28. The Lord was seen in a bright cloud with angels, and a sound as of trumpets was heard from it; which was a sign representative of the protection of the angels of heaven by the Lord, and of the gathering of the good from every side. For the Lord does not bring destruction upon anyone, but only protects His own, and draws them away from communication with the evil; and when they are withdrawn, the evil come into their own lusts, and from them rush into every kind of abomination. Then all who were about to perish, were seen together like a great dragon, with its tail extended in a curve, and elevated towards heaven, bending itself about on high in various directions, as though it would destroy heaven, and draw it down. But the effort was vain, for the tail was cast down, and the dragon, which had also appeared elevated, sank down. It was granted me to see this representation, that I might know and make known who are meant by "the dragon" in the Apocalypse; namely, that "the dragon" means all who read the Word, hear preachings, and perform the holy things of the church, making no account of the lusts of evil by which they are enticed, and interiorly they meditate thefts and frauds, adulteries and obscenities, hatred and revenge, lies and blasphemies; and who thus live in spirit like devils, and in body like angels. These constituted the body of the dragon, but the tail was constituted of those who, when in the world, were in faith separated from charity, and were like the former as to thoughts and intentions.