True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 776

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776. VII

This, the Lord's second coming, is not in person, but in the Word, which is from Him and which He is.

We read in many passages that the Lord will come in the clouds of heaven*; e.g. Matt. 17:5; 24:30; 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 9:34, 35; 21:27; Rev. 1:7; 14:14; Dan. 7:13. But no one up to the present has known what the clouds of heaven mean; they have thought that He would appear in them in person. It has so far been unknown that the clouds of heaven mean the Word in its literal sense, and that glory and power, with which He is to come at that time (Matt. 24:30), mean the spiritual sense of the Word. This is because no one has even guessed that there is a spiritual sense in the Word, as there is in essence in this example. Since the Lord has now revealed to me the spiritual sense of the Word, and has allowed me to associate with angels and spirits in their world, as if I were one of them, it has been disclosed that the cloud of heaven means the Word in its natural sense, glory the Word in its spiritual sense, and power means the Lord's strength through the Word. This meaning of the clouds of heaven can be seen from these passages in the Word:

There is none like the God of Jeshurun, riding on the heaven, and in magnificence upon the clouds. Deut. 33:26, 27.

Sing to God, praise His name, extol Him who rides upon the clouds. Ps. 68:4.

Jehovah riding upon a light cloud. Isa. 19:1.

[2] To ride means to instruct in Divine truths from the Word, for a horse means the understanding of the Word (see APOCALYPSE REVEALED 298). Anyone can see that God does not ride upon the clouds. Further:

God rode upon the cherubim, and made the clouds of the heavens His tent. Ps. 18:10, 11.

Cherubim also mean the Word (see APOCALYPSE REVEALED 239, 672).

Jehovah binds the waters in His clouds, and stretches out His cloud over His throne. Job 26:8, 9.

Give strength to God**, strength upon the clouds. Ps. 68:34,

Jehovah will create*** over every dwelling of Zion a cloud by day; for glory will be a covering over all. Isa. 4:5.

The Word in its literal sense was also represented by the cloud in which Jehovah came down on Mount Sinai, when He proclaimed the Law. The provisions of the Law then proclaimed were the rudiments of the Word.

[3] The following facts may be added in support. The spiritual world has clouds just as the natural world does, but they are of a different origin. In the spiritual world there are sometimes shining clouds over the heavens of the angels, but dark clouds over the hells. Shining clouds over the heavens of the angels betoken obscurity there resulting from the literal sense of the Word; but when those clouds are dispersed, it means that the spiritual sense has brought them its clarity****. Dark clouds over the hells betoken the falsification and profanation of the Word. The reason clouds have such meanings in the spiritual world is because light, which is radiated from the Lord as the sun of that world, stands for Divine truth. This is why He is Himself called light (John 1:9; 12:35). This also is why the Word itself, which is stored in the sanctuaries of church-buildings there, is to be seen with a halo of shining light; when dimmed, this is due to clouds.

* Or: of the sky. ** The Latin has 'to Jehovah', corrected in the Author's copy. *** The Latin has 'has created', corrected in the Author's copy. **** The Latin has 'charity' for 'clarity'.

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