14. In speaking to His disciples about the consummation of the age (which is the last time of the church), at the end of His predictions concerning the successive changes of state in the church, the Lord says,
Immediately after the affliction of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth wail, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and much glory. And He shall send His angels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the end of the heavens even to the end of them (Matt. 24:29-31).
 By these words, in the spiritual sense, is not meant that the sun and moon would be darkened, that the stars would fall from heaven, that the Lord's sign would appear in heaven, and that He would be seen in the clouds together with angels with trumpets, but by every word is meant some spiritual thing that is of the church, concerning the state of which at its end these things were spoken. For, in the spiritual sense, the "sun, which shall be darkened" means the Lord as to love; the "moon, which shall not give her light" means the Lord as to faith; the "stars, which shall fall from heaven" means the knowledges of what is good and true that would perish; the "sign of the Son of man in heaven" means the appearing of Divine truth; the "tribes of the earth, which shall wail" means the lack of all truth that is of faith, and of all good that is of love; the "coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and glory" means the Lord's presence in the Word, and revelation; "clouds" signify the sense of the letter of the Word, and "glory," the spiritual sense of the Word; the "angels with a trumpet and a great voice" signifies heaven whence comes Divine truth; to "gather together the elect from the four winds, from the end of the heavens even to the end of them" signifies a newness of the church in respect to love and faith.
 That there is not meant a darkening of the sun and moon, nor a falling of the stars to the earth, is very evident from the prophets, in which like things are said about the state of the church when the Lord should come into the world. As in Isaiah:
Behold the day of Jehovah cometh, cruel, and of wrath of anger; the stars of the heavens, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their light, the sun shall be darkened in His rising, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine; I will visit upon the world its wickedness (Isa. 13:9-11; 24:21, 23).
The day of Jehovah cometh, a day of darkness and of thick darkness; the sun and the moon shall be blackened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining (Joel 2:1-2, 10; 3:15).
I will cover the heavens, and blacken the stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine; all the luminaries of light I will make dark, and will set darkness upon thy land (Ezek. 32:7-8).
"The day of Jehovah" means the Lord's advent, which took place when there was no longer anything good and true left in the church, and not any knowledge of the Lord.