Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 413

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413. (v. 17) For the great day of his anger is come. That this signifies the Last Judgment upon the evil, will be plain from the following passages from the Word; the Last Judgment, which is signified by the great day, is upon both the evil and the good; judgment upon the evil is called a day of indignation, of wrath, of anger, and of vengeance, whereas judgment upon the good is called the time of the Lord's coming, the year of [the Lord's] good pleasure, the year of the redeemed, the year of salvation. Every one, as well the evil as the good, is judged immediately after death, when he enters into the spiritual world, where he is to live for ever; for a man is then immediately designed either for heaven or for hell; he who [is designed] for heaven is connected with a certain heavenly society, into which he will afterwards come, and he who [is designed] for hell is connected with the infernal society into which he will afterwards come. Still, however, [some] time intervenes before they go thither, in order principally that they may be prepared, the good to be divested of the evils which adhere to them from the body in the world, and the evil, to be divested of the goods which outwardly adhere to them from teachers and religion, according to the Lord's words in Matthew:

"Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, that he may have more abundantly: whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath" (xiii. 12; xxv. 29).

This delay also takes place for this reason, that the affections, which are of many kinds, may be so arranged and reduced to a ruling love that the man-spirit may become wholly his own love. Still, however, many both evil and good, are reserved to the Last Judgment; but only those of the evil who from habit acquired in the world, could live a moral life in externals, and those of the good who had imbibed falsities from ignorance and from their religion; but others, after a definite time, are separated from them, the good being elevated into heaven, and the evil cast into hell, and this before the Last Judgment.

[2] The reason why the Last Judgment is called the great day of the anger of God, is, because it appears to the evil, who are cast down into hell, as if God from anger and wrath did this, because then destruction [overtakes] them, which comes from above, and also from the east, where the Lord is as a Sun, and because then they are in terrors, grief, and also torments. Nevertheless there is no anger at all in the Lord, for He is love and mercy itself, and good itself, and pure love and essential good cannot be angry, for this is contrary to its essence. But this appearance is from this fact: when the last state [of the church arrives], which is when evils on the earth and at the same time in the spiritual world are so much increased that dominion inclines on their side, and the equilibrium between heaven and hell is thereby destroyed, this having perished, the heavens where the angels are begin to labour, then the Lord from the Sun displays His strength, that is His love for protecting the angels, and for restoring the state which labours and begins to grow weak; from which strength and power, the Divine truth united to the Divine good, which in its essence is the Divine love, penetrates through the heavens to the places below, where the evil have come together; and because they cannot bear such an influx and presence of the Divine love, they begin to tremble, to be in anguish and torment; for thereby the goods and truths are dissipated which they had learnt to counterfeit in their speech and actions only in externals, and their internals are opened, which are nothing but evils and falsities; and because they are diametrically opposite to the goods and truths which flow in from the interior, and yet they have made evils and falsities their life, hence they experience trembling, anguish, and torment, to such a degree, that they can no longer endure them, whence they flee away, and cast themselves into the hells which are under the mountains and rocks, where they can be in their evils and in the falsity of evils. This is specifically signified by the words explained above:

"They said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the anger of the Lamb."

[3] From these things it is evident why it is that the anger of the Lamb is mentioned, and why it is that the Last Judgment is called the great day of His wrath, although it is the Divine love, whose operation, strictly considered, is that all may be saved, for it is the desire to save, thus not anger at all, but love. The same also happens when an evil spirit, who is able to counterfeit an angel of light, ascends into heaven. When he comes thither, since be cannot bear the Divine good and Divine truth, which are therein, he begins to feel anguish and torment, insomuch that he casts himself down with all his might, nor rests until he is in the hell corresponding with his evil. It is from this appearance, and also from the fact of their being punished whilst they do evils, that in the Word there are so often attributed to Jehovah, that is, to the Lord, indignation, anger, wrath, yea, fury, and vengeance; but to adduce all the passages where those things are attributed to Jehovah, that is, to the Lord, is here passed over because of their abundance. Some only shall be adduced, in which the Last Judgment is called a day of the indignation, of the anger, of the wrath, and of the vengeance of Jehovah and God.

[4] As in the following. In Isaiah:

"Behold the day of Jehovah cometh, cruel both with indignation and with the wrath of anger, to lay the land desolate, and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. I will shake the heaven; the earth shall be shaken out of her place, in the indignation of Jehovah, and in the day of the wrath of his anger" (xiii. 9, 13).

