• Doctrinal Series •
THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH,
AND WHAT IS MEANT BY THE NEW JERUSALEM
These things are concerning the New Heaven; something shall now be said concerning “the New Earth.”
By “the New Earth” is meant the New Church on the earth; for when a former church ceases to exist, then a new one is established by the Lord. For it is provided by the Lord that there should always be a church on earth, since by means of the church there is a conjunction of the Lord with the human race, and of heaven with the world; for there the Lord is known, and there are the Divine truths by which man is conjoined to Him.
That a New Church is at this time being established, may be seen in the small work on The Last Judgment (n. 74). The reason why a New Church is signified by “the New Earth” arises from the spiritual sense of the Word; for in that sense, by the “earth” no particular country is meant, but the nation dwelling there, and its Divine worship; this, in the spiritual sense, being what answers to earth in the natural sense.
Moreover, by “earth” in the Word, when there is no name of any particular country affixed to the term, is signified the land of Canaan; and in the land of Canaan a church had existed from the most ancient times; in consequence of which, all the places therein, and in the adjacent countries, with the mountains and rivers, which are mentioned in the Word, became representative and significative of the things which are the internals of the church, and which are called its spiritual things. Hence it is, as was said, that “earth” in the Word, because it means the land of Canaan, signifies the church; in like manner here by “the New Earth”; from this comes the custom in the church to speak of the heavenly Canaan, by which is meant heaven.
That “the land of Canaan,” in the spiritual sense of the Word, signifies the church, is shown in the Arcana Coelestia, in various places, of which the following are here adduced:
The Most Ancient Church, which was before the flood, and the Ancient Church, which was after the flood, were in the land of Canaan (n. 567, 3686, 4447, 4454, 4516, 4517, 5136, 6516, 9325). Then all places in that land became representative of such things as are in the kingdom of the Lord, and in the church (n. 1585, 3686, 4447, 5136). Therefore Abraham was commanded to go thither, since with his posterity from Jacob, a representative church might be established, and that the Word might be written, the ultimate of which should consist of representatives and significatives which are there (n. 3686, 4447, 5136, 6516). Hence it is that “earth” and “the land of Canaan,” when they are mentioned in the Word, signify the church (n. 3038, 3481, 3705, 4447, 4517, 5757, 10568).
To be continued . . .