are lifeless if they are not the product of charity, so that the fruit of faith in its next deeper meaning is charity. Since charity (or love for one’s neighbor) ought to come from love for the Lord, however, this is the fruit of faith in an even deeper sense. And since all love comes from the Lord, the fruit of faith is the Lord himself. Accordingly, good deeds hold charity, which holds love for the Lord, which holds the Lord himself.

from Secrets of Heaven, volume 2, Sections 1871-1873

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