Micah Table of  Contents

Main Table of Contents


Minor Prophets: Major Messages

Chapter Three of Micah

Micah 3:1-3


“And I said: ‘Hear now, O heads of Jacob, and you rulers of the house of Israel: is it not for you to know justice? You who hate good and love evil; who strip the skin from My people, and the flesh from their bones; who also eat the flesh of My people, flay their skin from them, break their bones, and chop them in pieces like meat for the pot, like flesh in the caldron.’”



Passages from the Writings



  • “They have destroyed all truths and goods even to the last things of the church.”


AC 3812 [5]

  • “…a ‘caldron’ signifies violence offered to good and truth…the ‘pieces, the good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder…’ are flesh, by which are meant goods…and also that these arcana can in no wise be known unless it is known what is signified in the internal sense by a ‘caldron’ or ‘pot,’ by ‘pieces,’ by ‘thigh and shoulder,’ by ‘choice bones,’…and by ‘boiling.’”


Derived Doctrine


“And I said…”

  • We need to remind ourselves that this is the Lord speaking through Micah and not Micah speaking as of himself. We get opinions from others, which, at best, carry some objectivity, but with their opinion(s) will come preconceived “as-of-self prejudices.” When the Lord says, “I said,” there is not one scintilla of prejudice. Instead, good and truth are perfectly blended and balanced for eternal ends. We, then, are at our best when we seek to stay focused on the “I said…” of the Lord.


“Hear now, O heads of Jacob, and you rulers of the house of Israel.”

  • To “hear” signifies to obey. See AE 14 and 443 [3]. How soon should our obedience begin? Now! Hell always tries to get us to obey later on, urging us to “Live life while you’re young. Take up spiritual things when you are older.” Now is the right time to hear the words of the Lord—the eternal “I said” and source of everlasting life.
  • “Head” signifies intelligence and wisdom. See AE 577.
  • “Rulers” over the house of Israel play an important part in the spiritual sense of this passage. AE 513 [13] explains what happens if a poor “ruler” takes over the leadership of one’s spiritual life. Such a “ruler” “makes man so natural that his knowledges are devoid of spiritual good [so that] both thoughts and affections are wandering and thus man is destitute of the intelligence that should lead and rule.” 
  • Note well that this passage speaks to both Jacob and Israel. Why? AC 4286 [6-7] can help us see why: “That ‘Jacob’ signifies one thing and ‘Israel’ another, is plainly evident from the Word, for in the historical parts and also in the prophetical, it is now said ‘Jacob’…and now ‘Israel’…But what ‘Jacob’ signifies…in general…is what is external in the church, and by ‘Israelwhat is internal” in the church. (Emphasis added.)
  • Why is the Lord directing them, and us, to distinguish between the external and internal church? Read AR 398: The “internal [church] is with those who have studied its doctrines interiorly, and have confirmed them from the Word, and external with those who have not.” 
  • What we see and read in this section will appear repetitious. Repetition is a valuable learning tool. Let’s patiently consider repetition with some expectation that the Lord will give us clarity to hear and obey the call of our “I said” Lord.
  • Jacob is addressed as “heads of Jacob” to represent external intelligence in the external church. Jacob’s head signifies a call for the external wisdom and intelligence to obey.
  • Israel’s call from the “I said” is to the “rulers of the house…” AC 3654 helps us focus on the meaning of “rulers of the house” as good in the church leading or ruling internal principles. So, understanding the specific call to Jacob and Israel is important if the church is to be vivified by the Lord. Obedience within the external and internal church is what the “I said” wants. The great conjugial principle endeavors to wed love and wisdom in the external (Jacob) and internal (Israel) church. To what end is obedience important as a tool of guidance for the external and internal church? Is the answer to this question in the next verse of our text?


“Is it not for you to know justice?”

  • The word “justice” has a wide range of meaning and application. Let’s consider, in general, what meanings of the word “justice” we might focus on from Webster’s Dictionary: “Conforming to spiritual law; righteous; impartial; the maintenance or administration of that which is just; the principle of rectitude and just dealing of men with each other…”
  • The Writings offer us some 159 passages to read regarding justice. I diligently tried to check all of them. One passage, AC 6207, appears to beautifully fit into our topic of study regarding the external and internal church. “Conscience is twofold, interior and exterior. Interior conscience is of spiritual good and truth; exterior conscience is of justice and equity. At the present day, this latter conscience exists with many; but interior conscience with few. Nevertheless they who enjoy exterior conscience are saved in the other life; for they are of such a character that if they act contrary to what is good and true, or contrary to what is just and equitable, they are inwardly distressed and tormented; not because by so doing they suffer loss of honor, of gain, or of reputation; but because they have acted contrary to good and truth, or to justice and equity.” (Emphasis added.)
  • The question “Is it not for you to know justice?” is a call to conform to spiritual justice as revealed to us in the Word of the Lord.


“You who hate good and love evil…”

  • Who are the haters of good and the lovers of evil? They are the hellish spirits and all who join them in hating the Lord. When such hatred exists, it manifests itself in wanting to strip away the “skin” of the believers. Why the skin? What is represented in this act of spiritual destruction?
  • Our physical skin is made up of multiple layers of tissue that guard underlying muscles and organs. The skin’s use is to protect and insulate what lies below it and to regulate body temperature. Our skin is a most important part of our body. Skin has been called the “largest organ of the body” because it covers all of our exterior human body and weighs more than any single internal organ. Consider now the representation of our spiritual skin.


“…who strip the skin from My people, and the flesh from their bones…”

  • “Skin” “denotes the truth and good of the external man.” (AC 3540, 9960 [20]) Therefore, those who love hell want to strip the truth and good from the external church and the external mind of humanity. Stripping our spiritual being of its “skin” will destroy us because we are then robbed of that which would protect, insulate, and regulate our vital internal organs.
  • “Flesh” “…in the supreme sense [signifies] the Lord’s Divine own [proprium], which is His Divine Human, thus the good of His love toward the universal human race.” (AC 8409) What we get from this number is the picture of hell stripping the “flesh” of the external man so that he loses any sense of the Lord’s compassion for the universal human race. “The Lord doesn’t care about you,” say those who hate good and love evil. “If there was a loving God, He would not permit atrocities to occur to people of all ages—especially to the innocent.”
  • Bones serve an important function, too, in that they give a fairly hard and yet lightweight structure and support to the body. Bones come in a variety of shapes and have a complex internal and external structure. Studying bones involves knowing about the function of marrow, nerves, blood vessels, and cartilage.
  • Tearing the “flesh” from the “bones”—tearing away the Lord’s love for the universal human race—would expose our spiritual “bones” to infection and disease and would engender a dried up brittleness unable to support the external and internal rigors of our spiritual motion and uses. 


