This work is an exegesis of every verse in the book of Revelation, relating its key images to other passages in Scripture. It focuses on what Swedenborg saw as the fall of the Christianity of his time (the eighteenth century) and the predicted eventual rise of a new Christianity thereafter. Although argued in a rather terse style, its central reading is spiritual—unlike many if not most other views of the book of Revelation, which relate the text merely to world events, whether long past, present, or still to come. It is the first of Swedenborg’s works to include at the end of every chapter lengthy narrative accounts (or “memorable occurrences”) of the author’s spiritual experiences. These accounts often include his blunt declarations of the fate of various kinds of Christians (including lofty church officials) in the afterlife.
Volume 2: Covers the second half of Revelation, chapters 14–22, and explains the events there as symbolizing various stages in the coming Judgment in the spiritual world and the creation of a new church. After the Judgment is complete, the resplendent Jerusalem descends and God promises to come again. This final vision depicts the arrival of a new church in which individuals will be able to receive enlightenment from God in a new way. Swedenborg ends the accounts of his spiritual experiences, and the volume, with a description of angels and spirits in conversation about the true nature of God.