2760. PREFACE 1
How deluded those people are who confine themselves to the sense of the letter and do not look for the internal sense in other places where this is explained in the Word becomes quite clear from the great number of heresies there are, each one of which confirms its own doctrinal position from the literal sense of the Word. It is particularly clear from that great heresy which insane and hellish self-love and love of the world have made out of the Lord's words to Peter,
I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:15-19.
 People who keep rigidly to the sense of the letter imagine that these words refer to the man Peter and that such great power was given to him. Although they know that Peter was just an ordinary simple human being who by no means exercised such power, and that the exercise of that power is contrary to the Divine, they nevertheless adopt and stoutly defend a literal interpretation of what the Lord said, because of the insane and hellish self-love and love of the world which fill them with the desire to arrogate such power to themselves on earth and in heaven and to make gods of themselves. But the internal sense of those words is that faith itself in the Lord, which exists solely with those in whom love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour are present, possesses that power, yet not faith but the Lord, the Source of faith. In the words addressed to Peter 'rock' is used to mean that faith, as it is everywhere else in the Word. It is on this faith that the Church is built, and against this faith that the gates of hell do not prevail. It is that faith also which holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven, for that faith closes heaven to prevent evils and falsities entering in, and it opens heaven to goods and truths. This is the internal sense of these words.
 Like the twelve tribes of Israel the twelve apostles represented nothing else than all aspects of such faith, 577, 2089, 2129, 2130 (end). Peter represented faith itself, James charity, and John the good works that flow from charity - see the Preface to Genesis 18 - as in a similar way did Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, Jacob's three eldest sons, in the Jewish and
Israelitish representative Church, a point that is clear from a thousand places in the Word. And it was because Peter represented faith that those words were addressed to him. From all these considerations one may recognize what darkness it is into which people plunge themselves, and others with them, who explain everything literally, as they do who, taking literally the words addressed to Peter, use them to take the power of saving the human race away from the Lord and arrogate it to themselves.
2760. In John - in the Book of Revelation - the Word as to its internal sense is described as follows,
I saw heaven standing open, and, behold, a White Horse; and He who sat on it was called faithful and true, and in righteousness He judges and goes into battle. His eyes a flame of fire, and on His head many jewels, He has a name written which nobody knows but He Himself, and He is clothed in a garment dyed with blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies that are in heaven were following Him on white horses and were clothed in linen, white and clean. And on His garment and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:11-14, 16.
What each individual part of this description embodies nobody can know except from the internal sense. Plainly, each one is representative and carries a spiritual meaning, such as 'heaven standing open'; 'the horse which was white'; 'He who sat on it was called faithful and true, and in righteousness He judges and goes into battle'; 'His eyes a flame of fire'; 'on His head many jewels'; 'He has a name which nobody knows but He Himself'; 'He is clothed in a garment dyed with blood'; 'the armies in heaven following Him on white horses'; 'clothed in linen, white and clean'; 'on His garment and on His thigh He has a name written'. It is stated openly that the One sitting on the White Horse is the Word, and that He is the Lord who is the Word, for it is said, 'His name is called the Word of God', and after that, 'on His garment and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords'.
Arcana Coelestia 2129-2130, 2135)
 From the interpretation of each individual expression it is evident that the Word as to the internal sense is described here. 'Heaven standing open' represents and means that the internal sense of the Word is not seen except in heaven and by those to whom heaven stands open, that is, those in whom love to the Lord and faith in Him-derived from that love are present. 'The horse which was white' represents and means the understanding of the Word as regards its interior contents. The next paragraph shows that 'a white horse' has this representation and meaning. 'He who sat on it' is, it is clear, the Word and the Lord who is the Word. He is called 'faithful' and 'one who judges out of righteousness' by virtue of good, and 'true' and 'one who goes into battle out of righteousness' by virtue of truth; for the Lord Himself is righteousness. 'His eyes a flame of fire' means Divine Truth glowing from the Divine Good that issues from His Divine Love. 'On His head many jewels' means all things of faith. 'He has a name written which nobody knows but He Himself' means that nobody sees the essential nature of the Word in the internal sense except the Lord Himself and he to whom He reveals it. 'Clothed in a garment dyed with blood' means the Word in the letter. 'The armies in heaven that were following Him on white horses' means people who have an understanding of the Word as regards its interior contents. 'Clothed in linen, white and clean' means that in these same persons love and faith derived from love are present. 'On His garment and on His thigh a name written' means truth and good. From these verses in Revelation and from those which come before and after them it is evident that around the last period [of the Church] the internal sense of the Word will be opened. But what is going to happen in that last period is also described in verses 17-21 of that chapter.
1. i.e. to Volume Three of the Latin
2. The preface to the third volume of the Latin edition has been included here in section 2760. The text of section 2760, as Swedenborg numbered it, starts where this footnote has been inserted.