The Church’s Body of Teaching Is to Be Drawn from the Literal Meaning of the Word and Is to Be Supported by It (Continued)

3. The genuine truth that a body of teaching should have can be seen in the literal meaning of the Word only when we are being enlightened by the Lord. (Cont’d)

I have been granted the opportunity to talk with any number of individuals after their death who had believed they were going to shine like stars in heaven because, they said, they had revered the Word, had read it through time and again, and had gained much from their reading that served to support the dogmas of their faith. All this led to their being celebrated as scholars, which in turn led them to believe they would become Michaels and Raphaels.

However, many of them were examined to find out what love had inspired their study of the Word, and it turned out that for some it was self-infatuation, a desire to look important in the eyes of the world and therefore be revered as leaders in the church, while for others it was worldliness and a desire for wealth. When they were asked what they had learned from the Word, it turned out that they knew nothing that was really true. All they knew was distorted truth, which is essentially false. They were told that this was because they themselves and the world were their goals—or were what they loved the most, which amounts to the same thing—and not the Lord and heaven. If ourselves and the world are our goals, then when we read the Word our minds are stuck on ourselves and the world. This means that our thinking is constantly focused on our self-importance, which is in darkness with respect to everything that has to do with heaven. People in this state cannot be lifted out of their self-infatuation by the Lord and thus raised up into heaven’s light, so they are not open to any inflow from the Lord through heaven, either.

I have seen them let into heaven, but when it was found that they were lacking in truths, they were expelled. Even so, they retained the prideful conviction that they were worthy.

It worked out otherwise for individuals who studied the Word from a desire to know what was true because it was true and because it could be put to use in their lives not only for their own benefit but for the benefit of their neighbor. I have seen them raised up into heaven and therefore into the light of divine truth there; and at the same time they have been lifted up into angelic wisdom and into its happiness, which is eternal life.

from Sacred Scripture: White Horse, Section 61

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