True Christian Religion (Rose)

TCR (Rose) n. 0 sRef Rev@21 @1 S0′ sRef Rev@21 @2 S0′ 0. True Christianity
By Emanuel Swedenborg
Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ

Daniel 7:13, 14
I saw visions in the night, and behold, there was someone coming with the clouds of the heavens – someone like the Son of Humankind. He was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom. All peoples, nations, and tongues will worship him. His dominion is a dominion of an age that will not pass, and his kingdom is one that will not perish.

Revelation 21:1, 2, 5, 9, 10
I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And the angel spoke with me saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And [the angel] carried me away in the spirit to the top of a mountain great and high, and showed me the great city, holy Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
The One sitting on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new; and said to me, Write, because these words are true and trustworthy.”

[Author’s] Table of Contents
The Faith of the New Heaven and the New Church in Both Universal and Specific Forms / 1-3
Chapter 1: God the Creator
The Oneness of God
1. The whole of Sacred Scripture teaches that there is one God, and therefore so do the theologies of the churches in the Christian world. / 6-7
2. The recognition that God exists and that there is one God flows universally from God into human souls. / 8
3. As a result, every nation in the whole world that possesses religion and sound reason acknowledges that God exists and that there is one God. / 9, 10
4. For various reasons, different nations and peoples have had and still have a diversity of opinions on the nature of that one God. / 11
5. On the basis of many phenomena in the world, human reason is capable of perceiving and concluding, if it wants to, that God exists and that there is one God. / 12
6. If there were not one God the universe could not have been created or maintained. / 13
7. Those who do not acknowledge God are cut off from the church and damned. / 14
8. Nothing about the church is integrated in people who acknowledge many gods rather than one. / 15
The Underlying Divine Reality or Jehovah
1. The one God is called Jehovah from “being,” that is, from the fact that he alone is [and was] and will be, and that he is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. / 19
2. The one God is substance itself and form itself. Angels and people are substances and forms from him. To the extent that they are in him and he is in them, to that extent they are images and likenesses of him. / 20
3. The underlying divine reality is intrinsic reality and is also an intrinsic capacity to become manifest. / 21, 22
4. The intrinsic, underlying divine reality and intrinsic capacity to become manifest cannot produce anything else divine that is intrinsically real and has an intrinsic capacity to become manifest. Therefore another God of the same essence is impossible. / 23
5. The plurality of gods in ancient times, and nowadays as well, has no other source than a misunderstanding of the underlying divine reality. / 24
The Infinity of God: His Immensity and Eternity
1. God is infinite because he is intrinsic reality and manifestation, and all things in the universe have reality and manifestation from him. / 28
2. God is infinite because he existed before the world-before time and space came into being. / 29
3. Since the world was made, God has existed in space independently of space, and in time independently of time. / 30
4. God’s infinity in relation to space is called immensity; in relation to time it is called eternity. Yet although these are related, there is nonetheless no space in God’s immensity, and no time in his eternity. / 31
5. From many things in the world, enlightened reason can see the infinity of God. / 32
6. Every created thing is finite. The Infinite is in finite objects the way something is present in a vessel that receives it; the Infinite is in people the way something is present in an image of itself. / 33, 34
The Essence of God: Divine Love and Wisdom
1. God is love itself and wisdom itself. These two constitute his essence. / 37
2. Because goodness comes from love and truth comes from wisdom, God is goodness itself and truth itself. / 38
3. Because God is love itself and wisdom itself, he is life itself in its essence. / 39, 40
4. Love and wisdom are united in God. / 41, 42
5. The essence of love is loving others who are outside of oneself, wanting to be one with them, and blessing them from oneself. / 43, 44, 45
6. These essential characteristics of divine love were the reason the universe was created, and they are the reason it is maintained. / 46, 47
God’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence
1. It is divine wisdom, acting on behalf of divine love, that has omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. / 50, 51
2. We cannot comprehend God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence unless we know what the divine design is, and unless we learn that God is the divine design, and that he imposed that design on the universe as a whole and on everything in it as he created it. / 52-55
3. In the universe and everything in it, God’s omnipotence follows and works through the laws of its design. / 56, 57, 58
4. God is omniscient; that is, he is aware of, sees, and knows everything down to the least detail that happens in keeping with the divine design, and by contrast is aware of, sees, and knows what goes against the divine design. / 59-62
5. God is omnipresent in his design from beginning to end. / 63, 64
6. Human beings were created as forms of the divine design. / 65, 66, 67
7. The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more we receive power against evil and falsity from God’s omnipotence, receive wisdom about goodness and truth from God’s omniscience, and are in God because of God’s omnipresence. / 68, 69, 70
The Creation of the Universe
None of us can get a fair idea of the creation of the universe unless some preliminary global concepts (which are listed) first bring our intellect into a state of perception. / 75
The creation of the universe is the topic of five memorable occurrences. / 76, 77, 78, 79, 80
Chapter 2: The Lord the Redeemer
1. Jehovah God came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them. / 82, 83, 84
2. Jehovah God came down as the divine truth, which is the Word; but he did not separate the divine goodness from it. / 85-88
3. In the process of taking on a human manifestation, God followed his own divine design. / 89, 90, 91
4. The “Son of God” is the human manifestation in which God sent himself into the world. / 92, 93, 94
5. Through acts of redemption the Lord became justice. / 95, 96
6. Through those same acts the Lord united himself to the Father and the Father united himself to him. / 97-100
7. Through this process God became human and a human became God in one person. / 101, 102, 103
8. When he was being emptied out he was in a state of progress toward union; when he was being glorified he was in a state of union itself. / 104, 105, 106
9. From now on, no Christians will go to heaven unless they believe in the Lord God the Savior. / 107, 108
10. A supplement about the state of the church before and after the Lord’s Coming / 109
Redemption
1. Redemption was actually a matter of gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and by so doing preparing for a new spiritual church. / 115, 116, 117
2. Without that redemption no human being could have been saved and no angels could have continued to exist in their state of integrity. / 118, 119, 120
3. The Lord therefore redeemed not only people but also angels. / 121, 122
4. Redemption was something only the Divine could bring about. / 123
5. This true redemption could not have happened if God had not come in the flesh. / 124, 125
6. Suffering on the cross was the final trial the Lord underwent as the greatest prophet. It was a means of glorifying his human nature. It was not redemption. / 126-131
7. Believing that the Lord’s suffering on the cross was redemption itself is a fundamental error on the part of the church. That error, along with the error about three divine Persons from eternity, has ruined the whole church to the point that there is nothing spiritual left in it anymore. / 132, 133
Chapter 3: The Holy Spirit and the Divine Action
1. The Holy Spirit is the divine truth and also the divine action and effect that radiate from the one God, in whom the divine Trinity exists: the Lord God the Savior. / 139, 140, 141
2. Generally speaking, the divine actions and powerful effects meant by the Holy Spirit are the acts of reforming and regenerating us. Depending on the outcome of this reformation and regeneration, the divine actions and powerful effects also include the acts of renewing us, bringing us to life, sanctifying us, and making us just; and depending on the outcome of these in turn, the divine actions and powerful effects also include the acts of purifying us from evils, forgiving our sins, and ultimately saving us. / 142-145
3. In respect to the clergy, the divine actions and powerful effects meant by “the sending of the Holy Spirit” are the acts of enlightening and teaching. / 146, 147, 148
4. The Lord has these powerful effects on those who believe in him. / 149, 150, 151, 152
5. The Lord takes these actions on his own initiative on behalf of the Father, not the other way around. / 153, 154, 155
6. Our spirits are our minds and whatever comes from them. / 156, 157
A supplement to show that although the Holy Spirit is frequently mentioned in the New Testament, nowhere in the Old Testament do we read that the prophets spoke from the Holy Spirit; they spoke from Jehovah God / 158
The Divine Trinity
1. There is a divine Trinity, which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. / 164, 165
2. These three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are three essential components of one God. They are one the way our soul, our body, and the things we do are one. / 166-169
3. This Trinity did not exist before the world was created. It developed after the world was created, when God became flesh. It came into existence in the Lord God the Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ. / 170, 171
4. At a conceptual level, the idea of a trinity of divine persons from eternity (meaning before the world was created) is a trinity of gods. This idea is impossible to wipe out just by orally confessing one God. / 172, 173
5. The apostolic church knew no trinity of persons. The idea was first developed by the Council of Nicaea. The council introduced the idea into the Roman Catholic church; and it in turn introduced the idea into the churches that have since separated from it. / 174-176
6. The Nicene and Athanasian views of the Trinity led to a faith in three gods that has perverted the whole Christian church. / 177, 178
7. The result is the abomination of desolation and the affliction such as will never exist again, which the Lord foretold in Daniel, the Gospels, and the Book of Revelation. / 179, 180, 181
8. In fact, if the Lord were not building a new heaven and a new church, the human race would not be preserved. / 182
9. Many absurd, alien, imaginary, and misshapen ideas of God have come into existence from the Athanasian Creed’s assertion of a trinity of persons, each of whom is individually God. / 183, 184
Chapter 4: Sacred Scripture, the Word of the Lord
1. Sacred Scripture, the Word, is divine truth itself. / 189-192
2. The Word has a spiritual meaning that has not been known until now. / 193
(1) What the spiritual meaning is / 194
There is a heavenly divine influence, a spiritual divine influence, and an earthly divine influence that emanate from the Lord. / 195
(2) A demonstration that there is a spiritual meaning throughout the Word and in every part of it / 196, 197, 198
The Lord spoke in correspondences when he was in the world. While he was talking in an earthly way, he was also talking in a spiritual way. / 199
(3) It is the spiritual meaning that makes the Word divinely inspired and holy in every word. / 200
(4) The spiritual meaning has been unknown until now; but it was known to ancient peoples. They also knew about correspondences. / 201-207
(5) From this point on, the spiritual meaning will be given only to people who have genuine truths from the Lord. / 208
(6) The Word has amazing qualities because of its spiritual meaning. / 209
3. The Word’s literal meaning is the foundation, the container, and the structural support for its spiritual and heavenly meanings. / 210-213
4. In the literal meaning of the Word, divine truth exists in its completeness, holiness, and power. / 214, 215, 216
(1) By their correspondence, the precious stones that constituted the foundations of the New Jerusalem mentioned in the Book of Revelation mean the truths in the Word’s literal meaning. / 217
(2) The Urim and Thummim on Aaron’s ephod correspond to the things that are good and true in the Word’s literal meaning. / 218
(3) The precious stones from the Garden of Eden that the king of Tyre is said to have worn (see Ezekiel [28:12, 13]) mean the outermost kind of goodness and truth-the kind found in the Word’s literal meaning. / 219
(4) The curtains, veils, and pillars in the tabernacle represented the same thing. / 220
(5) The same thing is also meant by the exteriors of the Temple in Jerusalem. / 221
(6) When the Lord was transfigured he represented the Word in its glory. / 222
(7) The Nazirites represented the power of the Word in its outermost form. / 223
(8) The Word has indescribable power. / 224
5. The church’s body of teaching has to be drawn from the Word’s literal meaning and supported by it. / 225, 229, 230
(1) The Word is not understandable without a body of teaching. / 226, 227, 228
(2) [A body of teaching has to be drawn from the Word’s literal meaning and supported by it. / 229, 230]
(3) The genuine truth in the Word’s literal meaning, the truth that is needed for a body of teaching, becomes manifest only to those who have enlightenment from the Lord. / 231, 232, 233
6. The Word’s literal meaning provides a connection to the Lord and association with angels. / 234-239
7. The Word exists throughout the heavens; it is the source of angelic wisdom. / 240, 241, 242
8. The church is based on the Word; the nature of the church in individuals depends on their understanding of the Word. / 243-247
9. There is a marriage between the Lord and the church, and therefore a marriage between goodness and truth, in the individual details in the Word. / 248-253
10. We may derive heretical ideas from the Word’s literal meaning, but we are condemned only if we become adamant about those ideas. / 254-260
Many things in the Word are apparent truths; real truths lie hidden inside them. / 257
Becoming adamant about apparent truths leads to false ideas. / 258
The Word’s literal meaning is a protection for the genuine truths that lie inside it. / 260
Angel guardians mean the Word’s literal meaning; that is what they stand for in the Word. / 260
11. While in the world, the Lord fulfilled everything in the Word; by doing so he became the Word or divine truth even on the last or outermost level. / 261, 262, 263
12. Before the Word that exists in the world today, there was a Word that has been lost. / 264, 265, 266
13. Because of the Word, even people who are outside the church and who do not have the Word have light. / 267-272
14. If the Word did not exist, no one would know about God, heaven, hell, or life after death, still less about the Lord. / 273-276
Chapter 5: The Catechism, or Ten Commandments, Explained in Both Its Outer and Its Inner Meanings
1. The Ten Commandments were the holiest thing in the Israelite church. The text here also contains material about how holy the ark was considered to be because of the law that was kept inside it. / 283-286
2. In their literal meaning, the Ten Commandments contain general principles of faith and life; in their spiritual and heavenly meanings, they contain absolutely everything. / 287-290
3. The first commandment: There is to be no other God before my face. / 291-296
4. The second commandment: You are not to take the name of Jehovah your God in vain, because Jehovah will not hold guiltless someone who takes his name in vain. / 297-300
5. The third commandment: Remember the Sabbath day in order to keep it holy; for six days you will labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath for Jehovah your God. / 301-304
6. The fourth commandment: Honor your father and your mother so that your days will be prolonged and it will be well with you on earth. / 305-308
7. The fifth commandment: You are not to kill. / 309-312
8. The sixth commandment: You are not to commit adultery. / 313-316
9. The seventh commandment: You are not to steal. / 317-320
10. The eighth commandment: You are not to bear false witness against your neighbor. / 321-324
11. The ninth and tenth commandments: You are not to covet your neighbor’s household; you are not to covet your neighbor’s wife or his servant or his maid or his ox or his donkey or anything that is your neighbor’s. / 325-328
12. The Ten Commandments contain everything about how to love God and how to love our neighbor. / 329-331
Chapter 6: Faith
Prefatory remarks: From the standpoint of time, faith is primary, but from the standpoint of purpose, goodwill is primary. / 336
1. The faith that saves us is faith in the Lord God our Savior Jesus Christ, / 337-339
because he is a God who can be seen, in whom is what cannot be seen. / 339
2. Briefly put, faith is believing that people who live good lives and believe the right things are saved by the Lord. / 340-342
The first step toward faith in him is acknowledging that he is the Son of God. / 342
3. The way we receive faith is by turning to the Lord, learning truths from the Word, and living by those truths. / 343-348
The underlying reality of this faith; the essence of this faith; the states of this faith; the form this faith takes / 344
Merely earthly faith is actually a persuasion that pretends to be faith. / 345-348
4. Having a quantity of truths that are bound together like strands in a cable elevates and improves our faith. / 349-354
The truths of faith can be multiplied to infinity. / 350
Truths of faith come together to form structures that are like fascicles of nerves. / 351
Our faith improves depending on the quantity of truths we have and how well they fit together. / 352, 353
However numerous these truths of faith are and however divergent they appear, they are united by the Lord. / 354
The Lord is the Word; the God of heaven and earth; the God of all flesh; the God of the vineyard, or the church; the God of faith; the light itself; the truth itself; and eternal life (includes quotations from the Word). / 354
5. Faith without goodwill is not faith. Goodwill without faith is not goodwill. Neither of them is living unless it comes from the Lord. / 355-361
(a) We are able to acquire faith for ourselves. / 356
(b) We are able to acquire goodwill for ourselves. / 357
(c) We are also able to acquire the life within faith and goodwill for ourselves. / 358
(d) Nevertheless, no faith, no goodwill, and none of the life within faith or goodwill come from ourselves; instead they come from the Lord alone. / 359
The difference between earthly faith and spiritual faith. When we believe in the Lord, our earthly faith has spiritual faith within it. / 360, 361
6. The Lord, goodwill, and faith form a unity in the same way our life, our will, and our intellect form a unity. If we separate them, each one crumbles like a pearl that is crushed to powder. / 362-367
(a) The Lord flows into everyone with all his divine love, all his divine wisdom, and all his divine life. / 364
(b) Therefore the Lord flows into everyone with the entire essence of faith and goodwill. / 365
(c) The qualities that flow in from the Lord are received by us according to our state and form. / 366
(d) If we separate the Lord, goodwill, and faith, however, instead of being a form that accepts these qualities we are a form that destroys them. / 367
7. The Lord is goodwill and faith within us. We are goodwill and faith within the Lord. / 368-372
(a) Our partnership with God is what gives us salvation and eternal life. / 369
(b) It is impossible for us to have a partnership with God the Father. What is possible is a partnership with the Lord, and through the Lord, with God the Father. / 370
(c) Our partnership with the Lord is reciprocal: we are in the Lord and the Lord is in us. / 371
(d) This reciprocal partnership between the Lord and us comes about through goodwill and faith. / 372
8. Goodwill and faith come together in good actions. / 373-377
(a) “Goodwill” is benevolence toward others; “good works” are good actions that result from benevolence. / 374
(b) Goodwill and faith are transient and exist only in our minds unless, when an opportunity occurs, they culminate in actions and become embodied in them. / 375, 376
(c) Goodwill alone does not produce good actions; even less does faith alone produce them. Good actions are produced by goodwill and faith together. / 377
9. There is faith that is true, faith that is illegitimate, and faith that is hypocritical. / 378-381
From its cradle, the Christian church was attacked and torn apart by schisms and heresies. / 378
(a) There is only one true faith; it is faith in the Lord God our Savior Jesus Christ. It exists in people who believe that he is the Son of God, that he is the God of heaven and earth, and that he is one with the Father. / 379
(b) Illegitimate faith is all faith that departs from the one and only true faith. Illegitimate faith exists in people who climb up some other way and view the Lord not as God but only as a human being. / 380
(c) Hypocritical faith is no faith at all. / 381
10. Evil people have no faith. / 382-384
(a) Evil people have no faith, because evil relates to hell and faith relates to heaven. / 383
(b) All people in Christianity who are dismissive of the Lord and the Word have no faith, no matter how morally they behave or how rationally they speak, teach, or write, even if their subject is faith. / 384
Chapter 7: Goodwill (or Loving Our Neighbor) and Good Actions
1. There are three universal categories of love: love for heaven; love for the world; and love for ourselves. / 394, 395, 396
(1) The will and the intellect / 397
(2) Goodness and truth / 398
(3) Love in general / 399
(4) Love for ourselves and love for the world in specific / 400
(5) Our outer and inner selves / 401
(6) People who are merely earthly and sense-oriented / 402
2. When the three universal categories of love are prioritized in the right way they improve us; when they are not prioritized in the right way they damage us and turn us upside down. / 403, 404, 405
3. All individual members of humankind are the neighbor we are to love, but [in different ways] depending on the type of goodness they have. / 406-411
4. The neighbor we are to love is humankind on a wider scale in the form of smaller and larger communities and humankind in the aggregate as a country of such communities. / 412, 413, 414
5. On an even higher level, the neighbor we are to love is the church, and on the highest level, our neighbor is the Lord’s kingdom. / 415, 416
6. Loving our neighbor is not in fact loving the person but loving the goodness that is inside the person. / 417, 418, 419
7. Goodwill and good actions are two distinct things: wishing people well and treating them well. / 420, 421
8. Goodwill itself is acting justly and faithfully in our position and our work and with the people with whom we interact. / 422, 423, 424
9. Acts of kindness related to goodwill consist in giving to the poor and helping the needy, although with prudence. / 425-428
10. There are obligations that are related to goodwill. [Some of them are public]; some relate to the household; and some are personal. / 429-432
11. The recreations related to goodwill are lunches, dinners, and parties. / 433, 434
12. The first step toward goodwill is removing evils; the second step is doing good things that are useful to our neighbor. / 435-438
13. As long as we believe that everything good comes from the Lord, we do not take credit for the things we do as we practice goodwill. / 439-442
14. A life of goodwill is a moral life that is also spiritual. / 443, 444, 445
15. A bond of love that we form with others without considering their spiritual nature is damaging after death. / 446-449
16. There are such things as illegitimate goodwill, hypocritical goodwill, and dead goodwill. / 450-453
17. The bond of love between evil people is actually a deep mutual hatred. / 454, 455a, 455b
18. The connection between loving God and loving our neighbor. / 456, 457, 458
Chapter 8: Free Choice
1. The precepts and dogmas of the church of today regarding human free choice / 463, 464, 465
2. The fact that two trees-the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil [Genesis 2:9]-were placed in the Garden of Eden means that free choice in spiritual matters has been granted to humankind. / 466-469
3. We are not life, but we are vessels for receiving life from God. / 470-474
4. As long as we are alive in this world, we are held midway between heaven and hell and kept in spiritual equilibrium there, which is free choice. / 475-478
5. The fact that evil is an option available to everyone’s inner self makes it obvious that we have free choice in spiritual matters. / 479-482
6. If we had no free choice in spiritual matters, the Word would be useless and therefore the church would be nothing. / 483, 484
7. If we had no free choice in spiritual matters, there would be nothing in us that would allow us to forge a partnership with the Lord, and therefore [there would be] no ascribing [of goodness to us], only mere predestination, which is detestable. / 485
This section brings to light how horrible the notion of predestination is. / 486, 487, 488
8. If we had no free choice in spiritual matters, God would be the cause of evil, and we could not be credited [with goodwill or faith]. / 489-492
9. Every spiritual gift the church has to offer that comes to us in freedom and that we freely accept stays with us; what comes to us in other ways does not. / 493-496
10. Although our will and intellect exist in this state of free choice, the doing of evil is forbidden by law in both worlds, the spiritual and the earthly, since otherwise society in both realms would perish. / 497, 498, 499
11. If we did lack free choice in spiritual matters, then in a single day everyone on the whole planet could be induced to believe in the Lord; but in fact this cannot happen, because what we do not accept through our free choice does not stay with us. / 500, 501, 502
Miracles are not happening today because they are coercive; they take away our free choice in spiritual matters. / 501
Chapter 9: Repentance
1. Repentance is the beginning of the church within us. / 510, 511
2. The “contrition” that is nowadays said to precede faith and to be followed by the consolation of the Gospel is not repentance. / 512-515
3. By itself, an oral confession that we are sinners is not repentance. / 516-519
4. From birth we have a tendency toward evils of every kind. Unless we at least partly remove them through repentance, we remain in them, and if we remain in them we cannot be saved. / 520-524
What “fulfilling the law” really means / 523, 524
5. Having a concept of sin and then looking for sin in ourselves is the beginning of repentance. / 525, 526, 527
6. Active repentance is examining ourselves, recognizing and admitting our sins, praying to the Lord, and beginning a new life. / 528-531
7. True repentance is examining not only the actions of our life but also the intentions of our will. / 532, 533, 534
8. Repentance is also practiced by those who do not examine themselves but nevertheless stop doing evils because evils are sinful; this kind of repentance is done by people who do acts of goodwill as a religious practice. / 535, 536, 537
9. We need to make our confession before the Lord God the Savior, and also to beg for his help and power in resisting evils. / 538, 539, 560
10. Active repentance is easy for people who have done it a few times; those who have not done it, however, experience inner resistance to it. / 561, 562, 563
11. Those who have never practiced repentance or looked at or studied themselves eventually do not even know what damnable evil or saving goodness is. / 564, 565, 566
Chapter 10: Reformation and Regeneration
1. Unless we are born again and created anew, so to speak, we cannot enter the kingdom of God. / 572-575
2. The Lord alone generates or creates us anew, provided we cooperate; he uses both goodwill and faith as means. / 576, 577, 578
3. Because we have all been redeemed, we are all capable of being regenerated, each of us in a way that suits the state we are in. / 579-582
4. Regeneration progresses analogously to the way we are conceived, carried in the womb, born, and brought up. / 583-586
Some thoughts on the masculine and feminine sexes in the plant kingdom / 585
5. The first phase in our being generated anew is called “reformation”; it has to do with our intellect. The second phase is called “regeneration”; it has to do with our will and then our intellect. / 587-590
6. Our inner self has to be reformed first; our outer self is then reformed through our inner self. This is how we are regenerated. / 591-595
7. Once our inner self is reformed, a battle develops between it and our outer self; whichever self wins will control the other self. / 596-600
8. When we have been regenerated, we have a new will and a new intellect. / 601-606
9. People who have been regenerated are in fellowship with the angels of heaven; people who have not been regenerated are in fellowship with the spirits of hell. / 607-610
10. The more we are regenerated, the more our sins are laid aside; this relocating of them is the “forgiving of sins.” / 611-614
11. Regeneration would be impossible without free choice in spiritual matters. / 615, 616, 617
12. Regeneration is not possible without the truths that shape faith and are joined with goodwill. / 618, 619, 620
Chapter 11: The Assignment of Spiritual Credit or Blame
1. The faith of the church of today, which is claimed to be the sole thing that makes us just, and the belief that Christ’s merit is assigned to us amount to the same thing. / 626, 627
2. The concept of assigning that is part of the faith of today has a doubleness to it: there is an assigning of Christ’s merit, and there is an assigning of salvation as a result. / 628-631
3. The concept of a faith that assigns us the merit and justice of Christ the Redeemer first surfaced in the decrees of the Council of Nicaea concerning three divine persons from eternity; from that time to the present this faith has been accepted by the entire Christian world. / 632-635
4. The concept of a faith that assigns the merit of Christ was completely unknown in the apostolic church that existed before the Council of Nicaea; and nothing in the Word conveys that concept either. / 636-639
5. The merit and justice of Christ cannot be assigned to anyone else. / 640, 641, 642
6. There is an assigning of spiritual credit, but it is based on whether our actions have been good or evil. / 643-646
7. There is no way in which we can simultaneously hold the views of the new church and the views of the former church on faith and the assignment of spiritual credit; if we did hold both these views at once, they would collide and cause so much conflict that everything related to the church would be destroyed in us. / 647, 648, 649
8. The Lord ascribes goodness to everyone; hell ascribes evil to everyone. / 650-653
9. It is what our faith is united to that determines the verdict we receive. If we have a true faith that is united to goodness, the verdict is eternal life; if we have a faith that is united to evil, the verdict is eternal death. / 654-657
10. No spiritual credit or blame is assigned to us on the basis of what we think; it is assigned only on the basis of what we will. / 658, 659, 660
Chapter 12: Baptism
1. Without knowing that the Word has a spiritual meaning, no one can know what the two sacraments (baptism and the Holy Supper) entail and what they do for us. / 667, 668, 669
2. The washing called baptism means a spiritual washing, which is the process of being purified from evils [and falsities] and therefore the process of being regenerated. / 670-673
3. Baptism was instituted as a replacement for circumcision because circumcision of the foreskin symbolized circumcision of the heart; the intent was to create an internal church to replace the external church, which as a whole and in every detail was an allegory of that internal church. / 674, 675, 676
4. The first function of baptism is to bring people into the Christian church and at the same time to bring them into the company of Christians in the spiritual world. / 677-680
5. The second function [of baptism] is for Christians to know and acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Savior, and to follow him. / 681, 682, 683
6. The third function of baptism, and its ultimate purpose, is to lead us to be regenerated. / 684-687
7. The baptism of John prepared the way so that Jehovah God could descend into the world and bring about redemption. / 688[-691]
Chapter 13: The Holy Supper
1. Without knowing about the correspondences of physical things with spiritual things, no one can know the functions and benefits of the Holy Supper. / 698-701
2. When we know correspondences, we realize what “the Lord’s flesh” and “the Lord’s blood” mean; we see that they mean the same thing as “bread” and “wine” do. That is, “the Lord’s flesh” and “bread” mean the divine goodness that comes from his love and also all the goodness related to goodwill, and “the Lord’s blood” and “wine” mean the divine truth that comes from his wisdom and also all the truth related to faith; “eating” them means making them our own. / 702-710
Passages from the Word are quoted to show the meaning of “flesh”; / 704, 705
to show the meaning of “blood”; / 706
to show the meaning of “bread”; / 707
to show the meaning of “wine.” / 708
3. Understanding what has just been presented makes it possible to see that the Holy Supper includes all the qualities of the church and all the qualities of heaven, both generally and specifically. / 711-715
4. The Lord himself and his redemption are fully present in the Holy Supper. / 716, 717, 718
5. The Lord is present and opens heaven to those who approach the Holy Supper worthily; he is also present with those who approach it unworthily, but he does not open heaven to them. Therefore as baptism brings us into the church, so the Holy Supper brings us into heaven. / 719, 720, 721
6. We come forward worthily to take the Holy Supper when we have faith in the Lord and goodwill toward our neighbor-that is, when we have been regenerated. / 722-724
7. When we come forward worthily to take the Holy Supper, we are in the Lord and the Lord is in us; therefore through the Holy Supper we enter into a partnership with the Lord. / 725, 726, 727
8. When we come forward worthily to take it, the Holy Supper functions as [God’s] signature and seal confirming that we have been adopted as his children. / 728, 729, 730
Chapter 14: The Close of the Age; the Coming of the Lord; and the New Church
1. The “close of the age” means the end of the church, when its time is over. / 753-756
2. Today the church is at its end; the Lord foretold and described this event in the Gospels and in the Book of Revelation. / 757, 758, 759
3. This, the Christian church’s final hour, is the same kind of night in which the former churches came to an end. / 760-763
4. After this night comes the morning, which is the Lord’s Coming. / 764-767
5. The Lord’s Coming is not his coming to destroy the visible heaven and the inhabitable earth and to create a new heaven and a new earth, as many have supposed because they have not understood the Word’s spiritual meaning. / 768-771
6. The purpose of this coming of the Lord-his Second Coming-is to separate the evil from the good, to save those both past and present who believe in him, and to form them into a new angelic heaven and a new church on earth; if he did not do this, “no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:22). / 772-775
7. This Second Coming of the Lord is not taking place in person but in the Word, since the Word is from him and therefore he is the Word. / 776, 777, 778
8. This Second Coming of the Lord is taking place by means of someone to whom the Lord has manifested himself in person and whom he has filled with his spirit so that that individual can present the teachings of the new church on the Lord’s behalf through the agency of the Word. / 779, 780
9. “The new heaven” and “the new Jerusalem” in the Book of Revelation chapter 21 mean this [Second Coming of the Lord]. / 781-785
10. This new church is the crown of all the churches that have ever existed on this planet. / 786-791
Additional Material
1. The nature of the spiritual world / 792-795
2. Luther in the spiritual world / 796
3. Melanchthon in the spiritual world / 797
4. Calvin in the spiritual world / 798-799
5. The Dutch in the spiritual world / 800-805
6. The British in the spiritual world / 806-812
7. Germans in the spiritual world / 813-816
8. Roman Catholics in the spiritual world / 817-821
9. Roman Catholic saints in the spiritual world / 822-827
10. Muslims in the spiritual world / 828-834
11. Africans, and non-Christians in general, in the spiritual world / 835-840
12. Jews in the spiritual world / 841-845

TCR (Rose) n. 1 sRef Dan@7 @13 S0′ sRef Dan@7 @14 S0′ sRef Jer@33 @15 S0′ sRef Jer@33 @16 S0′ 1. True Christianity
Containing
a Comprehensive Theology
of the New Heaven and the New Church

The Faith of the New Heaven and the New Church

THE faith of the new heaven and the new church is stated here in both universal and specific forms to serve as the face of the work that follows, the doorway that allows entry into the temple, and the summary that in one way or another contains all the details to follow. I say “the faith of the new heaven and the new church” because heaven, where there are angels, and the church, in which there are people, act together like the inner and the outer levels in a human being. People in the church who love what is good because they believe what is true and who believe what is true because they love what is good are angels of heaven with regard to the inner levels of their minds. After death they come into heaven, and enjoy happiness there according to the relationship between their love and their faith. It is important to know that the new heaven that the Lord is establishing today has this faith as its face, doorway, and summary.

TCR (Rose) n. 2 2
The faith of the new heaven and the new church in universal form is this: The Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, came into the world to gain control over the hells and to glorify his own human nature. If he had not done this, not one mortal could have been saved; those who believe in him are saved.
[2] I say in universal form because this concept is universal to the faith and something universal to the faith is going to be present in each and every aspect of it. It is universal to the faith to believe that God is one in essence and in person, to believe that in God there is a divine Trinity, and to believe that the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ is God. It is universal to the faith to believe that if the Lord had not come into the world not one mortal could have been saved. It is universal to the faith to believe that the Lord came into the world to separate hell from the human race, and that he accomplished this by repeatedly doing battle with hell and conquering it. In this way he gained control over it, forced it back into the divine design, and made it obey him. It is universal to the faith to believe that he came into the world to glorify the human nature he took on in the world, that is, to unite it to its divine source. This is how he keeps hell eternally in its place and in obedience to himself. Since this could not have been accomplished except by allowing his human nature to be tested, including even the ultimate test, the suffering on the cross, therefore he underwent that experience. These are universal points of faith regarding the Lord.
sRef John@3 @36 S3′ sRef John@6 @40 S3′ [3] For our part, it is universal to the faith that we believe in the Lord, for our believing in him gives us a partnership with him, and through this partnership comes salvation. To believe in him is to have confidence that he saves; and because only those who live good lives can have such confidence, this too is meant by believing in him. In fact, the Lord says in John: “This is the will of the Father, that everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 6:39-40). And in another passage, “Those who believe in the Son have eternal life. But those who do not believe the Son will not see life; instead the anger of God remains on them” (John 3:36).