“…who also eat the flesh of My people, flay their skin from them, break their bones…”

  • Prior to our examination of the meaning of “eat the flesh of My people,” let us think of the meaning of “eating flesh” in the positive sense. In John 6:52-56, the Lord speaks of our need to eat of His flesh and to drink of His blood. Failure to do these things means “you have no life in you.”
  • To eat the Lord’s flesh and to drink His blood means to appropriate to oneself Divine good and Divine truth, “…‘flesh,’ signifying the good of love, and blood signifying the good of truth.” (AE 617 [24])
  • Eating the flesh of My people, flaying their skin, and breaking their bones has its series of negative meanings. To love hell and to hate the Lord involves destructive consequences. Such intentions eat away at the good and truth of the external church. The external mind fails to see the Lord’s universal love for the human race; the skin of the church is removed, and the truth of the Lord will not protect, insulate, and regulate the essentials. Without the Lord, our spiritual bones collapse. They are crushed, and their form and substance crumbles in disorder.


“…and chop them in pieces like meat for the pot, like flesh in the caldron.”

  • To “chop them in pieces” carries with it an ominous sense of how evil desires to bring about the extinction of good and truth. We use the expression “picking things to pieces.” Well, that is what hell loves to do to the Word. If AC 9372 [9] says that “meat” in the good sense represents spiritual nourishment, it makes sense that in the opposite sense, “meat” would represent spiritual malnutrition. To boil flesh in a holy place “means employing the truths of doctrine [as] seen in light received from the Lord [and] to make good ready for use in life…” (AC 10105)
  • That is not what the literal sense teaches. It is just the opposite. Instead of making doctrine ready for use in life, to use a “caldron” signifies to offer violence to good and truth. Read AC 3812 [5] again because it covers much of the meaning of this verse.


Putting It All Together


P&P sums up this section with the words: “They have destroyed all truths and goods even to the last things of the church.”


Who are the “they”? The heads of Jacob: the rulers, the prophets, and the priests of the house of Israel are the “they.” Those who were in positions of leadership failed as examples, guides, and watchmen of the night. Instead of hearing, obeying, and following the Lord, they turned against Him and sought to “skin alive” the people of the church. They chopped and pulled things apart. They did not value the ways of the Lord. One can almost picture the hells mocking truth by trivializing and demeaning it. The Psalmist repeats for us the sarcastic thoughts of haters of truth and justice: “How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?” (Psalm 73:11-12, emphasis added.)


Psalm 22:7 portrays hell and its snarling reproach and despising of the Lord: “All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” 


That which should have been “meat” to maintain nourishment for the spiritual body was put into a boiling caldron so violence would be offered to good and truth. The ripping of flesh, the breaking of the bones graphically illustrate and testify to the things the rulers did to the Word of the Lord. The motivation for all this was to destroy the external and internal church—the external and internal truth—in every least thing of the Lord.


The great “I said” calls for everyone to hear His eternal pronouncements. The rulers and heads of the church haughtily and purposely misled His people. The Lord calls for repentance. How soon should the church renew and restore the ways of the Lord?




Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 3:1-3.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • Has anyone ever tried to skin you alive? Picking things apart for the purpose of exposing and endangering something you value—that is the goal of hell. How can we protect ourselves when we are being picked on? The Lord said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake…Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad…for so they persecuted the prophets before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12) Do these words of the Lord help us endure the attempt hell makes to “skin us alive”?
  • Reflect on the purpose of our skin: to protect, to insulate, to regulate our temperature, and to care for our internal vital organs. This representative function speaks well for the uses of good and truth. Can we see why hell wants to skin these things away?
  • Bones are a fascinating study, too. Thinking about their spiritual variety, their hardness to give shape and support, their marrow, and blood vessels, provides a trip into the meaning of the Grand Man. Does anyone have a copy of Physiological Correspondences by the Rev. John Worcester? Does anyone have a set of notes from their “Human Body” courses at the Academy? If you do, would you be willing to review the chapters on skin and bones and share your findings if you are studying in a group?
  • Those who hate the Lord also hate justice. In place of spiritual order and form, they want chaos to exist. Instead of equality, they want to dominate and crush the order and fairness of the Lord. In what ways can we strengthen and nourish the internal church and mind to “stand tall” for the Lord?
  • How completely does hell want to destroy the spiritual church and mind? “To the last things of the church.” We need to say, “No way! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!!!”


Micah 3:4


“Then they will cry to the Lord, but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them, because they have been evil in their deeds.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “Then they are not heard by the Lord.”


AC 5585 [6]

  • “...‘hiding the faces’ denotes not being merciful. These things are predicated of Jehovah or the Lord, although He is never angry, and never turns away or hides His faces; but it is so said from the appearance with the man who is in evil; for the man who is in evil turns himself away, and hides from himself the Lord’s faces, that is, removes His mercy from himself. That it is the evils in man that do this, may also be seen from the Word, as in Micah…3:4.” (Emphasis added.)


AC 10579 [8]

  • “…where Divine good is not in Divine truth, there the face of Jehovah is not; and it also follows that where there is evil in falsity, the Divine does not appear. This is meant by Jehovah ‘hiding and turning away His faces’ in the following passages…Micah 3:4.”


AR 939

  • “In the opposite sense by the face of Jehovah is signified anger and aversion, for the reason that the evil man turns himself away from the Lord; and when he turns himself away, it appears to him as if the Lord turned Himself away and was angry…” Micah 3:4 is cited as an example.  


AE 412 [18]

  • “It can be known…what ‘the face’ of Jehovah or the Lord signifies, namely, the Divine love, and all good in heaven and in the church therefrom; and from this it can be known what is signified by ‘hiding’ or ‘concealing the faces,’ in reference to Jehovah or the Lord, namely, that it is to leave man in what is his own [proprium] and thus in the evils and falsities that spring forth from what is his own [proprium]; for man viewed in himself is nothing but evil and falsity therefrom, and that he may be in good he is withheld from these by the Lord, which is effected by being elevated out of what is his own [proprium].” Micah 3:4 is cited as an example.


