Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) n. 253

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253. Verse 21. He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit with Me in My throne, signifies that he who is steadfast to the end of life shall be conjoined with heaven where the Lord is. This is evident from the signification of "overcoming," as being to be steadfast in the spiritual affection of truth even to the end of life (see above, n. 128); but here it means to be steadfast in a state of faith from charity, since charity is here treated of. This is what "overcoming" means; because so long as man lives in the world he is in combat against the evils and the falsities therefrom that are with him; and he who is in combat, and is steadfast in the faith of charity even to the end of life, overcomes; and he who overcomes in the world overcomes to eternity, since man after death is such as his life had been in the world. This is evident also from the signification of "to sit with Me in My throne," as being to be conjoined with heaven where the Lord is; for "throne" signifies heaven, and to "sit with Me" signifies to be together with the Lord, thus conjoined to Him. [2] In the Word the word "throne" is many times used, and in reference to the Lord it signifies in general, heaven, in particular the spiritual heaven, and in the abstract, Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, since this is what makes heaven. For this reason "throne" is also predicated of judgment, since all judgment is effected from truths. That such is the signification of "throne" in the Word can be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Jehovah said, The heavens are My throne (Isa. 66:1). In David:

Jehovah hath established His throne in the heavens (Ps. 103:19). And in Matthew:

He that sweareth by heaven sweareth by the throne of God and by Him that sitteth thereon (Matt. 23:22). It is clear that "throne" in these passages signifies heaven; for it is said that "the heavens are His throne," that "He hath established His throne in the heavens," and that "he who sweareth by heaven sweareth by the throne of God;" not because Jehovah or the Lord there sits upon a throne, but because His Divine in the heavens is called "throne:" and also appears at times as a throne to those to whom it is given to look into heaven. That the Lord was thus seen is evident in Isaiah:

I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and His train filling the temple (Isa. 6:1). "His train filling the temple" signifies that Divine truth proceeding filled the ultimate of heaven and the church, for the "Lord's train" signifies in general Divine truth proceeding, and in particular Divine truth in the extremities of heaven and in the church (see above, n. 220). [3] In Ezekiel:

Above the expanse that was over the head [of the cherubim] there was as the appearance of a sapphire stone, the likeness of a throne, and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above (Ezek. 1:26; 10:1). The "throne" had an appearance like a sapphire stone, because "sapphire" signified Divine truth proceeding from the Lord's Divine good, and therefore spiritual truth pellucid from celestial good (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 9407, 9873); thus "throne" here signifies the whole heaven, for heaven is heaven from Divine truth. (What "cherub" signifies, see Arcana Coelestia, n. 9277 end, 9509, 9673.) [4] In Revelation:

Behold, a throne set in heaven, and upon the throne One sitting. A rainbow round about the throne, in aspect like an emerald. And out of the throne went forth lightnings and thunders and voices. Before the throne a glassy sea like unto crystal; and round about the throne four animals, full of eyes before and behind (Rev. 4:2-6, 9-10). That heaven in respect to Divine truths is here described will be seen in the explanation of these words in the following chapter. There is a like meaning in the following from Revelation:

A pure river and bright as crystal went forth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Rev. 22:1). "A pure river and bright as crystal" was seen "going forth out of the throne," because a "river" as well as "crystal" signifies Divine truth. [5] "The throne of David" in the Word has a like meaning; since by "David" in the prophetic Word is meant, not David, but the Lord in respect to royalty, which is Divine truth in the spiritual heaven, which is the second heaven. So in Luke:

The angel said to Mary, He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32). And in Isaiah:

Unto us a child is born, unto as a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. Of the multiplication of His government and peace there shall be no end; upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to establish it in judgment and in righteousness, from henceforth and even to eternity (Isa. 9:6-7). It is clear that here is not meant David, and his throne, on which the Lord was to sit; for the Lord's kingdom was not on earth but in heaven; by "the throne of David," therefore, heaven in respect to Divine truth is meant (see above, n. 205). The meaning is similar in the Psalm of David, where the Lord speaks of His throne and His kingdom; as in the whole of Psalm 89, in which are also these words:

I have sworn unto David My servant: Thy seed will I establish for ever; and thy throne to generation and generation. Judgment and righteousness are the foundation of thy throne; I will establish his throne as the days of the heavens (Ps. 89:3-4, 14, 29). That the Lord is here meant by David, see above n. 205). The like is signified by "the throne of glory" where the Lord is spoken of, for "glory" signifies Divine truth. As in Matthew:

When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit on the throne of His glory (Matt. 25:31). (That "glory" signifies Divine truth in heaven, see Arcana Coelestia, n. 4809, 5922, 8267, 8427, 9429; and above, n. 33.) This shows what is signified by "the throne of glory" in Jeremiah:

Do not disgrace the throne of thy glory (Jer. 14:21; 17:12);

which signifies that Divine truth should not be disgraced. The like is signified by Jerusalem being called "the throne of Jehovah;" for "Jerusalem" signifies the church in respect to doctrine; and doctrine is Divine truth. From this it is clear how these words are to be understood in Jeremiah:

At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah, and all the nations shall be gathered unto it (Jer. 3:17). In David:

Jerusalem is builded; thither the tribes go up; and there are set thrones for judgment, the thrones of the house of David (Ps. 122:3-5). In Ezekiel:

The glory of Jehovah came into the house by the way of the gate whose face was toward the east. And He said unto me, Son of man, behold the place of My throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the sons of Israel for ever (Ezek. 43:4, 7). (That "Jerusalem" signifies the church in respect to doctrine, thus Divine truth in the heavens and on the earth, for this makes the church, see Arcana Coelestia, n. 3654, 9166; and above, n. 223.) As all judgment is effected by truths, and judgment in the heavens by Divine truth, "throne" is also mentioned where the Lord in respect to judgment is treated of, as above (Matthew 25:31; and in David, Ps. 122:3-5). Again, in David:

Jehovah, Thou hast executed my judgment; thou sattest on the throne a judge of justice; thou hast rebuked the nations, thou hast destroyed the wicked; Jehovah shall sit for ever; He will prepare His throne for judgment (Ps. 9:4-5, 7). [6] It is also said in many places in the Word, not only that the Lord is to sit on a throne, but that others also shall sit upon thrones, but still these "thrones" do not mean thrones, but Divine truths. Thus in the first book of Samuel:

He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth on high the needy from the dunghill, to make them sit with princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory (1 Sam. 2:8). In Revelation:

The four and twenty elders who are before the throne of God, sitting upon their thrones (Rev. 11:16). Again:

I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them (Rev. 20:4). In Matthew:

Ye who have followed Me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:30). Here "thrones" mean Divine truths, according to which and from which all are to be judged; "twelve" and "twenty-four" signify all things and are predicated of truths; "elders," and "disciples" also, likewise "tribes," signify Divine truths. When this is known, what is meant by "thrones" in the above passages can be seen; as also what is meant by "throne" in these words now treated of. "He that overcometh will I give to him to sit with Me in My throne." (That "twelve" signifies all, and that it is predicated of truths, see Arcana Coelestia, n. 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, 3858, 3913; likewise "twenty-four" because that number is the double of the number twelve, and arises from it by multiplication, n. 5921, 5335, 5708, 7973. That "the elders of Israel" signify all in the church who are in truths from good, n. 6524, 6525, 6890, 7912, 8578, 8585, 9376, 9404; likewise "the Lord's twelve disciples," n. 2129, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397; likewise "the twelve tribes," n. 3858, 3926, 4060, 6335, 7836, 7891.) [7] From this it can be seen what was represented by the throne built by Solomon, thus described in the first book of Kings:

Solomon made a great ebony* throne, and overlaid it with pure gold. There were six steps to the throne; the head of the throne was round; and behind it were hands on either side near the place of the seat, and two lions standing near the hands; and there were twelve lions standing upon the six steps on the one side and on the other; there was not the like made in any kingdom (1 Kings 10:18-20). Here "ebony"* signifies Divine truth in ultimates; "the head being round," the corresponding good; "the gold with which it was overlaid" Divine good from which is Divine truth. "The six steps" signify all things from first to last; "the two hands" all power; "lions," the truths of the church in their power; "twelve," all things. As "throne," in reference to the Lord, signifies heaven in respect to all Divine truth, so in a contrary sense it signifies hell in respect to all falsity. (In this contrary sense "throne" is mentioned Rev. 2:13; Isa. 14:9, 13; 47:1; Hag. 2:22; Dan. 7:9; Luke 1:52; and elsewhere.) * The Latin has "ebony"; the Hebrew is "ivory."

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