TCR (Rose) n. 3 sRef John@1 @14 S0′ sRef 1Joh@5 @20 S0′ sRef John@1 @1 S0′ sRef John@16 @28 S1′ 3
The faith of the new heaven and the new church in a specific form is this: Jehovah God is love itself and wisdom itself, or goodness itself and truth itself. As divine truth, or the Word, which was “God with God,” he came down and took on a human manifestation for the purpose of forcing everything in heaven, everything in hell, and everything in the church back into the divine design. The power of hell had become stronger than the power of heaven, and on earth the power of evil had become stronger than the power of goodness; therefore total damnation stood threatening at the door. By means of his human manifestation, which was divine truth, Jehovah God lifted this pending damnation and redeemed both people and angels. Afterward, in his human manifestation, he united divine truth to divine goodness, or divine wisdom to divine love. In this way he returned to the divine nature that he had had from eternity, together with and in the human manifestation, which had been glorified. These things are meant by this statement in John: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). And in the same Gospel, “I went out from the Father and came into the world; again I am leaving the world and am going to the Father” (John 16:28). And also by this: “We know that the Son of God came and gave us understanding so that we would know the truth. And we are in the truth in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). From all this it is clear that if the Lord had not come into the world no one could have been saved.
The situation today is similar. Therefore if the Lord does not come into the world again in the form of divine truth, which is the Word, no one can be saved.
[2] For our part, the specifics of faith are these: (1) There is one God, the divine Trinity exists within him, and he is the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ. (2) Believing in him is a faith that saves. (3) We must not do things that are evil – they belong to the Devil and come from the Devil. (4) We must do things that are good – they belong to God and come from God. (5) We must do these things as if we ourselves were doing them, but we must believe that they come from the Lord working with us and through us.
The first two points have to do with faith, the second two have to do with goodwill; and the fifth has to do with the partnership between goodwill and faith, the partnership between the Lord and us.

TCR (Rose) n. 4 sRef Acts@20 @21 S1′ 4
Chapter 1

God the Creator

SINCE the time of the Lord, the Christian church has passed through various ages; it has gone from infancy to extreme old age. Its infancy occurred when the apostles were alive and were preaching two things throughout the whole world: repentance and faith in the Lord God the Savior, as one can see from these words in the Acts of the Apostles: “To both Jews and Greeks Paul proclaimed repentance before God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
It is worth noting that several months ago the Lord called together his twelve disciples, who are now angels, and sent them out to the entire spiritual world with the command to preach the gospel there anew, since the church established by the Lord through those disciples is so close to its end today that scarcely any of it remains in existence. Also worth noting is that the church’s deterioration was the result of its splitting the divine Trinity into three persons, each of whom is God and Lord. [2] As a result, a kind of brain fever spread throughout the whole theology and infected the church that calls itself Christian from the name of the Lord. I call it a brain fever because this development has so deranged human minds that they do not know whether there is one God or three. The mouth says there is one, but the mind thinks there are three. The mind, then, is at cross-purposes with its own mouth, and thought with its own speech; this results in no knowledge of God at all. The materialist philosophy that rules today has no other source. As long as “on” is what the mouth is saying and “three” is what the mind is thinking, do they not inwardly meet halfway and obliterate each other? Then if thinking about God occurs at all, it scarcely goes beyond thinking the word “God.” The word is denuded of any meaning that would entail actually having a concept of him.
[3] Because the idea of God and every notion of him has been torn to pieces, I intend to discuss in sequence God the Creator, the Lord the Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit the Effecter, and then to discuss the divine Trinity, with the purpose of mending what has been torn. This mending will occur when human reason is convinced from the Word and its light that there is a divine Trinity; that it exists within the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ like the soul, the body, and the effect of one person; and that the following statement in the Athanasian Creed is valid:

In Christ, God and a human being, or the divine nature and the human nature, are not two; they are in one person. Just as the rational soul and the flesh is one human being, so God and a human being is one Christ.

TCR (Rose) n. 5 5
The Oneness of God

The very essence and soul of everything in a comprehensive theology is the acknowledgment of God [arising] from a concept of him. Therefore it is necessary to begin with the oneness of God, and to prove it point by point:

1. The whole of Sacred Scripture teaches that there is one God, and therefore so do the theologies of the churches in the Christian world.

2. The recognition that God exists and that there is one God flows universally into human souls.

3. As a result, every nation in the whole world that possesses religion and sound reason acknowledges that God exists and that there is one God.

4. For various reasons, different nations and peoples have had and still have a diversity of opinions on the nature of that one God.

5. On the basis of many phenomena in the world, human reason is capable of perceiving and concluding, if it wants to, that God exists and that there is one God.

6. If there were not one God the universe could not have been created or maintained.

7. Those who do not acknowledge God are cut off from the church and damned.

8. Nothing about the church is integrated in people who acknowledge many gods rather than one.

These points will be explored one by one.

TCR (Rose) n. 6 6
1. The whole of Sacred Scripture teaches that God exists and that there is one God, and therefore so do all the theologies of the churches in the Christian world. The whole of Sacred Scripture teaches that God exists, because at the core of Sacred Scripture there is nothing but God, or the divine quality that comes from God. Scripture was dictated by God and nothing else can come from God except what is God and is called divine. This is what lies at the heart of Scripture. In the derivative layers of Scripture that come from that heart and lie below it, however, Sacred Scripture has been adapted to the comprehension of both angels and people in the world. In these layers too there is divineness, but in different forms that are called heavenly, spiritual, and earthly divine qualities. They are in fact the layered clothes of God. What God himself is like at the heart of the Word is something that cannot be seen by any created person or thing. When Moses prayed to see the glory of Jehovah, Jehovah replied that no one can see God and live [Exodus 33:20]. The situation at the heart of the Word is similar, where God exists in his own underlying reality and his own essence.
sRef Hos@13 @4 S2′ [2] Although that inmost divine quality is covered over with elements adapted to the comprehension of both angels and people in the world, it nevertheless shines through like light through crystalline forms. Its radiance varies depending on the condition of mind that we have formed for ourselves either from God or on our own. For all those who have formed the state of their mind from God, Sacred Scripture is like a mirror in which they see God, although each in a different way. The mirror is made of truths that they learn from the Word and become steeped in through living a life according to them. A first conclusion from this is that Sacred Scripture is the fullness of God.
sRef Deut@6 @4 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @21 S3′ sRef Isa@44 @6 S3′ sRef Zech@14 @9 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @14 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @15 S3′ [3] Sacred Scripture teaches not only that God exists, but also that there is one God. This can be established from the truths that form a mirror, as I just indicated. These truths are connected to each other and have the effect that we cannot think of God except as one entity. As a result, everyone whose reason has been at all steeped in holiness from the Word knows almost intuitively that there is one God, and senses that it would be insane to say there are many gods. Angels cannot even open their mouths to say “gods,” because the heavenly atmosphere in which they live resists it. Sacred Scripture teaches the oneness of God not only in the universal way just described but also specifically in many passages such as the following:

Israel, hear this: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29)

The only God is among you, and there is no God except me. (Isaiah 45:14-15)

Am not I Jehovah? There is no other God except me. (Isaiah 45:20-21)

I am Jehovah your God, and you are not to acknowledge a God except me. (Hosea 13:4)

Thus said Jehovah, the King of Israel: I am the First and the Last, and there is no God except me. (Isaiah 44:6)

In that day, Jehovah will be king over the whole earth; in that day there will be one Jehovah, and his name will be one. (Zechariah 14:9)

TCR (Rose) n. 7 sRef Matt@13 @15 S0′ sRef Matt@13 @14 S0′ 7
The churches in the Christian world teach one God; this is common knowledge. They teach this because all their teachings come from the Word, and those teachings are all integrated as long as one God is acknowledged not only orally but also with the heart. It is common in Christianity today, however, for people to confess one God with their lips but three with their hearts. To such people God is no more than a verbal expression. To them theology as a whole is a kind of golden idol locked up in a case, and the key to unlock it is held by church leaders alone. When such people read the Word they do not detect any light in it or from it – not even the impression that there is one God. To them the Word is marred with blotches, and the oneness of God in it is obscured. The Lord described people like this in Matthew: “You will hear with your hearing but you will not understand; and you will see by seeing, but you will not perceive. They have closed their eyes to avoid ever seeing with their eyes, hearing with their ears, understanding with their hearts, turning themselves around, and being healed by me” (Matthew 13:14-15). All such Christians are like people who go into windowless rooms to avoid the light and who grope for food and coins by feeling their way along the walls. Eventually they develop eyesight like that of owls and see in the dark. They are like a woman who has many husbands – she is a promiscuous woman rather than a wife. They are like a young woman who accepts rings from multiple suitors, and after the wedding, rents out her nights not only to one of them but also to the rest.

TCR (Rose) n. 8 sRef John@15 @5 S1′ sRef John@3 @27 S1′ 8
2. The recognition that God exists and that there is one God flows universally from God into human souls. There is an inflow from God into us. This is obvious from everyone’s ready admission that everything good that is truly good and that exists in us and is done by us is from God. The same admission applies to everything related to goodwill and faith. For we read, We cannot receive anything unless it is given to us from heaven (John 3:27). And Jesus said, Without me you cannot do anything (John 15:5), meaning anything having to do with goodwill and faith.
This inflow comes into our souls because the soul is the inmost and highest part of us. The inflow from God reaches that part first and then comes down into the things below and enlivens them, depending on our openness to what flows in. Of course, truths that will become part of our faith do indeed flow in through our hearing and are implanted in our mind, which is below the soul; but all these truths do is prepare us to accept what flows in from God through our soul. The quality of that preparation determines the quality of our acceptance and of the transformation of our earthly faith into spiritual faith.
[2] The notion that there is one God flows into our souls from God because everything that is divine, as a whole and in every detail, is God. And because everything that is divine is integrated into a unity, it cannot help but inspire in us the idea of one God. This idea grows ever stronger as God lifts us into the light of heaven. In angelic light, the angels cannot force themselves to say “gods.” In fact, every phrase of their speech ends rhythmically on a single beat, a phenomenon that arises from no other cause than the notion inflowing into their souls that there is one God.
[3] Now, even though the idea of one God flows into all our souls, many of us think nonetheless that God’s divinity has been divided among many gods who share the same essence. This is because as that inflow comes down it takes forms that do not correspond to one another, and the forms themselves cause variation. This variation also occurs in every entity in the three kingdoms of nature. The same God who gives life to us gives life to every animal, so it is the form on the receiving end that makes the animal an animal and the human a human. A comparable variation happens when humans render their minds beastly. The sun flows the same way into every tree; the difference in trees is a result of each one’s form. The sun flows the same way into a grapevine as into a thorn bush, but if a thorn branch is grafted onto a grapevine, the inflow is changed and adapts to the form of the thorn branch.
[4] A similar thing happens to the things in the mineral kingdom. The light that flows into a diamond and into a piece of limestone is the same; but in one it shines through while in the other it is darkened.
Our minds are varied according to their forms, which are inwardly spiritual depending on our faith in God and also on our life from God. These forms become translucent and angelic when we believe in one God, but become opaque and beastly when we believe in many gods, which is virtually the same as not believing in God.

TCR (Rose) n. 9 9
3. As a result, every nation in the whole world that possesses religion and sound reason acknowledges that God exists and that there is one God. From the divine inflow into human souls, discussed just above, it follows that in everyone there is an inner voice saying that God exists and that there is one God. Nevertheless there are people who deny God, people who worship nature as God, people who worship many gods, and people who worship idols as gods. The reason for this is that they have let worldly and bodily perspectives block off the inner reaches of their reason or intellect and obliterate their first childhood idea of God; they have rejected religion from their heart and have put it behind them.
The Christian confessional creed shows that Christians acknowledge one God and shows how they view the unity of God:

The catholic faith is this, that we venerate one God in a trinity, and the Trinity in unity. There are three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and yet there are not three gods; there is one God. The Father is a person, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit another, and yet they have one divinity, equal glory, and coeternal majesty. The Father, then, is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; but just as Christian truth compels us to confess each person individually as God and Lord, so the catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or three lords.

This is the Christian faith regarding the unity of God. (In the chapter that discusses the divine Trinity [163-184] you will see that the trinity of God and the unity of God presented in this confession are incompatible.)
sRef Ex@20 @3 S2′ [2] The other nations in the world that possess religion and sound reason agree that there is one God: all Muslims in their countries; the Africans in the many countries on their continent; and the Asians as well, in the many countries on theirs. So too do modern-day Jews. In the Golden Age, the most ancient people who were religious worshiped one God, whom they named Jehovah. So did the ancient people in the following age, up to the time when monarchies were created. In the time of the monarchies, upper levels of the intellect that had previously been open, and had been like sanctuaries and temples of worship to the one God, were increasingly closed off by worldly loves, and then by bodily loves. The Lord God, in order to unblock those upper levels of the intellect and restore worship of one God, instituted a church among the descendants of Jacob and set the following precept above all the other precepts in their religion: “There is to be no other God before my face” (Exodus 20:3).
[3] “Jehovah,” which he named himself anew for the Jews, means the highest and only Being, and the origin of everything that exists and occurs in the universe. People in the preclassical period acknowledged Jove as the highest God (perhaps so named from Jehovah), and deified many others who made up his court. In the age that followed, however, sages like Plato and Aristotle admitted that the other [Olympians] were not gods but different properties, qualities, and attributes of the one God, called gods because there was divinity in each of them.

TCR (Rose) n. 10 10
Every multifaceted entity falls apart unless it depends on one thing, a fact recognized by all sound reasoning whether religious or not. For example, a human being, made up of many limbs, internal organs, sensory organs, and motor organs all interconnected, would fall apart if it did not depend on one soul; and the body itself would fall apart if it did not depend on one heart. A country would fall apart but for its one monarch; a household would fall apart but for its one head; every one of the many workplaces in every country would fall apart but for its one person in charge. What army would prevail against its enemies without a leader who has supreme power, and officers with authority over their soldiers? Likewise a church would fall apart unless it acknowledged one God; and even the angelic heaven would fall apart. Heaven acts as the head of the church on earth; the soul of both is the Lord; this is why heaven and the church are called his body. So if heaven and the church did not acknowledge one God, each would be like a lifeless corpse that would be thrown away and buried because it was good for nothing.

TCR (Rose) n. 11 11
4. For various reasons, different nations and peoples have had and still have a diversity of opinions on the nature of that one God. The first reason for this is that knowledge about God and therefore acknowledgment of God is not possible without revelation; and knowledge of the Lord and therefore acknowledgment that all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in him is not possible without the Word, which is a garland of revelations. From the revelation they have been given, people are able to meet God, receive an inflow, and thus be made spiritual instead of earthly.
Early revelation spread throughout the whole world, and the earthly self distorted it in many different ways, giving rise to divergences, disagreements, heresies, and schisms among religions.
The second reason [for the diversity of opinions on God] is that the earthly self cannot comprehend anything about God; it can comprehend only the world, and conform it to itself. This is why it is among the axioms of the Christian church that the earthly self is against the spiritual self, and that they battle each other. People then have come to acknowledge from the Word [or] from some other revelation that there is a God, and yet in both the past and the present they have had a diversity of opinions on the nature and the oneness of God.
[2] Therefore people whose mental sight was dependent on their physical senses and who nevertheless wished to see God made idols for themselves out of gold, silver, stone, and wood. They intended to adore God in those forms as objects of sight. Others with the same desires but with religious principles that forbade idols pictured the sun and moon, the stars, and various things on earth as images of God. Those who believed themselves to be wiser than most but who remained earthly were led by the immensity and omnipresence God displayed in creating the world to acknowledge nature as God, in some cases in its innermost, in others in its outermost aspects. And some who wished to see God as separate from nature thought up some thing that was as all-encompassing as possible and that they called the Entity of All; but because they know nothing more of God than this, this “Entity of All” turns out to be an entity of their minds alone, utterly without any real meaning.
[3] As anyone can see, concepts of God are mirrors of God, and people who know nothing about God do not see God in a mirror facing their eyes, but in a mirror that is facing the wrong way, the back of which is covered with quicksilver or some black, sticky substance that absorbs rather than reflects the light.
Faith in God enters us on a pathway that comes down from above, from the soul into the higher reaches of the intellect. Concepts of God enter us on a pathway that comes up from below, because the intellect takes them in from the revealed Word through our bodily senses. In mid-intellect the different inflows come together. There an earthly faith, which is mere belief, becomes a spiritual faith, which is actual acknowledgment. The human intellect, then, is a kind of trading floor on which exchanges occur.

TCR (Rose) n. 12 12
5. On the basis of many phenomena in the world the human reason is capable of perceiving and concluding, if it wants to, that God exists and that there is one God. This truth can be corroborated by countless phenomena in the visible world [around us], for the universe is like a stage on which proofs are constantly being demonstrated that God exists and that there is one God.
By way of illustration I will cite a memorable occurrence that I experienced in the spiritual world: Once when I was having a conversation with angels, there were several people present who had recently arrived from the physical world. When I saw them I wished them a happy arrival and told them a number of things they would not otherwise have known about the spiritual world. After that I asked them what considered opinions about God and nature they were bringing with them from the world.
Their answer was this: “Nature produces everything that occurs in the created universe. After creation, God endowed nature with this productive power and ability; he imprinted this power on it. God’s only role [now] is to maintain nature’s productive power and ability and keep them from failing. Therefore these days everything in the world that comes about and is produced or reproduced is attributed to nature.”
I replied that nature of itself does nothing; it is God who produces things through nature. They asked me to prove it. So I said, “People who believe that the Divine is at work in every detail of nature find support for a belief in God in many of the phenomena they observe in the world. They find much more evidence to support a belief in God than to support a belief in nature.
[2] “Those who see evidence of God at work in the details of nature ponder the obvious yet astounding phenomena in the reproduction of plants and animals.
“In the reproduction of plants, a tiny seed is put in the ground, and a root comes out. Up through the root comes a stem, and then in succession come branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, and fruit, leading to new seeds, completely as if the seed knew the sequence of events or procedure to follow in order to create itself anew! What rational person could think that the sun, which is nothing but fire, knows how to achieve this? Or that the sun can empower its heat and light to bring about these developments? Is the sun capable of intending to be useful? Those with an elevated rational mind, when they see and consider these phenomena in the proper light, cannot help but think that these phenomena come from One whose wisdom is infinite – namely, God. Others as well who do recognize the divine handiwork in the details of nature find additional support for their belief in these phenomena.
“On the other hand, those who do not acknowledge that God is at work in nature move the eyes of their reason to the back of their heads rather than the front when looking at these phenomena. They are the type who derive every idea of their thought process from their bodily senses, and let themselves be convinced by false sensory evidence, saying, ‘You see the sun producing all these changes through its heat and light, don’t you? What is a thing you can’t even see? Is it in fact anything at all?’
[3] “People who are strengthening their belief in the Divine take note of the astounding things they see in the reproduction of animals: Here I should first mention eggs as an example. In the seed of an egg there is a potential chick, together with everything required for its formation and for every stage it will go through after hatching until it becomes a bird just like its mother.
“Furthermore, if it considers flying creatures of every kind, a mind capable of deep thought will encounter stupefying things. For example, in the smallest thing that flies, just as in the largest, in the microscopic, just as in the plainly visible, in tiny insects, just as in songbirds and giant birds of prey, there are sensory organs of sight, smell, taste, and touch, and motor organs or muscles allowing them to fly and walk; and there are internal organs attached to their hearts and lungs that are activated by their brains.
“Those who attribute everything to nature do indeed see these phenomena, but their only thought is that they exist. They simply say that nature has that effect. They say this because they turn their minds away from thoughts about the Divine; and when people who turn away from the Divine see astounding things in nature they cannot think about them rationally, much less spiritually. They think with their senses and in a material way. They think in nature, from nature, and not beyond it. The only difference between them and animals is that they have rational capability, meaning that they could understand if they wanted to.
[4] “Those who are averse to thinking about the Divine and have therefore become mindlessly sense-oriented, fail to realize that their eyesight is so dull and limited to physical matter that it sees a mass of tiny insects as a single vague object, although in fact every single one of those insects has organs for sensing and moving. They are equipped with fibers and vessels, with tiny little hearts, windpipes that function like lungs, internal organs, and brains that have all been woven out of the finest substances in nature. Those structures respond to life at the lowest level; that life individually activates their most minuscule parts. Eyesight, then, is so dull that it sees many things, each of which has countless elements, as nothing more than a little blur; and yet sense-oriented people think and pass judgment on the basis of their eyesight. Obviously, then, their minds are dulled, and they are in darkness regarding what is spiritual.
[5] “All of us, if we want to, can use phenomena in nature to support a belief in the Divine; and we do so when we think about God, about the omnipotence he displayed in creating the universe, and about his omnipresence in preserving the universe.
“For example, when we see the birds that fly in the sky we can reflect on the fact that each species of them knows its own food and where to find it, and recognizes its companions by sight and sound. In fact it knows which birds among all others are friendly and which are hostile. Birds know the mating of their kind; they pair off with a mate, they artfully arrange nests, and in them they lay their eggs and brood over them; they know how long to incubate them; and when the time comes they hatch their young, give them tender love, nurture them under their wings, and gather food and feed them, until the young come of age and can take on those tasks for themselves. All who are willing to think about a divine inflow through the spiritual world into the physical world can see that inflow from these examples. If they are willing, they can say in their hearts that such knowledge cannot be acquired from the sun through its heat and light. The sun, nature’s origin and essence, is nothing but a fire. The flow of heat and light from it is utterly dead. From this they can conclude that these phenomena are the result of divine inflow through the spiritual world into the outermost aspects of nature.
[6] “When they look at caterpillars, too, all people can put the visible features of nature to use to strengthen their belief in the Divine. The delight of some love impels caterpillars to long and strive for a change from their earthly condition to something like a heavenly state. So they crawl into a suitable place, wrap themselves in a covering, and create for themselves a kind of womb in which to be reborn. In that womb they become chrysalises, pupas, nymphs, and finally butterflies. After they have undergone their metamorphosis and have been adorned with beautiful wings that reflect their species, they fly into the air as if it were their own heaven and cheerfully play there. They find a partner, lay eggs, and provide for the next generation. During their butterfly phase they nourish themselves with sweet and pleasant food from flowers. Surely all who use the phenomena visible in nature to strengthen their belief in the Divine see an image of our earthly state in the caterpillars, and an image of our heavenly state in the butterflies. Those who convince themselves in favor of nature do indeed see these phenomena, but because they reject the existence of a heavenly human state, they call these phenomena the mere workings of nature.
[7] “By focusing on what is known about bees as well, anyone can use things visible in nature to strengthen a belief in the Divine. Bees know how to collect wax from roses and other flowers, and how to extract honey. They know how to build cells like little apartments and lay them out in the form of a city with passages for coming and going. From far away they smell the flowers and plants from which they get wax for their hive and honey for food. Once stuffed with these, they fly in a straight line back to their own beehive. By doing so they store up food for themselves for the coming winter as if they saw it coming. They set over themselves a female to lead them as their queen. She gives birth to the next generation. They also set over themselves a kind of court for her, complete with bodyguards. When the time comes for her to give birth, she takes an entourage of these bodyguards, called drones, and goes from cell to cell laying eggs, which her crowd of followers covers with daub to protect the eggs from the air. This results in new offspring. Later on, when they have grown to the age at which they can take on these tasks, the young bees are expelled from the hive. They first gather into a swarm in order to stay together and then fly to look for a new home. In the fall the drones are taken away because they have contributed no wax or honey. Their wings are removed to prevent them from coming back and consuming the hives food, for which they did no work.
“All this and more besides serves to show that because bees are useful to the human race, a divine inflow through the spiritual world gives bees a form of government like the one among people on earth, and even like the one among angels in the heavens.
[8] “Surely everyone of sound reason sees that it is not because of the physical world that bees behave this way. What does the sun, the origin of nature, have in common with a government that emulates and is analogous to a government in heaven?
Those who believe in nature and worship it use these and similar animal phenomena to support their belief in nature. Those who believe in and worship God use the same phenomena to support their belief in God. The spiritual person sees something spiritual in these phenomena, while the earthly person sees something earthly; everyone sees it in her or his own way. To me, these phenomena have been evidence of an inflow of the spiritual world into the physical world – an inflow from God.
“While you are at it, ponder whether it would be possible for you to think analytically about a form of government, or about a civil law, or about a moral virtue, or about a spiritual truth, if the Divine were not flowing in from its wisdom through the spiritual world. It has not been possible for me, nor is it now. I have been aware of and have sensed this inflow continually for twenty-six years now. Therefore I speak from personal experience.
[9] “Can nature have usefulness as a goal? Can it sort useful functions into well-ordered sequences and forms? This is impossible except for one who is wise. And to arrange and form the whole universe like this is impossible except for God, whose wisdom is infinite. Who else could foresee and provide substances for people to eat and to wear – food from the fields harvest, from the earths fruit, and from animals; and clothing from the same sources? Among the marvels of the universe is that those lowly insects called silkworms clothe with silk and magnificently adorn both women and men from queens and kings down to maids and butlers. And those lowly insects called bees supply wax for the lamps that give churches and royal courts their splendor. These and many other things are obvious proof that everything occurring in nature is produced by God himself through the spiritual world.”
[10] To that statement I should add that in the spiritual world I have had a chance to observe people who used phenomena visible in the physical world to support a belief in nature even to the point that they became atheists. In spiritual light it became apparent that their intellect was open at the bottom but closed at the top, because they had looked downward toward the earth in their thought rather than upward to heaven. Just above the lowest level of their intellect, the sensory level, I saw a kind of covering that was flickering with hellish fire. In some it was as black as soot; in others, gray like a corpse.
Everyone needs to beware of affirming a belief in nature. Affirm a belief in God instead. There is no shortage of support for it.

TCR (Rose) n. 13 sRef Isa@44 @6 S1′ sRef Isa@44 @24 S1′ 13
6. If there were not one God the universe could not have been created or maintained. We can infer the oneness of God from the creation of the universe, because the universe is a work connected together as one thing from beginning to end, all dependent on one God as the body depends on its soul. The universe was designed to allow God to be omnipresent, keep every detail of it under his supervision, and maintain it perpetually as one entity, that is, preserve it. This is why Jehovah God says he is “the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega” (see Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:8, 17); and why he says elsewhere that he makes all things, stretches out the heavens, and extends the earth by himself (see Isaiah 44:24).
This vast system called the universe is a work connected as one thing from beginning to end because God had a single purpose in creating it: an angelic heaven populated by the human race. All the things that make up the world are means of fulfilling that purpose, because someone who intends an end result also intends the means to achieve it.
[2] If we view this world as a work containing the means of fulfilling the aforementioned purpose, we can see the created universe as a work connected together into one thing; and see that this world is a complex structure of useful functions arranged and prioritized for the sake of the human race, the source of the angelic heaven.
Divine love cannot intend anything other than that people should forever have the blessings of its divineness. Divine wisdom cannot produce anything other than useful things that are means of fulfilling that purpose.
Upon examining the world with this universal idea in mind, every wise person is capable of grasping that there is one Creator of the universe and that his essence is love and wisdom. For this reason every single thing in this world is of benefit to us; if it seems of no direct benefit, at least it is of indirect benefit. The fruits of the earth and the animals benefit us with food and also with clothing.
[3] Among the marvels of this world is that the lowly insects called silkworms clothe with silk and magnificently adorn both women and men from queens and kings down to maids and butlers. And the lowly insects called bees supply wax for the lamps that give churches and royal courts their splendor.
Some people examine certain aspects of the world in isolation rather than looking at everything as a chain from purposes through intermediate means to results. Therefore those people cannot see that the universe is the handiwork of one God. The same is true for people who do not see creation as the product of divine love acting through divine wisdom. Neither group is able to see that God dwells in individual useful things because he dwells in the purpose behind them. Yet everyone who has some purpose is also involved in the means of achieving it, because deep within every one of the means lies the purpose as the force that drives and guides it.
[4] Some do not view the universe as the handiwork of God and the home of his love and wisdom, but view it instead as a product of nature and as the home of the sun’s heat and light. They close the higher levels of their mind toward God and open the lower levels of their mind toward the Devil. In the process, they take off their humanity and put on the nature of a wild animal. It is not just a belief of theirs that humans are like animals; they themselves actually become like animals. They become as crafty as foxes, as fierce as wolves, as deceptive as leopards, as savage as tigers; or they take on the nature of crocodiles, snakes, horned owls, or night birds. In the spiritual world they even look like these wild animals from a distance. Their love for evil takes these shapes.

TCR (Rose) n. 14 14
7. Those who do not acknowledge God are cut off from the church and damned. People who do not acknowledge God are cut off from the church because the whole point of the church is God, and because the things related to God that are called theological teachings give the church its structure. Therefore to deny the existence of God is to deny everything having to do with the church. The denial itself is what cuts them off; that is, they cut themselves off. God does not cut them off.
They are damned as well because those who are cut off from the church are also cut off from heaven. The church on earth and the angelic heaven act as a unit, just like the inner and outer self, and like the spiritual part and the physical part in each of us. God created us in such a way that our inner self is in the spiritual world and our outer self is in the physical world. Therefore to make us permanent and everlasting beings, God made us citizens of both worlds so that the spiritual part of us, which belongs in heaven, could be planted in the physical part belonging to this world the way a seed is planted in the ground.
[2] People who cut themselves off from the church and from heaven by denying the existence of God close their inner selves on the side of the will and shut themselves off from its positive love. (The will in us is a vessel for love and becomes its dwelling place.) Their inner selves on the side of the intellect, however, they are unable to close, because if they could and did they would no longer be human; but [evil] love in their will does befuddle their higher intellect with false ideas. As a result, their intellect becomes virtually closed to truths related to faith and good qualities related to goodwill and becomes more and more closed to the Lord and the spiritual teachings of the church. As a result, those denying the existence of God lose their partnership with angels in heaven. Once that is gone, they establish a partnership with satans in hell and think what the satans are thinking. All satans deny the existence of God and have absurd thoughts about God and about the church’s spiritual teachings; and so do people on earth who are in partnership with them.
[3] Such people come into their spirit, so to speak, when they are at home alone and let their thoughts be guided by their pleasure in the evil and the falsity they have conceived and given birth to in themselves. In that state, their thought about God is that he does not exist – God is only a word intoned in the pulpit to constrain the lower classes to obey the laws of justice that are society’s rules. The Word, the source of ministers pronouncements about God, they see as a haphazard and fanciful text to which authorities have attributed holiness. The Ten Commandments or the Catechism they see as a little book that is to be tossed aside once it has been worn out by the hands of the young. After all, that book prescribes that we honor our parents, that we not murder, whore, steal, or testify falsely, and who does not know all that from civil law? The church they think of as nothing more than a herd of uneducated, gullible, and timid people, who [think they] see what they do not see. Humans, including themselves, they think of as being much like animals; they think the same fate awaits humans and animals after death.
[4] This is what their inner selves think, no matter how differently their outer selves may talk. For, as I said, all people have an inner and an outer self. Their inner self is their real self, called their spirit. It is the part that lives after death. Their outer self, in which they practice hypocrisy through [apparent] morality, will be buried in the grave. Then because they denied the existence of God they will be condemned.
All of us on earth are associated in spirit with those in the spiritual world who are like ourselves; we are in a sense united to them. Quite often, in fact, I have been allowed to see the spirits of people who were still alive on earth. In some cases the spirits of these people were in angelic communities; in some cases, in hellish communities. I have even been allowed to spend days talking with the spirits of people. It has amazed me that the people themselves still alive in their bodies were completely unaware that this was happening. From these experiences it became clear to me that those who deny the existence of God are already among the damned. After death they are gathered to their people.

TCR (Rose) n. 15 15
8. Nothing about the church is integrated in people who acknowledge many gods rather than one. People who acknowledge one God in their belief and worship one God in their heart are in the communion of saints on earth and the communion of angels in the heavens. Each of these groups or communions is called a partnership, and is a partnership, because there is one God among its people, and they are in the one God. These same people also have a partnership with the entire angelic heaven. I would even go so far as to say they have a partnership with each and every one in heaven. For they are all like children and descendants of one parent, with such similar minds, mannerisms, and looks that they recognize each other as relatives. The angelic heaven is laid out in communities on the basis of all the varieties of love for what is good. All these kinds of love aim at one most universal love: love for God. All people who direct the acknowledgment of their faith and the worship of their heart to one God who is the Creator of the universe and also the Redeemer and the Regenerator are descended from that love.
[2] Exactly the opposite is true of people who adore, and seek help from, many gods instead of one. The opposite is also true of those who say one God but think three. This is the practice of people in the church today who divide God into three persons and hail each person as a God in his own right, and who attribute different qualities or properties to each one that the others do not have. This leads to actual divisions not only in the unity of God but also in [Christian] theology itself, and even in the human mind in which that theology has to live. What other result could there be except confusion and discontinuity in the teachings of the church? In the appendix at the end of this work I will show that this is the state of the church today.
The truth is that dividing God or the divine essence into three persons, each of whom is individually a god in his own right, causes denial of God. It is like someone entering a church for worship and seeing a triptych above the altar with one god portrayed as the ancient of days, another god as a high priest, and a third god as Aeolus flying in the air, with an inscription reading, These Three Are One God. Or perhaps it is like the same person seeing a painting above the altar that portrays God’s unity and trinity as a deformed person with three heads protruding from one body or three bodies sharing a single head. If people enter heaven with this as their picture of God, they will definitely be thrown out headfirst, even if they plead that the head or heads stand for God’s essence and the body or bodies stand for God’s distinctly different properties.