Derived Doctrine


“Then they will cry to the Lord…”

  •  To “cry” denotes “interior lamentations.” (AC 10456) To “cry” signifies the lamentable state of the interiors. (AC 10457) To “cry” is used in the prophets to signify “that goods and truths have been vastated; and a term is there made use of by which in the internal sense falsity is described…” (AC 2240) To “cry” signifies the destruction of their doctrinals. See AE 514 [13].


“He will not hear them…”

  • To “hear” means to obey and to perceive. (AC 5477) Turning away from the Lord harms obedience and perception. Therefore, it appears to the evil that the Lord does not see, hear, or know of their plight.


“…because they have been evil in their deeds.”

  • “…it is evident what is meant by the deeds or works, according to which every one will be judged, namely, the will and understanding; consequently that by evil deeds are meant the deeds of an evil will…” (CL 527)
  • “…evils done with deceit are the worst, because deceit is like a poison which infects and destroys with infernal venom, for it goes through the whole mind even to the interiors…he who is in deceit meditates evil, and feeds his understanding with it, and takes delight in it, and thus destroys everything therein that belongs to man…the good of faith and of charity.” (AC 9013)


Putting It All Together


The rulers, prophets, and priests, as the heads of Israel and Judah, did evil deeds in the temple of the Lord. They practiced malice and deceit. Poison existed throughout their hearts and minds, and being deceitful, they longed to destroy everything of faith and charity.


The Lord visited their inner world, and His presence disturbed and threatened them. They cried out because they knew that their ways could not continue in His presence. So they turned their backs to Him. They closed their eyes and wished for Him to be gone from their presence. In effect, they wanted Him to leave them alone so that they could continue in their deprived state. The Lord would not listen to their request. He would not listen to and obey them. Their lamentable state had to come to an end. Sin and evil cannot remain in the presence of the Lord. The things being said by evil and sin “…are not heard by the Lord.” (P&P)


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 3:4.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • Can you see why people believe the Lord gets angry, turns Himself away from His children, and is not merciful? The literal sense reflects what humanity does. Evil people want the Lord sent away from their sight. They do the turning and then blame the Lord for His absence. How can we tell others about the true story of the Lord’s “rejection”?
  • The Lord, not hearing evil requests, not complying with their cries, is a loving Lord. He must not ignore or refuse to see evil. He will call every disorder to accountability. Evil deeds must be thoroughly cleansed of their poisonous effects. What might happen if, for even the briefest of moments, the Lord ignored a sin and pretended it wasn’t present? Wouldn’t such a moment of the Lord’s tolerance cause the destruction of heaven and earth?
  • Look up the correspondences of rulers, prophets, and priests. Why? To really see and understand the crux of Israel’s spiritual problems, we need the help of the spiritual sense. For instance, look at AE 513 [13], where it says that to be without a ruler “signifies to make man so natural that his knowledges are devoid of spiritual good…[so that] both thoughts and affections are wandering, and thus man is destitute of the intelligence that should lead and rule.” (Emphasis added.)
  • What does a false prophet represent? What does a false priest represent? Putting together the effect of these false leaders, how dangerously low had Israel fallen?


Micah 3:5-7


“Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who make My people stray; who chant ‘Peace’ while they chew with their teeth, but who prepare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths: therefore you shall have night without vision, and you shall have darkness without divination; the sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be dark for them. So the seers shall be ashamed, and the diviners abashed; indeed they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer from God.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “Because they have perverted all things of the Word and of doctrine, they can no longer see and receive anything of truth and good.”


AC 2353 [2]

  • “…in Micah…3:5, 6…‘Prophets’ here denote those who teach falsities; ‘night,’ the being ‘dark,’ the ‘going down of the sun,’ the ‘blackening day,’ denote falsities and evils.


AR 53

  • “In these passages by ‘sun’ is not meant the sun of this world, but the sun of the angelic heaven, which is the Divine love and the Divine wisdom of the Lord; these are said to be ‘obscured,’ ‘darkened,’ ‘covered,’ and ‘blackened’ when there are evils and falsities with man. Hence it is evident, that similar things are meant by the Lord’s words, where He speaks of the consummation of the age, which is the last time of the church…” Micah 3:5-6 is cited.


AE 401 [16]

  • “In Micah…3:5, 6…What these words signify in the spiritual sense may be seen…This signifies that in the church, where the Word is from which it might be known what is good and true, there is nevertheless nothing but evil and falsity. ‘To cause the sun to set,’ and ‘to darken the earth,’ signify the evil of life, and the falsity of doctrine in the church; for ‘the rising of the sun’ signifies the good of love, which is the good of the life, and ‘the setting of the sun’ signifies the evil of love, which is the evil of the life; and ‘the darkening of the earth’ signifies the consequent falsity of doctrine, ‘darkness’ signifying falsities, and the ‘earth’ the church; ‘at noon,’ and ‘in the day of light,’ signify when there might be the knowledges of good and truth, because they have the Word, ‘noon’ signifying where there are the knowledges of good, and the ‘day of light’ where there are the knowledges of truth. Such knowledges as are from the Word are meant, because it is the church where the Word is that is here treated of.”


AC 3693 [2]

  • “In Micah…3:6…‘the sun shall go down upon the prophets’ signifies that they have no longer any truth and understanding of truth; ‘prophets’ denote those who teach the truths of doctrine…”  


AR 8

  • “It is evident…that the apostles and prophets would not alone exult at the Last Judgment, but all who have received the truths of doctrine, and have lived according to them. These, therefore, are meant by ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets.’” Micah 3:6 is cited as an example passage.


AR 312

  • “They who appear in the abominable kind of blackness are called devils, such holding truth in abomination…” Micah 3:6 is one of the passages cited.


AE 372 [2]

  • “That ‘black’ signifies what is not true is evident…from other passages in the Word, where it is mentioned. As in Micah…3:6…The ‘prophets’ here treated of signify those who are in the truths of doctrine, and in a sense abstracted from persons, the truths of doctrine; that those meant by ‘prophets’ would see evils and would divine falsities is signified by ‘it shall be night unto you for vision, and darkness shall arise to you for divination;’ that they would know neither good nor truth is signified by ‘the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall grow black over them;’ ‘sun’ signifying the good of love, and ‘day’ the truth of faith, and ‘to grow black’ signifying not seen or known.”


