I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called faithful and true, and in justice He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire; and upon His head were many diadems; and He hath a name written that no one knew but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in the heavens followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean. And He hath upon His vesture and upon His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:11-14, 16).
The book of Revelation is a terrifying and mysterious book. When we only understand it literally, it foretells that the world will end in a terrible war and the Lord will come again on a white horse in the clouds. Hence, many spiritual ministers have already made predictions about the second coming of the Lord and the end of the world. However, it seems that none of them came true. And, furthermore, these false predictions only served to drive away more human beings from religion and spirituality. But, if these same human beings understood that the Bible contains three discrete levels of meaning like the universe, they would no longer be disheartened and dismayed by these false predictions and they would instead be enlightened by the Bible or Word of God.
We do not just live in a physical or material universe; we live in a higher-dimensional universe which also includes mind and spirit. Thus, there are not only wars on Earth, there are also battles and wars that are taking place in the spiritual world of our mind and heart. We are regularly battling against false thoughts and selfish urges. But, due to this second coming of the Lord, a great war will ultimately break out within our heart and mind and we will have to choose on which side we will fight. We will be compelled to choose selfishness and lies or unselfishness and Truth. What will it be? Will we make the Lord the king of our inner world or will we choose our self instead?
The end of the world is the end of an age or spiritual cycle. The end of the Israelitish Church or Age occurred when the Lord came down as the Messiah on Earth and raised a new dispensation. He began a new spiritual cycle called “The Christian (or Messianic) Church.” Now the Christian Cycle has also reached its end and the Lord Is about to start a new dispensation. But, unlike the others, this Church will not be corrupted and “of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:7) This new age or Church is called “the New Jerusalem” in the Bible.
In order to begin this new age, the Lord will come riding a white horse in the clouds. Now, let us try to discover what this really means. Remember that, in the spiritual world or the world of our inner mind and heart, the Lord appears as a spiritual sun that enlightens our mind and warms our heart. God is Light, Truth and Love. And the Lord as the Divine Truth is also the Word or inner sense of the Bible. In the natural world, clouds hide the Light of the natural sun. But, in the spiritual (inner) world, the literal interpretation hides the spiritual and celestial meaning of the Bible or Divine Truth.
Why is He on a white horse? We know that a horse corresponds to understanding. And a white horse specifically corresponds to an understanding of the Word. We also know that God is a God of mercy, Love and Peace. So, why is He going to make war? Well, this new age or dispensation will take effect by our spiritual understanding of the Bible. And, if we are in love of self, love of the world and love of abuse, we will probably not appreciate what the Bible has to say about us. As a consequence, our self will probably be at war with God. However, if we choose love of God (Good), love of neighbor (Truth) and love of use, we will follow the Lord and He will fight for us in the course of these spiritual temptations (or trials).
That a horse means the understanding is derived from no other source than from representatives in the spiritual world. Horses are seen there frequently, and persons sitting upon horses, and also chariots. And in that world everyone knows that they indicate intellectual and doctrinal things. I have often observed, when any there were thinking from their understanding, that they appeared as if to be riding on horses. Their meditation represented itself in such a manner before others, they themselves being unconscious of it. There is also a place there, where many come together who think and speak from the understanding concerning truths of doctrine. And when others come to that place, they see that entire plain filled with chariots and horses and novitiates, who are curious to know whence this comes about, are taught that this is an appearance resulting from their intellectual thought. That place is called the assembly of the intelligent and wise. I have even seen shining horses and fiery chariots when some were taken up into heaven, which was a sign that they were then instructed in the truths of heavenly doctrine, and had become intelligent, and were thus taken up. As I beheld this attentively, there came into my mind what was signified by the chariot and horses of fire by which Elijah was taken up into heaven, and also by the horses and chariots of fire seen by Elisha’s servant when his eyes were opened.
In the Ancient Churches it was very well known that chariots and horses signified such things, since those Churches were representative Churches, and among those who were in them, the science of correspondences and representations ranked as the most distinguished science. From those Churches the signification of a horse, as being the understanding, was handed down to the wise men round about, even into Greece. Hence, it was their custom, when they were describing the sun, in which they placed the god of their wisdom and intelligence, to attribute to it a chariot and four fiery horses. And when they were describing the god of the sea, because the sciences which exist from the understanding were signified by the sea, they endowed that also with horses. And when they were describing the origin of the sciences from the understanding they conceived of a winged horse, which with its hoof caused a fountain to break forth, at which were nine virgins, who were the sciences. For from the Ancient Churches they knew that by a horse was signified the understanding, by wings spiritual truth, by a hoof something scientific derived from the understanding, and by a fountain doctrine from which come the sciences. Nor is anything else signified by the Trojan horse than a device of their understanding for destroying the walls. Indeed at the present time when the understanding is described after the accepted custom among those ancient people, it is usual to describe it as a flying horse, or Pegasus, doctrine as a fountain, and the sciences as virgins. But scarcely anyone knows that the horse, in a mystic sense, signifies the understanding, and still less that these significatives have been passed down to the Gentiles from the Ancient Representative Churches.