* * * * *


TCR (Rose) n. 16 16
To these points I will add a memorable occurrence. I saw some people who had recently left the physical world and arrived in the spiritual world talking among themselves about three divine persons from eternity. They were ministers; one of them was a bishop.
They came over to me. After I talked to them about the spiritual world – something they had known nothing about before – I said to them, “I heard your conversation about three divine persons from eternity. Could I ask you to explain this great mystery by telling me your view of it? I’m interested in the mental images you had of it when you were in the physical world that you recently left behind.”
The leader looked me up and down. He said, “I see that you are a layperson, so I shall disclose the view I have had of this great mystery and instruct you.
“My view has been and still is that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit sit in the middle of heaven on exalted and majestic chairs or thrones. God the Father sits on a throne made of pure gold and has a scepter in his hand. God the Son sits to his right on a throne of pure silver and has a crown on his head. And God the Holy Spirit sits next to both of them on a throne of dazzling crystal and holds a dove in his hand. Surrounding them are three tiers of hanging lamps glittering with precious stones. At quite a distance from this inner circle stand countless angels, all adoring and glorifying them.
“Furthermore, God the Father is continually discussing with his Son which people should be granted justification. Between the two they arrive at a decision and they decree which people on earth are worthy to be accepted by them among the angels and crowned with eternal life. God the Holy Spirit hears the names and immediately rushes across the world to those people, bringing gifts of justice as proof of salvation for those granted justification. As soon as he arrives and breathes on them, he blows away their sins like someone with a fan blowing the smoke out of a furnace and then whitewashing it. He also takes from their hearts the hardness of stone and gives them instead the softness of flesh. At the same time he renews their spirits or minds and makes them born again, giving them the face of a child. Finally, he marks their foreheads with the sign of the cross and calls them the chosen ones and children of God.”
When his lecture came to an end, the leader said to me, “When I was in the world that is how I untangled this great mystery. And because many of our priests there applauded the views I have expressed to you, I am convinced that you as a layman will likewise put your faith in them.”
[2] After the leader said this I observed him and the ministers with him, and I perceived that they were all in complete agreement. So, launching into a reply, I said, “I have considered the beliefs you just uttered, and from them I gather that you are attached to, and you cherish, an utterly physical and sensory picture of the triune God; in fact I would even call your view materialistic. The idea of three gods inevitably flows from your picture. Isn’t it a sensory idea of God the Father to think of him sitting on a throne with a scepter in his hand? And to think of the Son as sitting on his own throne with a crown on his head? And to think of the Holy Spirit sitting on his own throne with a dove in his hand and then rushing all over the world following the orders he has heard? Since your depiction leads to a physical picture of God, I cannot put my faith in what you said. Ever since I was a little child I have not been able to allow any other idea of God into my mind except the idea of one God. And because I have allowed this idea and it is the only one I hold, nothing you have said has any effect on me.
“Later I came to see that the throne on which Jehovah sits, according to Scripture, means his kingdom. His scepter and his crown mean his governing and his power. Sitting at the right hand means the omnipotence God has through his human manifestation. And the things said about the Holy Spirit refer to the actions of the divine omnipresence.
“Please, my lord, give consideration to the idea of one God, and use your reason to ponder the idea appropriately. In time you will come to see clearly that it is true.
[3] “Now, all of you do indeed say there is one God, because you give the three persons one essence, as well as giving each person an individual essence; but you do not allow anyone to say that that one God is one person. You maintain that there are three persons, because you do not want to lose your idea of three gods. You give each person different characteristics from the others. Yet doesn’t that divide this divine essence of yours?
“Given all that, how could you think and say that there is one God? I would understand if you had said there is one divineness; but when someone hears that ‘The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, and each person is individually God,’ how can that person think there is one God? It is a contradiction to which faith could never adhere.
“Therefore you cannot say ‘one God’ though you could have said ‘the same divineness.’ For example, many people go together to make one senate, one committee, or one council. You cannot call them one person; but when each and every one of them has the same opinion, you can say that they share one point of view. Three diamonds are made of the same substance; you cannot call them one diamond, but you can say they are of one substance. Yet you can also say that the diamonds differ in value according to each one’s weight, which you couldn’t say if there was one diamond rather than three.
[4] “I gather, however, that you call three divine persons, each of whom is God by himself or individually, one God. You order each person in the church to speak in this way, because sound and enlightened reason across the globe recognizes that there is one God; so you would blush with shame if you did not do the same. And yet, while you are pronouncing ‘one God,’ even though you are thinking ‘three,’ somehow that sense of shame does not keep the two sets of words stuck in your throat, but instead you utter them both.”
After this exchange the bishop and his ministers left. While he was walking away, he turned back and wanted to shout, “There is one God,” but he could not do it, since his thought stopped his tongue. Instead he opened his mouth wide and thundered, “There are three gods!” When the people who had been standing nearby saw this bizarre occurrence they burst out laughing and went elsewhere.

TCR (Rose) n. 17 17
Afterward I asked where I might run into the scholars with the sharpest wits who stand in favor of a divine Trinity divided into three persons. There happened to be three such people present. I asked them, “How can you divide the divine Trinity into three persons and claim that each person is individually or by himself God and Lord? Surely your verbal confession that there is one God is as distant from your thought as the south is from the north.”
“There is no distance at all,” they replied. “Those three persons have one essence, and the divine essence is God. In the world, we were tutors teaching the trinity of persons; the pupil we were responsible for was our faith. In our faith each divine person plays his own role: God the Father’s role is to give spiritual credit or blame and to bestow [grace], God the Son’s role is to intercede and mediate, and God the Holy Spirit’s role is to put into effect the actual credit or blame and the mediation.”
[2] So I asked, “What do you mean by ‘divine essence’?”
They said, “We mean omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immensity, eternity, and equality of majesty.”
To this I said, “If that essence makes many gods one God, couldn’t you add even more? How about a fourth god mentioned by Moses, Ezekiel, and Job: God Shaddai? The ancient people in Greece and Italy did something similar. They assigned equal attributes and a similar essence to their gods, such as Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Apollo, Juno, Diana, Minerva; and Mercury and Venus as well. But nonetheless they couldn’t call all of them one God. In fact, you are three people, and to my mind you seem academically similar, so you have a similar essence as far as scholarship goes; but you couldn’t combine yourselves into one scholar.”
They laughed at this, and said, “You’re joking! It is different with the divine essence. The divine essence is one thing; it doesn’t come in three parts. It is single and undivided. Partition and division don’t apply to it.”
[3] When I heard this I retorted, “Then let’s go down into the ring and fight. – What do you understand a person to be?” I asked. “What does that mean?”
They answered, “The term person means that which is not a role of, or a quality in, someone else, but an entity subsisting on its own. This is the definition of person used by all – by the leaders of the church and by us as well.”
“Is this truly your definition of person?” I asked.
“It is,” they said.
So I replied, “Then the Father and the Son have nothing in common, and neither of them has anything in common with the Holy Spirit. Therefore each one has his own free choice, responsibility, and power. They share nothing, then, other than the fact that each one has a will, which he can communicate if he wishes. Aren’t these three persons three distinct gods? And listen to this: You have in fact defined a person as someone who subsists on his or her own. Therefore there are three ‘subsistings’ or substances into which you have divided the divine essence, and yet you said that the divine essence is indivisible; you said there was one undivided essence. Furthermore you attribute to each substance or person characteristics that are not in the others and could not be shared with them: giving spiritual credit or blame, mediating, and putting into effect. What other conclusion is possible except that the three persons are three gods?”
At my saying this, they drew back and said, “We will discuss these points among ourselves, and after our discussion we will give you our response.”
[4] A wise person was standing nearby. On hearing all this, the wise person said to them, “I do not wish to sift such a sublime topic with such a fine mesh. Setting subtleties aside, I see in a clear light that there are three gods in the ideas of your thought. If you publicized your views before the whole world it would cause you shame, because you would be labeled either insane or stupid. Therefore saying that there is one God helps you avoid losing respect.”
The three scholars, however, held on to their opinion and paid no attention. As they went away they were muttering terms borrowed from metaphysics. This alerted me that metaphysics was the oracle they planned to consult in giving their response.

TCR (Rose) n. 18 18
The Underlying Divine Reality or Jehovah

First I will discuss the underlying divine reality, and afterward the divine essence. These two might seem to be one and the same thing, but underlying reality is even more universal than essence. Essence presupposes an underlying reality and arises from it. The underlying reality of God, the underlying divine reality, cannot be described. It is beyond the reach of any idea in human thought. Everything human thought can conceive of is created and finite; it cannot conceive of what was not created and is infinite. Therefore it cannot conceive of the underlying divine reality. The underlying divine reality is the reality itself from which all things exist, and which must be in every thing in order for that thing to exist. Some further notion of the underlying divine reality may, however, be gained from the following points:

1. The one God is called Jehovah from “being,” that is, from the fact that he alone is and was and will be, and that he is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega.

2. The one God is substance itself and form itself. Angels and people are substances and forms from him. To the extent that they are in him and he is in them, to that extent they are images and likenesses of him.

3. The underlying divine reality is intrinsic reality and is also an intrinsic capacity to become manifest.

4. The intrinsic, underlying divine reality and intrinsic capacity to become manifest cannot produce anything else divine that is intrinsically real and has an intrinsic capacity to become manifest. Therefore another God of the same essence is impossible.

5. The plurality of gods in ancient times, and nowadays as well, has no other source than a misunderstanding of the underlying divine reality.
These points need to be clarified one by one.

TCR (Rose) n. 19 sRef Ex@3 @14 S1′ sRef Ex@3 @13 S1′ sRef Ex@3 @15 S1′ sRef Isa@44 @6 S1′ 19
1. The one God is called Jehovah from “being,” that is, from the fact that he alone is [and was] and will be, and that he is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. “Jehovah” means “I am” and “to be,” as is generally known. We know from the Book of Creation, or Genesis, that God was called “Jehovah” from most ancient times. In the first chapter he is called “God,” but in the second and subsequent chapters he is called “Jehovah God.” Later on the descendants of Abraham through Jacob forgot the name of God owing to their long sojourn in Egypt. Then in the event recorded in the following passage it was recalled to memory:

Moses said to God, “What is your name?” God said, “I Am I Who Am. So you will say to the Children of Israel, ‘I Am sent me to you.’ And you will say, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, sent me to you. This is my name to eternity, and this is how I will be remembered from generation to regeneration.” (Exodus 3:13-15)

Since God alone is “I Am” and being, or “Jehovah,” therefore nothing exists in the created universe that does not derive its underlying reality from him. (How this happens will be discussed below [21, 75, 76, 78].) The same thing is meant by these words: “I am the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega” (Isaiah 44:6 and Revelation 1:8, 11; 22:13). This means that on every level of existence he is the one and only entity, the source of all things. [2] God is called the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, because alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and omega is the last; so together they mean all things as a whole.
In the spiritual world, every alphabetical letter has a meaning. A vowel, because it carries tone, means a feeling or some kind of love. Spiritual and angelic speech, and also writing, depends on these meanings – but this is a mystery that has not been known until now. There is in fact a universal language shared by all angels and spirits. It has nothing in common with any human language in our world. After death everyone inherits that language, because it is latent in everyone from creation. In the spiritual world, then, everyone can understand everyone else. I have often been allowed to hear that language. I have compared it with languages in the physical world and have ascertained that it has not even the least thing in common with any earthly language. It differs by its very origin, which is that every letter of every word has a meaning. This is why God is here called the Alpha and the Omega, meaning that on every level of existence he is the one and only entity, the source of all things. (For more on how this language and its written form flow from angels’ spiritual thought, see the work Marriage Love 326-329; see also what follows in this work [280].)

TCR (Rose) n. 20 20
2. The one God is substance itself and form itself. Angels and people are substances and forms from him. To the extent that they are in him and he is in them, to that extent they are images and likenesses of him. Because God is the underlying reality, he is also substance. Unless the underlying reality becomes substance it is a figment of the imagination; but as a substance it becomes an entity. And one who is substance is also form, for substance without form is another figment of the imagination. We can attribute both of these to God, provided he is seen as the sole, the only, and the archetypal substance and form.
The work Divine Love and Wisdom, published in Amsterdam in 1763, demonstrates that God’s form is the human form itself, that is, that God is the Human Being, and all God’s attributes are infinite. That work also shows that angels and people are substances and forms that have been created and arranged to receive divine qualities flowing into them through heaven. In the Book of Creation they are called images and likenesses of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Elsewhere they are called God’s children and people born of God.
As the sequence of topics in this book will show in many ways, the more we live under divine guidance, meaning the more we submit to God’s leading, the more and more deeply we become an image of God.
If human minds do not form an idea of God as the archetypal substance and form, and of God’s form as the Human Form itself, they render themselves highly susceptible to delusions and speculations about God, about the development of the human race, and about the creation of the world. Their thought of God is restricted to a thought of the expanse of nature underlying the universe, or else a thought about emptiness or nothing at all. The development of the human race they think of as a lucky coincidence – elements just happened to come together in this form. As for the creation of the world, they see its substances and forms as originating in geometry’s points and then lines; and because these are nondimensional and one-dimensional they are actually nothing. In such minds, everything that has to do with the church is like the river Styx or the thick darkness in Tartarus.

TCR (Rose) n. 21 sRef Isa@45 @21 S1′ sRef Isa@45 @20 S1′ sRef Isa@45 @15 S1′ sRef Isa@44 @24 S1′ sRef Isa@45 @14 S1′ 21
3. The underlying divine reality is intrinsic reality, and is also an intrinsic capacity to become manifest. Jehovah God is intrinsic reality because from eternity to eternity he is the I Am, the Absolute, and the first and only thing from which comes everything that exists and to which everything owes its existence. Because of this and nothing else he is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, and the Alpha and the Omega.
One cannot say that his underlying reality comes from himself, because coming from himself implies before and after, and therefore time, and time cannot apply to the infinite underlying reality that is described as existing from eternity. Coming from also either implies another god who is the real god, and then you have a god from a god; or it implies that God formed himself. In either case God would not be uncreated or infinite, because he would have boundaries and limitations that were imposed either by himself or by some other god.
From the fact that God is the intrinsic underlying reality, it follows that God is love in itself, wisdom in itself, and life in itself. It also follows that God is the Absolute from which all things come and to which all things are connected so that they may exist. God is God because he is life in itself, as the Lord’s words in John 5:26 make clear. Likewise in Isaiah: “I, Jehovah, am the maker of all things. I alone stretch out the heavens. I extend the earth by myself”(Isaiah 44:24); and he alone is God, and there is no God except him (Isaiah 45:14, 21; see also Hosea 13:4).
God is not only the intrinsic underlying reality but is also an intrinsic capacity to become manifest. For unless the underlying reality is capable of manifesting, it is nothing. It is equally true that the capacity to become manifest is nothing without the underlying reality. Neither one can exist without the other. The same is true for substance unless it takes a form. A substance without a form has no properties or attributes, and something that has no quality is in fact nothing.
I speak specifically here of underlying reality and capacity to become manifest, not of essence and actual manifestation, because the relationship between underlying reality and essence is the relationship between something that comes before and something that comes afterward; the same goes for the capacity to become manifest and actual manifestation. What comes before is more universal than what comes afterward. The underlying divine reality has the attributes of infinity and eternity, but the divine essence and manifestation have the attributes of divine love and divine wisdom, and through them, omnipotence and omnipresence, which I will get to when it is their turn.

TCR (Rose) n. 22 22
Using its own reasoning, the earthly self has no way of knowing that God is the Absolute and the first and only thing that is called the intrinsic underlying reality and the intrinsic capacity to become manifest from which come all things that exist and take form. Under its own power of reasoning the earthly self cannot draw on anything other than what belongs to nature. Earthly things fit with the earthly self’s essence because from our infancy and childhood onward nothing but what is earthly comes into the self. Nevertheless, we were created to be spiritual as well as earthly, since we are going to live after death and will then be among spiritual people in their world. Therefore God has provided the Word.
In the Word God has revealed not only himself but also the existence of heaven and hell, and the fact that every single one of us is going to live in one or the other realm to eternity, each of us according to our life as well as our faith. God has also revealed in the Word that he is “I Am” or the underlying reality, and is the Absolute and the only one to exist in and of himself; he revealed therefore that he is the First or the Beginning from which all things come.
[2] This revelation makes it possible for the earthly self to rise above nature, even above itself, and see what belongs in the realm of God. It appears to be far away. Yet God is actually close to each of us, for God is in us with his essence. Because he is, he is near to those who love him – people who live by his instructions and believe in him. In a sense they see him.
What else is faith except spiritually seeing what is real? And what else is living by God’s instructions except an actual acknowledgment that he is the source of salvation and eternal life?
But people whose faith is earthly and not spiritual and consists of mere factual knowledge, and who have an earthly but not a spiritual way of life, do indeed see God, but from far away, and then only when they talk about him.
Spiritual people compared to earthly ones are like people who are standing in broad daylight, seeing others near themselves and touching them, compared to people standing in a heavy fog that makes it difficult to tell whether the objects nearby are people or perhaps trees or rocks.
[3] Spiritual people compared to earthly one’s are like people in a town on a high mountain, walking around and talking to their friends in the town, compared to people who look down from that mountain and cannot make out whether they are seeing people or animals or statues below.
Spiritual people compared to earthly ones are also like people standing on a planet and seeing their friends and loved ones right there, compared to people looking at another planet through hand-held telescopes. People in the second group look at the planet and say they see people there, when in fact all they have is a vague impression of landmasses, like the moons lighter areas, and bodies of water, like the moon’s darker patches.
The same difference exists between people who are in faith and also live a life of goodwill, who see God and divine attributes that emanate from him in their mind, compared to those who have nothing more than knowledge about these things. This is the difference between spiritual and earthly people.
Those, however, who deny the divine holiness of the Word but still carry their religion around in a pack on their back do not see God at all. They only sound out the word God, not much differently from parrots.

TCR (Rose) n. 23 23
4. The intrinsic, underlying divine reality and intrinsic capacity to become manifest cannot produce anything else divine that is intrinsically real and has an intrinsic capacity to become manifest. Therefore another God of the same essence is impossible. Up to this point I have shown that the one God, the Creator of the universe, is the intrinsic underlying reality and capacity to become manifest. Therefore he is intrinsically God. From this it follows that a god from a god is not possible, because such a god would necessarily lack absolute and essential divinity in the form of intrinsic underlying reality and capacity to become manifest. It does not matter whether that god is said to be “born” of God or to emanate from him, he would still be produced by God, which is scarcely different from being created by him.
To introduce into the church the belief that there are three divine persons, each of whom is individually God, although they share a single essence, and to say that one of them was eternally begotten and the third has been having an effect from eternity, is to destroy completely the concept of one God. Along with that it is also to eradicate the whole notion of divinity and to drive all reasoned spirituality into exile. No longer truly human, human beings are becoming earthly in every respect. The only difference between them and wild animals is that they can talk. They are against anything and everything spiritual about the church – the earthly self calls all that delusional.
These hideous heresies about God have poured out of one source alone: the earthly self. Dividing the divine Trinity into persons has brought about not only nighttime in the church, but also death.
[2] The concept of three divine essences that are the same is an offense to reason, as I learned from angels. They said that even pronouncing “three equal divinities” is impossible for them. They said that if someone came to them and tried to say it, that person would automatically turn away. After saying it the person would become like a human log and would be thrown away downward, headed for those in hell who do not acknowledge the existence of any God.
Truly, to implant in toddlers, children, and teenagers the idea of three divine persons – which inevitably entails the idea of three gods – is to take away all their spiritual breast milk, and then all their spiritual solid food, and later on all the spiritual food for their reason, and, in the case of those who convince themselves of that point of view, to cause their spiritual death.
On the one hand, those who direct heartfelt, faithful worship to one God alone as Creator of the universe, and as Redeemer and Regenerator as well, are comparable to the city of Zion in the time of David, and the city of Jerusalem in the time of Solomon after the Temple was built. On the other hand, the church that believes in three persons and views each person as an individual god is like Zion and Jerusalem after they had been destroyed by Vespasian and the Temple there had been burned down.
Those who worship one God in whom there is a divine trinity and who is therefore one person become more and more alive, and become angels on earth. Those, however, who convince themselves to believe in a plurality of gods because there is a plurality of divine persons become more and more like a statue with movable joints, inside which stands Satan, talking through its hinged mouth.

TCR (Rose) n. 24 24
5. The plurality of gods in ancient times, and nowadays as well, has no other source than a misunderstanding of the underlying divine reality. In 8 above I showed that the oneness of God is written into each human mind at the deepest level, since it is central to all things that flow from God into our souls. It has not yet come down from there into our intellect, however, because we have been lacking concepts we need in order to go up toward God. Each of us needs to make a pathway for God [Isaiah 40:3], meaning we need to prepare ourselves to receive God, and this preparation requires certain concepts.
The concepts we have been lacking are listed below. Their lack has deprived our intellect of the penetration to see that there is one God, that there can be only one underlying divine reality, and that all things in the material world come from that underlying reality.
(a) Until now, no one has known anything about the spiritual world, where there are spirits and angels and where we go after we die. (b) The spiritual world has a sun that is pure love from Jehovah God, who is within that sun. (c) The heat from that sun is essentially love, and its light is essentially wisdom. (d) As a result, everything in that world is spiritual and affects us in our inner selves, forming our will and our intellect at that level. (e) By means of that sun, Jehovah God produced not only the spiritual world and all the countless spiritual things in it, which are substantial, but also the material world and all the countless material things in it, which are physical. (f) Until now, no one has known the difference between “spiritual” and “earthly,” or even what “spiritual” essentially means. (g) No one has known that there are three levels of love and wisdom that have been used to structure the angelic heavens. (h) No one has known that the human mind is differentiated into the same number of levels so that we can be lifted to one of the three heavens after death, depending on our life and faith. (i) Lastly, none of the above would be the case for one instant were it not for the underlying divine reality – the Absolute in itself; the First and the Beginning from which all things exist.
Even though these are the concepts we need in order to go higher and recognize the divine reality, they have been lacking until now.
[2] I say that we go higher, but I really mean that we are taken up by God. We have free will; we can use it to gain religious knowledge. When we exercise our intellect and gain religious knowledge from the Word, we smooth a pathway that God can use to come down and lift us up.
The concepts that can lift our intellect higher, and let God take us by the hand and lead us, can be compared to the steps on the ladder that Jacob saw. It was set up on the ground but the top of it stretched into heaven. Angels were climbing up on it and Jehovah was standing above it (Genesis 28:12-13).
When we lack these concepts or reject them with contempt, the situation is quite the opposite. Under these conditions, the reach of our intellect can be compared to a ladder on the grounds of a magnificent mansion, but the ladder extends only to a window on the first floor, where people are staying, and does not reach the windows of the second floor where there are spirits, let alone the windows of the third floor, where there are angels.
If we lack or reject these concepts, we are limited to the atmospheres and matter in nature that we experience with our eyes, ears, and noses. From these sources we get only atmospheric and material ideas about heaven and about God’s underlying reality and essence. Thinking on the basis of them, we will never decide anything about whether God exists or not, or whether there is one God or many, much less what the underlying reality and essence of God are like. As a result, in ancient times, and nowadays as well, people have come to believe in a plurality of gods.

* * * * *


TCR (Rose) n. 25 25
To these points I will add the following memorable occurrence.
One time just after I woke up from sleeping I fell into a deep meditation on God. Looking up I saw above me in heaven an oval of intensely shining light. As I fixed my gaze on the light, it gradually receded toward the sides and merged into the periphery [of my vision].
Then, behold, heaven opened up to me! I saw magnificent things, and angels standing in a circle on the south side of the opening, talking to each other. Because a burning desire came over me to hear what they were saying, I was allowed to hear it – first the sound of it, which was full of heavenly love; then the conversation itself, which was full of the wisdom that goes with that love.
They were having a conversation about the only God, about being in partnership with God, and about the salvation that results. What they were saying was ineffable – most of it could not be expressed in the words of any earthly language. Several times before, however, I had been in gatherings of angels in heaven itself, and had been able to join in their conversation because I was then in a state similar to theirs. This enabled me to understand them now, and to select from their discussion a few points that could be expressed in a rational way using the words of earthly language.
[2] They were saying that the underlying divine reality is united, uniform, absolute, and undivided. They used spiritual images as illustration.
They said, “The underlying divine reality cannot be divided into many entities, each of which possesses an underlying divine reality, and still remain united, uniform, absolute, and undivided. Otherwise each separate entity would think on its own from its own separate underlying divine reality. If it also happened to be of the same mind as the others, there would be a number of deities in agreement; there would not be one God. Agreement, or the consensus of many, each one acting on its own or by itself, is not an attribute of one God but of many.”
They did not say “gods” because they were unable to. It was suppressed by the light of heaven that shaped their thought and by the atmosphere in which their conversation took place. They also said that when they tried to utter the word “gods” and to describe each one as a person by himself, the effort to say that immediately veered off toward one, and in fact toward “the one only God.”
They added, “The underlying divine reality is a reality in itself, not from itself, because if it were from itself, that would imply an underlying reality that existed in itself from some prior underlying reality. It would mean there was a god from a god, which is not possible. What comes from God is called ‘divine,’ but it is not called ‘God.’ What is ‘a god from God,’ what is ‘an eternally begotten god from God,’ and what is ‘a god emanating from an eternally begotten god from God’ except words devoid of heavenly light?”
[3] Later on they said, The underlying divine reality, which in itself is God, is uniform – and uniform not just in a simple way but in an infinite number of ways. It is uniform from eternity to eternity. It is uniform everywhere, and it is uniform with everyone and in everyone. (It is the condition of the recipient that causes all the variety and change in reception.)
The angels demonstrated the absoluteness of the underlying divine reality, which in itself is God, as follows: “God is the Absolute, because he is absolute love and absolute wisdom, or to put it another way, because he is absolute good and absolute truth. As a result, he is life itself. If these qualities were not absolute in God they would never exist in heaven or in the world, because they would be relatively nonexistent compared to the Absolute. Every quality is what it is because it comes from the Absolute, both as its source and as its point of reference.
“The Absolute (meaning the underlying divine reality) has no specific location. It is with those and in those who are in specific locations, depending on their locations. Love and wisdom, goodness and truth, and the life these qualities give are absolute in God; in fact, they are God himself. A specific location cannot be attributed to them, and neither can a progression from place to place as the source of their omnipresence. For this reason the Lord says he is in the midst of people [Matthew 18:20]; and he is in them and they are in him [John 6:56; 14:20; 15:4, 5].
sRef John@5 @26 S4′ [4] “Nevertheless, no one can comprehend God as he is in himself. Therefore he is visible above the angelic heavens as a sun, which is the form his essence takes. He himself as wisdom emanates from that sun in the form of light, and he himself as love emanates from that sun in the form of heat. That sun is not God himself. The divine love and wisdom surrounding him as they first go forth from him come to angels view as a sun.
“The Absolute in that sun is the Human Being. It is our Lord Jesus Christ, including both the Divine Source and the Divine Human Manifestation. Since the Absolute, which is absolute love and absolute wisdom, was in him as his soul from the Father, therefore divine life or life in itself was in him. None of us is like this. The soul in us is not life; it is merely a vessel for receiving life.
“In fact, the Lord teaches this when he says, I am the way, the truth, and the life [John 14:6]; and in another passage, ‘As the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself’ (John 5:26). Life in himself is God.”
They added that people who have any spiritual light at all can see from all this that the underlying divine reality cannot be shared among many, because it is united, uniform, absolute, and undivided. If anyone were to claim that the divine reality could be shared, further points that person made on the subject would contain obvious contradictions.

TCR (Rose) n. 26 26
Then the angels became aware that my thoughts included common Christian ideas of God: ideas of a trinity of persons in unity, and a unity of persons in the Trinity, and also of the Son of God’s birth from eternity. At that point they said, “What are you thinking? Surely you are thinking those thoughts from an earthly light that is incompatible with our spiritual light. We are closing heaven to you and leaving unless you get rid of the ideas that go with that point of view.”
So I said, “Please go deeper into my thinking. Perhaps you will see a compatibility.”
They went deeper and saw that three persons to me meant three emanating divine activities: creating, redeeming, and regenerating, which are activities of the one only God. The birth of a Son of God from eternity to me meant his birth foreseen from eternity and carried out in time. To think of some son actually born of God from eternity seemed to me not to transcend but to oppose what is natural and rational. It is another thing altogether to view the Son of God born to the Virgin Mary in time as the sole and only begotten Son of God – in fact, believing anything else is a monstrous error.
Then I explained that my earthly thoughts about the trinity and the unity of persons and about the eternally begotten Son of God were based on the church’s statement of faith that was named after Athanasius.
The angels then said, “Good.”
They asked me to pass on a statement from them: “Anyone who does not seek help from the absolute God of heaven and earth cannot come into heaven, because heaven is heaven from the one only God. The absolute God is Jesus Christ, who is the Lord Jehovah, Creator from eternity, Redeemer in time, and Regenerator to eternity. He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit combined. This is the gospel that needs to be preached.”
Afterward the heavenly light I had seen above the opening came back. It came down bit by bit and filled the inner reaches of my mind, enlightening my ideas of the trinity and the unity of God. Then I saw my former merely earthly ideas being separated out, just as husks are shaken off wheat tossed in a winnowing basket. I saw my old notions carried off as if by a wind to the north of heaven and scattered.

TCR (Rose) n. 27 27
The Infinity of God:
His Immensity and Eternity

Two properties of the physical world limit all things in it: one is space and the other is time. Because God created this world and concurrently created space and time as limitations on it, I need to discuss the origins of space and time; namely, immensity and eternity. God’s immensity relates to space and his eternity relates to time. Infinity includes both immensity and eternity.
Infinity transcends what is finite. A concept of infinity is therefore beyond the finite mind. To give at least some sense of it, I will discuss it in the following sequence:

1. God is infinite because he is intrinsic reality and manifestation, and all things in the universe have reality and manifestation from him.

2. God is infinite because he existed before the world – before space and time came into being.

3. Ever since he made the world, God has existed in space independently of space, and in time independently of time.

4. Infinity in relation to space is called immensity; in relation to time it is called eternity. Yet although these are related, there is nonetheless no space in God’s immensity, and no time in his eternity.

5. From many things in the world, enlightened reason can see the infinity of God the Creator.

6. Every created thing is finite. The Infinite is in finite objects the way something is present in a vessel that receives it; the Infinite is in people the way something is present in an image of itself.
I need to explain these statements separately.

TCR (Rose) n. 28 28
1. God is infinite because he is intrinsic reality and manifestation, and all things in the universe have reality and manifestation from him. So far I have shown that God is one, that he is the Absolute, that he is the primary reality that underlies all things, and that all that exists, takes shape, and endures in the universe is from him. It follows then that he is infinite.
Just below [32] I will show that many phenomena in the created universe enable human reason to see the infinity of God. Yet although the human mind can use those phenomena to support an acknowledgment that the first entity or primary being is infinite, still it cannot come to know what the Infinite is like. The only way it can define the Infinite is to say that it is utterly without limits and self-sufficient, and is therefore the absolute and only substance. Because substance has no attributes without form, it is also the absolute and only form. What substance and form are in their full infinity, however, is not apparent. The human mind itself, even the most highly analytical and elevated mind, is finite; it cannot be rid of its own limitations. It will never have the capacity to see the infinity of God as it truly is, or God as he truly is. It can see God in a shadow from behind, as Moses was told to do when he begged to see God. He was put in a crevice in the rock and saw God’s back (Exodus 33:20-23). “God’s back” has as a general meaning the phenomena visible in the world and has as a specific meaning the things that are comprehensible in the Word.
It is obviously pointless then to aim to find out what God is like in his own underlying reality or in his own substance. It is enough to acknowledge him from finite, created things, in which he is infinitely present.
The person who goes farther than that could be compared to a fish hauled out into the air; or to a bird put in a vacuum pump, gasping as the air is pumped out, and soon expiring; or to a ship overcome by a storm, no longer responsive to the helm, drifting onto reefs and sandbanks. Something comparable happens to people who want to know the infinity of God from the inside and are not content to acknowledge it from the outside on good evidence.
We read that a philosopher among the ancients threw himself into the sea because in the mental light he had he could not envision or comprehend the eternity of the world. What if he had tried to see the infinity of God?