AE 624 [14]

  • “In Micah…3:6…‘It shall be night unto you for vision’ signifies that there shall be the understanding of falsity instead of the understanding of truth; ‘darkness for divination’ signifies falsities instead of revealed truths; ‘the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day grow black over them,’ signifies that light shall no more flow in from the Lord out of heaven and enlighten, but thick darkness from the hells which shall darken the understanding.”


Derived Doctrine


“Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who make My people stray…”

  • What did the prophets say or do that led the people astray? Did they purposely speak lies? Were they reprehensible and completely blameworthy? Or were they weak and unable to stand up against the disorderly wishes of the people? Did they say things to be crowd pleasers, conscious that if they said what was wanted, it would give them the approval and power to keep their office and authority?
  • Being a wise parent means saying no to selfish lifestyles. It means following a higher view so that there is civil, moral, and spiritual accountability.
  • P&P gives us a powerful insight into the results of “false prophets” misleading the people: “They perverted all things of the Word and doctrine; they can no longer see and receive anything of truth.” (Emphasis added.)


“…who chant ‘Peace’ while they chew with their teeth…”

  • AE 448 [12] explains “to chant…” in Amos 6:5 as meaning: “…those who counterfeit good affections in externals, and bring together for confirmation many things from the Word, and yet are interiorly evil…” (Emphasis added.)
  • The reference to chanting “Peace” is couched in such a way that we are to alertly notice that there is a calculated deception involved. AC 1852 has this teaching that seems to apply. “…‘peace’ signifies [a promise] that nothing of the goods and truths shall be harmed…” AC 3774 says “peace” signifies affirmation. AC 6391 relates to us that “peace” signifies the Lord, heaven, and the good which is from heaven. So the counterfeit chanting had the right words, the right look, but the wrong motivation. It was all for self and nothing for the Lord.
  • Chewing with the teeth, in the negative sense, signifies the exterior understanding, natural truth, falsity wanting to destroy truth. See AC 9052 [1-2].
  • We would do well to note the meaning of this teaching: it is counterfeited, external, good affections deviously promising no harm to spiritual good and truth while their “teeth,” from hatred, intend to chew to shreds those things from the Lord, heaven, and the Word.


“…but who prepare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths…”

  • We need to put this passage in such a context that the Lord can rationally lift us toward the spiritual sense. The light of the Word is exposing the intent of the false prophets. The Lord reveals that they (the prophets) spoke what the people wanted to hear—if they received something to “eat” in return. The prophets took bribes. But if the prophet’s needs (bribes) were not met and nothing was put into their “mouths,” they declared war on those who wouldn’t comply with their corporeal demands.
  • “War,” in the positive sense, signifies the Lord spiritually fighting against “many kinds of cupidities of evil and of persuasions of falsity…” (AC 1663) In the opposite sense, “war” signifies those who insanely “seize on shadows instead of light, on fallacies instead of realities…” so as to “disperse the truths…” and do so with “the lust of attacking and destroying…truths.” (AC 9391 [16])
  • In “the spiritual sense ‘the mouth’ means thought, because thought speaks by means of the mouth…” (Divine Providence (DP) 80) The mouthsof the false prophets spoke the things of falsity from self-love and not truth from the understanding of the Word.


“…therefore you shall have night without vision, and you shall have darkness without divination…”

  • The false prophets told so many lies (false reports) that they, and the people who believed them, were blindly unable to find the light, the truth, and the spiritual sense when looking for it.
  • AC 9188 [8] explains that “‘diviners,’ ‘augers,’ ‘sorcerers,’ and the rest…in the internal sense [are] those who destroy the truths and goods of the church by means of memory-knowledges wrongly applied…from their own intelligence and through falsities from the love of self and the love of the world, consequently who learn and teach from the cupidity of profit and of honors, and not from any affection for the truth of faith and the good of life.”
  • AE 624 [14] teaches that “…‘darkness for divination’ signifies falsities instead of revealed truths…”


“The sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be dark for them.”

  • In the positive sense, the “sun” signifies the Lord and charity toward the neighbor. (AC 2495)  Turning this to the opposite sense, “sun” would signify that the false prophets lost their love for the Lord and the neighbor.
  • “Day” signifies a state (the full extent) of faith or truth. See AC 4175. The “day” darkening represents what happens when prophets turn their backs to the Lord: they lose their faith and truth, and it “shall be dark for them.”


“So the seers shall be ashamed, and the diviners abashed; indeed they shall all cover their lips…”

  • “Seers” signify the intelligent. See AE 376 [32]. “Seers” “were formerly called ‘prophets,’ and that ‘prophets’ denote those who teach, and also the truths of doctrine…” (AC 3863 [8]) “Prophets signify those who teach truths, and are intelligent, and in the abstract sense, the doctrine of truth, and intelligence.” (AE 577 [7])
  • To be shamed, or “ashamed,” indicates the presence of innocence. Did the Lord touch the remains of these seers to bring them into a state of reflective shame? Something like this must have happened to them; otherwise, they would not have had any inkling of the devious and hellish quality of their ways.
  • The word “abashed” means “To destroy the self-possession or self-confidence…to confuse or confound.” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary) In the presence of the Lord, the shams and pomposity of evil will fall apart, and there will be chaos.
  • “Lips” signify doctrine. See AE 279 [3] and AE 455. “Lips” signify the doctrine of good and truth. See AE 391 [8]. AE 580 adds that “lips” signify thought and affection or the understanding and the will. Therefore, in the presence of the Lord, the seers and diviners will cover their “lips” so that they will not speak the false things of the understanding and will. Their false doctrines will not openly offend or oppose the Lord. Why? Evil and sin in the Lord’s presence are simply speechless and muted by His magnificent perfection.


“…for there is no answer from God.”

  • Did the Lord not have answers? Did He decide not to speak? Or was there no need to speak? The Lord’s good or love never has to fight. His good has no need to defend itself. Evil will be ashamed. Evil will be abashed. The evil, and not the Lord, bring harm to their falsities. They will no longer misappropriate anything from His Word to prove or justify their egregious errors.  


Putting It All Together


When the Word of the Lord is perverted “in all things” of doctrine, what happens internally to false “prophets” who allow their actions to be swayed by flattery and sensually prudent dictates?


