28. V. THE LAST JUDGMENT IS TO BE WHERE ALL ARE TOGETHER, AND SO IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD, NOT ON EARTH.
The general belief about the Last Judgment is that the Lord accompanied by angels will appear in glory in the clouds of heaven, and He will then raise up from their graves all who have ever lived from the beginning of creation, clothe their souls with a body, and, when they have been summoned to meet, judge them, sending those who have lived good lives to everlasting life or heaven, and those who lived wicked lives to everlasting death or hell.
 The churches have taken this belief from the literal sense of the Word, and there was no possibility of removing it so long as it remained unknown that everything mentioned in the Word has a spiritual sense; and this sense is the real Word, the literal sense serving as its basis or foundation. Without this kind of literal sense the Word could not have been Divine, and have served both heaven and the world as a means of instruction on how to live and what to believe, and as a means of linking. So if anyone knows the spiritual facts corresponding to natural ones in the Word, he can know that the Lord's coming in the clouds of heaven does not mean His appearance there, but His appearance in the Word. The Lord is the Word, because He is Divine truth. The clouds of heaven in which He is to come are the literal sense of the Word, and the glory is its spiritual sense. The angels are heaven, from which He appears, and they are also the Lord as regards Divine truths. 1
This makes plain the meaning of these words, namely, that when the church comes to an end the Lord will open up the spiritual sense of the Word, and thus reveal the essential nature of Divine truth. This will be a sign that the Last Judgment is at hand.
 For a demonstration that everything said in the Word, even every expression, contains a spiritual sense, and what this is like, see ARCANA CAELESTIA. This book expounds in full detail the contents of Genesis and Exodus in accordance with their spiritual sense. Some selected passages dealing with the Word and its spiritual sense may be found in my small work ON THE WHITE HORSE described in Revelation.
Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.