TCR (Rose) n. 29 29
2. God is infinite because he existed before the world, before space and time came into being. The physical world has time and space. The spiritual world, on the other hand, lacks actual time and space, although it does have apparent time and space.
Time and space were introduced into both worlds for the sake of distinguishing one thing from another, large from small, many from few – one quantity from another, and one quality from another. Time and space allow our bodily senses to discern the objects they are sensing; and they allow our mental senses to discern the objects they are sensing – to be affected, to think, and to choose.
Units of time were introduced into our physical world by the spinning of the earth on its axis and its orbit from point to point along the zodiac. (The sun, the source of heat and light for this whole globe of lands and seas, only seems to be the cause of these cycles.) The result is the times of day: morning, afternoon, evening, and night; and the seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall, and winter. The times of day vary from light to dark; the seasons of the year vary from hot to cold.
Units of space are part of our physical world because the earth was formed into a globe composed of substances whose elements are differentiated from each other and also extended.
In the spiritual world, there are no physical units of space or corresponding units of time. Yet there appear to be. Apparent space and time follow the different states of mind that spirits and angels go through there. The units of spiritual time and space match the desires of their will and the resulting thoughts in their intellect. Apparent space and time, then, are real – they are predictably determined by one’s state of mind.
[2] The general opinion on the state of souls after death, as well as of angels and spirits, is that they have no extension – they are not in space or time. This has led to the saying about souls after death that they are in limbo, and that spirits and angels are ghosts, which are thought of as ether, air, breath, or wind.
In fact, souls after death are substantial people who live together like people in the physical world, only with units of space and time that are determined by their states of mind. If the spiritual universe – destination of souls and home of angels and spirits – lacked its own space and time then it could be passed through the eye of a needle or compressed onto the tip of a single hair. This would be possible if there were no substantial extension there. Since there is substantial extension there, however, angels live among each other with clear and distinct boundaries, in fact with even clearer boundaries than people on earth do, where there is material extension.
Time in the spiritual world is not marked by days, weeks, months, and years, because the sun there does not seem to rise and set or to swing across the sky. It stands still in the east, halfway between the horizon and the point directly overhead. Because everything that is physical in our world is substantial in the spiritual world, there are units of space there. I will say more on this topic in the part of this chapter that deals with creation [75-80].
[3] From what I have just said, you can see that there are space and time limitations on each and every thing in both worlds; and that people have limitations not only to their bodies but even to their souls. The same goes for spirits and angels.
From all the above we can draw the conclusion that God is infinite or without limits As Creator, Shaper, and Maker of the universe, he gave everything a limit or a boundary. He did so by means of the sun that surrounds him. That sun consists of the divine essence that goes out as a sphere around him. In that sun and from it, the first limitedness occurs. Things are increasingly limited the closer they are to the lowest level of nature in the world. Since God was not created, in himself he is without limits, or infinite.
What is infinite may seem to us to be nothing, because we are finite and limited, and we base our thinking on things that are limited. If the limitations in our thought were taken away, we would see whatever was left as nothing. Yet the truth is that God is infinitely everything; of ourselves, we are relatively nothing.

TCR (Rose) n. 30 30
3. Since the world was made, God has existed in space independently of space, and in time independently of time. God, and the divine emanation that comes directly from him, is not in space, yet he is omnipresent and is with every human being in the world, every angel in heaven, and every spirit below heaven. This fact is inaccessible to thinking that is merely earthly, but spiritual thinking can comprehend it to some extent. Thinking that is merely earthly cannot comprehend it because space is part of the thinking. Earthly thinking is based on things in the world; and everything visible in the world has spatial dimensions. Size here, whether large or small, has to do with space; length, width, and height here have to do with space. In fact, every measurement, shape, and form in our world has to do with space.
Still, we can to some extent understand God’s relationship to space through material thinking, provided we let in some spiritual light; but first I will say something about spiritual thinking. Ideas in spiritual thought have no relationship to space; they relate in every way to state. State applies to love, life, wisdom, emotions and inclinations, and enjoyment – generally to goodness and truth. A truly spiritual conceptualization of these things has nothing in common with space. It is higher. It sees spatial concepts below itself the way heaven sees earth.
[2] God is present in space independently of space and in time independently of time because God is always the same, from eternity to eternity. What God was like before creation, God was like after creation. Before creation, there was no space or time in and with God. After creation, there was. Because God remained the same, then, he is in space independently of space, and in time independently of time. As a result, nature is separate from him and yet he is omnipresent in it. It is similar with the life that is present in every substantial and every physical part of us, but does not integrate itself into those parts. A similar thing is true of light in relation to our eyes, sound in relation to our ears, and taste in relation to our tongues. A similar thing is also true of the ether in landmasses and oceans that allows this terraqueous planet to be held together and spun around; and so on. If those active forces – light, sound, taste, and ether – were taken away, the receptors made of substance and matter would soon collapse and fall apart. In fact, if God were not present in the human mind everywhere and always, the mind would dissolve like a bubble popping in the air, and both brains, on whose primary structures the mind depends, would turn to froth. Everything that is human would become the dust of the earth or a smell floating in the atmosphere.
sRef Ps@90 @4 S3′ sRef Ps@2 @7 S3′ sRef Jer@23 @23 S3′ sRef Jer@23 @24 S3′ [3] Because God is present in all time independently of time, his Word speaks of past and future in the present tense. For example, in Isaiah: “A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us, whose name is Hero, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). In David as well, “I will announce this decision: Jehovah said to me, You are my Son. Today I fathered you” (Psalms 2:7). These statements refer to the Lord who was to come. In the same source it also says, “In your eyes, a thousand years are like yesterday” (Psalms 90:4).
From many other passages in the Word about seeing and being vigilant we can see that God is present everywhere in the entire world, and yet there is nothing belonging to the world in him, that is, nothing limited in space and time. For example, this passage in Jeremiah:

Am I not a God near you, rather than a God far away? Can a man be covered over in hiding places so that I would not see him? I fill the whole heaven and the whole earth. (Jeremiah 23:23-24)

TCR (Rose) n. 31 31
4. God’s infinity in relation to space is called immensity; in relation to time it is called eternity. Yet although these are related, there is nonetheless no space in God’s immensity, and no time in his eternity. God’s infinity in relation to space is called “immensity” because immense is associated with “large” and “huge,” and also with extension and spaciousness within extension. God’s infinity in relation to time, however, is called eternity because the phrase “to eternity” means “in an endless succession of stages measurable in units of time.” To clarify: we describe the earth itself and its surface in spatial terms and the earths rotation and orbit in temporal terms. The earths motions anchor our measurements of time, and the earth itself anchors our measurements of space. In consequence of our senses, space and time are also present in a similar way in the perception of our minds as we reflect. In God, however, there is no space and time, as I have shown just above, yet space and time originate from God. Therefore “immensity” means his infinity in relation to space, and “eternity” means his infinity in relation to time.
[2] Angels in heaven see God’s immensity as the divineness of his underlying reality and God’s eternity as the divineness of his capacity to become manifest. They also see God’s immensity as the divineness of his love and God’s eternity as the divineness of his wisdom. The reason is that angels remove space and time from divinity; this gives rise to the concepts just mentioned. Since we on earth cannot help basing our thinking on ideas that are spatial and temporal, we cannot conceive of the immensity of God before there was space or the eternity of God before there was time. In fact, if we try to conceive of them, our mind more or less loses consciousness, like a shipwrecked person who has fallen in the ocean or like someone being swallowed in an earthquake. Indeed, if we rashly persevere in that pursuit, we can easily go insane and end up denying the existence of God.
[3] Once I myself was in a state like that. I thought and thought about what God did from eternity, what he did before the world was constructed. I wondered whether he debated the act of creation and worked out a sequence he would follow. I pondered whether mental debate was possible in a pure vacuum, and other useless questions. To prevent these considerations from driving me insane, the Lord lifted me into the atmosphere and light of inner angels. As factors related to space and time in my former thinking were somewhat removed there, I became able to understand that God’s eternity is not an eternity of time. Since there was no time before the world came about, I realized that it was completely pointless to ponder such questions about God. Furthermore, since the Divine “from eternity,” that is, the Divine independent of time, did not involve days, years, and centuries – they were all an instant for God – I concluded that God did not create the world in a preexisting context of time; time was first introduced by God as part of creation.
[4] In addition, I would like to relate something worth mentioning. At one extreme end of the spiritual world, two statues of monstrous human forms appear with wide open mouths and gaping jaws. People whose thinking about God from eternity is pointless and insane seem to themselves to be swallowed up by these statues. The statues are really the delusions people hurl themselves into when they think discordant and unseemly thoughts about God before he created the world.

TCR (Rose) n. 32 32
5. From many things in the world, enlightened reason can see the infinity of God. I will list a number of things that human reason can view as evidence of God’s infinity.
(a) In the entire created universe, no two things can possibly be the same. It is impossible for any two things to be identical at any given point in time, as human scholarship and reasoning have seen and verified. Yet the substantial and physical things in the universe viewed one by one add up to an infinite number. Neither can the world have two identical situations over time. As you can see from the wobbling of the earth caused by the misalignment of the axis to the poles, the earth never comes back to the same spot.
This is also provable from human faces. In the whole world, not one face exists that is the same as another or similar in every way. Nor will there ever be two identical faces to eternity. Infinite variety like this could occur only as the result of God the Creators infinity.
[2] (b) No one’s character is completely like another’s. As the saying goes, there are as many opinions as there are people. Therefore no mind, that is, no will and intellect, is the same as another or similar in every way. As a result, no one’s speech is identical to anyone else’s, either in tone or in the thought behind it. Nor does anyone’s action copy another’s to a T, either in manner or in the emotion and inclination behind it. This infinite variety as well is like a mirror in which we can see the infinity of God the Creator.
[3] (c) In all animal sperm and in all plant seeds there is an intrinsic kind of immensity and eternity – immensity because it can be replicated to infinity, and eternity because its replication has continued without interruption from the creation of the world until now and will continue perpetually. As an example from the animal kingdom, take fish in the ocean. If there were as many fish as there are fish sperm, within twenty to fifty years fish would fill the ocean to the point where it contained nothing else, causing the water to flood the whole planet and destroy it. To prevent this, God has provided that fish become food for other fish.
The same would happen with plant seeds. If all the seeds that one plant produces each year were planted, within twenty or thirty years they would cover the surface of not just one planet but many. In the case of some bushes, each seed will produce hundreds or even thousands of other seeds [in a year]. Calculate it for yourself, multiplying the production of one such seed twenty or thirty times over, and you will see.
The divine immensity and eternity cannot help but be reflected in some way. The two commonly experienced phenomena just discussed make these divine qualities visible.
sRef John@10 @38 S4′ sRef John@10 @37 S4′ [4] (d) To an enlightened reason the infinity of God can become apparent from the fact that every academic discipline can grow to an infinite extent. So, therefore, can our intelligence and wisdom. Both intelligence and wisdom are capable of growing from a seed into a tree, and from a tree into forests and gardens of trees – intelligence and wisdom have no end. Our memory is their soil. They germinate in our intellect; they bear fruit in our will. In fact, these two faculties, our intellect and our will, are capable of being cultivated and improved to the end of our lives in this world, and afterward to eternity.
[5] (e) You can also see the infinity of God the Creator in the infinite number of stars, which are all suns, and all have solar systems. Elsewhere, in a short work that I wrote as an eyewitness, I have shown that out in space there are planets that have people, animals, birds, and plants.
[6] (f) The angelic heaven and also hell have made the infinity of God even more obvious to me. God has arranged and ordered both places into countless communities and groups according to every type of love for good or love for evil, allotting every individual a location according to what she or he loves. All members of the human race have gathered there since the creation of the world; they will continue to gather there throughout the ages of ages. Although each person has his or her own place and situation, still all who are there have such a partnership with each other that the entire angelic heaven is like one divine human being, and the entirety of hell is like one monstrous devil. From the entirety of heaven and the entirety of hell and from the infinite number of astounding things in them, both the immensity and the omnipotence of God stand in plain view.
[7] (g) If we raise the level of our mental reasoning a little, surely we can all understand that the life to eternity we will all have after death is impossible unless God is eternal.
[8] (h) There are further aspects of infinity that become visible to us, some in physical light and others in spiritual light. As examples that become visible in physical light, there are various geometrical series that go on to infinity. On each of the three vertical levels as well, there is a progression to infinity. The first level, called the earthly level, cannot be refined and raised to the perfection of the second level, called the spiritual level. Neither can this level be refined and raised to the perfection of the third level, called the heavenly level. It is like the purpose, the means, and the result. No matter how developed the result becomes, it cannot take the place of the means to itself; nor can these means take the place of the purpose behind them.
Take the three levels of atmospheres as another illustration. The aura is supreme, the ether is below it, and the air is under the ether. No type of air can ever have such high quality that it becomes a type of ether, nor can any type of ether ever have such high quality that it becomes a type of aura. Yet the qualities of each of these atmospheres can be developed and improved to infinity.
As for examples that become visible in spiritual light, the earthly type of love an animal has cannot have such a high quality that it becomes the spiritual love that creation has endowed us with. Likewise an animals earthly intelligence cannot have such a high quality that it becomes human, spiritual intelligence. Because these last points are not yet known, they will be explained elsewhere [48:8-15; 335].
From all the above examples you can see that features that are universal to our world are everlasting tokens of God the Creators infinity. As for the way specific things imitate those universal features, however, and reflect the infinity of God, this is an abyss; it is an ocean the human mind can navigate, as long as it remains watchful for storms arising from the earthly self that would sink the ship – masts, sails, and all – starting with the helm where the earthly self stands confident.

TCR (Rose) n. 33 33
6. Every created thing is finite. The Infinite is in finite objects the way something is present in a vessel that receives it; the Infinite is in people the way something is present in an image of itself. Every created thing is finite because Jehovah God [created] all things through the sun of the spiritual world, which most closely surrounds him. That sun is made of a substance that went out from him, the essence of which is love. The universe from beginning to end was created from that sun through its heat and light. This is not the place, however, to lay out the steps of creation in sequence. A rough outline of them will be presented in sections to come [76, 78]. The only point relevant to the current discussion is that things were formed from what went before. As a result, levels were created – three levels in the spiritual world; three corresponding levels in the physical world; and the same number for the inert substances that make up the lands and waters of the world. Information on the origin and nature of those levels was published in Angelic Wisdom about Divine Love and Wisdom (Amsterdam 1763). It was fully laid out in the little work Soul-Body Interaction (published in London, 1769). Because of these levels, all things that came later were vessels for earlier things. These in turn were vessels for things earlier still, which were vessels for the primary substances that constitute the sun of the angelic heaven. This is how finite vessels that could receive the Infinite came about. (This process squares with ancient wisdom: every single thing can be divided without end.)
There is an idea in circulation that finite things are not large enough to hold the Infinite and therefore they could not be vessels for the Infinite. On the contrary, points that I made in my works on creation show that God first made his infinity finite in the form of substances put out from himself. The first sphere that surrounds him consists of those substances, and forms the sun of the spiritual world. By means of that sun, he then completed the remaining spheres even to the farthest one, which consists of inert elements. He increasingly limited the world, then, stage by stage. I lay this out here to appease human reason, which never rests until it knows how something was done.

TCR (Rose) n. 34 sRef Gen@1 @26 S0′ sRef Gen@1 @27 S0′ 34
In people, the Infinite Divine is present the way something is present in an image of itself. The Word shows this, when we read the following:

Finally God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, according to our likeness.” Therefore God created human beings in his own image; in the image of God he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

From this statement it follows that human beings are organisms that are open to God, and organisms whose quality depends on their response.
[2] The human mind – the source and determiner of our humanness – has been formed into three areas to match three levels. On the first level the human mind is heavenly; angels of the highest heaven are on that level. On the second level it is spiritual; angels of the middle heaven are on that level. On the third level it is earthly; angels of the lowest heaven are on that level.
Organized as it is to accommodate these three levels, the human mind is a vessel for receiving divine inflow. Yet what is divine does not flow in beyond our smoothing of the way [Isaiah 40:4] or our opening of the door [Revelation 3:20]. If we smooth the way and open the door all the way to the highest level, the heavenly one, then we truly become an image of God. After death we will become an angel of the highest heaven. If we smooth the way or open the door only to the middle or spiritual level, then we still become an image of God, but one that is not as complete. After death we will become angels of the middle heaven. But if we smooth the way or open the door only to the lowest or earthly level, then we become an image of God at the lowest level, provided we acknowledge God and worship him with acts of devotion. After death we will become angels of the lowest heaven.
If we do not acknowledge God and do not worship him with acts of devotion, we divest ourselves of the image of God and become like one type of animal or another, except for the fact that we still enjoy the ability to understand and therefore to speak. If under those circumstances we close our highest earthly level, which corresponds to the highest heavenly level, we become like farm animals in what we love. If we close our middle earthly level, which corresponds to the middle spiritual level, we become like foxes in what we love, and like birds that come out in the evening, as far as our intellectual discernment goes. If we close even our lowest earthly level to its spiritual counterpart, we become like wild animals in what we love and like fish in our understanding of truth.
[3] Divine life flows in from the sun of the angelic heaven and energizes us much the way light from our sun flows into a transparent object. Our highest level receives life the way light flows into a diamond; our second level receives life the way light flows into a crystal; our lowest level receives life the way light flows into translucent glass or parchment.
If the lowest degree is totally closed spiritually, as happens when we deny the existence of God and worship Satan, life flows into us from God much the way light flows into opaque things on earth: rotten wood, swamp sod, dung, and so on. At that stage we become spiritual cadavers.

* * * * *

TCR (Rose) n. 35 35
To these points I will add the following memorable occurrence.
At one point I was struck with amazement at the vast number of people who attribute creation – everything under the sun and everything beyond it as well – to nature. No matter what they see, they say with heartfelt conviction, “Surely this is nature’s doing.”
I have asked them why they say nature is responsible for everything, and why not God, especially since they repeatedly use the common expression, “God created nature,” and therefore could as easily say that God, rather than nature, is responsible for what they see. Beneath their breath, in an almost inaudible voice, they reply, “What God is there except nature?”
Their conviction that the universe was created by nature – an insanity that seems like wisdom to them – makes them all feel so glorious that they look down on all who acknowledge that the universe was created by God. They picture these faithful people as ants that crawl on the ground and tread a well-worn path. Some they picture as butterflies that flit around in the air. “Dreams” – that is what they call the dogmas of the faithful, who see what they themselves do not see. “Who has seen God?” they say; “Who has not seen nature?”
[2] While I stood amazed at the vast number of such people, an angel appeared at my side and said, “What are you thinking about?”
I replied, “I’m thinking about the vast number of people who believe that nature exists from itself – that nature itself created the universe.
“All hell is made up of such people, the angel told me. There they are called satans and devils. The satans are those who have come to deny the existence of God because they have convinced themselves to believe in nature. The devils are those whose acknowledgment of God has been driven from their hearts because they have spent their lives committing crimes. I will take you to lecture halls in the southwest where there are people like this who are not yet in hell.”
The angel took me by the hand and led me there. I saw humble buildings that contained the lecture halls. In the middle I saw a building that looked like the main hall for the rest. It was built out of stones as black as tar that had been covered with little glasslike disks made to look as though they were sparkling with gold and silver, much like what we call selenite or mica; shiny seashells had also been worked in here and there.
[3] We went up to the building and knocked. Soon a man opened the door, saying, “Welcome!” Then he hurried over to a table and picked up four books [he had written]. He said, “These books contain wisdom that has now been hailed by a host of nations. This book here, this wisdom, has been hailed by many people in France; this one, by many people in Germany; this one, by some people in the Netherlands; and this one, by some people in Britain.” He added, “If you’d like to see it, I’ll make these four books shine before your eyes!” Then he poured forth on all sides the glory of his own reputation, and soon the books seemed to gleam with light; but the light immediately disappeared before our eyes.
Then the angel and I asked what he was writing now. He replied that he was currently extracting matters of inmost wisdom from their hidden treasuries, in summary namely: (1) whether nature comes from life or life comes from nature; (2) whether the center comes from the expanse or the expanse from the center; and (3) a discussion of the center of the expanse and of life.
[4] After he said this, he sat back down on a chair at the table. We meanwhile wandered around his lecture hall, which was very spacious. Because no sunlight penetrated the building, only a light like that of a moonlit night, he had a candle on his table. To my amazement I saw the candle move around the building, illuminating it, although because the wick had not been trimmed it did not shed much light. As he was writing, we saw images of various kinds flying from the table toward the walls. In that light like a moonlit night, they looked like gorgeous indigo birds. In the light of day when we opened the door, though, they looked like the webbed-winged creatures that come out in the evening. They were in fact things basically true becoming false through his argumentation as he ingeniously chained them together.
[5] After seeing those visions we went over to the table and asked him what he was writing now. He said, “I’m on point one: whether nature comes from life or life comes from nature.” He said that he could argue this point either way and make it true; but because of some deeply hidden fear, he dared argue only that nature comes from and originates in life. He did not dare say that life comes from and originates in nature. We asked him in a kindly way what his deeply hidden fear was. He said he feared the possibility that clergy would call him a nature-worshiper, meaning an atheist, and that lay people would call him a man whose reason was not sound, since both lay people and clergy either believe on the basis of blind faith or adopt the perspective of those who argue for faith.
[6] At that point, feeling rather indignant because of our passion for the truth, we spoke to him and said, “Friend, you are seriously wrong. Your wisdom (which is really a genius for writing) has led you astray, and your glorious reputation has seduced you into arguing what you don’t believe. Surely you are aware that the human mind can be raised above things on the sensory level – things taken into our thoughts from our bodily senses – and that when the mind is raised up, it sees above it things that relate to life, but below it things that relate to nature. What else is life but love and wisdom? What else is nature but a vessel to receive love and wisdom, through which they achieve results and accomplish useful things? Life and nature can become one only if life is the primary force and nature is its agent. Can light be one with the eye, or sound with the ear? Where do our sensations of light and sound come from if not from life? Where do the forms of our organs of sensation come from if not from nature? What else is the human body but an organ of life? Surely, all the things in the body have been formed into organs to carry out what love wants and what the intellect thinks. Aren’t the organs of the body derived from nature? Aren’t love and thought derived from life? Aren’t they completely different from each other?
“Lift the focus of your genius just a little higher and you’ll see that being moved and thinking come from life. Being moved has to do with love, and thinking has to do with wisdom. Both have to do with life, because love and wisdom are life, as we stated before.
“If you raise your intellectual faculty even a little higher, you will see that love and wisdom do not exist unless they have a source somewhere. Their source is love itself and wisdom itself, and therefore life itself. These are the God from whom nature comes.”
[7] Next we spoke with him about point two: whether the center comes from the expanse or the expanse from the center. The angel and I asked him why he was discussing this. He replied that his purpose was to arrive at a conclusion about the center and the expanse of nature and of life – about the origin, then, of one and the other.
When we asked what his position was, his answer was similar to the one he had given before: he could argue it either way, but because he feared losing his reputation he argued that the expanse comes from or originates in the center. “I know, though,” he added, “that before the sun existed there was something. That something was throughout the expanse. Of its own accord it flowed together into some order, namely, the center.”
[8] Again indignant because of our passion for the truth, we spoke to him and said, “Friend, you are insane!”
When he heard this he pushed his chair away from the table and looked at us nervously. Then he gave us his attention again, but with a smile on his face.
“What is more insane,” we continued, “than saying that the center comes from the expanse? When you say ‘center,’ we take you to mean the sun. When you say ‘expanse,’ we take you to mean the universe. You seem to be saying that the universe came into existence without the sun. Doesn’t the sun make nature? Doesn’t it make all the features of nature that depend solely on heat and light emanating from the sun through the atmospheres? Where were those things before [there was a sun]? (But we’ll say where they came from in a moment.) Surely the atmospheres, and everything else on the earth, are like outer surfaces that have the sun as their center. What were all those things before the sun took shape? Could they have continued to exist for one moment? What would all those things do without the sun? Could they have come into being? Continuing to exist is the same as perpetually coming into being. Since the continued existence of all things in nature depends on the sun, it follows that their original coming into being also depended on the sun. Everyone sees this and acknowledges it from personal observation. [9] As something subsequent comes into existence from something prior, so it also continues to exist from that something prior. If the outer surface came first and the center came later, something prior would be dependent on something subsequent for its continued existence. But that is against the laws of the divine design. How can things that come later produce things that come first? How can outer things produce inner things? How can denser things produce purer things? How then can the superficial things that make up the expanse produce the center? This is against the laws of nature, as anyone can see. We have presented these arguments from rational analysis in order to convince you that the expanse comes into existence from the center, and not the reverse, although anyone who thinks well sees this without these arguments.
“You said that the expanse of its own accord flowed together into the center. Was it just by accident, then, that it fell into such a miraculous and astounding design that one thing exists for the next, and they all exist for the sake of humankind and our eternal life? Is nature capable of drawing on some love and using some wisdom to find a purpose, make means available, and accomplish results so that things may come into existence in their own design? Can nature turn people into angels, make a heaven out of them, and provide that this heavens inhabitants will live to eternity? Give enough thought to these questions and you will let go of your idea that nature created nature.”
[10] After that we asked him what his past and current thinking was about point three: on the center and the expanse of nature and of life. We asked whether he believed that the center and the expanse of life was the same as the center and the expanse of nature. He said that he was now stuck. He had thought before that the inner energy in nature was life, that the love and the wisdom that essentially constituted human life came from nature, and that the sun’s fire produced our life through the heat and light conveyed to us by the atmospheres. But now, from these points about human life after death, he was becoming uncertain. The uncertainty was causing his mind to go up one moment and down the next. When his mind was up, he was acknowledging a Center about which he had previously known nothing. When his mind was down, he was looking at the center that he had previously thought to be the only center. He was seeing that life comes from the Center about which he had previously known nothing, that only nature comes from the center that he had previously thought to be everything, and that both centers have expanses around them. [11] We said that these realizations were good, provided he tried in addition to see the center and expanse of nature as coming from the center and expanse of life, and not the other way around. We explained to him that above the angelic heaven there is a sun that is pure love. It looks as fiery as the earths sun. From the heat that radiates from that sun, angels and people have volition and love; from its light they have understanding and wisdom. Things derived from that sun are called spiritual. Things derived from earths sun are containers or vessels of life; they are called physical.
We told him that the expanse around the center of life is called the spiritual world. That expanse has continued existence because of its sun. The expanse around the center of nature is called the physical world. It has continued existence because of its sun. Now, because units of space and time do not apply to love and wisdom, but states apply instead, it follows that the expanse around the sun of the angelic heaven is not physically extended. It is nonetheless present in the physical extension around the physical sun and is present with living entities in nature according to how receptive they are; they are receptive according to their forms and their states.
[12] Then he asked, “Where does the fire in the earths or nature’s sun come from?”
“It comes from the sun of the angelic heaven,” we replied, “which is not fire; it is divine love most closely emanating from God, who is within it.”
He was stunned by this, so we proved it as follows: “Love in its essence is spiritual fire. This is why fire in the Word’s spiritual sense means love. This is why priests pray in church for heavenly fire to fill their hearts – they mean love. In the tabernacle among the Israelites, the fire on the altar and the fire of the lampstand represented divine love. The heat in blood, which is vital to us and to many animals as well, comes solely from the love that makes up our life. This is why we catch fire, up, and become inflamed when our love becomes impassioned or bursts into anger and blazing rage. From the fact that spiritual heat, which is love, produces physical heat in us even to the point that our faces and limbs become hot and inflamed, it stands to reason that the fire of the physical sun came into being from no other source than the fire of the spiritual sun, which is divine love.
[13] “To sum up: As we just said, the center is the origin of the expanse, and not the reverse. The center of life, which is the sun of the angelic heaven, is divine love most closely radiating from God, who is within that sun. The expanse around that center, called the spiritual world, is from that sun. The earths sun is also from that sun, and the expanse called the physical world is from the earths sun. From all these points it is clear that the universe was created by God.”
After that we went away, and he came with us beyond the entrance to his lecture hall, speaking to us about heaven and hell and God’s guidance with a new keenness of mind.

TCR (Rose) n. 36 36
The Essence of God:
Divine Love and Wisdom

I have drawn a distinction between God’s underlying reality and God’s essence because there is a difference between God’s infinity and God’s love. Infinity pertains to God’s underlying reality; love pertains to God’s essence. As I said above [18, 21], God’s underlying reality is more universal than God’s essence. Likewise, God’s infinity is more universal than God’s love. “Infinite” is an adjective modifying God’s attributes and the components of God’s essence. All these are said to be infinite. In the same way, divine love is said to be infinite, and so are divine wisdom and divine power. I do not mean that God’s underlying reality came about before God’s essence, but rather that it is an ingredient or component of that essence that is connected with that essence, that gives that essence direction, and that forms and also elevates that essence.
This part of this chapter, like the parts that went before, will be divided into points, as follows:

1. God is love itself and wisdom itself. These two constitute his essence.

2. Because goodness comes from love and truth comes from wisdom, God is goodness itself and truth itself.

3. Love itself and wisdom itself are life itself, or life in itself.

4. Love and wisdom are united in God.

5. The essence of love is loving others who are outside of oneself, wanting to be one with them, and blessing them from oneself.

6. These essential characteristics of divine love were the reason the universe was created, and they are the reason it is maintained.
I will take up these points one by one.

TCR (Rose) n. 37 37
1. God is love itself and wisdom itself. These two constitute his essence. All the infinite things in God and all the infinite things radiating from him relate to two essentials: love and wisdom. Our earliest ancestors saw this relationship. In the sequence of ages that then followed, however, people removed their minds from heaven, so to speak, and plunged them into worldly and bodily preoccupations, with the result that people became unable to see this relationship. They began not to know what love is in its essence, and therefore what wisdom is in its essence. They forgot that without a form there is no love, because love operates in forms and through them.
God is substance itself and form itself, and is therefore the first and only substance and form, whose essence is love and wisdom. All things that were made, were made by God [John 1:3]. It follows, therefore, that it was from love by means of wisdom that God created the universe and each and every thing in it. As a result, divine love together with divine wisdom is present in every single entity that has been created. Furthermore, love is the essence that not only forms all things but also bonds and unites them to each other; therefore love is the force that holds all things in connection.
[2] Countless things in the world could be used to illustrate this. For example, there are two essential and universal things through which each and every thing on earth comes into existence and continues to exist: the heat and the light of the sun. They are present in the world because they correspond to divine love and wisdom. The heat that radiates from the sun in the spiritual world is in fact essentially love, and its light is essentially wisdom.
As further illustration, take the two essential and universal things through which human minds come into existence and continue to exist: the will and the intellect. The mind of each of us consists of these two things. They are present and operative in each and every detail of the mind. This is because the will is a vessel and a dwelling place for love, and the intellect is a vessel and a dwelling place for wisdom. Will and intellect therefore correspond to the divine love and the divine wisdom from which they originate.
For another illustration I could use the two essential and universal things through which human bodies come into existence and continue to exist: the heart and the lungs, or the systolic and diastolic motions of the heart and the respiration of the lungs. It is a known fact that these two pairs of motions are at work in each and every detail of our bodies. This happens because the heart corresponds to love and the lungs to wisdom, a correspondence that is fully demonstrated in Angelic Wisdom about Divine Love and Wisdom [371-431], published in Amsterdam.
[3] Countless examples in both worlds, spiritual and physical, can convince us that love produces or begets all forms like a bridegroom and husband, by means of wisdom as a bride and wife. For now I will mention this example alone: the whole angelic heaven is arranged into the form it takes, and is kept in it, by divine love acting through divine wisdom.
People who attribute the creation of the world to any other force than divine love acting through divine wisdom, and who do not realize that these two qualities constitute the essence of God, descend from the sight of reason to the mere sight of the eye. They embrace nature as the creator of the universe; as a result they conceive monsters and give birth to phantoms. The thoughts they have are false, they use them as the basis of their reasoning, and the conclusions they reach are eggs with night birds inside. People like this cannot be called minds; they are eyes and ears without an intellect, or thoughts without a soul. They speak of colors as if they could exist without light; of trees as if they could exist without having been seeds; of all things on earth as if they could exist without the sun. Such people designate things begun as beginnings, and things caused as causes. They turn everything upside down, put their reason to sleep, and see dreams.

