“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church


“Do Not be Afraid”

But it came to pass that while he exercised the priest’s office before God in the order of his daily ministry, And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zacharias was disturbed at the sight, and fear fell upon him. And the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias, for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall give birth to a son for thee, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth. (Luke 1:8,11‒14)

The case with the order in heaven, and from this in the world; is that when angels are about to come, a spirit is sent before to prepare the way, and that he excites fear, and gives admonition to receive the angels courteously; and that he interrupts; also that at first he does not understand what the angels speak, but afterward when he has been reduced to a better state he understands; in a word, that he is continually at hand, and prepares the lower mind, and endeavors to avert things unworthy. In regard to this there occurred to me a thought about John the Baptist, that it was according to the order of heaven for him to be sent before and announce the coming of the Lord, and that he should prepare the way that He might be worthily received, according to what is written in Matt. 3:3; Luke 1:17; 3:4; John 1:23. (Arcana Coelestia 8028)

Speaking generally, “fear” is of two kinds—fear in what is not sacred, and fear in what is sacred; fear in what is not sacred is the fear in which are the wicked; but fear in what is sacred is the fear in which are the good. This latter fear (in which are the good) is called reverential or sacred fear, and is the result of our wonder at and longing for what is Divine, and also of our love. … The fear of love is a fear of injuring the Lord in any way, or of injuring the neighbor in any way, thus of injuring what is good and true in any way, and consequently of injuring the sacred things of love and faith and the consequent worship. (Arcana Coelestia 3718)

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