136. Third Memorable Relation:
I saw at a distance five gymnasia, each one surrounded by a light from heaven. A purple light, such as there is in the clouds in the morning before sunrise on earth, surrounded the first; a yellowish light, like that in the east after sunrise, surrounded the second; a bright light, like that of noonday in the world, surrounded the third; and a moderate light, like daylight when it begins to be tempered by the shades of evening, surrounded the fourth. The fifth stood in the actual shade of evening. Gymnasia in the spiritual world are halls where the learned assemble and discuss various arcana that are serviceable to their knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.
Seeing these gymnasia I felt a strong desire to visit one of them, and went in spirit to the one that was surrounded by the moderate light; and entering I saw an assembly of the learned; who were discussing with one another what is involved in the statement that the Lord was taken up to heaven and sits at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19).
 The greater part of the assembly said that this should be understood in accordance with the very words, that the Son does so sit beside the Father; and it was asked why He did so.
Some said that the Son had been placed by the Father at His right hand on account of the redemption He had accomplished; others said that it was from love that He sat there; others that it was in order that He might be the Father's counselor; and being such, that He might be honored by the angels; others that it was because it had been granted Him by the Father to rule in His stead, for it is written that all power was given to Him in heaven and on earth. But the greater number said that it was in order that He might hear, from the right hand, those for whom He intercedes; for in the church at the present day all approach God the Father, and pray to Him to be merciful for the Son's sake; and this causes the Father Himself to turn to the Son, that He may receive the Son's mediation. Some, however, said that it is only the Son of God from eternity who sits at the right hand of the Father, that He may impart His Divinity to the Son of man born in the world.
 Hearing this, I was greatly astonished that learned men, who had already been living for some time in the spiritual world, should be so ignorant of heavenly things; but I perceived why it was so, namely, that from confidence in their own intelligence they had not suffered themselves to be taught by the wise. But that they might no longer remain ignorant of the meaning of the Son's sitting at the Father's right hand I raised my hand, asking them to give ear to a few words that I wished to say on that subject; and as they assented I said, "Do you not know from the Word that the Father and the Son are one, that the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father? This the Lord plainly says (in John 10:30, and 14:10, 11). If you do not believe this you divide God into two; and when this is done you are unable to think about God otherwise than naturally, sensually, and even materially; and this has been done in the world since the time of the Council of Nice, which introduced the doctrine of three Divine persons from eternity, and thereby turned the church into a theater furnished with painted hangings, wherein the actors were representing new plays. Who does not know and acknowledge that God is one? If you acknowledge this in heart and spirit, all that you have just said is of itself dissipated, or rebounds into the air like nonsense from the ear of a wise man."
 At these remarks many were incensed, and burned to pull my ears and order me to be silent. But the president of the congregation said with indignation," This discussion is not about the unity and plurality of God, for we believe in both, but about what is involved in the statement that the Son sits at His Father's right hand; if you know anything about this, speak."
I replied, "I will speak, but I pray you to suppress the noise." And I said, "'To sit at the right hand' does not mean to sit at the right hand, but it means God's omnipotence through the Human that He assumed in the world. By means of this He is in things last as well as in things first; by means of this He entered and overthrew and subjugated the hells; by means of this He restored order in the heavens; and thus by means of this He redeemed both men and angels, and will continue to redeem for ever. If you consult the Word, and are capable of enlightenment, you will perceive that 'right hand' means here omnipotence, as it does in Isaiah:
My hand hath founded the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens (47:13).
Jehovah hath sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength (62:8).
Thy right hand doth hold Me up (Ps. 18:35).
Look to the Son that Thou madest strong for Thyself; let Thy hand be for the man of the right hand, for the Son of man whom Thou madest strong for Thyself (Ps. 80:15, 17).
From this it is plain how the following is to be understood:
The saying of Jehovah to my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet. Jehovah shall send the staff of Thy strength out of Zion; rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies (Ps. 110:1, 2).
This whole Psalm treats of the Lord's combat against the hells, and His subjugation of them. As 'the right hand of God' signifies omnipotence:
The Lord says that He is to sit at the right of power (Matt. 26:63, 64)
And at the right hand of the power of God" (Luke 22:69).
 But at this the assembly became tumultuous, and I said, "Take heed; for a hand may appear from heaven, and when it appears (as it had appeared to me), it strikes the beholder with an incredible terror of its power; and this has been to me a proof that 'the right hand of God' signifies omnipotence."
Scarcely had I spoken when beneath heaven an outstretched hand was seen, at the appearance of which such terror seized them that they rushed in crowds toward the doors, and some to the windows to throw themselves out, and some fell down unable to breathe. But I remained unterrified, and went out calmly after them; and when some distance away I turned and saw the building enveloped in a dense cloud, and was told from heaven that this was done because they had spoken from a belief in three Gods, and that the former light would return when those who were more sane should meet there.