TCR (Rose) n. 38 38
2. Because goodness comes from love and truth comes from wisdom, God is goodness itself and truth itself. Everyone knows that all things relate to goodness and truth (which is an indication that all things come from love and wisdom). Everything derived from love is called good. It feels good. Love reveals itself in pleasure, and pleasure feels good to everyone. Everything derived from wisdom is called true. Wisdom, which consists of nothing but truths, casts its subjects in a delightful light. When we perceive that delight, something true is coming from something good.
Love is all things that are good combined, and wisdom is all things that are true combined. Both sets of things are from God, who is love itself and therefore goodness itself, and wisdom itself and therefore truth itself.
As a result, there are two things that are essential to the church, called goodwill and faith. Each and every thing in the church consists of these two; in fact, these two have to be in each and every aspect of the church. The reason for this is that all good things related to the church have to do with goodwill and are called goodwill; and all true things related to the church have to do with faith and are called faith. It is our pleasure in love, which is the same as our pleasure in goodwill, that makes us call love good. It is our delight in wisdom, which is the same as our delight in having faith, that makes us call a true thing true. This pleasure and this delight bring those qualities to life; without any life coming from pleasure or delight, goodness and truth are more or less dead, and are in fact sterile.
[2] There are actually two kinds of pleasure having to do with love, and two kinds of delight that seem related to wisdom: the pleasure of a good kind of love or the pleasure of an evil kind of love; and a delight in true faith or a delight in false faith. People call the pleasure from each kind of love a good thing when they feel it; they also call the delight from each kind of faith a good thing when they perceive it, although because it is in the intellect it is actually true rather than good. Yet the two kinds are opposite to each other. When we feel good from the one type of love, it is actually good, but from the other type, it is actually evil. When we see truth in the one type of faith it is actually true, but in the other type, it is false.
The love in which we feel a genuinely good pleasure is comparable to the type of heat from the sun that makes plants fruitful and thriving, and causes fertile soil, and productive trees and grains. Where this type of heat is in effect, the land becomes like a paradise, a garden of Jehovah, or the [biblical] land of Canaan. The delight we feel in the truth related to this love is like the sunlight in spring, or like a ray of light shining on a crystal vase of gorgeous flowers, causing them to open and give off a sweet fragrance.
The love in which we feel an evil pleasure is comparable to the type of heat from the sun that makes plants dry and withered, and causes sterile soil and harmful plants like thorns and brambles. Where this type of heat is in effect, the land becomes an Arabian desert with serpents, hydras, and presters. The delight we feel in the falsity related to this love is like sunlight in winter, or like a ray of light shining on a jar of maggots and stinkbugs swimming in vinegar.
sRef Matt@13 @30 S3′ sRef Matt@13 @41 S3′ sRef Matt@13 @40 S3′ [3] It is important to realize that everything good structures itself, and also envelops itself, with things that are true. This is how it differentiates itself from other types of good. Furthermore, types of good from the same “family” join together to form bundles, and also envelop their bundles, in order to differentiate themselves from other types of good. This method of formation is clear from all parts of the human body, large and small.
A similar thing happens in the human mind, as should be inferable from the constant correspondence of all things related to the mind with all things related to the body. It follows that on the inside the human mind is constructed of spiritual substances, and on the outside, of earthly substances and finally physical materials. The mind that feels a good kind of pleasure from love is inwardly made of spiritual substances like those in heaven. The mind that feels an evil kind of pleasure from love is inwardly made of spiritual substances like those in hell. The evil things in the latter mind are in bundles tied with falsities. The good things in the former mind are in bundles tied with truths. Since this is how good things are bound together, and evil things as well, the Lord says that the tares need to be gathered into bundles for burning, and so do all things that offend (Matthew 13:30, 40, 41; John 15:6).

TCR (Rose) n. 39 sRef John@1 @4 S0′ sRef John@1 @1 S0′ 39
3. Because God is love itself and wisdom itself, he is life itself, or life in itself. The Gospel of John says, The Word was with God, and the Word was God. In it there was life, and that life was the light for humankind (John 1:1, 4). “God” in this case means divine love, and “the Word” means divine wisdom. Divine wisdom is actually life, and life is actually the light that radiates from the sun in the spiritual world – the sun that surrounds Jehovah God.
Divine love produces life the way fire produces light. Fire has two qualities: burning and shining. Its burning radiates heat and its shining radiates light. Likewise love has two qualities. The burning quality of fire corresponds to one of them; it is something that affects our will at the deepest level. The shining quality of fire corresponds to the other; it is something that affects our intellect at the deepest level. This is where our love and intelligence come from, because, as I have said several times now, the heat that radiates from the sun in the spiritual world is essentially love, and its light is essentially wisdom. That love and that wisdom flow into each and every thing in the universe and affect them at the deepest level. In us, they flow into our will and intellect; both were created as vessels to receive what flows in, the will as a vessel for love and the intellect as a vessel for wisdom.
From all this three points emerge: that our life finds its home in our intellect; that that life is only as good as our wisdom; and that that life is modified by the love in our will.

TCR (Rose) n. 40 sRef John@5 @26 S0′ 40
We also read in John, “As the Father has life in himself, so he also granted the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). This means that as the Divine itself that has existed from eternity is alive in itself, so also the human aspect that it acquired in time is alive in itself. “Life in itself” means the absolute and only life from which all angels and people on earth are alive.
Our reason is capable of seeing this in relation to the light that radiates from the sun in the physical world. That light cannot be created, but the forms for receiving it can. Our eyes are forms tuned to receive that light. When the light flows in from the sun, we see. It is similar with life. Life, as I just pointed out [39], is light radiating from the sun in the spiritual world. That light too cannot be created, but it is at all times flowing in. As it enlightens our intellect, it also brings it to life. Because light, life, and wisdom are one, wisdom cannot be created either, nor can faith, truth, love, goodwill, or goodness; but forms for receiving those things have been created. They are human and angelic minds.
Be very careful, then, not to convince yourself that you are alive from yourself – do not think you are wise, have faith, are loving, perceive truth, or will or do what is good from yourself. As people do convince themselves of these things, they cast their mind down from heaven to earth and change from being spiritual to being oriented to nature, their own senses, and their own body. They close the higher regions of their mind. Doing so blinds them to everything having to do with God, heaven, or the church. Then whatever they happen to think, reason, or say on these subjects is ridiculous, because they are in the dark. At the same time, ironically, they gain greater confidence in the wisdom of their perspective. Since the higher regions of their mind are closed, where the true light of life makes its home, a lower region of their mind opens up that is attuned only to the glimmer of the world. That glimmer, devoid of light from the higher regions, is faint and deceptive. In it, false things seem true and true things false; argumentation on false premises seems like wisdom, and on true premises seems like madness. People like this truly believe they have the visual powers of an eagle, when in fact they cannot see what comes from wisdom any more than a bat can see in broad daylight.

TCR (Rose) n. 41 41
4. Love and wisdom are united in God. All the goodness of love and goodwill comes from God, and so does all the truth of wisdom and of faith, as any wise person in the church knows. In fact, all human reason is capable of seeing that this is true, once it is aware that love and wisdom originate in the sun that surrounds Jehovah God in the spiritual world; or to put it another way, once it is aware that love and wisdom come from Jehovah God through the sun that surrounds him. The heat radiating from that sun is essentially love, and the light radiating from it is essentially wisdom. From this it becomes as clear as day that love and wisdom are united at their source – namely, God, who is the origin of that sun.
This point can be visualized [by thinking] of the sun in the physical world. It is nothing but fire. Heat radiates from its fieriness; light radiates from the glow of its fieriness. At the outset, then, heat and light are one. [2] As they radiate, however, they are separated, as you can tell from the fact that some objects they strike take in more heat and some more light. A more extreme separation occurs in us. With us, the light of life (intelligence) and the heat of life (love) are distinct. This separation exists because we need to be reformed and regenerated, and this will not happen unless the light of life, or intelligence, teaches us what we should want and what we should love.
It is important to know that God is continually building a partnership between love and wisdom in us, but if we are not facing God and believing in him, we ourselves are constantly separating the two.
The greater the partnership within us, then, between these two things – the goodness of love or of goodwill and the truth of wisdom or of faith – the more we become an image of God and are raised toward heaven and even into heaven where the angels are. On the other hand, the more these two things are separated in us, the more we become an image of Lucifer and of the dragon and are cast down from heaven to earth and then below the earth into hell.
When love and wisdom have a partnership in us, we become like a tree in springtime, when heat joins equally with light to make the tree bud, flower, and bear fruit. On the other hand, when love and wisdom are separated in us we become like a tree in winter, when heat withdraws from light, making the tree bare and bald of all its foliage.
[3] When spiritual heat, or love, withdraws from spiritual light, or wisdom, or equally when goodwill withdraws from faith, we become like humus that rots and becomes acidic – worms breed in it, and if seedlings come up at all, their leaves are covered with little leaf-eating grubs. Then enticements to love evil, which are really cravings, burst forth in us. Rather than controlling and restraining them, our intelligence loves them, takes care of them, and feeds them.
In a word, to separate love and wisdom or goodwill and faith – two things God is constantly trying to bring together – is comparable to taking all the redness out of a face so that it becomes as pale as death, or taking all the whiteness away from the redness so that the face becomes as inflamed as a firebrand.
Separating love and wisdom is also comparable to breaking a couples marriage bond and turning the wife into a prostitute and the husband into an adulterer. Love is like a husband, and so is goodwill; wisdom is like a wife, and so is faith. Their being separated causes spiritual prostitution and whoring, in the form of falsifying what is true and contaminating what is good.

TCR (Rose) n. 42 42
It is also important to know that there are three levels of love and wisdom, and therefore there are three levels of life. The human mind is formed into areas that go with these levels. The life in the highest area of the mind is the highest level of life. The life in the middle area of the mind is a lesser level of life. The life in the lowest area of the mind is the lowest level of life.
These areas in us are opened one after the other. The lowest area of the mind, where there is the lowest level of life, is opened during childhood and adolescence, by means of factual information. The second area of the mind, where there is a greater level of life, is opened during adolescence and early adulthood, by means of thought that builds on factual information. The highest area of the mind, where there is the highest level of life, is opened during early adulthood, middle age, and beyond, by means of perceiving both moral and spiritual truths.
Another important thing to know is that life in its greatest perfection is not thinking; it is perceiving truth in the light of truth. The level of this perception in people can be used to determine what level of life they have. For example, there are people who, immediately upon hearing something true, perceive the truth of it. In the spiritual world they are represented as eagles. Then there are people who do not perceive what is true, but they do arrive at truth from argumentation based on other things that are apparent. They are represented as songbirds. There are people who believe something to be true because it was decreed by a man in authority. They are represented as jays or magpies.
There are also some who are unwilling and others who are unable to perceive what is true; they can perceive only what is false. The reason is that the light they are in is faint and deceptive. In that light what is false seems true, and what is true seems like something hidden in a thick cloud overhead or like a shooting star; or else it just seems false. Such people’s thoughts are represented as night birds, and their speaking as screech owls. Those among them who have become adamant in their own false impressions cannot stand to hear things that are true. As soon as anything true reaches the outermost part of their ear, they reject it in disgust much the way a nauseous stomach distended with bile will regurgitate food.

TCR (Rose) n. 43 43
5. The essence of love is loving others who are outside oneself, wanting to be one with them, and blessing them from oneself. Two things – love and wisdom – constitute the essence of God; but three things constitute the essence of God’s love: his loving others who are outside of himself, his wanting to be one with them, and his blessing them from himself. The same three constitute the essence of his wisdom because in God love and wisdom are united, as was just explained. It is love that wants those three things, however, and wisdom that brings them about.
sRef Matt@5 @45 S2′ [2] The first essential, God’s loving others outside himself, is recognizable in God’s love for the entire human race. And as those who love the purpose also love the means, God also loves all the other things he created, because they are the means.
All people and all things in the universe are outside God, in that they are finite and God is infinite. God’s love goes out and extends not only to good people and good things but also to evil people and evil things. It goes not only to the people and things that are in heaven but also to those that are in hell – not only to Michael and Gabriel but also to the Devil and Satan, for God is the same everywhere from eternity to eternity. As he says, “He makes his sun rise on good people and evil people, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
Despite this, evil people and things are still evil. This is a result of what is in the people and the objects themselves. Evil people and things do not receive the love of God as it truly and most profoundly is; they receive the love of God according to their own nature, much the way thorns and nettles receive the heat from the sun and the rain from the sky.
sRef John@17 @21 S3′ sRef John@17 @22 S3′ sRef John@17 @26 S3′ sRef John@17 @23 S3′ [3] The second essential of God’s love, his wanting to be one with others, is recognizable in his partnership with the angelic heaven, with the church on earth, with everyone in the church, and with everything good and true that forms and constitutes an individual and a church. In fact, seen in its own right, love is nothing but an effort to forge a partnership. In order to fulfill the purpose intended by the essence of his love, God created human beings in his own image and likeness – characteristics with which he could forge a partnership.
Divine love constantly aims to forge a partnership with us, as is clear from the Lord’s saying that he wants to be one with people, he in them and they in him, and he wants the love of God to be in them (John 17:21, 22, 23, 26).
[4] The third essential of God’s love, his blessing others from himself, is recognizable in eternal life, which is the unending blessedness, good fortune, and happiness that God gives to those who let his love in. As God is love itself, he is also blessedness itself; and as every love exudes pleasure, so divine love eternally exudes blessedness itself, good fortune itself, and happiness itself. God gives these blessings to angels and people after death through his partnership with them.

TCR (Rose) n. 44 44
The true nature of divine love is recognizable from its sphere, which pervades the universe and affects each of us in different ways depending on our state. That sphere of divine love has a special influence on parents. Because of it, they tenderly love their children (who are outside themselves), they want to be one with them, and they want to bless them from themselves. The sphere of divine love affects not only the good but also the evil, and not only people but also animals and birds of every kind.
Surely in the course of giving birth every mother’s only thought is of bonding with and caring for her offspring. Every bird hatching chicks from eggs thinks only of cherishing them under her wings and putting food in their mouths with kisses. Even poisonous snakes and vipers love their offspring, as is commonly known.
This universal sphere has a special influence on those who let God’s love in – those who believe in God and love their neighbor. The goodwill that is in them is an image of God’s love.
Even among people who are not good, friendship emulates this love. At her or his own table, the host will give the guest the better food. Friends will kiss, hug, and join hands, and promise each other help and support. This love is also the sole origin of alliances and the tendency for like-minded and compatible people to form partnerships.
Even in inanimate things like trees and plants that same divine sphere is at work, although in this case it operates through the sun in this world, and its heat and light. Heat comes from the outside into trees and plants and becomes a part of them, causing them to sprout and then develop flowers and fruit, which are in turn blessings to animals. Physical heat has this effect because it corresponds to spiritual heat, which is love.
In fact, even among various substances of the mineral kingdom there are representations of divine love at work. Allegories of divine love appear in the processes for refining these substances to increase their usefulness and value.

TCR (Rose) n. 45 45
From this description of divine love’s essence, you can also see what the essence of diabolical love is like; it becomes visible by contrast.
Diabolical love is a love for oneself. This is called love, but seen in its own right it is really hatred. It does not love anyone outside itself. It does not want to form a partnership with others in order to bless them; it wants to bless only itself. From deep inside, it constantly strives to dominate all others and to own the good things they have.
Eventually it wants to be adored as God. This is why those who are in hell do not acknowledge God. Instead they acknowledge as gods those who have power over others. From hell’s point of view, then, there are lower and higher gods, or lesser and greater gods, according to the reach of each one’s power. Because all who are in hell carry love for themselves in their heart, they burn with hatred against their “god.”
The “gods” in turn burn with hatred against all who are under their thumb; they think of them as vile slaves. They manage to speak softly to them as long as their followers keep showing adoration. They openly rage against all others. Inwardly or at heart, they rage against their followers as well.
Love for oneself is the same love you see among thieves, who kiss each other when they are on a job together, but later each burn with a desire to kill the others and take their share.
In hell, love for oneself is the dominant force. It causes the people there and their selfish lusts to appear at a distance as various species of wild animal. Some people there look like foxes and leopards, some like wolves and tigers, some like crocodiles and venomous snakes. Their love for themselves also causes the deserts they live in to consist of mere piles of stones and bare gravel, with swamps here and there that contain croaking frogs. Over their huts fly miserable screeching birds. These animals and birds are the same as the owls, the wild beasts of the desert, and the jackals mentioned in the prophetical books of the Word in reference to the love of dominating that comes from love for oneself (Isaiah 13:21; Jeremiah 50:39; Psalms 74:14).

TCR (Rose) n. 46 46
6. These essentials of divine love were the reason the universe was created, and they are the reason it is maintained. By examining and scrutinizing the three essentials of divine love, one can come to see that they were the reason for creation. The first essential, loving others outside of himself, was a reason for creation in that the universe is outside God (just as the world is outside the sun). The universe is something to which God could extend his love and in which he could put his love into action and so find rest. We read that after God had created heaven and earth he rested; and that he made the Sabbath day for that reason (Genesis 2:23).
You can see that the second essential, God’s wanting to be one with others, was also a reason for creation from the fact that people were created in the image and likeness of God. The “image” and the “likeness” mean that we were made as forms that are receptive to love and wisdom from God – forms that God could be one with, and on whose account he could be one with all the other things in the universe, which are all nothing but means. A connection with the final cause is also a connection with the intermediate causes. Genesis, the Book of Creation, makes it clear that all things were created for the sake of humankind (Genesis 1:28-30).
That the third essential, God’s blessing others from himself, is a reason for creation you can see from the fact that the angelic heaven was provided for everyone who has let God’s love in, a place where the blessings of all come from God alone.
The three essentials of God’s love are the reason the universe is maintained as well, because maintaining is an ongoing creation, just as continuing to exist is the same as perpetually coming into being. Divine love is the same from eternity to eternity. The nature God’s love has now and will have in the future is the same nature it had when creating the world.

TCR (Rose) n. 47 47
If you understand all this in the right way, you will be able to see the universe as a coherent work from beginning to end, a work holding purposes, means, and results in indissoluble connection.
Every love has a purpose. All wisdom moves toward fulfilling that purpose by intermediate means, using those means to achieve effective, useful results. Therefore it follows that the universe is a work that embodies divine love, divine wisdom, and usefulness of all kinds. In every conceivable way, then, it is a coherent work from beginning to end.
The fact that the universe consists of constant useful functions produced by wisdom under love’s initiative is something all wise people can contemplate as if they were seeing it in a mirror. Once they acquire a general picture of how the universe was created, they can focus on the details. This is because parts adapt to the whole, and the whole places the parts in a harmonious arrangement. In what follows, the truth of this will come to light in many ways.

* * * * *

TCR (Rose) n. 48 48
To these points I will add the following memorable occurrence.
Once I had a conversation with two angels, one of whom came from a heaven in the east and the other from a heaven in the south. When these angels realized that I was meditating on secrets of wisdom having to do with love, they said, “Are you not aware of the wisdom games that take place in our world?”
“Not yet,” I said.
“There are lots of them,” they said. They explained that spirits who love truth in a spiritual way (loving it because it is true and because it leads to wisdom) gather together on receiving a sign; these spirits then debate issues that require deep understanding, and draw conclusions.
The angels took me by the hand, saying to me, “Come with us and you will see and hear. We received the sign that a gathering is happening today.”
They led me across a large flat area of land to a hill. I was surprised to see here a covered walkway or colonnade formed entirely of living palm trees. It began at the bottom of the hill and continued to the top. We went into it and made our way up the hill. At the hills highest point a stand of trees came into view. Within this stand of trees, earth had been built up in such a way as to form an arena. In the arena there was a level area paved with pebbles of different colors. Around the paved part, on all four sides, there were chairs set up on which the lovers of wisdom were sitting. At the center of the whole arena there was a table. On it lay a document sealed with a signet ring.
sRef Gen@1 @27 S2′ sRef Gen@5 @1 S2′ sRef Gen@1 @26 S2′ [2] The people sitting on the chairs invited us to take some unoccupied seats, but I replied, “I was brought here by these two angels not to sit, but to watch and to listen.”
Then the two angels went to the table in the middle of the paved area and broke the seal on the document. To the seated participants they read what was written in the document – mysteries of wisdom that the crowd was to discuss and unfold. These mysteries had been written by angels of the third heaven and sent down to that table.
There were three mysteries. First, human beings were created in the image and the likeness of God [Genesis 1:26]; what is that image and what is that likeness? Second, animals and birds, whether noble or not, are born with knowledge that relates to every drive or love they have; why then are human beings born without any knowledge that relates to any drive or love they have? Third, what does the tree of life mean, what does the tree of the knowledge of good and evil mean, and what does eating from them mean [Genesis 2:9, 16-17; 3:6]? Below these points it said, Connect these three into a single statement, write it on a new sheet of paper, put it on this table, and we will look at it. If on balance your statement seems well considered and accurate, each of you will be given a prize for your wisdom.
After they had read this aloud the two angels walked away and were lifted up into their respective heavens. Then the people on the chairs began to discuss the mysteries set before them and to unravel them. They took turns speaking. Those sitting on the north side went first, then those sitting on the west side, then those sitting on the south side, and finally those sitting on the east side.
The group took up the first topic for discussion: Human beings were created in the image and the likeness of God; what is that image and what is that likeness? First the following verses from the Book of Creation were read before the whole group:

God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, according to our likeness.” And God created human beings in his own image; in the likeness of God he made them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

On the day that God created human beings, he made them in the likeness of God. (Genesis 5:1)

sRef Gen@2 @7 S3′ [3] Those sitting on the north side spoke first. They said, “The image of God and the likeness of God are the two kinds of life that God has breathed into us all: the life in our will and the life in our intellect. We read, ‘Jehovah God breathed a soul of lives into Adams nostrils, and the human being turned into a living soul’ (Genesis 2:7). We believe this means that willing what is good and perceiving what is true were breathed into Adam – this is how he received ‘a soul of lives.’ Because the life breathed into Adam came from God, the image and the likeness mean a purity of love and wisdom, and of justice and judgment, in Adam.”
Those sitting on the west side agreed, but added that the pure state God breathed into Adam is something God has been continually breathing into everyone else ever since. That pure state, then, is present in human beings inasmuch as they are vessels that receive it. Their capacity as receiving vessels makes human beings images and likenesses of God.
sRef Gen@3 @22 S4′ [4] Those sitting on the south side were the third to take a turn. They said, “The image of God and the likeness of God are two different things, although they have been united in human beings ever since creation. From some kind of inner light we see that we all have the power to destroy the image of God in ourselves, but not the likeness of God. We can glimpse this as though through a veil from the fact that Adam kept the likeness of God after he lost the image of God. After the curse it says, ‘See how this human being knows good and evil, like one of us’ (Genesis 3:22); and later on, Adam is called the likeness of God, but not the image of God (Genesis 5:1). We will leave it, however, to our friends sitting on the east side, who therefore have better light, to say what the image of God and the likeness of God really are.”
[5] When it had grown quiet, those sitting on the east side rose from their chairs and looked up toward the Lord. Then they sat back down and said, An image of God is a vessel for God. God is love itself and wisdom itself; therefore the image of God is our openness to love and wisdom from God. The likeness of God, on the other hand, is the perfect likeness and the full appearance that love and wisdom are in us as if they were completely our own. We all utterly feel as if we have love and wisdom on our own, as if we intend what is good and understand what is true by ourselves. In reality, though, not a bit of it comes from us; it is from God. God alone has love and wisdom on his own, because God is love itself and wisdom itself. The likeness or the appearance that love and wisdom or goodness and truth are in us as our very own makes us human and enables us to have a partnership with God and therefore to live to eternity. It flows from this that what makes us human is our ability on the one hand to intend what is good and understand what is true completely as if we were on our own, and our capacity on the other hand for knowing and believing that we are doing this with God’s help. As we come to know and believe that we are getting help from God, God puts his image in us. God does not put his image in us, however, if we believe that we are doing it on our own without God’s help.
[6] When they had said this, a passion from their love for truth came over them, which led them to say the following: “How could any of us receive, retain, or pass on any love or wisdom if we did not experience it as our own? How could we have a partnership with God through love and wisdom if we had no way of doing our part to form that partnership? There is no such thing as a partnership without mutuality. What makes the partnership mutual is that we love God and we act on what we receive from God, doing so as if we were on our own but trusting that we have God’s help. How could we live to eternity if we had no partnership with the eternal God? How then would we be human if that likeness were not in us?”
[7] All agreed with this and said, “We need to draw a conclusion from all this.” They came to the following: “We are vessels to receive God. A vessel to receive God is an image of God. Because God is love itself and wisdom itself, we are vessels to receive love and wisdom; our vessel becomes an image of God as we actually do receive love and wisdom. We are a likeness of God because we experience things from God in ourselves as if they were our own. We go from being a likeness to being an image of God to the extent that we acknowledge that the love and wisdom or goodness and truth in us are not ours and did not originate in us; they exist solely in God and they come exclusively from God.
[8] Next the group took up the second topic for discussion: “Animals and birds, whether noble or not, are born with knowledge that relates to every drive or love they have; why then are human beings born without any knowledge that relates to any drive or love they have?”
The participants began by verifying the truth of the premise in various ways, particularly the notion that human beings have no innate knowledge or instinct, not even in relation to marriage love. They made inquiries and heard from researchers that newborns lack even an innate knowledge or instinct for recognizing their mother’s breast; newborns learn to nurse only when their mother or whoever is nursing them gives them her breast. Newborns know only how to suck, an instinct they gained from sucking all the time while in their mother’s womb. Shortly after birth, they do not know how to walk or how to shape sound into any human word, or even how to use different sounds to express their love and emotions the way animals do. Unlike animals, they have no idea what food would be good for them – they seize anything at hand, clean or dirty, and put it in their mouths. The researchers also said that without instruction people have absolutely no idea how to make love to the opposite sex. Not even young men and women know how without learning about it from others. In a nutshell, we are born as mindlessly physical as a worm and remain that way unless we learn from others how to know, understand, and grow wise.
[9] Next the participants verified that animals, whether noble or not, are born with all the knowledge related to the various drives or loves that affect their lives. This is true of land animals, birds that fly in the sky, reptiles, fish, and even the little creatures known as insects. They all know everything that is good for them to eat, everything about how to make a home for themselves, and everything about how to mate and how to produce and raise their offspring. The participants verified these facts by recalling the astounding things they had seen, heard, and read in the physical world where they used to live, in which animals are real rather than symbolic.
Once the truth of the premise was proven in this way, the participants turned their minds to hunting for and finding a means of unfolding and uncovering this mystery. They all said that these phenomena must come about as a result of divine wisdom intentionally making humans human and animals animal, and creating the circumstance that our imperfection at birth becomes our perfection, while an animals perfection at birth becomes its imperfection.
[10] Then the people on the north side went first in giving their opinion. They said, “We are born without knowledge so that we can be open to all knowledge. If we had been born with knowledge, we would not have been open to any concepts except those we were born with; nor would we have been capable of acquiring any further knowledge.”
They illustrated this with an analogy: “When first born we are like ground in which no seeds have been planted, but which has the capacity to take in any and all seeds and help them grow and bear fruit. An animal is like ground that is already sown and is full of grasses and small plants. The seeds already sown in that ground fill it to capacity. If more seeds are planted, they are choked out. This is why we take so many years to grow up. In our growing years we are like ground that can be cultivated to yield crops, flowers, and trees of all kinds. Animals grow up in just a few years, and in their growing years they cannot be cultivated beyond their innate potential.”
[11] The people on the west side spoke next. They said, “It is true that unlike animals we are born without knowledge. We are, however, born with a capacity and a tendency – a capacity for knowing and a tendency to love. We have an inborn ability to love not only things that have to do with ourselves and the world but also things that have to do with God and heaven. At birth our physical senses are scarcely alive except in a dim way and our inner senses are not alive at all – a situation that allows us progressively to come to life and become human. First we become earthly, and then rational, and finally spiritual. This would not happen if we were born like animals with various types of knowledge and love already in place. Knowledge and feelings of love that are inborn limit the progression; but capacities and tendencies that are inborn do not limit it at all. Human beings are therefore capable of being perfected in knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom to eternity.”
[12] The people on the south side then took their turn in giving their opinion. They said, “It is impossible for human beings to learn anything from themselves. Since they have no innate knowledge, they have to learn it all from others. Because they cannot acquire any knowledge from themselves, they cannot acquire any love from themselves either, since where there is no knowledge there is no love. Knowledge and love are partners that are no more separable than the will and the intellect or feelings and thoughts, or essence and form for that matter. Therefore as we pick up knowledge from others, love accompanies it. The universal love that attaches to knowledge is love for knowing, and later it becomes love for understanding and growing wise. These types of love are found only in human beings, never in animals; they flow in from God.
[13] “We stand in agreement with our colleagues on the west side on the point that we are all born without love and therefore without knowledge; we are born only with a tendency to love and a resulting capacity for acquiring knowledge. We acquire knowledge from others, not from ourselves. Actually this happens through others, in the sense that they did not receive the knowledge from themselves either – it all comes originally from God.
“We also agree with our colleagues on the north side on the point that when first born we are all like ground in which no seeds have yet been planted, but in which all seeds, whether noble or not, can be planted. This is why human is related to ‘humus,’ and ‘Adam’ to adama, or ‘soil.’ We would like to add to these points that animals are born with earthly loves and with the knowledge that goes with these loves. Nevertheless the knowledge animals possess does not lead them to know, think, understand, or be wise about anything. Their loves lead them to knowledge much the way guide dogs lead the blind through streets. Animals are blind in intellect. Or better yet, they are like sleepwalkers who do what they do from blind knowledge while their intellect sleeps.”
[14] The last to speak were the people on the east side. They said, “We agree with what our friends have said. We humans learn from and through others, not from ourselves. Therefore we need to recognize and acknowledge that everything we know, understand, and have wisdom about comes from God. There is no other way for us to be born or generated by God and become an image and a likeness of him. An image of God is what we become by acknowledging and believing that all the goodness of love and goodwill and all the truth of wisdom and faith that we have received and are still receiving come from God, and none comes from ourselves. A likeness of God is what we are as a result of experiencing these things in ourselves as if they were our own. We experience them in this way because rather than being born with knowledge, we acquire it as we go along. Our acquiring of knowledge seems to us to be something we do ourselves. God grants us this experience so that we may be human rather than animal. Our seeming autonomy in intending, thinking, loving, knowing, understanding, and becoming wise allows us to acquire knowledge, elevate it to an understanding, and turn it into wisdom as we put it to use. This is how God unites us to himself, and how we unite ourselves to God. None of this could take place unless God had provided for us to be born in total ignorance.”
[15] After this statement the whole group wanted to form a conclusion from their discussion. Their conclusion was, “We are born without any knowledge so that we can come into all knowledge, make progress in understanding, and move onward into wisdom. We are born without any love so that by intelligently applying what we learn we can come into all love, can come to love God through loving our neighbor, and can thereby develop a partnership with God that makes us truly human and allows us to live forever.”
[16] Then the participants picked up the document and read the third topic for discussion: “What does the tree of life mean, what does the tree of the knowledge of good and evil mean, and what does eating from them mean?”
They all asked the group on the east side to unravel this mystery, “since,” they said, “it is a matter of deeper understanding and you who are from the east have a blazing light, meaning that you have a wisdom that comes from love. This kind of wisdom is in fact what the garden of Eden means, where the two trees were situated.”
The people on the east side replied, “We will give an answer, yet because human beings receive everything from God and nothing from themselves, we will give an answer from him, although we will still give it as if it were our own.
“A tree means a human being,” they said. “Its fruit means the good done by that human beings life. Therefore the tree of life means someone who lives from God. Because love and wisdom, along with goodwill and faith – or rather, goodness and truth – are God – life in us, the tree of life means people who have those things from God and who have eternal life as a result. Much the same thing is meant by the tree of life from which people were allowed to eat (Revelation 2:7; 22:2, 14).
sRef Gen@3 @5 S17′ [17] “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil means those who believe that they live on their own rather than from God – that the love and wisdom and the goodwill and faith – or again, the goodness and truth – that are in them are their own and not God’s. They believe this because the likeness and appearance of their thinking, intending, speaking, and acting on their own is completely convincing. Because they use this appearance to convince themselves that they are in fact God, therefore the serpent said, ‘God knows that on the day you eat some of the fruit of that tree, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’ (Genesis 3:5).
[18] “Eating from those trees means accepting and internalizing. Eating from the tree of life means accepting eternal life. Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil means accepting damnation. The serpent means the Devil, which is loving ourselves and having pride in our own intelligence. Love for ourselves owns the latter tree. If we have pride because we love ourselves, we are trees of the knowledge of good and evil.
“It is horrendously wrong, then, to believe that Adam was wise and did what was good on his own, and that this was what was pure about his state. Adam himself was in fact cursed because of that very belief. That is what it means to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that is why Adam fell at that time. His earlier state had been pure because then he believed he was wise and was doing what was good with God’s help and in absolutely no respect on his own. This is what it means to eat from the tree of life. The only person who ever became wise on his own and did what was good on his own was the Lord while he was in the world, because divinity itself was in him and was his from birth. That is how he became the Redeemer and Savior by his own power.”
[19] From these points the participants drew the following conclusion: “The meaning of the tree of life, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and eating from those trees is as follows: Our life is God in us. With God in us we have heaven and eternal life. Our death, on the other hand, is the conviction and belief that our life is we ourselves and not God. This attitude brings us hell and eternal death, meaning damnation.”
[20] After this they checked over the document that the angels had left on the table. They saw written at the bottom, “Connect these three into a single statement.”
They brought them together and found that the three connected to form a single chain. The chain, their statement, was this: “We human beings have been created to receive love and wisdom from God and yet to experience them completely as if they came from ourselves, for the sake of our receiving them and forming a partnership with God. For this reason we are not born with any love, any knowledge, or any capability whatever for loving or becoming wise on our own. If we attribute all the goodness of love and all the truth of wisdom to God, we become living human beings. If we attribute them to ourselves, we become dead human beings.”
They wrote this on a new sheet of paper and placed it on the table. Suddenly angels were present in a shining white cloud. They took the document to heaven. After it was read there, the people sitting on the chairs heard voices from heaven saying, “Good! . . . Good! . . . Good!”
Immediately someone came into view, flying down from above. He had two wings attached to his ankles and two more attached to his temples. He was carrying prizes – robes, hats, and laurel wreaths. He landed on the ground, then gave opalescent robes to the people sitting on the north side. To the people sitting on the west side he gave scarlet robes. To the people sitting on the south side he gave hats whose rims were decorated with bands of gold and bands of pearls, and whose raised left sides were decorated with diamonds cut in the shape of flowers. To the people sitting on the east side, however, he gave laurel wreaths with rubies and sapphires in them. Decorated with these prizes from their wisdom games, they all went joyfully home.