Since by the White Horse is signified the understanding of the Word as to its spiritual or internal sense, those things now follow which have been shown in the ARCANA COELESTIA concerning the Word and concerning that sense. For in that work all things contained in Genesis and Exodus are explained according to the spiritual or internal sense of the Word.
THE NECESSITY FOR AND EXCELLENCE OF THE WORD.
Nothing can be known from the light of nature concerning the Lord, heaven and hell, man’s life after death, and the Divine truths through which man has spiritual and eternal life. This can be confirmed from the fact that many persons, men of education among them, do not give credence to these things, although born where the Word is, and by means of it instructed concerning them. It was therefore necessary that there should be some revelation from heaven, since man was born for heaven. In every age, therefore, there has been a revelation. Various forms of revelation have succeeded each other on this earth. With the most ancient people, who lived before the flood, and whose time was called the golden age, there was immediate revelation; and for that reason Divine Truth was written on their hearts. In the Ancient Churches, which existed after the flood, the Word was both historical and prophetical; concerning which Churches see THE NEW JERUSALEM AND ITS HEAVENLY DOCTRINE. The historical books of this Word were called The Wars of Jehovah, and the prophetical books, The Enunciations. That Word was similar to our Word as to inspiration, but adapted to those Churches. It is mentioned by Moses. That Word has been lost, however. There were also revelations by prophecy with others, as appears from Balaam’s prophecies.
The Word is Divine in all and every part. As to every tittle and jot, the Word is Divine and holy, from experience. The manner in which it is explained at this day, that the Word is inspired as to every jot. The Church exists specifically where the Word is, and where the Lord is known by it and Divine truths revealed. But they who are born where the Word is, and where the Lord is thereby known, are not on that account of the Church: they are of the Church who are regenerated by the Lord by means of truths from the Word, who are they who live in accordance with the truths therein, thus they who live a life of love and faith.
THE WORD IS NOT UNDERSTOOD EXCEPT BY THOSE WHO ARE ENLIGHTENED.
The human rational, if it be not enlightened by the Lord, cannot grasp Divine things, nor even spiritual things. So it is that only they who are enlightened comprehend the Word. The Lord enables those who are enlightened to understand truths and, moreover, to discern truths in those things which appear to contradict each other. The Word in the sense of the letter is not consistent with itself and sometimes appears to contradict itself, and on that account it can be explained and interpreted, by those who are not enlightened, to confirm any opinion or heresy, and to defend any worldly and corporeal love. They are enlightened from the Word, who read it from a love of truth and good, but not those who do so from a love of reputation, gain or honour, and so from a love of self. They are enlightened who are in the good of life and thence in the affection of truth. They are enlightened whose internal is open, thus who as to their internal man can be raised up into the light of heaven. Enlightenment is an actual opening of the interiors of the mind, and also an elevation into the light of heaven. Holiness from the internal, that is, through the internal from the Lord, flows in with those who hold the Word sacred, they themselves being ignorant of it. They are enlightened and see truths in the Word, who are led by the Lord, but not they who are led by themselves. They are led by the Lord, who love truth because it is truth, who indeed are they who love to live in accordance with Divine truths. The Word is made living with man according to the life of his love and faith. Those things which are derived from his own intelligence have no life in themselves, because from man’s proprium there is nothing good. They cannot be enlightened, who have confirmed themselves strongly in false doctrine.
It is the understanding that is enlightened. The understanding is receptive of truth. Concerning every doctrinal thing of the Church there are ideas of the understanding and of thought thence, according to which the doctrinal is perceived. Man’s ideas are natural as long as he is living in the world, because he then thinks in the Natural; but, nevertheless, with those who are in the affection of truth for its own sake, spiritual ideas are concealed within them, and man comes into these ideas after death, There can be no perception concerning any subject whatsoever, without ideas of the understanding and thence of thought. Ideas concerning matters of faith are laid open in the other life, and their quality is there seen by angels, and man is then conjoined with others according to them, in so far as they proceed from an affection which is of love. Therefore the Word is not understood except by a rational man, for to believe something without an idea of the thing itself and without the insight of reason, is only to retain an expression in the memory devoid of all life of perception and affection, which is not believing. It is the literal sense of the Word which is enlightened, Emanuel Swedenborg [WH 3-7]
Painting credit: Artist: ”Peter Nicolai Arbo” (Norway 1831-1892) Title: ”Dagr”