1. They put on the air of being peaceful messengers. “No harm, no foul” is the message they cry out for all to hear. They try to convince others that the words of their mouth are really sound and necessary to deal with the issues of the day. So they play to the crowd. Instead of speaking the truth of the Lord, they cater to those who “bribe” and flatter them. The false prophets know what to say in order to increase their stature and position of authority. In other words, they sell themselves out to the highest bidder.


2. To those who don’t flatter them, false prophets show a fierce side of their “prophetic” calling. They want to “chew” up those “who put nothing in their mouth.” Isn’t this a clear illustration of their deception? If anyone doesn’t bribe them, that person becomes the enemy who must be fought. So they prepare war against those who fail to honor them in the name of “peace.”


3. False prophets become spiritually blind. Their darkness is like a night where there is not the tiniest speck of truth to guide them: A “night without vision.” How clear an example is this for us? Their internal blindness bars any message of hope from the Lord. “The sun shall go down on the prophets—the day shall be dark for them.”


4. The Lord speaks “hard words” to the false prophets. False prophets, He says, will be ashamed and abashed. They will cover their lips because, in the presence of the Lord, they really have nothing of worth to say. When it comes to what is real and true, they have “no answers from God.” All the peace they simulate to cover themselves is for naught. They are blind; they are lost in their own darkness; their lips have nothing of worth to speak; and they are without Divine answers to the issues of eternal regeneration.


These are the words of the Lord and not of Micah. Micah might have been inspired to hear, see, and record them, but we do well to remind ourselves to say aloud, “This is the Lord telling us what will become of false prophets!”


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 3:5-7.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • This section is a wonderful lesson for us to consider. We need to create an orderly balance between our needs for creature comfort and our search for the higher spiritual needs of our soul. The Lord does not want us to take the path that is wide and more traveled by the spiritually disinterested. We do much better when we travel the road that is narrow and approach the Lord for His lasting peace and insights. Looking for the Word to confirm our finite wishes is totally wrong and short-sighted. We end up like blind people groping in total darkness. Now, how can we take this lesson seriously so we will not listen to false prophets who counterfeit integrity by twisting the Word to confirm outright lies and falsity? Falsity and hatred of the Lord deliberately strive to destroy the Lord in our hearts. They wish to prepare war and chew up the truth. How strongly do you feel about the necessity to avoid listening to or cooperating with such false prophets?
  • Doing what seems to be popular—tailoring the Word to fulfill our wishes—is a perilous mistake. How can we stay alert and not follow the dictates of our sensual convenience and hellish desires? One way is to read carefully and reflect on what the Lord’s Word teaches us in this prophecy of Micah.
  • Have you ever been taken in by smooth talkers? Does popular opinion hold a higher significance in your life than genuine doctrine drawn from the Word? Popular opinion doesn’t require much “study.” It is the easier, wider path to follow. Our proprium likes the easy way. The easy way doesn’t require much internal amendment. The easy way rolls with the prevailing tide of human prudence. How much of “going along to get along” do you think we give in to?
  • Did the message from the Lord about what happens to false prophets bolster your resolve to not put flattery in the mouths of the false prophets?
  • Do we need to be aware that false prophets don’t like us? They will conjure up ways to war against us. Being prepared for their attack seems to be a good thing. Is that how you feel, too, or does it come across as a hard teaching?



Micah 3:8


“But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “The Lord in respect to the Word which He will declare unto them.”


AC 4281

  • “…in the Word ‘Jacob’ denotes not only Jacob, but also all his posterity, as is evident from many passages in the Word…” Micah 3:8 is cited among many other passages.  


AC 9818 [20]

  • “That in these passages [Micah 3:8, among others] ‘the Spirit of Jehovah’ denotes the Divine truth, and through this the life of faith and of love, is evident; that it flows in immediately from the Lord and also mediately from Him through spirits and angels…”


AE 183 [12]

  • “That the ‘Spirit of God’ is Divine truth, and thence spiritual life to the man who receives it, is further evident from…Micah 3:8…”


Derived Doctrine


“But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord…”

  • Focus first on the words “But truly…” The word “but” brings to our attention that something is going to be stated differently, objected to, or clarified. Some exception is going to be brought forth. What exactly will be rectified? Micah 3:5-7 tells us that the prophets in Israel strayed from their spiritual uses. They chanted “peace,” but they were chewing up things with their teeth (representing the lowest natural things under the guise of justice; see AC 4424 [3]). The prophets were preparing war against anyone who didn’t pamper them with praise and power. Because of their self-love, spiritual darkness entered into the life of the church and the hearts of the people. The prophecy points to the shame that would come upon all false prophets. They would be abashed when the Lord’s truth was restored. In the meantime, there would be no answers forthcoming from God. BUT those who listen to and follow the Lord in word and deed will be FULL. “Full,” in the positive sense, represents a promise that the doctrines of the church will be restored and made powerfully full. See AE 280 [10]. To be “full” denotes being filled with spiritual food, that is, truth and good. See AC 492 [2].
  • To be “full of power” signifies the merit and righteousness belonging to the Lord’s Divine Human and that from it is all Divine truth and Divine good and salvation. See AE 287 and 293.
  • For the spiritually renewed person, who willingly receives the Lord’s power, the Lord will provide a dramatic rescue and escape from the tyrannical influence of the false prophets. Instead of darkness and silence, the Lord will provide light to such people, and He will give them fulfilling (stabilizing/balanced) answers.


“…and [He will give them] of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.”

  • “Jacob” signifies “perception in the natural where memory-knowledges are, concerning the general truth of the church…” (AC 6088)
  • “Jacob’s transgression” “signifies evil against truth.” (AC 6563)
  • “…justice in the Word is said of the good of love…” (AE 644 [15])
  • “…‘might’ signifies that good…has its potency and truth has its first potency…” (AE 434 [17]) “‘…might’ signifies confidence; for knowledge (scientia) is of no avail if it does not serve the rational and the spiritual man…” (AE 357 [27])
  • “Israel” means “those who belong to the spiritual church.” Put another way, “Israel” means “the interior church.” (AC 9404)
  • Putting this passage together, what we have revealed is that Jacob, representative of the external memory-knowledges that brought evil against truth, and Israel, representative of the internal/spiritual church, were going to be cleansed by the Lord among the faithful with His advent. Justice and might would once again be the cleansing/refreshing tools for salvation within the church.
  • What is the goal of the “Spirit of the Lord”? Isaiah 61:1-3 answers this question for us: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn…to give them beauty for ashes…”


Putting It All Together


Hell loves to talk and shout (scream) a lot. As a matter of fact, Hell loves to turn up the volume of its noise so that it can drown out the still, quiet voice of the Lord. Hell’s grandiose verbosity desires to intimidate those who want to serve the Lord. Hellish spirits call forth popular opinions drawn from the consensus of human prudence. Using false logic and twisted human facts, they construct philosophical webs to ensnare those who are ignorant of the Lord’s Word.