By a day cruel and of the wrath of Jehovah's anger is meant the Last Judgment; and because it is evil which waxes hot, and falsity which is angry, therefore it is called a day of the wrath of anger. By the land, which shall be laid desolate, and which shall be shaken out of her place, is meant the earth which is in the spiritual world, for there just as in our world there are lands; and those lands, during the continuance of the Last Judgment, are laid desolate and shaken out of their places, for then the mountains and hills are overturned, and the valleys sink into marshes, and the face of all things is changed. Still, however, by the earth, in the spiritual sense, is meant the church everywhere, for in the spiritual world the face of the earth is like the state of the church with those who dwell upon the earth there, therefore when the church perishes the earth also perishes, for they make one; and then in place of the former earth, a new one exists; but these changes are unknown to us on our earth. Nevertheless, they are to be declared, that it may be known what is meant by, the earth shall be laid waste, and shall be shaken out of its place.

[5] In Zephaniah:

"While the wrath of the anger of Jehovah has not yet come upon you; while the day of Jehovah's anger has not yet come upon you, ye shall peradventure be hid in the day of Jehovah's anger" (ii. 2, 3).

Here also, by the wrath of anger and by the day of Jehovah's anger is meant the Last Judgment. In Lamentations:

"He remembered not the footstool of his feet in the day of his anger" (ii. 1).

By the footstool of Jehovah's feet is meant the worship of the Lord in the natural world, for this reason that the whole heaven, together with the church in the world, is before the Lord as the image of one man (as may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 78-86). The inmost heaven constitutes the head, the other [heavens] the breast and legs; and the church on earth constitutes the feet; hence also it is that the feet signify the natural part; the heavens also rest upon the church which is with mankind, as a man upon his feet, as is evident from those things which are shown in the same work (n. 87-102, also 291-302). Because the Last Judgment comes when there is no longer any faith because no charity, thus when the church is at an end, it is evident what is meant by, "He remembered not the footstool of his feet in the day of his anger." And elsewhere:

"Not in the day of Jehovah's anger was there any who escaped and remained; those whom I have educated and nourished hath mine enemy consumed" (Lam. ii. 22).

The day of Jehovah's anger is the Last Judgment; that there is then no longer any good of love and truth of faith in the church, but evil and falsity, is signified by, there was not any "who escaped and remained; those whom I have educated and nourished hath mine enemy consumed." That there was none who escaped and remained, signifies that there was no good and truth; whom I have educated and nourished, denote those who are of the church, who have all spiritual food, or the knowledge of good and truth from the Word; the enemy who hath consumed them, denoting evil and falsity.

[6] In the Apocalypse:

"Thy wrath is come, the time of judging the dead, and of giving reward unto thy servants, and to them that fear thy name, both small and great; and of destroying them that destroy the earth" (xi. 18).

From these words it is evident that by anger, or the day of anger, is meant the Last Judgment, for it is said, "Thy wrath is come, the time of judging the dead."

In Isaiah:

"For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I have trodden the people in mine anger, and made them drunk in my wrath" (lxiii. 4-6).

The combats of the Lord, by which He subjugated the hells, are here treated of, thus the Last Judgment, which was accomplished by Him when He was in the world; for by the combats, which were temptations admitted into Himself, He subjugated them and thus effected the Last Judgment. This is the judgment which is meant by the day of Jehovah's anger and wrath in the Word of the Old Testament: but the Last Judgment which is at this day performed by the Lord, is meant by the day of His anger as mentioned in the Apocalypse. That a last judgment was performed by the Lord, when He was in the world, may be seen in the work concerning the Last Judgment, n. 46. The subjugation of the hells is there signified by, "I have trodden them in mine anger, and have made them drunk in my wrath"; the year of the redeemed signifies, judgment upon the good who are saved.

In the same:

"The Spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon me; to proclaim the acceptable year of Jehovah, and the day of the vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn" (lxi. 1, 2).

[7] In the same:

"The day of the vengeance of Jehovah, and the year of retributions for the controversy of Zion" (xxxiv. 8).

By the day of vengeance of Jehovah, just as by the day of His anger and wrath, is signified the Last Judgment, for revenge is attributed to Jehovah or the Lord for the same reason as anger and wrath, namely, from appearance. Those who denied the Divine, and were hostile in heart and mind against the goods and truths of the church, consequently, against the Lord from whom they are, who are all such as live wickedly, are cast down into hell; and because this takes place with them as with enemies, vengeance like anger is attributed to the Lord (concerning which see above). The year of retributions signifies the same as the day of vengeance, but it is said of falsities, whereas the day of vengeance [is said] of evils; the controversy of Zion signifies the rejection of the truth and good of the church, Zion denoting the church. Moreover, the time of the Last Judgment is in other places called the day of Jehovah, the day of visitation, the day of slaughter, and the day of the coming; the day of the Lord's coming in Malachi iii. 2; and in Matthew xxiv. 3, 27, 37, 39.

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