820. Verse 11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, signifies the spiritual sense of the Word revealed by the Lord, and the interior understanding of the Word disclosed thereby; which is the coming of the Lord. By "heaven was seen open" is signified a revelation from the Lord, and the manifestation, concerning which below. By "a horse" is signified the understanding of the Word, and by "a white horse" the interior understanding of the Word (n. 298); and as this is signified by "a white horse," and as the spiritual sense is the interior understanding of the Word, therefore that sense is signified here by "the white horse." The reason that this is the coming of the Lord, is because it manifestly appears by that sense that the Lord is the Word, and that the Word treats of Him alone, and that He is the God of heaven and earth, and that from Him alone the New Church exists. The Lord said that:
They should see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with glory and power (Matt. 17:5; 24:30; 26:64; Mark 14:61, 62; Luke 9:34-35; 21:27; Rev. 1:7; Acts 1:9, 11).
And the Lord said this also where He spoke with the disciples concerning the consummation of the age, which is the last time of the church, when the judgment takes place. Everyone who does not think beyond the sense of the letter, believes that when the Last Judgment shall come, the Lord will appear in the clouds of heaven with the angels and sounds of trumpets. But that this is not meant, but that He will appear in the Word, may be evident from the explanation above (n. 24, 642). And the Lord appears manifestly in the spiritual sense of the Word. It appears not only that He is the Word, that is, the Divine truth itself, and that He is the inmost of the Word, and thence the all of it; but also that He Himself is the one God, in whom is the Trinity, and thus the only God of heaven and earth; and moreover that He came into the world, that He might glorify His Human, that is, make it Divine. The Human which He glorified, that is, made Divine, was the natural human, which He could not glorify or make Divine but by taking on the human in a virgin in the natural world; to which He then united His Divine, which He had from eternity. That unition was effected by temptations admitted into the human that He had taken, the last of which was the passion of the cross, and at the same time by the fulfilling of all things of the Word; not only by the fulfilling of all things of the Word in its natural sense, but also by the fulfilling of all things of the Word in its spiritual sense and in its celestial sense; in which, as was said above, He alone is treated of. But on these things, see what are manifested in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord, and in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture. Now, because the Lord is the Word, and the Word became flesh (John 1:1-2, 14), and the Word became flesh that He might fulfill it, it is manifest that the Lord's coming in the Word is meant by His appearing "in the clouds of heaven." That "the clouds of heaven" signify the Word in the sense of the letter, may be seen above (n. 24, 642). It is manifest that the Lord's appearing in the Word is meant, because the interior understanding of the Word is signified by "the white horse," and it is said that the name of Him that sat upon the horse is "The Word of God," and that His name is "King of kings and Lord of lords" (verses 13, 16). It is now manifest from this, that by "I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse," is signified the spiritual sense of the Word revealed by the Lord, and thereby the interior understanding of it disclosed; which also is the coming of the Lord. That the spiritual sense of the Word is at this day revealed, concerning which no one in the Christian world has before known anything, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, where the two books of Moses, Genesis and Exodus are explained according to that sense; also in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (n. 5-26); in a little work Concerning the White Horse from beginning to end, and in the things collected there from the Arcana Coelestia concerning the Sacred Scripture; and besides in these explanations upon Revelation, where not a single verse can be understood without the spiritual sense.