The Lord announces in this prophecy that their reign of terror will come to an end. They will be overturned and exposed once and forever. For a time, it will appear that Hell’s tactics are working. But when the Word is rightly opened and its wondrous truths shine through the darkness and confusion of Hell, good things will happen.


What are the good things the Lord promises will happen? The full power of the Spirit of the Lord will freely flow immediately and mediately from Him and the angels of heaven. The hearts and minds of the faithful will be revitalized. His “justice and might” will eliminate the legion of false conclusions drawn from the pool of external natural memory-knowledges. “Justice and might” will restore power within the spiritual church to care for the souls of the faithful entrusted to it. Psalm 51:12 captures for us what the prayer will be when the Divine rescue comes sweeping in: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.” (Emphasis added.) Can we say those words over again? The joy of the Lord’s salvation will be felt and will empower all within the spiritual church. How long has it been since we felt the joy of the Lord’s salvation? It will come. It will bring with it justice and might. How do we know these things will happen? The Lord says so. Let His prophecy turn off the noise and rabble of Hell. We, with the Lord’s help, can invite the power of His salvation to come inside and warm our souls with joy! These encouraging words are spoken by the Lord. “And let all the people say Amen.” (Psalm 106:48)


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 3:8.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • The Word persistently declares, especially in the books of the prophets, that the Lord’s advent will occur. Along with that message, we are assured that Hell will be totally defeated. The church will be restored. Joy will come in the morning. Why do we listen to Hell when it says that it is more powerful than the Lord? Why do we believe that it is easier to sin than to do what is good?
  • The Lord’s justice and might are at work now. Do we see any signs of them working?
  • The prayer of the church is that we will see and feel the joy of the Lord’s salvation. Why isn’t this theme more forcefully included in our study and worship experiences? I don’t remember hearing many of us sharing the expression “joy of salvation.” Are we missing out on something vital? Are we neglecting to allow ourselves to experience the joy of salvation? Are we careful of using such expressions because they sound like something evangelical people would say?


Micah 3:9-11


“Now hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity, who build up Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with iniquity: her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, ‘Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us.’”



Passages from the Writings



  • “They falsify all the truths and goods of the Word, and yet they say that God is with them.”


AR 612

  • “…by ‘Zion’ and ‘Jerusalem’ are signified the inmost things of the church; and as the church in the heavens makes one with the church on earth, therefore by ‘Zion’ and ‘Jerusalem’ is meant the church everywhere, but by ‘Zion’ the church as to love, and by ‘Jerusalem’ the church as to doctrine from love.” Micah 3:10 is cited as one example.


AE 850 [18]

  • “The devastation of the church by the Jewish nation, by this that they had falsified every Divine truth, is described throughout the Word by the vastation of Zion. As in…Micah 3:10…”


Derived Doctrine


“Now hear this…”

  • These words call us to attention, to being alert. When? Right away—NOW!
  • The Writings make it clear with numerous references that hearing signifies obedience. More precisely, in AC 8361, we are taught that hearing “signifies to perceive, to understand, and to have faith…hearing signifies faith in the will and act, thus obedience.” (Emphasis added.)


“…you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel…” (Emphasis added.)

  • Are we to assume that by the “heads of the house of Jacob” are meant only the kings, queens, and princes of the royal family? Or does this apply to the political and religious heads of the house of Jacob as well?
  • Why does the prophecy call our attention to the “rulers of Israel”? Is there a spiritual difference between the words “heads” and “rulers”?
  • It is essential, in answering these questions, to go back and read the Derived Doctrine section for Micah 3:1-3. This section is too long to repeat here, but it is essential to review it because it will help us understand why the use of the words heads and rulers is important to denote correspondential differences applied to Judah and Israel.


“…who abhor justice and pervert all equity…”

  • The meaning of these words is clear with little research. The heads and rulers of Jacob and Israel despised justice and equity. Each of these virtues was for sale to the highest bidder. They made a mockery of justice and equity and cared little for what the Word taught about the poor, oppressed, widowed, and orphaned. Love of self reigned over the love of the neighbor.


“…who build up Zion with bloodshed…”

  • AC 4818 [4] gives us a clue about those who love “bloodshed”: “These are they spoken of in the Word who are said to be ‘in bloods,’ for they are in cruel rage against the whole human race which does not adore their articles of faith, and thus themselves, and does not offer its gifts upon their altars.”
  • What is the group of blood-shedders aiming at? AE 325 [26] teaches that “Zion” signifies the conjunction of truth and good. AE 326 [5] teaches that “Zion” signifies “the church where the Lord is to be worshipped.” AE 328 [10] teaches that “Zion” “signifies the church which is in love to the Lord.” (Emphasis added.)
  • Those intent on bloodshed want to build up Zion with their own values and care naught for the harmony of good and truth. They definitely wanted Zion to be a place that was not in love with the Lord.


“…and Jerusalem with iniquity…”

  • “Jerusalem” signifies the church in relation to doctrine. Here are but a few references to check this teaching: AE 253 [5], AE 355 [5], and AE 376 [23], which has this teaching: “Jerusalem signifies to draw the truths of the church from the Word.” Can we not see why the bloodshed occurred? Self-love does not hold the truths of Word with integrity. Self-love has a burning hatred for the church and for truth drawn from the Word.


“Her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money.” (Emphasis added.)

  • Note the impropriety of the three classes (heads) mentioned, the judges, the priests, and the prophets. The judges took bribes, the priests took pay, and the prophets divined for money. The judges were making judicial pronouncements for bribes. The priests taught what their employers directed them to teach. The prophets were voices of magic and charlatanry. They heard not and served not the Lord “freely.” None of them came to the Lord for His revelation.


“Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, ‘Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us.’”

