• Doctrinal Series •
THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH,
AND WHAT IS MEANT BY THE NEW JERUSALEM
With respect to this New Heaven, it is to be known, that it is distinct from the ancient heavens which were formed before the coming of the Lord; but still they together with this are so arranged that they form one heaven.
The reason why this New Heaven is distinct from the ancient heavens, is because in the ancient churches there was no other doctrine than the doctrine of love and charity; and then they did not know of any doctrine of faith separated from love and charity.
Hence also it is that the ancient heavens constitute higher expanses, while the New Heaven constitutes an expanse beneath them; for the heavens are expanses one above another.
In the highest expanse, those dwell who are called celestial angels, many of whom were of the Most Ancient Church; they who are there are called celestial angels from celestial love, which is love to the Lord.
In the expanse beneath them are those who are called spiritual angels, most of whom were of the Ancient Church; they are called spiritual angels from spiritual love, which is charity towards the neighbor.
Below these are the angels who are in the good of faith; these are they who have lived the life of faith.
To live the life of faith, is to live according to the doctrine of their church; and to live is to will and to do.
All these heavens, however, form a one, by mediate and immediate influx from the Lord.
But a more full idea of these heavens may be obtained from what is said of them in the work on Heaven and Hell, and particularly in the article which treats of the Two Kingdoms into which the heavens in general are distinguished (n. 20-28); and in the article concerning the Three Heavens (n. 29-40); concerning mediate and immediate influx, in the extracts from Arcana Coelestia (after n. 603); and concerning the Most Ancient and Ancient Churches in the small work on The Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed (n. 46).
To be continued . . .