TCR (Rose) n. 49 49
God’s Omnipotence, Omniscience,
and Omnipresence

We have discussed divine love and wisdom and have shown that these two qualities make up the divine essence. We turn next to God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence because these three attributes come from divine love and divine wisdom much the way the sun’s power and presence everywhere on earth come from the sun’s heat and light. In fact, the heat of the sun in the spiritual world (the sun that surrounds Jehovah God) is essentially divine love, and its light is essentially divine wisdom. Clearly then, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence are attributes of the divine essence the way infinity, immensity, and eternity are attributes of the underlying divine reality.
Up until now these three universal attributes of divine essence have not been understood, because it has not been known that they keep to their own pathways, meaning the laws of the divine design.165
Therefore these attributes need to be elucidated in an examination of the following points:

1. It is divine wisdom, acting on behalf of divine love, that has omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.

2. We cannot comprehend God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence unless we know what the divine design is, and unless we learn that God is the divine design, and that he imposed that design on the universe as a whole and on everything in it as he created it.

3. In the universe and everything in it, God’s omnipotence follows and works through the laws of its design.

4. God is omniscient; that is, he is aware of, sees, and knows everything down to the least detail that happens in keeping with the divine design, and by contrast is aware of, sees, and knows what goes against the divine design.

5. God is omnipresent in his design from beginning to end.

6. Human beings were created as forms of the divine design.

7. The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more we receive power against evil and falsity from God’s omnipotence, receive wisdom about goodness and truth from God’s omniscience, and are in God because of God’s omnipresence.
These points need to be unfolded one by one.

TCR (Rose) n. 50 sRef John@1 @10 S0′ sRef John@1 @4 S0′ sRef John@1 @3 S0′ sRef John@1 @14 S0′ sRef John@1 @1 S0′ 50
1. It is divine wisdom, acting on behalf of divine love, that has omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence belong to divine wisdom acting on behalf of divine love, not to divine love acting through divine wisdom. This is a secret from heaven that has never yet dawned on anyone’s understanding, because before this no one has known what love is in its essence, or what wisdom is in its essence, much less how the one flows into the other. Love, with everything that belongs to it, flows into wisdom and takes up residence there like a monarch of a realm or a head of a household. The actual administration of justice is something love leaves to wisdom’s judgment; and since justice relates to love and judgment to wisdom, this means that love leaves the administration of love to its [partner,] wisdom. More light will be shed on this secret in what follows. For now, the statement above will have to serve as a general rule.
The following words in John mean that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent through the wisdom of his love:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by it, and nothing that was made came about without it. In it there was life, and that life was the light for humankind. And the world was made by it; and the Word became flesh. (John 1:1, 3, 4, 10, 14)

In this passage “the Word” means divine truth or, what amounts to the same thing, divine wisdom. This is why the Word is also called “life” and “light,” since life and light are nothing but wisdom.

TCR (Rose) n. 51 sRef Ps@119 @164 S0′ sRef Amos@5 @24 S0′ sRef Hos@2 @19 S0′ sRef Ps@36 @6 S0′ sRef Ps@72 @2 S0′ sRef Ps@119 @7 S0′ sRef Jer@23 @5 S0′ sRef Isa@33 @5 S0′ sRef Ps@37 @6 S0′ sRef Jer@9 @24 S0′ sRef Isa@1 @27 S0′ sRef Ps@89 @14 S0′ sRef Isa@9 @8 S0′ 51
In the Word, “justice” is associated with love and “judgment” with wisdom. For this reason I will present some passages to the effect that God governs the world with these two qualities.

Jehovah, justice and judgment are the support of your throne. (Psalms 89:14)

Those who wish to glory should glory in this, that Jehovah creates judgment and justice on earth. (Jeremiah 9:24)

Jehovah should be exalted because he filled the earth with judgment and justice. (Isaiah 33:5)

Judgment will flow like water and justice like a mighty stream. (Amos 5:24)
Jehovah, your justice is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like a great deep. (Psalms 36:6)

Jehovah will bring out his justice like a light, and [his] judgment like noonday. (Psalms 37:6)

Jehovah will judge his people in justice and his poor ones in judgment. (Psalms 72:2)

When I learn the judgments of your justice, seven times a day I praise you for the judgments of your justice. (Psalms 119:7, 164)

I will betroth myself to you in justice and judgment. (Hosea 2:19)

Zion will be redeemed with justice, and its returned exiles with judgment. (Isaiah 1:27)

He will sit on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it with judgment and justice. (Isaiah 9:7)

I will raise up for David a righteous offshoot who will reign as king and execute judgment and justice on earth. (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15)

Elsewhere we read that we ought to practice justice and judgment, as in Isaiah 1:21; 5:16; 58:2; Jeremiah 4:2; 22:3, 13, 15; Ezekiel 18:5; 33:14, 16, 19; Amos 6:12; Micah 7:9; Deuteronomy 33:21; and John 16:8, 10, 11.

TCR (Rose) n. 52 52
2. We cannot comprehend God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence unless we know what the divine design is, and unless we learn that God is the divine design and that he imposed that design on the universe as a whole and on everything in it as he created it. Astounding quantities and varieties of folly have crept into human minds and slithered into the church through the heads of its founders as a result of their not understanding the design that God built into the universe and everything in it. A mere list of these foolish notions, which appears below [56-58], will make this clear.
For now let me open a discussion of the divine design with a general definition: A “design” is the quality of arrangement, boundaries, and interaction among parts, substances, or entities that together make up a form. This quality results in a state – a state that is perfect when produced by wisdom acting on the basis of love, and imperfect when spawned by unsound reasoning acting on the basis of mere desire.
This definition uses the terms substance, form, and state. By substance we mean form as well, because every substance is a form, and the quality of that form is its state. The perfection or imperfection of that state is a result of the design it has.
Because these points are metaphysical, though, they are unavoidably cloaked in thick darkness; but in the ensuing discussion, application of these terms in illustrative examples will dispel this darkness.

TCR (Rose) n. 53 53
God is the divine design because he is substance itself and form itself. He is substance because from him come all things that subsist, that came into existence in the past, and that are coming into existence now. He is form because every quality of [these] substances arose and arises from him. Quality comes from no other source than form.
Now, because God is the absolute, the first, and the only substance and form and is also the absolute and only love and the absolute and only wisdom, and because wisdom produces form on the basis of love, and the state and quality of the form depend on its design, it follows that God is the design itself. It also follows that from himself God imposed a design on the universe and on every single thing in it, and the design imposed was absolutely perfect because all that he created was good, as we read in Genesis, the Book of Creation.
(In its own place we will show that evil of every kind and hell itself came into existence after creation.)
Now we turn to thoughts that are more accessible to, clearer for, and gentler on the mind.

TCR (Rose) n. 54 54
Explaining the type of design that was built into the universe at creation would take many volumes. (A little sketch of it will appear under the next subheading, on creation [75-80]).
One point that needs to be understood is this: Each and every thing in the universe was created with its own design so that it would continue to exist on its own. This happened from the very beginning so that each thing could become part of the overall design of the universe. The purpose is that the individual designs shall continue to exist within the universal design so that all are one.
Now for some examples. The human being was created with a design of its own, and also each individual part of a human being was created with a design of its own. The head has its own design, the body has its. The heart, the lungs, the liver, the pancreas, and the stomach have their own designs. Every organ of motion called a muscle has its own design. Every organ of sensation, such as the eye, the ear, and the tongue, has its own design. In fact, there is not a capillary or a fibril in the human body that lacks its own design. Yet all these countless parts connect with the overall design and join up with it in such a way that together they form one overall design.
The same applies to all other things. A mere list of them is enough for illustration. Every animal on land, every bird in the sky, every fish in the sea, every reptile, in fact, every insect even down to a grub has its own design built in from creation. Likewise every tree, shrub, bush, and vegetable has its own design. Furthermore, every stone and every mineral, even down to every type of dust on the earth has its own design.

TCR (Rose) n. 55 55
As everyone can see, all well-established empires, countries, counties, republics, cities, and homes have laws that constitute the design and form of their government. In each of those arenas, the laws of justice are at the top, political laws are in second place, and business laws are in third place. If these laws are compared with a human being, the laws of justice constitute the head, political laws the body, and business laws the clothes. This is why business laws can be changed like clothes.
As for the design that God incorporated into the church, it is that God is part of every aspect of the church, and so is our neighbor, for whose sake we are to follow the design. There are as many laws of the design belonging to the church as there are truths in the Word. Laws related to God are to constitute its head, laws related to our neighbor its body, and rituals its clothing.
If the church’s higher laws were not embodied in its rituals, the church would be like a body stripped naked, exposed to the heat in summer and the cold in winter. This would be like taking the walls and vaulted ceilings away from a church building so that the sanctuary, altar, and pulpit stood in the open air exposed to violent forces of different kinds.

TCR (Rose) n. 56 56
3. In the universe and everything in it, God’s omnipotence follows and works through the laws of its design. God is omnipotent, because he has all power from himself. All others have power from him. God’s power and his will are one. Because he wills nothing but what is good, he cannot do anything but what is good. In the spiritual world no one can do anything against his or her will – a condition there that comes from God, from the fact that his power and his will are one. God is in fact goodness itself. When he does something good, he is in himself. He cannot walk away from himself.
Clearly then, his omnipotence fills, and works within, the sphere of the extension of goodness, a sphere that is infinite. At a deep level, this sphere pervades the universe and everything in it. At a deep level, this sphere also governs things outside of itself to the extent that they become part of it through their own design. If things do not become part of that sphere, it still sustains them. It tries in every way to bring them back to a design in harmony with the universal design that God inhabits with his omnipotence and follows in his actions. If things against the design are not brought back into the design, they are cast out of God; but there he still sustains them from deep within.
From all this you can see that divine omnipotence cannot move outside itself into contact with any evil, nor can it move evil away from itself. Evil turns itself away, which is how it ends up being completely separated from God and thrown into hell. Between heaven, where God is, and hell, there is a huge chasm.
From these few points you can see how insane people are who think that God can condemn anyone, curse anyone, throw anyone into hell, predestine anyone’s soul to eternal death, avenge wrongs, or rage against or punish anyone. People are even more insane if they actually believe this, let alone teach it. In reality, God cannot turn away from us or even look at us with a frown. To do any such thing would be against his essence, and what is against his essence is against himself.

TCR (Rose) n. 57 57
The dominant opinion nowadays is that the omnipotence of God is like the absolute power of a monarch in the world, who can do whatever she or he wishes on a whim: absolve and condemn at will, make the guilty innocent, declare the unfaithful to be faithful, promote undeserving and unworthy people above those who are worthy and deserving. Under any pretext whatever, he or she can even seize citizens’ assets, sentence them to death, and so on.
Through this ridiculous opinion, belief, and teaching about divine omnipotence, the same number of falsities, errors, and fabled monsters have poured into the church as there are movements, branches, and new sects of the faith. There is still room for more – as many more as the jars you could fill with water from a great lake, or as many as the snakes in an Arabian desert that could crawl out of their caves to enjoy basking in the sunshine. All you would need [to start a new movement, branch, or sect] are those two little words, “omnipotence” and “faith,” and a program to spread enough conjectures, fables, and blithering to be physically stimulating.
Each of those two words pushes reason aside. Once our reason is disengaged, our thought process is no better than that of a bird flying overhead. What then becomes of the spiritual aspect that we have but animals lack? It becomes like the smell in a zoo: it suits the wild animals that are there but does not suit people unless they are particularly beastly.
If divine omnipotence extended to doing evil as well as good, what difference would there be between God and the Devil? They would be no different than two rulers, one of whom is a monarch and also a tyrant, while the other is a tyrant whose power has been curtailed so that he or she cannot be called a monarch anymore. They would be no different than a shepherd who is allowed to keep a sheep and a leopard, and another shepherd who is not allowed to do the same. Surely anyone can see that good and evil are opposites, and that if God by his omnipotence were able to will and do both good and evil, he could do absolutely nothing. He would have no power at all, much less omnipotence.
This situation would be much like the way two wheels going in opposite directions act against one another, causing each wheel to come to a stop. It would be like a ship whose course ran against a strong current in the opposite direction. If the ship did not drop anchor and stay still, it would be carried off to its doom. It would be like a human being with two wills that disagreed with each other. When one of them acted, the other would have to be still. Otherwise, if both acted at once, a dizzying madness would assault the mind.

TCR (Rose) n. 58 58
If, as the modern-day belief goes, God’s omnipotence was as absolute for doing evil as it is for doing good, surely it would be possible, even easy, for God to lift the whole of hell to heaven. He could turn devils and satans into angels. In a moment he could take all the ungodly people on earth, purify them from sin, make them new, holy, and reborn, and justify them, turning them from children of wrath into children of grace [Ephesians 2:3-8] solely by assigning and attributing to them the justice of his Son.
God cannot do this with his omnipotence. It is against the laws of his design for the universe. It is also against the laws of his design for human beings, which dictate that the individual and God have to form a mutual partnership. (From later sections in this book [89, 99, 100, 110:4-6, 368-372] you will see that this is the case.)
The ridiculous modern-day belief about God’s omnipotence would mean that God could turn all goat people into sheep people and move them at will from his left side to his right [Matthew 25:31-46]. He could transform the dragon’s spirits into Michael’s angels [Revelation 12:7]. He could give the sight of an eagle to someone with an intellect like a mole. In a word, he could make a dove person out of an owl person.
God cannot do these things, because doing so is against the laws of his design, although he never stops wanting to or trying. If he could have done things like this he would not have let Adam listen to the serpent, pluck a piece of fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and bring it to his mouth. If God could have avoided it, he would not have let Cain kill his brother. He would not have let David take a census of the people; he would not have let Solomon build shrines for idols, or let the kings of Judah and Israel desecrate the Temple, which they did a number of times. Indeed if he could have, he would have saved the whole human race without exception through his Son’s redemption and would have uprooted hell in its entirety.
Ancient gentiles ascribed this kind of omnipotence to their gods and goddesses, as you can see from their myths. For example, in the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha, the stones they throw behind their backs become people; in another story Apollo turns Daphne into a laurel tree; in another, Diana turns a hunter into a deer. And there is a myth that one of their gods turned the young maidens of Parnassus into magpies.
The belief about divine omnipotence today is similar to these ancient myths. In every region where there is religion many fanatical and heretical ideas have been brought into the world as a result.

TCR (Rose) n. 59 sRef Rev@22 @5 S0′ sRef John@1 @1 S0′ sRef John@1 @9 S0′ 59
4. God is omniscient; that is, he is aware of, sees, and knows everything down to the least detail that happens in keeping with the divine design, and by contrast is aware of, sees, and knows what goes against the divine design. God is omniscient, that is, he is aware of, sees, and knows all things, because he is wisdom itself and light itself. Wisdom itself is aware of all things. Light itself sees all things.
We showed above [37] that God is wisdom itself. He is light itself because he is the sun of the angelic heaven that enlightens the intellect of all, both angels and people. As our eye is illuminated by the light of the physical sun, so our intellect is illuminated by the light of the spiritual sun – not only illuminated, but also filled with intelligence (depending on how much we love receiving it), since spiritual light is essentially wisdom.
This is why it says in David that God dwells in inaccessible light [Psalms 104:2; see also 1 Timothy 6:16]; and why it says in the Book of Revelation that in the New Jerusalem they do not need lamps because the Lord God enlightens them [Revelation 21:23]; and why it says in John that the Word that was with God and was God is the light that enlightens everyone who comes into the world [John 1:1, 9]. The “Word” in this last reference means divine wisdom. This is why the more wisdom angels have, the brighter a light they are in; and why when “light” is mentioned in the Word it means wisdom.

TCR (Rose) n. 60 60
God is aware of, sees, and knows everything down to the least detail that happens in keeping with the divine design because it is a universal design that encompasses the smallest individual designs. (Individual things taken collectively are called universal, just as particular instances are collectively called something common or general.)
The universal design with [all] its individual designs is a masterwork so well connected together into one thing that you cannot touch or affect one part without something of a sensation flowing back to the others. Every created thing in this world has something comparable to this quality of the divine design in the universe.
Comparisons with observable phenomena will shed light on this. Throughout a human being, there are connective membranes and individual parts. The membranes enclose the individual parts, creating such a thorough connection that they become part of each other. This is accomplished through a common membrane around every unit in the body. This membrane wraps around the individual parts inside so that they act in a unified way to do whatever function or service that unit provides.
For example, the membrane around each muscle extends between individual motor fibers and wraps them with itself. The membrane around the liver, the membrane around the pancreas, and the membrane around the spleen also extend into the smaller parts inside these organs. The membrane around the lungs, called the pleura, extends in a similar way into the individual parts inside the lungs, as the pericardium also extends into each and every part of the heart. Likewise the peritoneum in general goes through anastomoses [points of communication] to join with all the membranes around individual organs. The same is also true of the meninges, the membranes around the brain. Using projecting filaments, these membranes extend into all the glands below, and extend through the glands into fibers, and through the fibers into every single thing in the body. This is how the head uses the brains to control everything under its power.
The sole purpose in mentioning these examples is to show you observable phenomena, so that you may have some idea of how God is aware of, sees, and knows everything down to the least detail that happens in keeping with the divine design.

TCR (Rose) n. 61 61
From what occurs in keeping with the divine design, God is aware of, knows, and sees everything down to the least detail that is done against the divine design.
When people are involved in evil, God does not hold them there; he holds them back from evil. He does not lead them; he struggles against them. He perceives the quantity and quality of evil and falsity from their constant wrestling, striving, struggling, fighting, and pushing back against his own good and truth, and therefore against himself. This comes from God’s omnipresence in everything of his own design as well as his complete knowledge of everything in that design.
By analogy, when your ear focuses on harmony and on sounds that are in tune, and then something discordant or out of tune occurs, you notice precisely how wrong and how far off it is. A similar awareness occurs when you focus on some pleasure and then some unpleasant sensation interrupts.
By the same token, when your sight focuses on something beautiful, your appreciation of it is heightened if there is something misshapen beside it; this is why painters often place an unpleasant face next to a beautiful one. The same thing happens with goodness and truth. When evil and falsity struggle against good and truth, we perceive the evil and the falsity distinctly by contrast.
Everyone who focuses on goodness can sense evil, and everyone who focuses on truth can see falsity. The reason is that goodness is actually in the warmth of heaven and truth is in its light, while evil is in the coldness of hell and falsity is in its darkness. An illustration of this is that the angels of heaven are capable of seeing what goes on in hell and what type of monsters are there; but the spirits of hell are completely unable to see what goes on in heaven. They cannot see the angels any more than a blind person could, or more than an eye would see something by looking into empty air or ether.
Those who have the light of wisdom in their intellects are like people standing on a mountain in the middle of the day clearly seeing everything below. Those who have an even higher light are like people with telescopes who can see things off in the distance or far below as if they were close at hand. Those, however, who have defended falsities and are therefore in the faint, deceptive light of hell are like people on the same mountain at night with oil lamps in their hands who can see only what is nearby and even then can barely make out vague shapes or tell colors apart.
Some people have some light of truth but still have evil in their lives. As they go on loving and enjoying their particular evil, at first they view things that are true more or less the way a bat views towels on a clothesline in a garden – it flies to them as a safe haven. Later on these people become like night birds, and then at length like horned owls. Then they become like a chimneysweep stuck in a dark chimney; when he raises his eyes, he sees the sky through the smoke; when he looks down he sees the hearth from which the smoke ascends.

TCR (Rose) n. 62 sRef Ps@139 @8 S0′ sRef Amos@9 @2 S0′ 62
Keep in mind, however, that it is one thing to sense things that are opposite and another to sense things that are related. Opposites are things that stand outside and against the things that are inside. Something opposite first arises where one thing completely stops being anything and something else then arises that tries to act against the first thing, like one gear that opposes another gear, or a current that goes against another current. Related things, however, have to do with the arrangement of many different elements into a design so that they work together in harmony – for example, the gems of different colors in the sash across a queens chest, or the multicolored flowers used in a garland to please the eye. Each side, then, contains things that are related to each other. The side of good contains things that are related to each other, and so does the side of evil; the side of truth contains things that are related to each other, and so does the side of falsity. Things related to each other exist in heaven and they exist in hell, but the things related to each other in hell are all opposite to the things related to each other in heaven.
Now, because God is aware of, sees, and knows all related things in heaven based on the divine design in which he himself is, and as a result he is aware of, sees, and knows all the opposing related things in hell, as follows from what was just said, therefore it is clear that God is just as omniscient in hell as he is in heaven. He also has full knowledge of people in the world. He is aware of, sees, and knows our evils and falsities from the goodness and truth that he is in and that are essentially him. As the Word says, “If I ascend into the heavens, you are there. If I lie down in hell, behold, you are there” (Psalms 139:8). Elsewhere it says, “If they dig through into hell, from there my hand will take them” (Amos 9:2).

TCR (Rose) n. 63 63
5. God is omnipresent in his design from beginning to end. God’s omnipresence in his design from beginning to end is a function of the heat and light from the sun that surrounds God in the spiritual world. The divine design was created through this sun. From it God sends forth a heat and a light that pervade the universe from beginning to end. That heat and that light give life to humankind and to every animal. They also produce the plant soul that every plant in the world possesses. The two flow into every single thing and cause it to live and grow according to the design assigned to it upon creation.
Because God is not extended and yet fills all things throughout the universe that are extended, he is omnipresent. I have shown elsewhere that God is in all space independently of space, and in all time independently of time [30], and therefore the universe in its essence and design is the fullness of God. Therefore he senses all things through his omnipresence, he provides all things through his omniscience, and he produces all things through his omnipotence. Clearly then, omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence are one; each presupposes the next. Therefore they cannot be separated.

TCR (Rose) n. 64 64
The divine omnipresence can be illustrated by the amazing way angels and spirits become present to each other in the spiritual world. Because there is no [physical] space in that world – there is only apparent space – an angel or a spirit can be visibly present with another in a moment, provided she or he comes into the same state of love and thought [as that other], since love and thought create the appearance of space.
All who are in the spiritual world have this way of becoming present. This became clear to me from the fact that I was able to see people from Africa and India nearby in that world, although we were many thousands of miles apart on earth. In fact, I was able to become visibly present with people on planets in this solar system and even with people on planets in other solar systems beyond this one.
Through this method of being present not in a place but in the appearance of a place, I have spoken with apostles, and with deceased popes, emperors, and monarchs; with Luther, Calvin, and Melanchthon, the founders of the modern-day church; and with others from distant regions. If angels and spirits have such a method of being present, surely an infinite divine presence exists throughout the universe.
The reason angels and spirits have this method of being present is that every feeling of love and every resulting thought in the intellect is in space independently of space and in time independently of time. Any one of us can think about a sibling, a relative, or a friend who is in the Indies, and then focus on those people as if they were present with us. We can also feel love for them on the basis of our memories. These phenomena, which are known to us, illustrate the divine omnipresence to some extent.
The divine omnipresence can also be illustrated by human thoughts. When we call to mind things we saw at this or that place while traveling, it is as if we are present in those places again.
Indeed, our physical eyesight emulates this presence. It is unaware of an objects distance except through things in between that provide a means of measuring. In fact, the sun itself would seem to be near to or even in our eye if things between us and the sun did not indicate that it is very far distant. People who have written on optics have recorded this phenomenon in their books.
The reason why our minds as well as our bodies have vision that can be present in this way is that our spirit sees through our spiritual eyes. Animals do not have a similar mental presence, however, since they have no spiritual sight.
From all this it stands to reason that God is omnipresent in his design from beginning to end. That he is also omnipresent in hell was shown in the point before this one [61-62].

TCR (Rose) n. 65 65
6. Human beings were created as forms of the divine design. We have been created as forms of the divine design because we have been created as images and likenesses of God, and since God is the design itself, we have therefore been created as images and likenesses of that design.
The divine design originally took shape, and it continues to exist, from two sources: divine love and divine wisdom. We human beings have been created as vessels for these two things. Therefore the design that divine love and wisdom follow in acting upon the universe, and especially upon the angelic heaven, has been built into us.
As a result, heaven in its entirety is a form of the divine design in its largest possible manifestation. In the sight of God, heaven is like one human being. The correspondence between heaven and a human being is in fact complete. There are no communities in heaven that do not answer to some part, some internal or external organ, of the human body. For this reason a given community in heaven is said to be in the province of the liver, the pancreas, the spleen, the stomach, the eye, the ear, or the tongue, and so on. In fact, the angels themselves know which specific area within a given part of the human body they inhabit. I was given an opportunity to learn about this from living experience. I saw a community of several thousand angels together in the form of one human being. From that experience it became clear to me that heaven as a whole is an image of God, and an image of God is a form of the divine design.

TCR (Rose) n. 66 66
It is important to know that everything that radiates from the sun around Jehovah God in the spiritual world relates to humanness. Therefore all things that take shape in that world combine to make a human form, and at their deepest level present that form themselves. As a result, all the objects that take shape there before the eyes are symbolic of a human being.
There are animals of every kind in that world. They are likenesses of the feelings of love and the resulting thoughts that angels have. The same goes for the tree gardens, flower gardens, and lawns and meadows there. The angels are also given insights about what feeling this or that object represents. Surprisingly, when their inner sight is opened up they recognize an image of themselves in the things around them. This happens because all people are their own love and their own thought. In everyone there are a variety and multiplicity of feelings and thoughts, some of which relate to the feeling embodied in one animal, and some to the feeling embodied in another. Therefore images of the angels’ feelings take shape in that way. There will be more on this topic in the part of this chapter on creation [75-80].
From all this the truth becomes clear that the purpose of creation was [to provide for] an angelic heaven from the human race – humankind as a resting place for God to inhabit. And this is why human beings were created as forms of the divine design.

TCR (Rose) n. 67 67
Before creation, God was love itself and wisdom itself. That love and that wisdom had a drive to be useful. Without usefulness, love and wisdom are only fleeting abstract entities, and they do indeed fly away if they do not move in the direction of usefulness. The two prior things without the third [love and wisdom without usefulness] are like birds flying across a great ocean that eventually become worn out, fall into the ocean, and drown.
God created the universe so that usefulness could exist. Therefore the universe could be called a theater of useful functions. Because we, the human race, are the principal reason for creation, it follows that absolutely everything else was created for our sake. All aspects of the divine design have been brought together and concentrated in us so that God can perform the highest forms of useful service through us.
Without usefulness as a third party, love and wisdom would be as unreal as the heat and light of the sun would be if they had no effect on people, animals, and plants. That heat and that light become real by flowing into things and having an effect on them.
Another set of three things that follow in order is purpose, means, and result. The learned world knows that a purpose is nothing unless it has reference to an efficient cause or means; and the purpose and the means are nothing unless there is a result. We can of course contemplate a purpose and the means of accomplishing it purely in our minds, but we still do so only for the sake of the result that the purpose intends and that the means make possible.
Likewise with love, wisdom, and useful service. Useful service is what love intends and what it occasions through the means. When useful service results, love and wisdom take on a real existence. In that useful service, they set up a place for themselves to live and stay, and there they rest as if they were at home. We are that way ourselves when God’s love and wisdom are in us and we do something useful. The reason we were created images and likenesses of God, or forms of the divine design, was so that we would be able to do God’s useful services.

TCR (Rose) n. 68 68
7. The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more we receive power against evil and falsity from God’s omnipotence, receive wisdom about goodness and truth from God’s omniscience, and are in God because of God’s omnipresence. The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more power we receive from God’s omnipotence to fight against forms of evil and falsity, because no one can resist evils or the falsities that go with them except God alone. All forms of evil and falsity are from hell. There they stick together as one thing, exactly the same way all forms of goodness and truth do in heaven.
As we said above [65], to God the totality of heaven is like one human being. On the other hand, hell is like one giant monster. Going against one evil and its falsity is going against that whole giant monster of hell – no one can do it except God, because he is omnipotent.
Clearly then, unless we seek help from God Almighty we have no more power of our own against evil and falsity than a fish has against the ocean, or a gnat against a whale, or a piece of dust against a mountain that is falling on it. On our own, the power we have against evil is much smaller than the power a locust has against an elephant or a fly against a camel. Furthermore, our power against evil and falsity is even weaker because we are born into evil. Evil cannot act against itself.
Therefore we have to follow the divine design in the way we live. We have to acknowledge God, his omnipotence, and our resulting safety from hell, and do our part to fight against the evil that is with us; this acknowledgment and this fighting go together as part of the divine design. Otherwise we cannot help being plunged into hell and swallowed up; and once there, we cannot help being driven by evils, one after the other, like a little rowboat on the sea being pushed around by storms.

TCR (Rose) n. 69 69
The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more wisdom about goodness and truth we receive from God’s omniscience. This is because all love for goodness and all wisdom about truth come from God. To put it another way, all the goodness of love and all the truth belonging to wisdom come from God – all the churches in the Christian world profess that it is so. Therefore we cannot inwardly have any true wisdom except from God, because God has omniscience, that is, infinite wisdom.
The human mind is divided into three levels, just as the angelic heaven is. The mind has the capability of being raised to a higher level and to another level higher still. Then again the mind can be brought down to a lower level and to another level lower still. As our minds are raised to the higher levels, we come into wisdom, because we come into the light of heaven. The mind cannot be raised except by God. The more our minds are raised to heaven, the more human we are. The more our minds are brought down to the lower levels, the more we come into the faint, deceptive light of hell. There we are not human, we are animals. (This is why people stand upright on their feet and look with their faces toward the sky, and are even capable of looking directly overhead. Animals, however, stand on their feet with their bodies parallel to the ground, looking down to the ground with their whole head, and only with difficulty can they raise their heads toward the sky.)
[2] If we lift our minds to God and acknowledge that all true wisdom comes from him, and we also follow the divine design in the way we live, we are like someone standing at the top of a tall building, who looks out on a crowded city below and watches what is happening in the streets. If, however, we are utterly convinced that all true wisdom comes from ourselves, from our own earthly light, we are like someone at the bottom of that same tall building who lurks in a room below ground looking at the same city through little holes in the wall, able to see the wall of only one of the houses in the city and to examine how its bricks are mortared.
When God is the source we draw on for wisdom, we are like a bird flying high, looking around at everything in the gardens, forests, and villages, and flying toward whatever we need. When we ourselves are the source we draw on for things related to wisdom without believing that those things actually come from God, we are like a hornet that flies near the ground and, on seeing a dunghill, lands there and enjoys the stench.
As long as we are living in the world, we all walk midway between heaven and hell. Therefore we are in an equilibrium. We can freely choose to look either upward to God or downward to hell. If we look upward to God, we recognize that all wisdom is from God and that in our spirits we are actually with angels in heaven. If we look downward (as we inevitably do if we have false thinking from an evil heart), in our spirits we are actually with devils in hell.

TCR (Rose) n. 70 sRef John@15 @4 S1′ 70
The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more fully we are in God because of God’s omnipresence. Because God is omnipresent he is intrinsically present, so to speak, everywhere in his divine design, in the sense that he is the divine design, as we showed above [52-53]. Now, because we have been created as forms of the divine design, God is in us. But this is true only to the extent that we fully follow the divine design in the way we live. When we do not follow that design in the way we live, God is still in us, but is only in the highest parts of us, making it possible for us to understand what is true and intend what is good. That is, he gives us a capacity to understand and an inclination to love. The more we go against the divine design in the way we live, however, the more we bar the lower levels of our minds or spirits and prevent God from descending into them and filling them with his presence. As a result, God is in us but we are not in God.
There is a common saying in heaven: God is in all of us, the evil as well as the good, but we are not in God unless we follow the divine design in the way we live. The Lord says that he wants us to be in him and him to be in us (John 15:4).
[2] When we follow the divine design in the way we live we are in God, because God is omnipresent in the universe and in everything within it at the inmost level, since things on the inmost level are in the divine design. Things that go against the divine design are all outside that inmost level. On the outer levels God’s omnipresence takes the form of an ongoing struggle with things that are against the divine design, and a constant effort to restore them to the divine design. The more we allow ourselves to be restored to the divine design, the more thoroughly present God is in each of us; consequently to a greater extent God is in us and we are in God.
It is no more possible for God to be absent from us than it is for the sun (through its heat and light) to be absent from our earth. The living things on earth, however, do not always feel the sun’s power. To feel it, they have to receive both the heat and the light that radiate from the sun, as they do in spring and summer. [3] This situation is applicable to God’s omnipresence as well. The more we are in harmony with the divine design, the more spiritual heat and light, or to put it another way, the more of love’s goodness and wisdom’s true perspective we have.
Spiritual heat and light are not, however, like physical heat and light. During the winters, the amount of physical heat available to the world and the objects in it diminishes. During the nights, the amount of light diminishes. This happens because the earth makes units of time with its rotations and its orbit. Spiritual heat and light do not behave the same way. Through his sun and its heat and light God is always present and does not go through changes the way the sun of our solar system appears to do. We ourselves turn away from God much the way the earth turns away from the sun. When we turn away from wisdom’s true perspective we are like the earth turning away from the sun by night. When we turn away from the goodness of love we are like the earth turning away from the sun in winter. The useful effects of the sun in the physical world correspond in this way to the useful effects of the sun in the spiritual world.