  • How tragic these words are. The children of God thought they could do anything, say anything, and behave in any disorderly way and still be free from the consequences of their actions. Sadly, tragically, they believed that as God’s chosen, there was nothing that would remove them from the “favored nation” category.
  • How could the children of Israel have come to this belief? Had they not learned over the course of their history that their wayward actions always had consequences? Had they forgotten their years of bondage and estrangement from family and Jerusalem? Was their arrogance and ignorance causing them to be spiritually destitute of reason and freedom in matters of their spiritual state? The Word shows us that they were helplessly caught in the eddy of falsity. They were figuratively going down the drain in a vortex of spiritual death. “Hear Now” is a message of great importance from the Lord because their words of “no harm can come upon us” were perilously empty and totally false.
  • “…yet they lean on the Lord…” The picture we get of this “leaning” is not one of positive assurance and dependence on the leading of the Lord. Instead, it connotes a demanding traditional expectation, whereby they felt they were owed something because they were the chosen people. Like a spoiled child, they were saying, “You promised me. You said You would, so now You have got to give in.” This was the wrong attitude and a foolish leaning on the Lord’s justice and mercy.


Putting It All Together


When anyone falsifies the truths and goods of the Word, how can they possibly believe that the Lord will be with them, supporting their evil deeds? That is exactly what the children of Israel did and believed. Judges allowed their uses to be directed by bribery and not by order and fairness to all people. Their priests did not do the bidding of the Lord and His Word. Instead, they did what their employers asked. Their income meant more to them than humble obedience to the Word. Israel’s prophets “divined” for riches as well. Instead of allowing themselves to be vessels or instruments of the Lord, they supplied pleasant “readings” to those who offered them riches.


Is any of this going on in the world and church today? Are there people (churches) who believe they are under a Divine protection and are especially blessed and chosen by the Lord? I know some who believe they are “right” because they can claim apostolic succession from Peter to the present. In their eyes, they are the true church. All other denominational faiths are not legitimately within the body of Christ. This is a strong statement which at times is questioned and denied, but in some quarters, it is believed fervently. Their faith teaches that sins can be absolved by the priesthood, and so confession is used as a way of excusing evils and sins. Confession is an easy out requiring little self-examination or making one’s self guilty and no supplication of the Lord’s help to work toward leading a new life.


Regeneration is a process of honesty with the Lord. It is offering up a broken spirit and a contrite heart. So twisting the Word, selling truth off to the highest (bribe) bidder will not be pleasing in the sight of the Lord. Isn’t this goal truly what we have laid before us in this prophecy from Micah? May we hear and comply with what the Lord says to us. Our mission is to read the Word of the Lord with a promise that we will let truth be truth. Our commitment to the Lord, and His Word, must be strong and resolute. Read with me the closing paragraphs of CL 233: “…to be able to confirm whatever one pleases is not the mark of an intelligent [person], but to be able to see that the truth is true and that the false is false, and to confirm it is the mark of an intelligent [person].” The prophecy of Micah challenges us to read, reflect, and apply the things of the Lord and to put aside our own flawed prudence, no matter how many surveys of popular opinion weigh in against the teachings of the Lord’s Word.  


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 3:9-11.


Questions to Stimulate Reflection


  • Do we really need questions to stimulate our reflection? The teachings here are pretty straightforward. How could we not see that the demise of the church occurs when its leaders (priests and laypeople together) sell out their offices? How can we fail to see the application to the state we are in when smugness moves us to think we are a chosen church and our promise is secured no matter what we say or do?
  • This section is clear and open. “Now hear this” is what the Lord says. I hope we stop, listen, and reflect on the meaning and application of this section to our lives. It is time to put away arrogance and ignorance and take on humility and attentiveness before the Lord. He can do so much more for us in this state.
  • Have we taken bribes in our working with the world? What is meant by this question? We deal daily with a world of changing standards. What at one time is agreed upon and accepted by a majority of people can in time change drastically. Look at how the world’s view of homosexuality has changed. What brought about those changes? Did we get “enlightenment”? Were our former views of homosexuality errant? Or did our views change because new popular opinions were generated by causes espoused by high-profile celebrities? Did we allow the Word to be “hushed up” because to cite the Word would bring charges of being antiquated or “homophobic”? Have we worked out compromises so that we “fit in” among members of the secular world? Probably many of us have let money do the talking in the sense that we acted in politically correct ways because our jobs required us to do so. Staying true to the Lord is not always easy. So we rationalize and fail to stand up for the teachings of the Lord. How can we be more principled in upholding the truths of the Lord so that we don’t sell out to convenient or expedient logic?
  • What points stand out most for you following a careful reading and reflection on these passages from Micah? Were you mentally and spiritually touched by their message? Look again at the list (and professions) of those who sold out for their own aggrandizement. It’s kind of scary to think of the effect it had on the spiritual health of the church. Do you recall what P&P said about the church leaders? They falsified the things of the church, and yet they told themselves that “the Lord is with us.” Do we hear a warning bell within our heart and conscience?


Micah 3:12


“Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest.”



Passages from the Writings



  • “Therefore the whole church will be destroyed.”


AR 612

  • “Hence by ‘Zion’ and ‘Jerusalem’ are signified the inmost things of the church; and as the church in the heavens makes one with the church on earth, therefore by ‘Zion’ and ‘Jerusalem’ is meant the church everywhere, but by ‘Zion’ the church as to love, and by ‘Jerusalem’ the church as to doctrine from love…That by ‘mount Zion’ is signified heaven and the church where the Lord alone is worshiped, may appear from the following passages…” Micah 3:10, 12 are cited among many other passages.


AE 850 [18]

  • “The devastation of the church by the Jewish nation, by this that they had falsified every Divine truth, is also described throughout the Word by the vastation of Zion.” Micah 3:10, 12 are cited as examples of this doctrine.


AC 368

  • A “…‘field’ signifies doctrine; ‘possessions’ and ‘treasures’ denote the spiritual riches of faith, or the things that belong to the doctrines of faith…It is declared concerning Zion, when destitute of the doctrine of faith, that she shall be ‘plowed like a field’…Micah 3:12…”


AC 5895

  • “…in the opposite sense ‘plowing’ signifies the evil which blots out good, thus vastation; as in…Micah 3:12.”


