“The Lord God Jesus Christ reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages of ages.” - True Christian Religion §791
Kempton New Church

Week 6
Day 2

    Listen:

Uses in Heaven

Thus said Jehovah: My son, My firstborn, is Israel. And I say to thee, Send My son away, that he may serve Me. —Exodus 4:22-23
“That he may serve Me” signifies elevation into heaven in order to perform uses therefrom, is evident from the signification of “serving Jehovah,” or the Lord, as being to perform uses… because true worship consists in the performance of uses…. The very worship of the Lord consists in performing uses…. The angels in heaven have all happiness from uses, and according to uses, so that to them uses are heaven. —AC 7038

Angels are people shaped by use.

Matthew 7:17-20. Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Divine Love and Wisdom 336. All good things that take form in act are called uses…. Everything that love does it calls use.

Conjugial Love 183:3. The angels replied, “Love and wisdom without use are but ideas of abstract thought, which also after some tarrying pass away as the winds. But in use the two are brought together and there make a one which is called real. Love cannot rest unless it is doing, for love is the active itself of life; nor can wisdom exist and subsist except from love and with it, while it is doing; and doing is use. We therefore define use to be doing good from love by wisdom.”

HH 475. Again, it must be understood that in deeds or works the whole man is exhibited, and that his will and thought, or his love and faith, which are his interiors, are not complete until they exist in deeds or works, which are his exteriors. For these are the outmosts in which the will and thought terminate, and without such terminations they are indeterminate, and have as yet no existence, that is, are not yet in the man. To think and to will without doing, when there is the opportunity, is like a flame that is enclosed in a vessel and goes out; also it is like seed cast upon the sand, which fails to grow, and so perishes with its power of germination. But to think and will and from that to do is like a flame that gives heat and light all around, or like a seed in the ground that grows up into a tree or flower and continues to live. Everyone can know that willing and not doing, when there is the opportunity, is not willing; also that loving and not doing good, when there is the opportunity, is not loving, but mere thought that one wills and loves; and this is thought separate, which vanishes and is dissipated. Love and will constitute the soul itself of a deed or work, and give form to its body in the honest and just things that the man does. This is the sole source of man’s spiritual body, or the body of his spirit; that is, it is formed solely out of the things that the man does from his love or will…. In a word, all things of man and his spirit are contained in his deeds or works.

HH 476. All this makes clear what the life is that awaits man after death, namely, that it is his love and his faith therefrom, not only in [potential], but also in act; thus that it is his deeds or works, because in these all things of man’s love and faith are contained.

HH 480. Man after death continues to eternity such as his will or ruling love is. This, too, has been confirmed by abundant experience. I have been permitted to talk with some who lived two thousand years ago, and whose lives are described in history, and thus known; and I found that they continued to be just the same as they were described, that is, in respect to the love out of which and according to which their lives were formed.

Will we have the same job in heaven as on earth? Not necessarily the same job, but the same uses we’ve loved within our work, and on a similar scale.

HH 394. In heaven everyone comes into his own occupation in accordance with correspondence, and the correspondence is not with the occupation but with the use of each occupation…. For there is a correspondence of all things…. He that in heaven comes into the employment or occupation corresponding to his use is in much the same condition of life as when he was in the world, since what is spiritual and what is natural make one by correspondences….

Questions and Comments
  1. Think of what you spend your working hours doing. Even if you don’t end up doing the exact same thing in heaven, what are some of the uses of your job (i.e. the results, the benefit to others) that you love?
  2. Every person remains the same as he was in the world, viewed from the actions he did willingly and rationally whenever he had the opportunity. What does this say about good intentions? What does that say about the difference between being full of potential versus reaching our potential?
  3. What would life be like if we viewed each day as an opportunity to shape our spiritual bodies? Would we live pretty much the same? A little differently? Very differently?
  4. How much should we let each other off the hook vs. encouraging each other to put love and wisdom into action whenever possible? How much do we want to push ourselves? How much is good enough? (Is that even the right question?)
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