28. V. THE LAST JUDGMENT MUST BE WHERE ALL ARE TOGETHER, THUS IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD, AND NOT ON EARTH.
Concerning the Last Judgment, it is believed that the Lord will then appear in the clouds of heaven with the angels in glory, and awaken from the sepulchers all who have ever lived since the beginning of creation, clothing their souls with their bodies; and thus summoned together He will judge them, those who have done well, to eternal life or heaven, those who have done ill, to eternal death or hell. The churches derive this belief from the sense of the letter of the Word, nor could it be removed, so long as men did not know that there is a spiritual sense within each thing which is said in the Word, and that this sense is the Word itself, to which the sense of the letter serves for a foundation or basis, and that without such a letter, the Word could not have been Divine, or have served in heaven, as in the world, for the doctrine of life and faith, and for conjunction. He therefore who knows the spiritual things corresponding to the natural things in the Word, can know that by "the Lord's coming in the clouds of heaven," is not meant such an appearance of Him, but His appearance in the Word; for "the Lord" is the Word, because He is the Divine truth; "the clouds of heaven" in which He is to come, are the sense of the letter of the Word, and "the glory" is its spiritual sense; "the angels" are the heaven from which He will appear, and they also are the Lord as to Divine truths.# Hence the meaning of these words is now evident, namely, that when the end of the church is, the Lord will open the spiritual sense of the Word, and thus the Divine truth, such as it is in itself; therefore that this is the sign that the Last Judgment is at hand. That there is a spiritual sense within each thing and expression in the Word, and what it is may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, in which each and all things of Genesis and Exodus are explained according to that sense; and a collection of passages extracted from it, concerning the Word and its spiritual sense, may be seen in the little work on The White Horse, Mentioned in the Apocalypse.
# The Lord is the Word, because He is the Divine truth in heaven (n. 2533, 2813, 2859, 2894, 3393, 3712). The Lord is the Word, also because it is from Him, and treats of Him (n. 2859); and because it treats of the Lord alone, and primarily of the glorification of His Human in its inmost sense, so that the Lord Himself is therein (n. 1873, 9357). The coming of the Lord is His presence in the Word, and revelation (n. 3900, 4060). "Clouds" in the Word signify the Word in the letter, or the sense of its letter (n. 4060, 4391, 5922, 6343, 6752, 8106, 8781, 9430, 10551, 10574). "Glory in the Word signifies Divine truth, such as it is in heaven, and such as it is in the spiritual sense (n. 4809, 5922, 8267, 8427, 9429, 10574). "Angels" in the Word signify Divine truths from the Lord, since angels are receptions of them, and do not speak them from themselves, but from the Lord (n. 1925, 2821, 3039, 4085, 4295, 4402, 6280, 8192, 8301). "Trumpets" or "cornets," which the angels then have, signify Divine truths in heaven and revealed from heaven (n. 8815, 8823, 8815).