Lexicon Entry: Ancient Heavens and Hells

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Ancient Heavens and Hells The ancient heavens are those heavens that are located above the Christian Heaven (AR 612). Prior to the Lord’s advent, heaven was not distinguished into three heavens as it is today. There was only one heaven, because the spiritual heaven was not formed until the time of His advent (AC 8054). This is because a new heaven is formed from the people of every church when their church ends (Coro 44). The ancient heavens, then, are made up of people from the celestial church and from the spiritual church (AE 277). The people of the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, dwell together in the highest heaven because they were all in similar good. The people from the Ancient Church, which was spiritual, dwell together in the middle heaven because they were all in similar truth (AC 3255, HD 4).

The people of the most ancient times now living in the celestial heaven are still organized according to household, family, and nation, similar to the way they had lived on earth; this is so much the case that scarcely anyone is missing from any household (CL 205). Swedenborg was given some indication that of the people born on this earth, only those of the Most Ancient Church could enter the highest heaven. People born on earth at this day cannot reach the highest heaven because of the multiplication of hereditary evils (SE 1200).

The worst hell is also formed from people of the Most Ancient Church; this is where the Nephilim reside (SE 4933). This hell is the most atrocious of all because the people there believe they are like gods (Coro 38). The hells of the Ancient Church consist mostly of magicians, who have huts and places of entertainment scattered in the desert where they wander around and practice their magical arts (Coro 45).

See also:

Advent of the Lord, Antediluvians, Families, Hereditary Evil, Houses, Last Judgments, Magic, Nations

Passages relating to Ancient Heavens and Hells and the Ancient Churches:

AC 483; AC 1115; AC 1125; AC 3255; AC 8054; AE 277; AR 612; AR 617; AR 876; CL 205; Coro 38; Coro 44; Coro 45; HD 4; SE 1200; SE 4933; SE 5187
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