* * * * *

TCR (Rose) n. 71 71
To these points I will add three memorable occurrences.
The first memorable occurrence. Once I heard beneath me the sound of ocean waves. I asked what it was. Someone told me it was a riot that had broken out among the people gathered in the lower earth, a place just above hell. Soon the ground under our feet, which served as a roof over the people there, began to yawn wide. Then I was stunned to see huge flocks of night birds soaring out of the chasm. As they flew on they fanned out to the left. Immediately after them, locusts sprang up onto the grass and turned it all into a desert. A little later I began to hear night birds screeching back and forth to one another, and over to the side an incoherent wailing as if there were ghosts in the woods.
Afterward I saw beautiful birds from heaven fanning out to the right. The distinguishing features of those birds were their golden wings, which were irregularly streaked and spotted with something like silver. On the heads of some were crown-shaped crests.
As I was watching all this with amazement, suddenly a spirit flew up from the lower earth where the riot was going on. He possessed the power to change his form into that of an angel of light. He was shouting, “Where is the person who is talking and writing about the design God Almighty restricted himself to in relation to humankind? Down below we heard these things through the roof.”
When he reached the ground he hurried along a paved road. As at last he drew near me, he suddenly disguised himself as an angel of heaven.
Addressing me in a tone that was not his own he said, “Are you the one who is thinking and talking about the divine design? Tell me briefly what the divine design is, and say a few things about it.”
aRef 1Sam@5 @2 S2′ [2] “I’ll give you a summary,” I answered, “but I won’t go into details, because you wouldn’t understand.”
Then I said, “One: God is the divine design itself. Two: He created humankind on the basis of his design and in keeping with it, and built that design into us. Three: He created our rational minds in imitation of the divine design in the whole spiritual world, and our bodies in imitation of the divine design in the whole physical world. This is why the ancients called a person both a heaven in miniature and a world in miniature. Four: As a result, it is a law of the divine design that we are to rule our microcosm or physical-world-in-miniature from our microheaven or spiritual-world-in-miniature, just as God rules everything about the macrocosm or physical world from his macroheaven or spiritual world. Five: A law of the divine design following from this is that we are to bring ourselves into a state of faith by means of truths from the Word and bring ourselves into a state of goodwill by means of good actions; and this is how we reform and regenerate ourselves. Six: It is a law of the divine design that we are to use our own power and do our own work to purify ourselves from sins; we do not stand in impotent faith and wait for God miraculously to wipe them away. Seven: It is also a law of the divine design that we are to love God with all our soul and with all our heart, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are not to hang around and wait for God miraculously to put each love into our minds and hearts like putting bread from the baker in our mouths.
I said other things like that as well.
[3] To this the satan replied in a soothing voice that had pride behind it, “What are you saying? That on the basis of our own power we need to bring ourselves into the divine design by practicing its rules? Don’t you know that we are not under the law but under grace? All things are given for free. We cannot take anything for ourselves unless it is given to us from heaven. In the spiritual arena we have no more ability to act on our own than Lots wife, the statue; or Dagon, the idol of the Philistines in Ekron. It is impossible for us to grant ourselves justification; justification can be achieved only through faith and goodwill.”
To the things he said I made only this one reply: “It is also a law of the divine design that by our own work and power we are to gain faith for ourselves by means of truths from the Word, yet we are to believe that our faith comes from God and not a grain of it from ourselves. Likewise, by our own work and power we are to become justified, yet we are to believe that our justification comes from God and not even a jot of it from ourselves. We have been commanded to believe in God, to love God with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Think about it and tell me how God could command these things if we had no ability to obey and do them?”
[4] At that the satans face changed. It went from white to a sickly yellow; then it soon turned completely black, and with a pitch-black mouth he said, “You’re speaking paradoxes against our paradoxes!”
Then he immediately sank down toward his own people and disappeared. The birds on the left and the ghosts made strange sounds and then threw themselves into the sea that people there call the Reed Sea. The locusts hopped along after them. The air and the land were cleansed of those wild things, and the riot below came to a stop. All became calm and serene.

TCR (Rose) n. 72 72
The second memorable occurrence. Once I heard a strange murmur from far away. In my spirit I followed the path of the sound and moved closer to its source. When I reached it, to my surprise it was a group of spirits debating predestination and the [divine] assignment of spiritual credit or blame. They were Dutch and English, with a few spirits from other countries. At the end of each piece of reasoning they were shouting, “Were amazed! Were amazed!”
The topic of the debate was this: “Why doesn’t God assign his Son’s merit and justice to all the people he has created and treat them all as redeemed? He is omnipotent. If he wants, can’t he make Lucifer, the dragon, and all the goats into archangels? He is omnipotent. Why does he let the Devils injustice and ungodliness triumph over his Son’s justice and the piety of those who worship God? It would be very easy for God to see all people as worthy of faith and therefore salvation. What would it take except a little word to that effect? If he doesn’t do this, isn’t he acting against his own words, which are that he wants the salvation of all and the death of none [Ezekiel 33:11]? Tell us, then: Where and what is the cause of damnation for those who perish? “
Then some Dutch person who believed in predestination, including the predestination of the fall of Adam [Genesis 3], said, “That decision is simply up to the Omnipotent One. Does the clay complain to the potter when he makes a chamber pot out of it?”
Another one said, “The decision regarding everyone’s salvation is in God’s hand, as a pair of scales is in the hand of someone weighing something.”
[2] At the sides stood a number of people who were simple in faith and upright at heart. Some of these bystanders had bloodshot eyes, some seemed stunned, some seemed drunk, and some seemed to be suffocating. They were muttering to each other, “What have we to do with all this deliriousness? They believe that God the Father attributes his Son’s justice to whomever he wants, whenever he wants, and sends his Holy Spirit to give the rewards of that justice. This belief has made them stupid. To them it seems that in order to avoid claiming for ourselves even a speck of contribution to our own salvation, we must act in every way like a stone when we undertake to become justified, and like a piece of dead wood in matters spiritual.”
Then one of these bystanders pushed his way into the group and said in a loud voice, “Oh, you demented people! You are debating about goats wool! Obviously you don’t realize that God Almighty is the divine design itself and that the laws of the divine design are countless. Their number, of course, is the number of truths in the Word. God cannot act against those laws, because acting against them would be acting against himself. It would be acting not only against justice but also against his own omnipotence.”
[3] The bystander looked over to the right and saw in the distance what looked like a sheep and a lamb, as well as a dove in flight. To the left he saw a goat, a wolf, and a vulture. He said, “You believe that God in his omnipotence could turn that goat into a sheep, that wolf into a lamb, and that vulture into a dove, or the reverse. Not so. Doing that is against the laws of his divine design, of which not even the tip of one letter can fall to the ground, according to his own words [Luke 16:17]. How then could God put the justice of his Son’s redemption into someone who is rebelling against the laws of his justice? How can justice itself commit the injustice of predestining anyone to hell, and throwing anyone into the fire beside which the Devil stands, lighting the torches that he holds? Oh, you demented people, empty of spirit! Your faith has led you astray. In your hands faith is like a trap for catching doves.”
When he finished saying this, some sorcerer of the opposite belief made a kind of trap. He hung it in a tree and said, “Watch me catch that dove!”
Soon a hawk flew to the trap, stuck its neck in, and hung limp. The dove saw the hawk and flew away. The bystanders were amazed and shouted, “That is impressive – a just reward!”

TCR (Rose) n. 73 73
The next day some people from the main group came to me – the group that believed in predestination and God’s assigning of spiritual credit or blame. They said, “We are drunk in a way, not on wine but on the things that man said yesterday. He spoke about omnipotence and also about the divine design. He concluded that the design is as divine as omnipotence is. He even said that God himself is the divine design. He said that there are as many laws of the divine design as there are truths in the Word – not just thousands but millions – and that God is bound by his laws in the Word as we are bound by ours. But what does that make divine omnipotence, if it is restricted by laws? It takes all the absoluteness out of omnipotence. Isn’t God’s power then less than the power of a monarch on a worldly throne? Monarchs can turn the laws of justice in another direction as easily as they turn the palms of their hands. They can have the absolute power of an Octavian Augustus; they can also have the absolute power of a Nero. After we thought for a while about omnipotence bound by laws, we felt drunk and likely to lose consciousness if we didn’t find some remedy very quickly.
“Our prayers have been said on the basis of our faith. We have prayed for God our Father to have mercy for the sake of his Son, believing that he could have mercy on whomever he wished, forgive the sins of whomever he pleased, and save whomever he wanted to. We wouldn’t have dared take away in the least from his omnipotence. Therefore binding God with the chains of some of his own laws seems unspeakable to us, because it goes against his omnipotence.”
[2] When they finished they looked at me and I looked at them. They appeared thunderstruck. I said, “I will take an appeal to the Lord and bring back a remedy to enlighten the issue. In the meanwhile, though, I’ll resort to some examples.
“God Almighty created the world from the design in himself,” I said. “The divine design in which he is and which he follows as he rules is something he built into the world. He endowed the universe and everything in it with its own design. Human beings have theirs, animals theirs, birds and fish theirs, insects theirs; every species of tree, even every type of grass has its own design.
“As examples to provide enlightenment, I’ll briefly give the following. There are laws of the divine design imposed on human beings that indicate that we are to acquire truths from the Word for ourselves and that we are to base our thinking on them in an earthly way and, as much as we can, in a rational way. This is how we develop an earthly faith for ourselves. On God’s side, there are laws of the divine design dictating that he is to come closer, fill those truths with his own divine light, take our earthly faith, which is only knowledge and persuasion, and fill it with a divine essence. This is the only way for faith to become capable of saving. There is a similar process for developing goodwill.
“Let’s list some other points briefly. According to God’s laws, he can forgive us our sins only to the extent that we follow our laws and stop doing them. God cannot regenerate us spiritually beyond the point to which we, following our laws, have regenerated ourselves in an earthly way. God makes an unceasing effort to regenerate us and save us, but he cannot do it unless we prepare ourselves as a vessel, leveling a pathway for God [Isaiah 40:34] and opening the door [Revelation 3:20]. A suitor cannot enter his beloveds bedroom before she becomes his brides – he locks the door and keeps the key with her. After she has become a bride, though, she gives her bridegroom the key. [3] Even for all God’s omnipotence, he could not have redeemed humankind unless he had become human. He could not have made his human nature divine unless it was first like a human being as an infant and then like a human being as a child. Later his human nature also needed to form itself into a vessel and a dwelling place for his Father to enter, which he did by fulfilling everything in the Word, meaning all the laws of the divine design in it. The more he completed this process, the more he united himself to the Father and the Father united himself to him.
“However, these are just a few points I bring up for the sake of illustration, so that you can see that divine omnipotence exists within the divine design and follows that design in its governing called providence. Constantly and to eternity divine omnipotence acts in accordance with the laws of its own design. God cannot act against them or change even the tip of one letter of them, because he is the divine design along with all its laws.”
[4] After I finished speaking, a bright, golden-colored light flowed in through the roof and formed angel guardians flying in the air. The redness in the light lit up the temples of some of the people, but only toward the backs of their heads, not yet near their foreheads, because they were muttering, “We still don’t know what omnipotence is.”
“It will be revealed,” I said, “but only after the things I have already said gain more light in you.”

TCR (Rose) n. 74 74
The third memorable occurrence. Far away I saw a large crowd of people wearing hats. Some had hats covered in silk; they belonged to the ecclesiastical class. Some had hats whose rims were decorated with golden bands; they belonged to the class of ordinary citizens. Both groups were educated and scholarly. I also saw some people wearing caps; they were uneducated.
I moved in the direction of these people and heard them talking with each other about limitless divine power. They were saying, “If divine power followed laws that were created as part of the divine design, it would be limited, not unlimited. It would be power, but not all power. Anyone can see that no compulsion by law could force omnipotence to act this way and not that way. When we think about omnipotence and at the same time about laws of the divine design that omnipotence would be obliged to follow, our preconceived ideas about omnipotence are jarred, like a hand on a broken walking stick.”
[2] When the crowd noticed me nearby, some members of it hurried over and asked me quite forcefully, Are you the one who has confined God in laws like chains? The outrage! You have ripped apart the belief on which we base our salvation. At the heart of our belief we place the justice of the Redeemer. On top of that is the omnipotence of God the Father. As an appendix we add the actions of the Holy Spirit and its effectiveness in the spiritual arena, where we are completely powerless. It is enough, then, to mention the absolute justification that our faith entails because God is omnipotent. I have heard, though, that you see emptiness in our belief because you see nothing of the divine design for human response in it.
When they finished I opened my mouth and spoke in a loud voice, saying, “Learn what the laws of the divine design are, and then investigate the full ramifications of your belief. You will see a great wasteland and a long, twisted leviathan there with nets wrapped around it in an inextricable knot. Do what we read Alexander did when he saw the Gordian knot. To undo its bends, he drew his sword, cut the knot in two, threw it on the ground, and crushed its fibers with his heel.”
[3] When the people in the crowd heard this, they were biting their tongues. They wanted to give me a tongue-lashing, but they did not dare, because they saw heaven open above me and heard a voice out of it that said, First control yourselves and learn about the divine design and the laws of that design that God Almighty follows in his actions. God created the universe from himself as the design; he created it according to the design, for the sake of the design. He created human beings in a similar way and built the laws of his divine design into us. Because of those laws we were created as images and likenesses of God. In brief, the laws are that we must believe in God and love our neighbor. The more we do these two things with our earthly power, the more we make ourselves a vessel for the divine omnipotence, and God connects himself to us and us to himself. As a result, our faith becomes living and effective for our salvation. Our action becomes goodwill, again in a form living and effective for our salvation.
“It is important to know, though,” the voice continued, “that God is always present, constantly at work and making an effort in us. He even influences our free choice. He never violates it, however, because if he did, we would lose our dwelling in God; there would remain only a dwelling for God in us, as there is for all things on earth, all things in heaven, and even for the things that are in hell. From God we get our power, our will, and our ability to understand. There is no reciprocal dwelling for us in God, though, unless we live by the laws of the divine design given in the Word. Then we become images and likenesses of him; then paradise is given to us for a possession, and the fruit of the tree of life for food.
“The rest of us gather around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, speak with the serpent there, and eat. Later we are expelled from paradise. Nevertheless God does not abandon us; we abandon God.”
[4] The people in hats understood this and gave their approval, but the people in caps denied it; they said, “In that case wouldn’t omnipotence be limited? But limited omnipotence is a contradiction.”
I replied, “There is no contradiction in acting all-powerfully with judgment in following the laws of justice, or the laws of wisdom inscribed on love. The contradiction arises when you think God can act against the laws of his own justice and love, which would not be acting with judgment or with wisdom. Your belief entails a contradiction like that: on the basis of grace alone, God can justify unjust people and bestow on them all the gifts of salvation and all the rewards of life.
“I will briefly state what God’s omnipotence is. God used his omnipotence to create the universe. As he did so, he built his own design into each and every thing. God also uses his omnipotence to maintain the universe. He forever guards its design and its laws. When anything falls away from his design, he brings it back into the design and reintegrates it.
“God also used his omnipotence to establish the church. He revealed the laws of its design in the Word. When the church slipped away from the divine design, he restored it. When it fell completely out of the divine design, he came down into the world. Through the human manifestation that he took on, he clothed himself with omnipotence and reestablished the church.
[5] “God uses his omnipotence and also his omniscience to examine us all after death. He prepares the just, the sheep, for their places in heaven; by assigning them places he builds heaven. He prepares the unjust, the goats, for their places in hell; by assigning them places he builds hell. He arranges heaven into communities and hell into hordes according to all the different loves their inhabitants have. In heaven there are as many varieties of love as there are stars in the sky above the earth. He unites the communities of heaven so that they are like one person before him. Likewise he brings the hordes of hell together so they are like one devil. He separates hell from heaven with a great chasm, so that hell will not inflict violence on heaven and heaven will not inflict torment on hell. (The more heaven flows in, the more those in hell are tormented.) If God were not using his omnipotence in every moment to do all the above, so much wildness would come over people that they could never be restrained by the laws of any design and the human race would perish. This and more would happen if God were not the divine design and were not omnipotent in his design.”
When they heard this, the people who had been wearing hats left with them under their arms, praising God.
In the spiritual world the intelligent wear hats. The unintelligent wear caps because they are bald; their baldness means that they are dense. The people with caps went away to the left, but the people with hats went to the right.

TCR (Rose) n. 75 75
The Creation of the Universe

Because this first chapter is on God the Creator, there should also be some mention of his creation of the universe, just as the next chapter on the Lord the Redeemer also needs to address redemption. We cannot, however, get a fair idea of the creation of the universe unless some preliminary global concepts first bring our intellect into a state of perception. These global concepts are as follows:
[2] (1) There are two worlds: a spiritual world where there are angels and spirits, and a physical world where there are people.
(2) Both worlds have suns. The sun in the spiritual world is pure love from Jehovah God, who is within that sun. The spiritual sun radiates heat and light. The essence of the heat it radiates is love, and the essence of the light is wisdom. That heat and that light have an effect on people’s wills and intellects. The heat affects the will; the light affects the intellect.
The sun in the physical world is pure fire. As a result, the heat and the light from it are dead. Physical heat and light serve as a clothing for spiritual heat and light and as a device through which spiritual heat and light reach people.
[3] (3) In the spiritual world both the heat and the light that radiate from the sun are substantial and are called spiritual. So are all the things in that world that come about from that heat and light.
In the physical world, these two comparable things, the heat and the light, that radiate from this sun are material and are called physical. So are all the things in this world that come about from this heat and light.
[4] (4) In both worlds there are three levels. They are called vertical levels. These result in the three areas where the three angelic heavens are set up. They also result in the three levels of the human mind, which correspond to the three angelic heavens. Everything else both here and there also has three levels.
[5] (5) There is a correspondence between things in the spiritual world and things in the physical world.
[6] (6) There is a design that has been built into each and every thing in each world.
[7] (7) First we need to get an overall idea about the above. Otherwise the human mind, in its utter ignorance of all this, easily slips into the idea that the universe was created by nature; and only out of respect for the authority of the church will it say that nature was created by God. If people do not know how God created nature, when they take a deep look at the subject they slip headfirst into a materialist philosophy that denies God.
Now, because it would take a large volume to lay out and properly demonstrate these seven points one by one, and because a section on that topic would not be integral to the theological system laid out in this book, I want to present only some memorable occurrences. From these an idea of how God created the universe can be conceived, and after conception some offspring representing that idea can be born.

* * * * *

TCR (Rose) n. 76 76
The first memorable occurrence. One day I was in a meditation on the creation of the universe. Angels who were above me to the right noticed my meditation. Their region had had a number of meditations and debates on that same subject. Therefore one of them came down and invited me to join them. I came into my spirit and accompanied the angel.
After I entered their community I was brought to its leader. In the leaders court I saw a gathering of about a hundred, with the leader in the middle. One of them said, “We became aware up here that you were meditating on the creation of the universe. A number of times we have been in similar meditations, but were unable to come to a conclusion. This was because there was an idea stuck in our minds – an idea of chaos as a great egg from which everything in the universe hatched in sequence. Now, however, we see that the universe is too large to have hatched in this way. There was another idea stuck in our minds as well: that God created everything out of nothing. Now we realize that nothing is made of nothing. Nevertheless our thinking has not yet been able to evolve far enough beyond these two ideas to see with any illumination how creation actually came about. For that reason we called you away from where you were in hopes that you would disclose your meditation on the subject.”
[2] Hearing that, I replied, “I will indeed.
“For a long time I meditated on this without success,” I went on. “Later, when the Lord sent me into your world, I became aware of the futility of drawing any conclusions about the creation of the universe without first knowing several facts: There are two worlds: the one in which there are angels, and the other in which there are people. Through death people cross over from their own world into the other world. Then I also saw that there are two suns. All spiritual things flow forth from one of them; all physical things from the other. The sun that all spiritual things flow from consists of pure love from Jehovah God; he is within that sun. The sun that all physical things flow from consists of pure fire.
“After I realized this, on one occasion when I was in a state of enlightenment I was granted the insight that the universe was created by Jehovah God through the sun that surrounds him. Because love does not exist apart from wisdom, I could also see that the universe was created by Jehovah God from his love through his wisdom. Since then, everything I have seen in the world where you are and everything I have seen in the world where I am in my body convinces me of the truth of this.
[3] “It would take too long to lay out the way creation progressed from the very beginning; but when I was in a state of enlightenment I saw that there were spiritual atmospheres that were created by means of the heat and light from the sun in your world. At their core those atmospheres are substantial. Each one led to the next. Because there were three of these atmospheres, and therefore three levels of them, three heavens were made – one for angels who are at the highest level of love and wisdom, another for angels at the second level, and a third for angels at the lowest level.
“This spiritual universe could not exist, however, without a physical universe in which it could accomplish its useful effects. Therefore at the same time a sun was created as the source of all things physical. Through this sun by means of its heat and light three atmospheres were created to surround those prior atmospheres the way a nutshell surrounds a kernel or the inner bark of a tree surrounds the wood. Finally, through these atmospheres the globe of lands and seas was created. Here people, animals, and fish, and trees, bushes, and plants were created out of earthly materials consisting of soils, stones, and minerals.
[4] “This is only a very general sketch of creation and its stages. The particular and individual stages could not be explained without filling volumes of books. They would all come to the following conclusion, though: that God did not create the universe out of nothing. As you said, nothing is made out of nothing. God created the universe through the sun in the angelic heaven – a sun that comes from his underlying reality and is therefore pure love together with wisdom. The universe, meaning both worlds (the spiritual and the physical), was created out of divine love through divine wisdom, as every single thing in it witnesses and attests. If you consider phenomena in the universe in a coherent and sequential way and set them in the light you already possess in your intellectual perceptions, you will see this clearly.
“You must keep in mind, though, that the love and the wisdom that become one in God are not love and wisdom in the abstract. Think of them as a substance in him. God is the absolute, the first, and the only substance or essence that exists in itself and subsists of itself.
sRef John@1 @3 S5′ sRef John@1 @10 S5′ sRef John@1 @1 S5′ [5] “That everything is created out of divine love and wisdom is the meaning of the following words in John: The Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by it, and the world was made by it (John 1:1, 3, 10). God there means divine love and the Word means divine truth or divine wisdom. In that passage the Word is called light. Light, when it is said of God, means divine wisdom.”
After this, as I was saying goodbye, sparkles of light from the sun in that world came down through the angelic heavens into their eyes, and passed through their eyes into the dwellings of their minds. Enlightened in this way, they expressed agreement with what I had said. Afterward they accompanied me out to the entrance. My companion from before journeyed with me to the house where I was, and then went back up to his community.

TCR (Rose) n. 77 77
The second memorable occurrence. Early one day, after I had emerged from sleep but was still not fully awake, I was meditating in the light of the cloudless morning, when through the window I saw something like lightning flashing and heard something like a peal of thunder. As I was wondering what was going on, I heard from heaven that there were some not far from me who were aggressively debating about God and nature. The flashes of light like lightning and the rumble in the air like thunder were correspondences manifesting the conflict and clashing of the arguments. One side was for God, the other for nature.
This spiritual confrontation arose in the following way. Some satans in hell had said to each other, “I wish we could talk to angels from heaven. We could fully and completely demonstrate to them that what they call God, the source of all things, is actually nature. God is only a word, unless it means nature.”
Because the satans believed this with all their heart and soul, and because they longed to talk with angels from heaven, they were given permission to come up from the mud and darkness of hell and speak with two angels who were just then coming down from heaven. [2] The satans were in the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell. Once they spotted the angels, the satans hurried rapidly toward them.
With voices full of rage the satans began shouting, “Are you the angels of heaven we are allowed to meet face to face to debate God and nature? They call you wise for acknowledging God, but actually you are complete idiots. Who has seen God? Who understands what God is? Who grasps the idea that God rules and has power over the universe and everything in it? Only the lower classes would acknowledge something they dont see or understand. What is more obvious than the fact that nature is the all in all? What eye has seen anything but nature? What ear has heard anything but nature? What nose has smelled anything but nature? What tongue has tasted anything but nature? What hand or body has felt anything but nature? Our physical senses are our witnesses to truth. We swear on the testimony of our senses. Our breathing is another witness – the respiration that keeps our body alive. What do we breathe but nature? Our heads and yours are in nature. Where does the inflow into the thoughts in our heads come from if not from nature? If nature were taken away, could you think at all?” And many other arguments made out of the same ingredients.
[3] After the satans finished, the angels answered, “You speak that way because you trust your senses alone. All the spirits in hell enmesh their thinking in their physical senses. They cannot lift their minds above their senses. So we forgive you. A life of evil and a belief in falsity have closed off the inner realms of your minds so completely that you cannot be lifted above sensory input – unless you happen to be in a state that is remote from the evils in your life and the falsities in your belief. A satan who hears the truth can in fact understand it as well as an angel can; but the satan does not retain it, because evil erases truth and introduces falsity. We are aware, though, that you are in a remote state now and are able to understand the truth we are telling you. Pay attention, then, to what we are about to say.
“You used to be in the physical world,” the angels continued. “You left that place and now you are in the spiritual world. Before now, did you know anything about life after death? You previously denied that there was a life after death. You put yourselves on a par with animals. Did you know anything before about heaven and hell? Did you know anything about the light and heat in this world? Do you realize that you are now above the realm of nature and no longer in it? This world is spiritual, and so is everything in it. Spiritual things are so far beyond physical things that not even the least bit of the nature where you used to be can flow into this world.
“Because you viewed nature as some god or goddess, you still view the light and heat of this world as nature’s light and heat, although they do not belong to nature at all; in fact, what is light and warm in nature is dark and cold here.
“Did you know anything before about the sun in this world that provides our light and heat? Were you aware that this sun is pure love, while the sun in the physical world is pure fire? You realized that the sun of pure fire in the physical world was the origin and sustainer of nature. Did you realize that the sun of pure love in heaven is the origin and sustainer of life itself (which is love together with wisdom)? Nature, then, which you made into a god or a goddess, is clearly dead.
[4] “If you were granted protection, you could ascend with us into heaven. If we were granted protection, we could descend with you into hell. In heaven you would see magnificent and dazzling things. In hell we would see hideous and filthy things. This difference between heaven and hell exists because all who are in heaven worship God, while all who are in hell worship nature. The magnificent and dazzling things in the heavens correspond to feelings of love for good and truth. The hideous and filthy things in the hells correspond to feelings of love for evil and falsity. From all that we have said, then, make up your minds now about whether God or nature is the all in all.”
The satans replied to this, “In our current state, from what we have heard we are able to conclude that there is a God; but when our enjoyment of evil preoccupies our minds we see nothing but nature.”
[5] I could see and hear the two angels and the satans because they were standing not far from me. To my surprise, around them I saw many who had been famous scholars when they were in the physical world. I was amazed to notice that at one moment the scholars would stand beside the angels and the next moment beside the satans; they agreed with whomever they were standing beside.
I was told, “The changes in place the scholars make are actually the changes of state in their mind as they agree first with one side and then with the next. They are chameleons in their beliefs. What’s more, we’ll tell you a mystery. We have looked down into the world at famous scholars and have found that six hundred out of a thousand are for nature and the rest are for God. Furthermore, we found that the only reason there were even that many for God was that they often made statements based not on any comprehension but merely on their having heard that nature comes from God. Repeated statements based on something remembered give the impression of belief even when there is no thought or understanding there.”
[6] Afterward the satans were granted protection and went up with the two angels into heaven. They did indeed see magnificent and dazzling things. Enlightened in the light of heaven there, they acknowledged that there is a God, that nature was created to serve the life that comes from God, and that nature of itself is dead. It activates nothing on its own; instead it is activated by life.
When they had seen and learned these things they went back down. As they went down, their love for evil returned. It closed off their intellect at the top and opened it up at the bottom; above it there appeared a dark shadow flashing with hellfire. The instant they set foot on the ground it opened up under them and they fell back down to their own people.

TCR (Rose) n. 78 78
The third memorable occurrence. The next day an angel from some community in heaven came to me and said, “In our community we heard that you were summoned to a community close to ours because you were meditating on the creation of the universe and that you talked to them about creation. At the time they agreed with what you told them; later it also made them very happy. Now I will show you how God produced animals and plants of every kind.”
The angel took me down to a huge green meadow and said, “Look around.”
I looked around and I saw birds of gorgeous colors. Some were flying, some were sitting on trees, and some were down in the meadow plucking the petals off roses. Among the birds there were also doves and swans.
These things vanished from my sight and then I saw not far from me flocks of sheep and lambs and of kids and nanny goats. Around the flocks I saw herds of cattle and calves, as well as camels and mules. In a grove I saw deer with tall antlers and also unicorns.
After I had seen that, the angel said, “Turn your face to the east.”
I saw a garden with fruit trees – orange trees, lemon trees, olive trees, grapevines, fig trees, pomegranate trees – and also shrubs with berries.
Then the angel said, Now look to the south.
I saw crops of various kinds – wheat, millet, barley, and beans. Around them I saw flowerbeds of roses with beautifully varied colors. To the north, however, I saw woods full of chestnut trees, palms, linden trees, sycamores, and other leafy trees.
[2] When I had seen that, the angel said, “All the things you saw correspond to different feelings of love felt by the angels who are nearby.”
He listed the feeling each thing corresponded to.
“In fact,” he went on, “those things are not the only correspondences. Everything else that takes a visible form before our eyes is also a correspondence: our homes, the useful things in them, the tables and food, the clothing, and even the gold and silver coins. Likewise the diamonds and other jewels that adorn married and unmarried women in the heavens. From all the above we become aware of the quality of love and wisdom in each person. The things that are in our homes and support our usefulness there stay the same; but for people who wander from community to community, things like this change as the people’s relationships change.
[3] “The purpose of showing you these things was for you to be able to see the whole of creation from a particular instance. God is absolute love and absolute wisdom. His love includes an infinite number of feelings. His wisdom includes an infinite number of perceptions. The correspondences of those feelings and perceptions are all the things that appear on earth. This is where the birds and animals come from. This is where the trees and shrubs come from. This is where the grains and crops come from. This is where the plants and grasses come from.
“God is not extended but he is everywhere in what is extended. He is in the universe from beginning to end. Because he is omnipresent, correspondences of the qualities of his love and wisdom are found everywhere in the physical world. In our world, called the spiritual world, there are similar correspondences surrounding those who receive feelings and perceptions from God. The difference is that in our world God creates things of this kind in a moment to match the feelings of angels, while in your world things like this were originally created in a similar way but there was a provision for their perennial renewal from generation to generation; and so creation goes on.
[4] “The reason why there is instantaneous creation in our world while in yours there is a creation that continues across generations is that the atmospheres and soils in our world are spiritual while those in your world are physical. Physical things were created to cover spiritual things the way animal or human skin covers the body, inner and outer bark cover tree trunks and branches, membranes and meninges cover brains, sheaths cover nerves, coatings cover nerve fibers, and so on. For this reason all things in your world have constancy and perennially return.”
Then the angel added, “Pass on what you have seen and heard here to the inhabitants of your world. Until now they have been in total ignorance about the spiritual world. Yet without being notified of it no one could even guess, let alone know, that in our world creation is still going on and that when God first created the universe something very similar to this happened in your world.”
[5] After that we talked about a number of different things, eventually including hell. None of the things seen in heaven is seen in hell. Hell has only their opposites, because the feelings of love there, which are yearnings for evil, are opposite to the feelings of love the angels have. Around individuals in hell, and generally in the deserts there, there appear flying creatures of the night such as bats, screech owls, and other owls. There are also wolves, leopards, tigers, rats, and mice. There are poisonous snakes of all kinds, as well as dragons and crocodiles. Where there is any vegetation, brambles, stinging nettles, thorns, thistles, and certain poisonous plants spring up. Alternately the vegetation disappears and you see only stones in piles and swamps where frogs croak.
All the above are also correspondences, but correspondences to the feelings of love in hell, which as I said before are yearnings for evil.
These things in hell are not created by God. Where things like this exist in the physical world, they were not created by God either – all the things that God created and creates were and are good. As hell came into existence, hellish things came into existence on earth. Hell consists of people who turned away from God and became devils and satans after death.
But talking about horrible things began to hurt our ears, so we turned our thoughts away from them and recalled again what we had seen in the heavens.

