Loving Good and Truth for the Sake of Good and Truth

From Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Loving good and truth for the sake of good and truth is reward,
for the reason that the Lord and heaven are in that love

Do not ye your alms before men; to be seen by them, for otherwise ye have no reward with your Father who is in the heavens. When thou doest alms sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men; verily I say to you they have their reward. But thou, when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth, that thine alms may be in secret; then thy Father who seeth in secret will reward thee openly. And when thou prayest thou shalt not be as the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men; verily I say unto you, they have their reward; but when thou prayest enter into thy chamber, and shutting thy door pray to thy Father who is in secret; then thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee openly (Matt. 6:1-6).

“Alms” in the most general sense signifies every good that man wills and does, and “to pray” signifies in the same sense every truth that man thinks and speaks. Those who do these two things “to be seen,” that is, that they may be manifest, do good and speak truth for the sake of self and the world, that is, for the sake of glory, which is the delight of self-love that the world affords.  Because delight in glory is the reward of such it is said “they have their reward;” but this delight in glory, which in the world seems to them like heaven, is changed after death into hell.  But those who do good and speak truth, not for the sake of self and the world but for the sake of good itself and truth itself, are meant by those who “do alms in secret,” and who “pray in secret,” for they act and pray from love or affection, thus from the Lord; this, therefore, is loving good and truth for the sake of good and truth; and of such it is said that “the Father in the heavens will reward them openly.”  Thus “reward” is to be in goods and truths from love or affection, which is the same as being in them from the Lord, since in these is heaven and every blessedness and happiness of heaven.
In Luke:

When thou makest a dinner or a supper call not the rich, lest haply they should call thee in turn; and a recompense be made to thee; but call the poor; then shalt thou be blessed, for they have not wherewith to recompense thee; for it shall be recompensed thee in the resurrection of the dead (Luke 14:12-14).

“To make a dinner and a supper and to call to them” has a similar signification as giving to eat and drink, or bread and wine, namely, doing good to the neighbor, and teaching truth, and being thus consociated in love; so those who do this for the purpose of being recompensed do it not for the sake of good and truth, thus not from the Lord, but for the sake of self and the world, thus from hell; while those who do this not for the purpose of being recompensed, do it for its own sake, that is, for the sake of good and truth, and those who do it for the sake of good and truth do it from good and truth, thus from the Lord, from whom are good and truth with man.  The heavenly blessedness that is in such deeds and thence from them is “reward” and is meant by “it shall be recompensed thee in the resurrection of the dead.”
In the same:

Rather love your enemies, and do good and lend, hoping for nothing again; then shall your reward be much, and ye shall be sons of the Most High (Luke 6:35).

This has a similar signification as the previous passage, namely, that good is not to be done for the sake of recompense, that is, for the sake of self and the world, thus not for the sake of reputation, glory, honor, and gain, but for the Lord’s sake, that is, for the sake of good itself and truth itself which are with such from the Lord, thus in which the Lord is.  “To love enemies and do good to them” means here, in the nearest sense, to love the Gentiles and do good to them, which is to be done by teaching them truth and leading them by it to good; for the Jewish nation called their own people brethren and friends, but the Gentiles they called adversaries and enemies.  “To lend” signifies to communicate goods and truths of doctrine from the Word; “to hope for nothing again” signifies, not for the sake of anything of self and of the world, but for the sake of good and truth; “then shall your reward be much” signifies that then they shall have heaven with its blessedness and delights; “and ye shall be sons of the Most High” signifies because they do these things not from self but from the Lord; for he who does good and teaches truth from the Lord is the Lord’s son, but not he who does good from self, which is what everyone does who looks to honor and gain as his end.
In Matthew:

He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a disciple, he shall not lose his reward (Matt. 10:41, 42).

How these words of the Lord are to be understood no one can see except from their internal or spiritual sense; for who can know what is meant by “receiving a prophet’s reward” and “a righteous man’s reward,” and by “receiving a prophet and a righteous man in the name of a prophet and a righteous man;” also what is meant by the “reward” that he will receive who “shall give to drink unto one of the little ones a cup of cold [water] only, in the name of a disciple”?  Without the internal spiritual sense, who can see that these words mean that everyone shall receive heaven and its joy in the measure of his affection of truth and good, and in the measure of his obedience?

This meaning becomes evident when it is seen that “prophet” means the truth of doctrine, “righteous man” the good of love, and “disciple” the truth and good of the Word and of the church, and that “in their name” means for the sake of these, and according to their quality with those who do and teach them; also that “reward” means heaven, as has been said above, namely, that everyone has heaven in the measure of his affection of truth and good, and according to its quality and quantity; for on these affections all things of heaven are inscribed, since no one can have these affections except from the Lord, for it is the Divine proceeding from the Lord in which and from which is heaven.


“To give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a disciple” means to do good and teach truth from obedience, for “water” signifies the truth in affection, and “cold [water]” truth in obedience, for obedience alone is a natural, not a spiritual, affection, and is therefore comparatively cold; and a “disciple” in whose name or for whose sake it is “given to drink” signifies the truth and good of the Word and of the church….

In Mark:

Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye are Christ’s, verily I say unto you he shall not lose his reward (Mark 9:41).

This also means that those shall receive the delight of heaven who from affection hear, receive, and teach the truth because truth and the affection of it are from the Lord, thus for the Lord’s sake, and accordingly for the truth’s sake, since “because ye are Christ’s” signifies for the sake of Divine truth proceeding from the Lord.

(Apocalypse Explained 695:5-11)
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About mike

Finding out that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race the angelic heaven would be formed, my entire focus on life changed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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