Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) n. 1010

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1010. Verse 16. And he gathered them together into a place called in Hebrew Armageddon, signifies a state of combat from falsities against truths, arising from the love of self with the men of the church. This is evident from the signification of "gathering them together into a place," that is, for battle, as being to arrange for fighting, from falsities against truths. This means a state of combat, because "place" signifies the state of a thing, and it means from falsities against truths, because it is meant that the dragon gathered them together; for in chapter 12 it is said:

The dragon went away to make war with the remnant of the woman's seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (verse 17);

and of the beast coming up out of the sea in chapter 13:

It was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them (verse 7). And here the place where they were to be gathered together and to begin the battle is named. It is believed that Armageddon means Megiddo, where Josiah, king of Judah, fighting against Pharaoh was defeated (see 2 Kings 23:29, 30; 2 Chron. 35:20-24; also Zech. 12). But what "Megiddo" there signifies in the spiritual sense is not yet known; therefore it shall be told. "Armageddon" signifies the love of honor, of rule, and of supereminence. This love is also signified by "Megiddo" in the old Hebrew tongue, as is evident from the meaning of that word in Arabic. Nor is anything else meant by "Armageddon" in the heavens; for all places mentioned in the Word signify things and states. [2] The love of honor, of rule, and of supereminence is the last state of the church, when falsities are about to fight against truths, because that love is about to rule in the church in its last times, and when that love rules, falsity from evil rules also, and this overcomes truth; for that love more than all other loves extinguishes the light of heaven and induces the darkness of hell, because that love is man's very own [proprium]; and by no force can man be drawn away from what is his own [proprium] and raised up towards heaven so long as that love rules; and one's own [proprium] in which man is wholly immersed by that love is nothing but evil and falsity. That man from that love is in thick darkness as to all things of heaven and the church, consequently in mere falsities, does not appear to the man who is in it, because according to the brilliancy of the natural light [lumen] in them spiritual light [lux] is extinguished; but that brilliancy is from a delusive light [lumen], for it is a light [lumen] kindled from the love of glory, thus from the love of self-intelligence; and when that intelligence is seen in heaven it is insanity and folly; therefore when that love rules in the church it is all over with it, for no one has any longer any understanding of truth or any will of good; since honor, rule, and supereminence constitute the highest pleasure, and are felt as the highest good; and the highest pleasure and the highest good are the end for the sake of which all other things are regarded; and then all goods and truths, civil, moral, and spiritual, serve as means, which are loved only from the end and to the extent that they serve the end, and when they do not so serve they are utterly despised and rejected. This is true of all uses, civil, moral, or spiritual. It is otherwise when uses are made the end, and man does not attribute glory and honor to his own person, but to the uses themselves according to their excellence. Then honor, rule, and supereminence are the means, and are esteemed only to the extent that they serve uses as means. From all this it can in some measure be seen what "Armageddon" means. [3] Moreover, it has been shown me to the life that that love has devastated the church and adulterated all its goods and truths, not only in the kingdoms of Babylon but in all other kingdoms. For almost everyone at this day when he comes after death into the spiritual world carries with him out of the natural world the desire to be honored, to rule, and to be supereminent; and there are very few who love uses for the sake of uses, but it is their will that uses should serve, and that honor, which is not a use, should govern; and when that rules which when separated from use is nothing, there can be no lot or inheritance granted them in the heavens where uses alone rule, since the kingdom of the Lord is a kingdom of uses; and when these rule the Lord rules, since uses are goods, and all good is from the Lord. This, then, is the state of the church manifested as to things rational, which state is signified by "the sixth angel pouring out his vial upon the great river Euphrates," and is the state here treated of.

(Continuation respecting the Sixth Commandment)

[4] Thus far adulteries have been considered; and now it shall be told what adultery is. Adulteries are all the whoredoms that destroy conjugial love. Whoredom of a husband with the wife of another or with any woman, whether a widow or a virgin or a harlot, is adultery when done from loathing or aversion to marriage; likewise the whoredom of a wife with a married man, or with a single man when done for a like reason. Again, the whoredoms of any unmarried man with the wife of another, and of any unmarried woman with the husband of another, are adulteries, because they destroy conjugial love by turning their minds away from marriage to adultery. The delights of varieties although with harlots are the delights of adultery, for the delight of variety destroys the delight of marriage. So, too, the delight of the defloration of virgins without the end of marriage is also the delight of adultery; for those who are in that delight afterwards desire marriage only for the sake of defloration, and when that is accomplished they loathe marriage. In a word, all whoredom that destroys the conjugial and extinguishes its love is adultery or pertains to adultery; while that which does not destroy the conjugial and does not extinguish its love is fornication springing from a certain instinct of nature towards marriage, which for various reasons cannot yet be entered into.

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