3. The Genuine Truth in the Word’s Literal Meaning, the Truth That Is Needed for a Body of Teaching, becomes Manifest only to Those Who Have Enlightenment from the Lord (Continued)

I have been given the opportunity to talk to many people after death who believed that in heaven they were going to shine like stars because (so they said) they regarded the Word as holy, read it through many times over and collected many passages from it that they used to support the dogmas of their faith. As a result, they became famous scholars and believed they were going to become Michaels and Raphaels. Many of them were examined to learn what love had driven them to study the Word. Some of them were motivated to study by love for themselves so that they could become respected leaders of the church. Other were motivated to study by love for the world so as to increase their wealth.

When they were subjected to another examination to find out what they knew from the Word, it was discovered that their knowledge of it contained nothing genuinely true. All they knew was what is called falsified truth that is actually putrid falsity, so called because in heaven it smells like something that has gone bad. They were informed that this had happened to them because their objective in reading the Word was not to find a truth to believe or a good way to live but to reach some selfish or worldly goal.

When people have themselves or something worldly as their objective, as they read the Word their mind is preoccupied with themselves or the world. As a result, they are constantly thinking of their own self-importance, and human self-importance is in pitch darkness when it comes to anything related to heaven and the church. People who are in this condition cannot be raised by the Lord into the light of heaven; they cannot accept any influence from the Lord through heaven.

I have seen these people let into heaven. When it is discovered there that they had no truth, they were thrown out. Nevertheless a misplaced pride and a feeling that they were deserving stayed with them.

There was an entirely different outcome for people who had been motivated to study the Word by a desire to know the truth because it is true and because it is helpful and useful not only for their own lives but also for their neighbors’ lives. I have seen these people raised into heaven into the light of divine truth there and lifted into angelic wisdom and the happiness that heaven’s angels enjoy.

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 233

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