24. Behold, He is coming with the clouds (of heaven). (1:7) This symbolically means that the Lord will reveal Himself in the literal sense of the Word and lay open its spiritual meaning at the end of the church.
Someone who knows nothing of the internal or spiritual meaning of the Word cannot know what the Lord meant by His coming in the clouds of heaven. For He said to the high priest who was adjuring Him to say whether He was the Christ, the Son of God,
As you have said... I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming with the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26:63-64)
Moreover, in speaking to His disciples about the end of the age, the Lord said,
And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear..., and they will see (Him) coming in the clouds of heaven with power and... glory. (Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26)
The clouds of heaven in which He will come mean nothing else than the Word in its literal sense, and the glory in which they will see Him, the Word in its spiritual meaning.
The reality of this can hardly be believed by people who do not think of the Word beyond the sense of its letter. To them a cloud is a cloud, and so they believe that the Lord will appear in the clouds of the sky when the Last Judgment is at hand. But this idea collapses when the meaning of a cloud is known, that it is Divine truth in its outmost expressions, thus the Word in its literal meaning.
 One sees clouds in the spiritual world just as in the natural world. However, clouds in the spiritual world appear beneath the heavens, in the region of people who are caught up in the literal meaning of the Word - clouds that are darker or brighter according to their understanding of the Word and at the same time acceptance of it. That is because the light of heaven there is Divine truth, and degrees of darkness falsities. Bright clouds, therefore, are Divine truth veiled in truthful appearances, like the Word in its letter with people who possess truths, while dark clouds are Divine truth wrapped in misconceptions affirmed on the basis of appearances, like the Word in its letter with people caught up in falsities. I have seen these clouds often, and their origin and nature have been apparent.
Now because, after the glorification of His humanity, the Lord became the embodiment of Divine truth or the Word even in its outmost expressions, He said to the high priest that thereafter they would see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven. 1
 Moreover, He said to His disciples that at the end of the age the sign of the Son of Man would appear, and that they would see Him coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory, 2
which symbolically means that at the end of the church, when the Last Judgment takes place, He will appear in the Word and reveal its spiritual meaning, an event that has occurred at the present day, because now is the time of the church's end and of the accomplishment of the Last Judgment, as may be seen from short works recently published. 3
This, then, is what is meant here in the book of Revelation by the declaration, "Behold, He is coming with clouds," and in the following one,
I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud One sitting like the Son of Man... (Revelation 14:14)
As also in Daniel,
I was watching in the night visions, and behold..., the Son of Man coming with... clouds...! (Daniel 7:13)
To be shown that the Son of Man means the Lord in relation to the Word, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Lord, nos.19-28.
Teachings about the Lord 19-28)
 Clouds elsewhere in the Word, too, mean Divine truth in its outmost expressions, and so also the Word in its letter, as may be seen from passages there where clouds are mentioned, as in the following:
There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides in heaven..., and in magnificence on the clouds. (Deuteronomy 33:26)
Sing to God, praise His name; extol Him who rides on the clouds... (Psalms 68:4)
...Jehovah rides on a light cloud... (Isaiah 19:1)
To ride on clouds means, symbolically, to possess the Word's wisdom, for a horse symbolizes an understanding of the Word. Who does not see that God does not ride upon clouds?
(God) rode upon cherubs..., (and) made... His canopy... the clouds of the heavens. (Psalms 18:10-11)
Cherubs, too, symbolize the Word, as may be seen in nos. 239, 672, below. A canopy symbolizes an abode.
 (Jehovah) lays the beams of His dining chambers in the waters; He makes a cloud His chariot... (Psalms 104:3)
Waters symbolize truths, dining chambers doctrinal tenets, and a chariot doctrine, all of which are called clouds, because they are derived from the literal meaning of the Word.
He binds up the waters in His clouds, and the cloud is not broken under them...; (and) He spreads His cloud over (His throne). (Job 26:8-9)
...God... causes the light of His cloud to shine. (Job 37:15)
Ascribe strength to God, ...strength upon the clouds. (Psalms 68:34)
The light of a cloud symbolizes the Divine truth of the Word, and strength symbolizes the Divine power in it.
Acts of the Apostles 26:8-9)
 (Lucifer,) you have said in your heart...: "I will ascend above the heights of a cloud, I will be like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:13-14)
Forsake (Babylon)..., for... she has lifted herself up to the clouds. (Jeremiah 51:9)
Lucifer and Babylon symbolize people who profane the goods and truths of the Word. Consequently those are things meant there by clouds.
(Jehovah) spreads a cloud for a covering... (Psalms 105:39)
Jehovah has created above every dwelling place of Mount Zion... a cloud by day... For over all the glory there will be a covering. (Isaiah 4:5)
A cloud here, too, means the Word in its literal sense, which, because it encloses and covers the spiritual meaning, is called a covering over the glory. To be shown that the literal sense of the Word is a covering, to prevent its spiritual meaning from being injured, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 33, and that it is a protection, no. 97.
Apocalypse Revealed 97; Isaiah 14:12-14, 14:14; Jeremiah 51:6-8; Teachings about the Sacred Scripture 33)
 Divine truth in its outmost expressions, which is the same as the Word in its literal sense, was also represented by the cloud in which Jehovah descended upon Mount Sinai and proclaimed the Law (Exodus 19:9; 34:5). Also by the cloud which covered Peter, James and John when Jesus was transfigured, concerning which we are told:
While (Peter) was still speaking, behold, a... cloud overshadowed them; and lo, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son... Hear Him!" (Matthew 17:5; cf. Mark 9:7, Luke 9:34-35)
In this transfiguration the Lord caused Himself to be seen as the Word, which is why a cloud overshadowed them and a voice was heard from the cloud, saying that this was the Son of God. The voice from the cloud means from the Word.
We will see elsewhere that in an opposite sense, a cloud means the Word falsified in respect to its literal meaning.
1. Matthew 26:63-64.
2. Matthew 24:30.
3. A reference probably to The Last Judgment (London, 1758) and A Continuation Concerning the Last Judgment and the Spiritual World (Amsterdam, 1763).
Isaiah 14:12-14; Psalms 18:10-12)