Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 15:1
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AR 656. Verse 1. And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, signifies revelation from the Lord concerning the state of the church upon earth, what it is as to love and faith. These are what this chapter and the following treat of; therefore they are signified by "a sign in heaven, great and marvellous." That "a sign in heaven" signifies revelation from the Lord concerning heaven and the church and of their state, see above (n. 532, 536); it is concerning love and faith, because it is called "great and marvellous"; and "great," in the Word, is said of such things as are of affection and love, and "marvellous," of such things as are of thought and of faith.

AR 657. Seven angels having the seven last plagues, signifies the evils and falsities in the church, such as are in its last state, universally disclosed by the Lord. By "seven angels" the entire heaven is signified; but as heaven is not heaven from anything proper to the angels, but from the Lord, therefore by "seven angels" the Lord is signified, nor can any other disclose the evils and falsities which are in the church. That by "angels" is signified heaven, and, in the highest sense, the Lord, may be seen above (n. 5, 258, 344, 465, 644, 647, 648). By "plagues" are signified evils and falsities, evils of love and falsities of faith. For they are those which are described in the next chapter, and are signified by "evil and noxious sores," by "the blood as it were of one dead, whereby every living soul died," and by "the blood into which the waters of the rivers and fountains were turned," by "the scorching of fire which afflicted men," by "the unclean spirits like frogs, which were demons," and by "great hail"; the evils and falsities which are signified by all these things, are here meant by "plagues"; by "the last plagues" are signified the same in the let state of the church; by "seven" are signified all (n. 10, 390); but because these evils, which are signified by "the plagues" in the next chapter, are not all in particular, but are all in general, by "seven" are here signified all universally, for the universal embraces all the particulars. From these things it appears, that by "I saw seven angels having the seven last plagues," is signified that the evils and falsities in the church, such as they are in its last state, were disclosed universally by the Lord. That "plagues" signify spiritual plagues, which affect men as to their souls, and destroy them, which are evils and falsities, may appear from the following passages:--

From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness, afresh plague not pressed out, nor bound up, nor mollified (Isa. 1:6).

Jehovah smiteth the people in anger with an incurable plague (Isa. 14:6).

O Jehovah, remove Thy plague from me, I am consumed by the blow of Thy hand (Ps. 39:10).

Thy breaking is without hope, with the plague of an enemy have I smitten thee for the multitude of thine iniquity, thy sins have become very many; but I will heal thee of thy plagues (Jer. 30:12, 14, 17).

If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of the law, Jehovah will make thy plagues wonderful, plagues great and lasting, and every plague which is not written in the book of this law, even until thou art destroyed (Deut. 28:58, 59, 61).

There shall no evil befall thee, and neither shall any plague come nigh thy tent (Ps. 91:10).

Edom shall be a desolation, everyone that passeth by shall hiss at all her plagues (Jer. 49:17).

It shall be a devastation; everyone that passeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all her plagues (Jer. 50:13).

In one day shall plagues come upon Babylon (Apoc. 18:8).

The two witnesses shall smite the earth with every plague (Apoc. 11:8).

By "the plagues of Egypt," which were in part similar to the plagues described in the following chapter, nothing else was signified but evils and falsities; which plagues you may see enumerated above (n. 503) they are also called "plagues" (Exod. 9:14; 11:1). From this it is manifest, that by "plagues" nothing else is signified but spiritual plagues, which affect men as to their souls, and destroy them; as also (Isa. 30:26; Zech. 14:12, 15; Ps. 38:5, 11; Apoc. 9:20; 16:21; Exod. 12:13; 30:12; Num. 11:33; Luke 7:21).

AR 658. For in them is consummated the anger of God, signifies the devastation of the church and then its end. By "consummation" is signified the devastation of the church and then its end, as will be seen presently; by "the anger of God" is signified evil with men, which, because it is against God, is called the anger of God; not that God is angry with man, but because man, from his evil, is angry with God, and because it appears to man, when he is punished and tormented for it, as is the case after death in hell, as if it were from God, therefore, in the Word, anger and wrath, yea evil, is attributed to God. But this in the sense of the letter only, because this sense is written according to appearances and correspondences, but not in the spiritual sense, for in this latter there is no appearance and correspondence, but truth in its light; concerning that wrath, see above (n. 525, 635). It is said that in those plagues "the anger of God is consummated," and that thereby is signified the devastation of the church and then its end; the reason shall be explained. Every church, in process of time, decreases, by receding from the good of love and the truths of faith, until there is nothing of them left; and this takes place by the successive increase of evil and falsity; and when there is no longer any good of love and faith, then there is nothing but evil and falsity; and when this is the case, there is an end of the church. In this end, man knows no other than that evil is good and falsity truth, for he loves them from the delight he feels in them, and therefore confirms them; this is the end which is signified by "consummation," and is called" devastation," in the following passages:--

I have heard a consummation and decision from Jehovah upon the whole earth (Isa. 28:22).

The consummation being decreed, justice has overflowed, for the Lord Jehovih of Hosts maketh a consummation and decision in the whole earth (Isa. 10:22, 23).

In the fire of the zeal of Jehovah shall the whole earth be eaten up, for He shall make a speedy consummation with all the inhabitants of the earth (Zeph. 1:18).

At length upon the bird of abominations there shall be desolation, and even to a consummation and decision shall it drop upon the devastation (Dan. 9:27).

The whole earth shall be a waste, yet will I not make a consummation (Jer. 4:27).

Jehovah said, I will go down, and will see whether they have made a consummation according to the cry which is to come unto me (Gen. 18:21).

This is concerning Sodom.

The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet consummated (Gen. 15:16).

The end of the church is also meant by "the consummation of the age" spoken of by the Lord in these passages:--

The disciples asked Jesus, What shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the consummation of the age? (Matt. 24:3).

At the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares to burn gather the wheat into the barn so shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:30, 40).

In the consummation of the age, the angels shall go forth, and shall separate the evil from among the just (Matt. 13:49).

Jesus said to the disciples, Behold, I am with you until the consummation of the age (Matt. 28:20).

"Until‘ the consummation of the age" is until the end of the church, when there is the New Church, with which the Lord will then be.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info