Derived Doctrine


“Therefore because of you…”

  • When any spiritual principles are purposely (and willingly) violated, it must be known who made the transgression. Why? Is it to give us a sense of low self-esteem? Does the Lord enjoy criticizing us? Spiritual failure lies in the hearts of the people and not in the Lord. This passage underscores the truth that the Lord always does His part. The people of the church failed to uphold the irrevocable laws of Divine Providence. Now the question lies before us: how can we make amends and get back on track with the Lord? Confession is the single-word answer. We are to own up to our mistakes without blaming others or the Lord. “I made the poor choices.” Next, we need to acknowledge, “I need to supplicate the Lord for help.” And lastly, “I need to choose the way of a new life, uprooting the errant first root of life called the proprium.” (These quotes sum up what we need to say to the Lord in a prayerful manner. The Writings indicate that these words are well-suited to preparing for and receiving the Holy Supper.)


“…Zion shall be plowed like a field…”

  • In the positive sense, “plowing” denotes the restorative work of (love) good. “Thus ‘plowing’ is preparation by good for receiving truths…” (AC 5895)
  • Plowing serves the purpose of turning over the hard or encrusted surface of the soil. It removes the worthless stubble of the old crop or the beginning growth of weeds. It uncovers rocks and stumps that would deter growth.
  • There are more than 37 numbers in the Writings giving us the signification of “Zion.” Here are but three of them that seem to capture its spiritual meaning. AE 294 [10] teaches that “Zion signifies the church in respect to the Word, the internal or spiritual sense of the Word in respect to good…” AE 326 [5] explains that “Zion signifies the church where the Lord is to be worshiped…her ‘desolation’ signifies a lack of truth and good from an absence of truths…” AE 375 [26] notes that “Zion signifies the conjunction of truth and good…and Zion signifies the church where the good of love is…” (Emphasis added.)
  • AC 3766 explains the signification of a “field” this way: “In the Word the church is signified by ‘land,’ ‘ground,’ and ‘field,’ but with a difference. The reason why ‘field’ signifies the church, is that the church as a field receives the seeds of good and truth; for the church has the Word, from which come these seeds; and this is the reason why everything in a field signifies that which is of the church, such as sowing, reaping, standing corn, wheat, barley, and other things, and this also with a difference.”


“…Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins…”

  • AE 253 [5] and AE 355 teach that “Jerusalem signifies the church in respect to doctrine.” When we read the name “Jerusalem,” we are to think about the quality and health of a church in relation to the genuine doctrines of the Lord.
  • Consider the importance of the above teaching when we read that “Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins.” What is implied? The Lord in Matthew 15:9 summed up what was going on in the church: “…in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Emphasis added.) All of these man-made teachings will be collected and placed in a pile of deadness. The Lord will rid (cleanse) His church of such uselessness.


“…and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest.”

  • In the positive sense, a “mountain” represents love. See AR 403. In the opposite sense, a “mountain” represents the love of self and of the world. See AC 1687.
  • Reflecting on the meaning of “the mountain of the temple,” we need to remind ourselves that the Lord regularly (moment by moment) performs an “exploration of the state of the church in general.” See AE 903 and 909. Within the temple, Divine truth is to perpetually shine forth. In the mountain temple, the priests are to keep the eternal light of the Divine Human burning brightly. No strange coals are to be added as a substitute fire. In the mountain temple, the holiness of worship is to come forth from a deep and abiding love of the Lord and not from a love of self and the world.
  • What are we to make of the words “like the bare hills of the forest”? Did some blight cause deforestation? Did some other growth, like a wild grapevine, climb and cover the branches of the tree so as to choke or smother its host? Did a crop of thorns and thistles win out over seedling trees in a competition for space, soil, and nourishment? “Bare hills” seem to indicate some kind of emptiness where growth and productiveness used to exist. What, then, is this passage teaching us on the spiritual level?
  • AE 388 teaches that a “forest signifies the sensual man, which is in absolute fallacies.” AE 458 explains that a “forest signifies the natural…the natural separated from the spiritual.” In other words, the natural person with his absolute fallacies causes the bareness of the hills of the forest. When the natural mind breaks away and separates itself from the spiritual goals of the Lord, unproductiveness or barrenness appears on the mountain of the temple.


Putting It All Together


Our church, our internal church, needs to be alert and ready to fight against complacency and indifference to the ways of the Lord. To do less causes the words of P&P to ring true: “Therefore the whole church will be destroyed.” This may appear to be a one-on-one fight. The Lord fights with and for us. He wants to fight with us to wake us up, and at the same time, He fights for us so we can safely discover our spiritual potential. We can’t expect others to wage the fight for us. We may seek advice from friends and pastors, but it is our dedication that will carry the day in building our internal church.


I shudder to think of hearing the words of the Lord: “Therefore because of you…” My heart and prayer want to cry out, “No, no let it not be so. I don’t want any stubbornness or absolute fallacies to separate me from the love of the Lord. I’d rather have His restorative plowing turn over any hardness so the seeds of good can be planted and flourish. Lord, please assist me so I can get rid of the weeds, stumps, and rocks in my spiritual field. Heap the falsity in piles so I will see what ruination they wanted to bring about. As for those bare spots on the hills of the forest, I pray that the forest of my life will produce mighty trees like the magnificent cedars of Lebanon that Solomon specially ordered to be used in the building of the temple dedicated to the worship of the Lord.” 


Read and Review


Read the selection from P&P.


Read Micah 3:12.

Questions to Stimulate Reflection

  • New Church Life (2006) printed a three-part article by Don Rose entitled “Uncovering a Conspiracy to Keep People from Reading the Writings.” Don speaks well of how hard Hell works to stir up problems within and without to keep us from reading the truths of the Lord. Hell wants to win. Hell seeks to discourage us from communicating with the Lord. Please read Don’s article. What do you think about Hell’s conspiracy? Is Hell working relentlessly to cause barrenness on the mountains?
  • Do you welcome the “plowing” process of good (love) breaking up the soil of the mind? The Writings speak positively about this restoration that occurs so that seeds can be planted in a soil that welcomes them. Plowing might be hard for us if we have become comfortable with our ways. Change is sometimes difficult and unwanted. Do we pray, asking the Lord to fight with and for us?
  • What do you think the people of Micah’s time thought about this message? Did they hear it? Did they laugh it off? Did they launch a point-and-counterpoint rationalization defense?
  • What tack do you think our times take with these teachings?
  • How powerful were the words “Therefore because of you…”in your reflective time? Wouldn’t we rather blame others—especially the Lord—for our problems?
  • The work of repentance is easy. The process isn’t hard, according to the Writings. The difficulty arises when we fail to, once or twice a month, root out the power of our proprium. Where did I get this teaching? Read number 97 of Doctrine of Life.


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