398. Verse 7. And the first angel sounded, signifies exploration and manifestation of the quality of the state of the church with those who are interiorly in that faith. By "sounding" is signified to explore and make manifest (n. 397). The reason why by "the sounding of this first angel," is meant the exploration and manifestation of the state of the church with those who are interiorly in that faith, is, because its operation was directed upon "the earth," as appears from what follows; and the operation of the sounding of the second angel was into "the sea," and by "the earth and the sea," throughout Revelation, when named together, is meant the entire church; by "the earth," the church consisting of those who are in its internals, and by "the sea," the church consisting of those who are in its externals: for the church is internal and external; internal with the clergy, and external with the laity; or internal with those who have studied its doctrinals interiorly, and have confirmed them from the Word, and external with those who have not.
 Both are meant by "the earth and the sea" in the following passages in Revelation:
That the wind should not blow upon the earth, nor on the sea (Rev. 7:1).
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea (Rev. 7:3).
The angel descending out of heaven set his right foot upon the sea, and his left upon the earth (Rev. 10:2, 8; also in Rev. 7:5).
I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, and another beast coming up out of the earth (Rev. 13:1, 11).
Praise God who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea (Rev. 14:7).
The first angel poured out his vial upon the earth, and the second angel his upon the sea (Rev. 16:2-3).
"The earth and the sea" signify the church internal and external, thus the entire church, because, in the spiritual world, they who are in the internals of the church appear upon dry land, and they who are in its externals, as in the seas; but the seas are appearances from the general truths in which they are. That "earth" signifies the church, may be seen (n. 285); so also "the world" (n. 551).