947. Verse 10. And he saith unto me, Seal not the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand signifies that Revelation must not be shut, but opened, and that this is necessary at the end of the church that any may be saved. By "seal not the words of this prophecy" is signified that Revelation must not be shut, but that it is to be opened, of which presently; "for the time is at hand" signifies that this is necessary that any may be saved; by "time" is signified state (n. 476, 562), here the state of the church, which is such that this is necessary; by "at hand" is signified necessary, because by "at hand" is not meant near or nearness of time, but nearness of state, and nearness of state is necessity; that nearness of time is not meant is evident, because Revelation was written in the beginning of the first century; and the Lord's coming, when the Last Judgment takes place, and there is the New Church, which things are here meant by "the time is at hand," and also by "the things which must be shortly done" (verse 6), and by "I come quickly" (verses 7, 20), has now but recently appeared and come to pass after seventeen centuries. The same is also said in chapter 1, that these things "must shortly come to pass," verse 1, and that "the time is at hand," verse 3; concerning which see above (n. 4, 9), where the like things are meant.
 That near or nearness of time is not meant, but nearness of state, shall be illustrated. The Word in the purely spiritual sense does not derive anything from the idea of time nor from the idea of space, because times and spaces in heaven do indeed appear like times and spaces in the world, but still they are not there; wherefore the angels cannot measure times and spaces, which there are appearances, otherwise than by states, according to their progressions and changes; from which it may appear that in the purely spiritual sense by "quickly" and "at hand" is not meant quickly and near as to time, but quickly and near as to state; this may indeed appear as if it were not so, the reason is because with men, in every idea of their lower thought, which is merely natural, there is something from time and space; but it is otherwise in the ideas of the higher thought, in which men are when they revolve natural, civil, moral, and spiritual things in interior rational light, for then spiritual light, which is abstracted from time and space, flows in and enlightens. You may experience this and thus be confirmed, if you will, by only attending to your thoughts; when you will also be convinced that thought is higher and lower, inasmuch as simple thought cannot survey itself, except from some higher thought; and if man did not have a higher and a lower thought, he would not be a man but a brute.
 The reason why by "seal not the words of this prophecy" is signified that Revelation must not be shut, but opened, is because by "sealing" is signified to shut, and therefore by "not sealing" is signified to open, and by "the time is at hand" is signified that it is necessary; for Revelation is a sealed or closed book, so long as it is not explained; and as is shown above (n. 944), by "the words of this prophecy" are meant the truths and precepts of doctrine of this book opened by the Lord. That this is necessary at the end of the church that any may be saved, may be seen above (n. 9). From these things it may appear, that by "seal not the words of this prophecy, for the time is at hand," is signified that Revelation must not be closed, but that it is to be opened, and that there is a necessity for this at the end of the church, that any may be saved.