TCR (Rose) n. 79 79
The fourth memorable occurrence. Once when I was thinking about the creation of the universe, some spirits from the Christian world came up to me. Among philosophers of their day, they had been some of the most famous and were esteemed the wisest of all.
“We noticed that you were thinking about creation,” they said. “Tell us what your thinking is about that.”
But I replied, “Tell me first what your thinking is.”
One of them said, “My thinking is that creation comes from nature. Nature created itself. It existed from eternity, since there is no such thing as a vacuum – a vacuum is impossible. What else except nature do we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, smell with our noses, or breathe with our chests? Because nature is outside us it is also inside us.”
[2] When another philosopher heard this he said, “You mention nature and you make it the creator of the universe, but you don’t know how nature produced the universe. I’ll tell you. It rolled itself into vortices. They collided with each other much the way clouds do, or the way houses do when they collapse in an earthquake. As a result of that collision, denser substances gathered together to form the earth while more fluid substances separated from the denser material and came together to form oceans. Lighter substances separated out from the oceans to become ether and air, and the lightest of these was the sun. Haven’t you noticed that when you mix oil, water, and dirt together they spontaneously separate and form layers one above the other?”
[3] On hearing this, another philosopher said, “You made that up! Everyone knows that the real origin of all things was a chaos that filled a quarter of the universe. In the middle of the chaos there was fire; around the fire was ether; around the ether was matter. The chaos developed cracks, and fire erupted through them like Etna and Vesuvius. This resulted in the sun. Then the ether rolled out and poured all around. This resulted in the atmosphere. Finally the remaining matter formed a ball. This resulted in the earth.
“As for the stars, they are just light sources in the expanse of the universe. They arose from the sun and its fire and light. At first, you see, the sun was like an ocean of fire. In order not to set fire to the earth it pulled little shining flames out of itself and allotted them a place in the surrounding space. This completed the universe and produced its firmament.”
[4] Then one person who was there stood up and said, “You are all wrong. You seem wise to yourselves and I seem simple to you, but in my simplicity I have believed and I still believe that God created the universe. Since nature is part of the universe, God then was also the Creator of all nature. If nature had created itself, would it have existed from eternity? What madness!”
As he was speaking, one of the so-called wise philosophers urgently pushed closer and closer to him. The philosopher brought his left ear right up to the speakers mouth; his right ear was stuffed with a piece of cotton. He asked him what he had said, so the speaker repeated it again. Then the philosopher who had hurried forward looked around to see if there was a priest nearby; he noticed one beside the speaker. So the philosopher turned around and said, “I too confess that all nature is from God, but . . .” Then he left; and speaking in a whisper to his friends, he told them, “I said that because there was a priest nearby. You and I know that nature is from nature. That makes nature God, so that is why I said all nature is from God, but . . .”
[5] The priest heard what they whispered and said, “Your wisdom, which is purely philosophical, has led you astray. It has closed the inner realms of your minds so tightly that no light from God or his heaven can flow in and enlighten you. You have extinguished that light.” Then he added, “Hold a debate and figure out among yourselves where your immortal souls come from. Do they come from nature? Were they together in that great chaos?”
So then the philosopher went to his colleagues and asked them to join him in unraveling this knotty question.
They concluded that the human soul is nothing but ether. Thought, they decided, is nothing but a modification in the ether caused by the light of the sun, and the ether is part of nature.
They said, “Everyone knows that we use air to speak. What is thought except speech in a still purer air called the ether? This is how thought and speech become one thing. We see this in human children. First they learn to talk. In the next phase they learn to talk to themselves, which is thinking. What else is thought, then, but a modification of the ether? What else is the sound of speech but a modulation of thought? On the basis of all this we conclude that the soul, where thinking happens, is part of nature.”
[6] Other philosophers among them did not disagree but shed further light on the issue by saying, “Souls came into being when the ether in the great chaos formed a ball. In the highest realm the ether divided into countless individual forms. These forms pour down into people when they begin to think on a level that is purer than air. These forms are then called souls.”
Another philosopher said, “I’ll grant you that the individual forms made out of ether in the highest realm were countless. Nevertheless the number of people born since the world was created has exceeded the number of forms. How then could there be enough of these ethereal forms? So I thought to myself that the souls that go out through people’s mouths when they die come back to the same people after several thousand years. The people go back, therefore, and live a similar life to the one they had before. As we know, many of the wise believe in reincarnation and things like that.”
Other conjectures besides these were tossed out by the rest, but they were too insane for me to even mention.
[7] A few minutes later the priest came back. The philosopher who had previously said that God created the universe now told the priest what the group had decided about the soul.
In response the priest told them, “What you have said is exactly what you thought in the world. You don’t even realize that you’re not in that world – you are in another one called the spiritual world! All whose positions in favor of nature have limited them to their bodies and senses are unaware that they are not in the same world where they were born and raised. There they were in a body made of physical matter; here they are in a body made of spiritual substance. People made of spiritual substance see themselves and others around them in exactly the same way that people made of physical matter see themselves and others around them. This is because substance comes before matter.
“Since you think, speak, see, smell, and taste things in much the same way as you did in the physical world, you believe that nature is the same here. Nature in this world, though, is just as different and distant from the nature in that world as spiritual substance is from physical matter or something primary is from something secondary. As the nature in the world where you used to live is comparatively dead, so the positions you have taken in favor of nature have more or less killed you, at least in areas related to God, heaven, and the church, as well as in the realm of your own souls.
“Nevertheless the intellects of all people, the evil as well as the good, can rise all the way to the light where the angels of heaven are. There they can all see that there is a God and a life after death. They can see that our souls are not ethereal; they are not made out of the nature of the physical world; they are spiritual and therefore will live forever. Our intellects are capable of being in that angelic light as long as our physical loves are removed – loves that belong to the physical world and favor it and its nature, and loves that belong to the body and favor it and its sense of self.”
[8] At that point the Lord instantly removed loves like that from the philosophers, and they were allowed to talk with angels. From their conversation in that state they became aware that there is a God and that they were living after death in another world. They blushed with complete embarrassment and cried, “We have been insane! We have been insane!”
This was not, however, their own state, so after a few minutes it became tiresome and unwelcome to them. They turned their backs on the priest, not wanting to hear him talking anymore, and returned to their former loves, which were merely material, worldly, and bodily.
They headed off to the left, wandering from community to community. Eventually they came to a road where they felt a breeze that brought them pleasure in things they loved the most, so they said, Let’s take this road.
They took it and went downward. Eventually they came to spirits who felt pleasure in the same kinds of love and worse. Since those philosophers felt pleasure in doing evil things, and had in fact done evil things to many along the way, they were imprisoned and became demons. Then their pleasure turned into torment. Punishments and fear of punishment restrained them and reined them in from the former pleasure that constituted their nature.
They asked people who were in the same prison, “Are we going to live like this forever?”
Some answered, “We’ve been here for a number of centuries, and we’ll be here forever and ever. The nature we developed in the world cannot be changed. Not even punishments can drive this nature out of us – if they do succeed in driving it out, after a little while it comes rushing back in again.”

TCR (Rose) n. 80 80
The fifth memorable occurrence. On one occasion a satan was allowed to come up from hell. A woman came with him. He came to the house where I was. When I saw them I closed the window, but I did talk to them through the glass. I asked the satan where he came from. He said he came from a group of his own people. I asked him where the woman was from. He gave the same answer.
She was part of a gang of sirens. They have the ability to project images. They can give themselves looks, clothing, and accessories of any kind. On one occasion they give themselves the body of Venus; on another, they give themselves a gorgeous face, as if they were one of the Muses; on yet another, they array themselves as queens with crowns and robes and stride majestically, holding a silver staff. These are the characteristics of sirens in the world of spirits – they are whores who specialize in fantasy.
They project these images by thinking with the senses and shutting off any deeper level of thought.
I asked the satan whether this woman was his wife. He answered, “What is a wife? I don’t know what that is. My community doesn’t know what that is. She is my whore.”
Then she aroused her man’s lust – another thing sirens are very good at. So he gave her a kiss and said, “Ah, my female Adonis.”
[2] But now to something more serious. I asked the satan what his job was. He said, “My job is to be learned. Don’t you see the laurel wreath on my head?” His Adonis used her skills to conjure up a laurel wreath, which she put on him from behind.
“Since there is formal education in the community you come from,” I said, “tell me what you believe, and what your colleagues believe, about God.”
He replied, “Our God is the universe, which we also call nature. Our simple folk call the universe the atmosphere, which they think of as the air. Our experts also call it the atmosphere, but they include the ether in that. As for God, heaven, angels, and the like – many people in this world have much nonsense to say about them, but they are empty words. Those are imaginary things triggered by unusual weather phenomena and things in the sky that trick the eyes of many people here.
“All the things that are visible on earth were created by the sun. Winged and wingless insects are born every time the sun returns in spring. Because of the sun’s heat, birds come together in love and reproduce. Because of the sun’s heat, warm earth turns seeds into shoots and then into offspring in the form of fruit. Doesn’t this mean that the universe is God? Surely then nature is a goddess, the universes spouse, who conceives, bears, raises, and feeds all the things I just mentioned.”
[3] I went on to ask what his community believes, and what he believes, about religion. He replied, “Because we are more learned than the average person, religion to us is nothing but an evil spell cast on the multitudes. To average people, religion is like an atmosphere surrounding their senses and imaginations. Pious images fly in that atmosphere like butterflies in the air. Their faith hooks these images together into a chain like a silkworm building a cocoon, from which it will then emerge as the king of the butterflies. The ignorant crowd loves images that transcend what can be sensed or thought. Why? Because they wish they themselves could fly. With religion they make themselves wings so they can rise up like eagles and boast to the inhabitants of earth, saying, ‘Look at me!’ We, on the other hand, believe what we can actually see and love what we can actually touch.”
At that point he touched his whore and said, “I believe in this because I see it and I touch it. Those other charades we toss out our front windows, and we blow them away with our raucous laughter.”
[4] Afterward I asked him what he and his colleagues believe about heaven and hell. With a loud, mocking laugh he replied, “What is heaven but the ethereal firmament at its highest points? What are the angels there but the spots that wander around the sun? What are the archangels but comets with a long tail on which a whole gang of them lives? What is hell but the swamps where people imagine the frogs and crocodiles to be devils? Anything beyond these ideas of heaven and hell is garbage introduced by some church leader to win glory from the ignorant population.”
Now, the satan said all these things just as he had thought them in the world. He was unaware that he was living after death; he had forgotten everything he had heard when he first entered the world of spirits. So when he was asked about life after death he answered, “It is an imaginary thing. Perhaps some vapor rising off a cadaver in a grave in a kind of human shape, or else the idea of ghosts that people make up stories about – something like that brought the idea of life after death into the human imagination.”
At that point I could no longer keep myself from bursting into laughter. I said, “Satan, you are beyond insane! What are you now? You are human in form. You can talk, see, hear, and walk. Call to mind that you once lived in another world that you have forgotten, and that you are now living after death. Recall that the way you talked just now was exactly the way you used to talk.”
He was given recollection and he remembered. Then he felt ashamed and shouted, “I am insane! I saw heaven above and heard angels saying ineffable things, but it happened when I had just arrived here. Now I am going to remember this and go tell it to the colleagues I left behind. Perhaps they will be as embarrassed as I was.”
He kept saying over and over that he would call his colleagues insane, but as he went down, oblivion drove the memory away. When he arrived below he became as insane as they were, and called what he had heard from me insanity.
This shows how satans think and talk after death. People who have made falsity so strong in themselves that it becomes their belief are called “satans.” People who have made evil strong in themselves by living it are called “devils.”

TCR (Rose) n. 81 sRef Luke@1 @76 S0′ sRef Deut@6 @4 S1′ sRef Mark@12 @29 S1′ sRef Mark@12 @30 S1′ sRef Deut@6 @5 S1′ sRef Isa@40 @3 S1′ 81
Chapter 2
The Lord the Redeemer

THE previous chapter was on God the Creator, and also included material on creation. This chapter is on the Lord the Redeemer, and also includes material on redemption. The following chapter is on the Holy Spirit, and will also include material on divine action.
By “the Lord, the Redeemer” we mean Jehovah in his human manifestation. In what follows, we will show that Jehovah himself came down and took on a human manifestation for the purpose of redeeming.
We speak of “the Lord” rather than “Jehovah” because Jehovah of the Old Testament is called “the Lord” in the New, as you can see from the following passages. In Moses it says, “Hear, O Israel, Jehovah your God, Jehovah is one. You are to love Jehovah God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5); but in Mark it says, “The Lord your God is one Lord. You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Mark 12:29-30). Likewise in Isaiah it says, “Prepare a way for Jehovah; make a level pathway in the solitude for our God” (Isaiah 40:3); but in Luke it says, “I will go before the face of the Lord to prepare the way for him” (Luke 1:76). There are other instances elsewhere.
Furthermore, the Lord commanded his disciples to call him Lord [John 13:13]. Therefore this is what he was called by the apostles in their letters, and afterward what he was called in the apostolic church, as is clear from its creed, called the Apostles Creed.
One reason for this change of names was that the Jews did not dare to say the name Jehovah, because of its holiness. Another reason is that “Jehovah” means the underlying divine reality, which existed from eternity; but the human aspect that he took on in time was not that underlying reality. The nature of the underlying divine reality or Jehovah was shown in the previous chapter, 18-26, 27-35.
Because of this, here and in what follows when we say “the Lord” we mean Jehovah in his human manifestation.
The concept of the Lord has an excellence that surpasses all other concepts that exist in the church or even in heaven. Therefore we need to adhere to an orderly sequence, as in the following, to make this concept clear:

1. Jehovah, the Creator of the universe, came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them.

2. He came down as the divine truth, which is the Word; but he did not separate the divine goodness from it.

3. In the process of taking on a human manifestation, he followed his own divine design.

4. The human manifestation in which he sent himself into the world is what is called “the Son of God.”

5. Through acts of redemption the Lord became justice.

6. Through these same acts he united himself to the Father and the Father united himself to him, again following the divine design.

7. Through this process God became human and a human became God in one person.

8. When he was being emptied out he was in a state of progress toward union; when he was being glorified he was in a state of union itself.

9. From now on, no Christians will go to heaven unless they believe in the Lord God the Savior and turn to him alone.
I need to address these statements one by one.

TCR (Rose) n. 82 82
1. Jehovah God came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them. The belief among Christian churches nowadays is that God, the Creator of the universe, procreated a Son from eternity. That Son came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them. This belief is wrong, however. It spontaneously falls apart as long as our thinking focuses on the fact that there is one God. To sound reason it is worse than nonsense to think that the one God procreated some Son from eternity and that God the Father together with the Son and the Holy Spirit, each of whom is individually God, together make one God. This fiction completely vanishes like a shooting star in the air when the Word is quoted to show (a) that Jehovah God himself came down and became human and (b) that Jehovah God also became the Redeemer.
sRef Isa@25 @9 S2′ sRef Jer@23 @6 S2′ sRef Zech@2 @10 S2′ sRef Isa@40 @10 S2′ sRef Matt@1 @23 S2′ sRef Isa@40 @11 S2′ sRef Isa@42 @8 S2′ sRef Zech@2 @11 S2′ sRef Isa@42 @7 S2′ sRef Isa@42 @6 S2′ sRef Isa@40 @5 S2′ sRef Isa@7 @14 S2′ sRef Isa@40 @3 S2′ sRef Isa@9 @6 S2′ sRef Jer@23 @5 S2′ [2] As for the first point, the following passages show that Jehovah God himself came down and became human:

Behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a Son, who will be called God with us. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

A Child is born to us; a Son is given to us. Authority will rest on his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

It will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God. We have waited for him to free us. This is Jehovah whom we have waited for. Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)

The voice of one crying in the desert, “Prepare a way for Jehovah; make a level pathway in the solitude for our God. And all flesh will see it together.” (Isaiah 40:3, 5)

Behold, the Lord Jehovih is coming with strength, and his arm will rule for him. Behold, his reward is with him; like a shepherd he will feed his flock. (Isaiah 40:10-11)

Jehovah said, “Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Zion. Behold, I am coming to live in your midst.” Then many peoples will cling to Jehovah in that day. (Zechariah 2:10-11)

I, Jehovah, have called you in justice; I will give you as a covenant to the people. I am Jehovah. This is my name. I will not give my glory to another. (Isaiah 42:6, 8)

Behold, the days are coming when I will raise up for David a righteous offshoot who will reign as king and execute judgment and justice on the earth. And this is his name: Jehovah our Justice. (Jeremiah 23:56; 33:15-16)

Then there are the passages where the coming of the Lord is called “the day of Jehovah,” such as Isaiah 13:6, 9, 13, 22; Ezekiel 31:15; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 2, 11, 29, 31; 3:1, 14, 18; Amos 5:13, 18, 20; Zephaniah 1:7-18; Zechariah 14:1, 4-21; and elsewhere.
sRef Matt@1 @20 S3′ sRef Luke@1 @34 S3′ sRef Luke@1 @35 S3′ sRef Matt@1 @25 S3′ [3] That Jehovah himself was the one who came down and took on a human manifestation is clearly established in Luke, when it says, “Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this take place, since I have not had intercourse? The angel replied to her, The Holy Spirit will descend upon you, and the power of the Highest will cover you; therefore the Holy One that is born from you will be called the Son of God'” (Luke 1:34-35). In Matthew it says that in a dream an angel told Joseph, who was betrothed to Mary, that the child that had been conceived in her was from the Holy Spirit. And Joseph did not have intercourse with her until she gave birth to a Son and called his name Jesus (Matthew 1:20, 25). The “Holy Spirit” means the divine power that radiates from Jehovah God, as we will see in the third chapter of this work [138-188].
Everyone knows that an offspring’s soul and life come from its father, and the body comes from that soul. To state it very openly, then, the Lord’s soul and life came from Jehovah God; and because divinity cannot be divided, the Lord’s soul and life was the Father’s divinity itself. This is why the Lord frequently called Jehovah God his Father, and Jehovah God called the Lord his Son. What would be more absurd to hear therefore than the idea that the soul of our Lord came from Mary his mother? Yet this is the very thing that both Roman Catholics and Protestants are dreaming today, and they have not been awakened by the Word yet.

TCR (Rose) n. 83 sRef Ps@31 @5 S0′ sRef Ps@19 @14 S0′ sRef Isa@54 @8 S0′ sRef Isa@44 @6 S0′ sRef Ps@130 @8 S0′ sRef Hos@13 @4 S0′ sRef Isa@45 @22 S0′ sRef Isa@45 @21 S0′ sRef Isa@63 @16 S0′ sRef Isa@44 @24 S0′ sRef Isa@49 @26 S0′ sRef Isa@43 @11 S0′ sRef Jer@50 @34 S0′ sRef Isa@48 @17 S0′ sRef Ps@130 @7 S0′ sRef Isa@54 @5 S0′ sRef Isa@47 @4 S0′ 83
The idea that it was some eternally begotten Son who came down and took on a human manifestation turns out to be utterly wrong, collapses, and vanishes in the face of passages in the Word like the following, where Jehovah himself says that he is the Savior and Redeemer:

Am not I Jehovah? And there is no other God except me. I am a just God, and there is no Savior except me. (Isaiah 45:21-22)

I am Jehovah, and there is no Savior except me. (Isaiah 43:11)

I am Jehovah, your God, and you are not to acknowledge a God except me. There is no Savior except me. (Hosea 13:4)

So that all flesh may know that I, Jehovah, am your Savior and your Redeemer. (Isaiah 49:26; 60:16)

As for our Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth is his name. (Isaiah 47:4)

Their Redeemer is strong; Jehovah Sabaoth is his name. (Jeremiah 50:34)

Jehovah, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)

Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am Jehovah, your God.” (Isaiah 48:17; 43:14; 49:7)

Thus said Jehovah, your Redeemer: “I, Jehovah, am the maker of all things. I alone [stretch out the heavens. I extend the earth] by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24)

Thus said Jehovah, the King of Israel, and its Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth: “I am the First and the Last, and there is no God except me.” (Isaiah 44:6)

You, Jehovah, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is your name. (Isaiah 63:16)

“With the compassion of eternity I will have mercy.” So says your Redeemer, Jehovah. (Isaiah 54:8)

You have redeemed me, Jehovah of truth. (Psalms 31:6)

Israel should hope in Jehovah, because with Jehovah there is compassion; with him there is the most redemption. He will redeem Israel from all its forms of wickedness. (Psalms 130:78)

Jehovah God and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, will be called God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5)

From these passages and very many others, all who have eyes and open minds can see that God, who is one, came down and became human for the purpose of redeeming people. Anyone who pays attention to the divine sayings just quoted can see this as clearly as something in the morning light.
There are people, though, who are in the dark of night because they have convinced themselves that there was another god, eternally begotten, who came down and redeemed humankind. These people close their eyes to these divine sayings, and consider with eyes shut how to twist the sayings and apply them to their false beliefs.

TCR (Rose) n. 84 84
God could not have redeemed people, that is, rescued them from damnation and hell, without first taking on a human manifestation. There are many reasons for this; they will be disclosed step by step in what follows. Redemption was a matter of gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and then establishing a church. Despite his omnipotence, God could not accomplish these things except through his human manifestation, as one cannot do work without arms. In fact, in the Word his human manifestation is called the arm of Jehovah (Isaiah 40:10; 53:1). By analogy, one cannot attack a fortified city and destroy the temples of idols there without powerful means.
The Word as well makes it clear that having a human manifestation gave God the omnipotence to do this divine work. God is in the inmost and purest realms. There was no other way he could cross over to the lowest levels where the hells exist and where people were at that time, just as a soul cannot do anything without a body. By analogy, there is no way to overpower enemies who are not in sight and whom we cannot get close to with weapons such as spears, shields, or guns.
To redeem people without a human manifestation would have been as impossible for God as it would be for someone [outside India] to take control of people in India without sending in troops on ships. It would be as impossible as growing trees on heat and light alone if air had not been created as a medium through which they travel and earth had not been created in which the trees could grow. In fact, it would be as impossible as catching fish by throwing a net in the air and not in the water.
Given Jehovah’s inherent nature, despite his omnipotence he could not touch any individual devils in hell or any individual devils on earth and control them or their rage or tame their violence unless he could be as present in the farthest realms as he is in those closest to him. In his human manifestation he is in fact present in the farthest realms. This is why the Word refers to him as the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End [Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13].

TCR (Rose) n. 85 sRef John@1 @3 S0′ sRef John@1 @1 S0′ sRef John@1 @14 S0′ 85
2. Jehovah God came down as the divine truth, which is the Word; but he did not separate the divine goodness from it. Two things constitute the essence of God: divine love and divine wisdom; or, what is the same, divine goodness and divine truth. (Above at 3648 we showed that these two constitute the essence of God.) The expression “Jehovah God” in the Word means these two qualities. “Jehovah” means divine love or divine goodness; “God” means divine wisdom or divine truth. This is why these names occur in various ways in the Word. At times just Jehovah is named; at other times, just God. When the subject is divine goodness he is called Jehovah. When the subject is divine truth he is called God. When both are involved he is called Jehovah God.
It is clear from John that Jehovah God came down as divine truth, which is the Word:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by it, and nothing that was made came about without it. And the Word became flesh and lived among us. (John 1:1, 3, 14)

“The Word” in this passage means divine truth because the Word that exists in the church is divine truth itself. The Word was dictated by Jehovah himself, and what Jehovah dictates is pure divine truth – it cannot be anything else. [2] Nevertheless, because it passed all the way through the heavens into the world, it became adapted to angels in heaven and also to people in the world. As a result, in the Word there is a spiritual meaning in which divine truth is in the light and there is an earthly meaning in which divine truth is in shadow. The divine truth in this Word is what was meant in John.
This is clearer still from the fact that the Lord came into the world to fulfill all the things in the Word. This is why it says many times that this or that happened to him in order to fulfill Scripture [see 262]. Divine truth is precisely what “the Messiah” and “Christ” mean, what “the Son of Humankind” means, and what the Comforter, the Holy Spirit that the Lord sent after his death means. During his transfiguration on the mountain before his three disciples (Matthew 17[:1-13]; Mark 9[:2-13]; Luke 9[:28-36]) and also during his transfiguration before John in Revelation 1:1216, the Lord represented himself as the Word, as we will see in the chapter below on Sacred Scripture [222].
sRef John@9 @5 S3′ sRef John@12 @36 S3′ sRef John@1 @4 S3′ sRef John@12 @35 S3′ sRef Luke@2 @30 S3′ sRef Luke@2 @31 S3′ sRef John@14 @6 S3′ sRef Luke@2 @32 S3′ sRef John@3 @19 S3′ sRef John@3 @21 S3′ sRef John@1 @9 S3′ sRef 1Joh@5 @20 S3′ [3] From the Lord’s own words it is clear that he was present in the world as divine truth: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). This is also clear from these words: “We know that the Son of God came and gave us understanding so that we would know the truth. And we are in the truth in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).
This becomes still clearer from the fact that he is called the light, as in these passages:

He was the true light that enlightens everyone who comes into the world. (John 1:9)

Jesus said, “For a brief time the light is still with you. Walk while you have the light so the darkness will not overtake you. While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become children of the light.” (John 12:35, 36)

I am the light of the world. (John 9:5)

Simeon said, “My eyes have seen your salvation, a light of revelation to the nations.” (Luke 2:30, 32)

This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world. Those who do the truth come toward the light. (John 3:19, 21)

There are other such passages as well. “The light” means divine truth.

TCR (Rose) n. 86 sRef Ps@45 @3 S0′ sRef Ps@45 @4 S0′ sRef Ps@45 @5 S0′ 86
Jehovah God came into the world as divine truth for the purpose of redeeming people. Redemption was a matter of gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and then establishing a church. Divine goodness does not have the power to do these things, but divine truth that comes from divine goodness does. In and of itself, divine goodness is like the round butt of a sword, like a blunted piece of wood, or like a bow by itself. Divine truth that comes from divine goodness is like a sharp sword, like a sharpened wooden spear, and like a bow with arrows, all three of which are effective weapons against enemies. In fact, swords, spears, and bows in the spiritual sense of the Word mean truths for battle (see Revelation Unveiled 52, 299, 436).
Nothing but divine truth from the Word could attack, conquer, and bring under control the falsities and evils that the entirety of hell possessed then and still possesses now. Nothing else could found, build, and organize a new heaven – another thing God did at the time. Nothing else could establish a new church on earth. Besides, all God’s strength, force, and power belong to the divine truth that comes from divine goodness. This was why Jehovah God came down as divine truth, which is the Word.
This is why it says in David, “Gird your sword upon your thigh, O Mighty One, and in your honor arise, ride on the word of truth. Your right hand will teach you amazing things. Your arrows are sharp. Your enemies will fall beneath you” (Psalms 45:35). These statements concern the Lord, his battles with the hells, and his conquests of them.

TCR (Rose) n. 87 87
Human beings provide an obvious example of the nature of goodness without truth as opposed to the nature of truth that is connected with goodness. All our goodness resides in our will; all our truth resides in our intellect. For all its goodness, our will cannot accomplish anything whatever without our intellect. It cannot function; it cannot talk; it cannot sense. All its force and power comes through our intellect, that is, through our truth, since the intellect is truths vessel and its dwelling place.
The situation with our will and our intellect is similar to the functioning of the heart and the lungs in our bodies. When the lungs are not breathing, the heart is incapable of producing any bodily movement or sensation. What produces movement and sensation is the breathing of the lungs in connection with the heart. A proof of this is the loss of consciousness experienced by people who suffocate or fall in the water, when their breathing stops but the systolic activity of their heart continues. As we know, they lose sensation and the ability to move. Their condition is similar to embryos in mothers’ wombs. The reason for it is that the heart corresponds to the will and its goodness, while the lungs correspond to the intellect and its truths.
The power of truth is perfectly obvious in the spiritual world. Individual angels who have divine truths from the Lord, even if their physique is as feeble as that of a baby, can take on a whole squadron of infernal spirits that look like giants, like the Anakim and the Nephilim. One angel can force such spirits to flee, chase them to hell, and push them down into underground caves there. Whenever those spirits come out of the caves they do not dare come near the angel.
In that world those who have divine truths from the Lord are like lions, even if in physique they are no stronger than sheep. Even in this world the same is true for people in relation to evils and falsities. People who have divine truths from the Lord have the power to fight devils who are in full battle formation. Essentially those devils are nothing but evils and falsities.
Divine truth has this kind of strength because God is absolute goodness and absolute truth. He created the universe by means of divine truth, and all the laws of the divine design through which he preserves the universe are truths. This is why it says in John, “All things were made by the Word, and nothing that was made was made without it” (John 1:3, 10); and in David, “By the Word of Jehovah the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalms 33:6).

TCR (Rose) n. 88 88
Although God came down as divine truth, he did not separate the divine goodness from it. This becomes clear from his conception, about which we read that the power of the Highest covered Mary (Luke 1:35). “The power of the Highest” means the divine goodness.
This also becomes clear from the passages where the Lord says that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, that all things belonging to the Father are his, and that the Father and he are one, and so on. “The Father” means the divine goodness.

TCR (Rose) n. 89 sRef Luke@2 @42 S0′ sRef Luke@2 @47 S0′ sRef Luke@2 @52 S0′ sRef Luke@2 @46 S0′ sRef Luke@2 @40 S0′ 89
3. In the process of taking on a human manifestation, God followed his own divine design. In the section on divine omnipotence and omniscience we showed that in the act of creating, God introduced his design into the universe as a whole and into each and every thing in it. Therefore in the universe and in all its parts God’s omnipotence follows and works according to the laws of his own design. The treatment of those laws runs from 49 to 74.
Now, because God came down, and because he is the design (as was also shown in that section), there was no other way for him to become an actual human being than to be conceived, to be carried in the womb, to be born, to be brought up, and to acquire more and more knowledge so as to become intelligent and wise. Therefore in his human manifestation he was an infant like any infant, a child like any child, and so on with just one difference: he completed the process more quickly, more fully, and more perfectly than the rest of us do.
This statement in Luke shows that he followed the divine design in his progress: “The child Jesus grew and became strong in spirit, and he advanced in wisdom, age, and grace with God and with humankind” (Luke 2:40, 52). Other statements about the Lord in the same Gospel make it clear that he grew up more quickly, more fully, and more perfectly than the rest of us; for example, when “he was a child of twelve, he sat and taught in the Temple in the midst of the scholars, and all who heard him were astounded at his insightful answers” (Luke 2:46-47). Likewise later on; see Luke 4:16-22, 32.
The Lord’s life followed this path because the divine design is for people to prepare themselves to accept God; and as they prepare themselves, God enters them as if he were coming into his own dwelling and his own home. The preparation entails developing a concept of God and of the spiritual things related to the church – that is, developing intelligence and wisdom.
It is a law of the divine design that the closer and closer we come to God, which is something we have to do as if we were completely on our own, the closer and closer God comes to us. When we meet, God forms a partnership with us. The Lord followed this design even to the point of union with his Father, as we will show later on [97-99, 105-106].

TCR (Rose) n. 90 90
People who do not know that the divine omnipotence follows and works according to the divine design are capable of hatching many concepts from their own imaginations that contradict and oppose sound reason. For example, they might wonder why God did not instantly take on a human manifestation without going through life stages. They might wonder why he did not create or assemble a body for himself from substances from all four directions of the world. If he had, he could have presented himself as a human God before the Jewish people and in fact before the entire world. Or if he had especially wanted to go through the birth process, why did he not pour his whole divinity into that embryo, or else into himself as a baby? Or right after he was born why did he not expand himself to the size of an adult and immediately start speaking divine wisdom? People who think of divine omnipotence without thinking of the divine design are capable of conceiving and giving birth to these thoughts and others like them, and filling the church with craziness and garbage – which, of course, has actually happened.
Take for example the idea that God could procreate a Son from eternity and could arrange that a third God would then emanate from himself and his Son. Or the idea that God could be enraged at the human race and schedule it for destruction, but then be willing to be brought back to compassion by the Son through the Son’s intercession and the Father’s recollection of the cross. Not only that, but God could put his Son’s justice into people and insert it into their hearts like Wolff’s “simple substance,” in which, as that author himself says, everything of the Son’s merit exists, even though that substance cannot be divided, since divided it would collapse into nothing. Then there is the idea that through a Papal bull God could forgive the sins of anyone he felt like forgiving and could purify utterly godless people of their black sins, thereby making dark devils shine like angels of light, while the godless people changed and developed no more than a stone would, but instead stayed as still as a statue or an idol.
People who fixate on divine, absolute power without recognizing or acknowledging any divine design are capable of scattering abroad these and many other insane ideas the way a winnower scatters chaff on the wind. On spiritual topics having to do with heaven, the church, and eternal life, people like this are prone to wander far from divine truths like a blind man in a forest who one moment trips over stones, the next knocks his head against a tree, and the next catches his hair in the branches.

TCR (Rose) n. 91 91
The divine miracles followed the divine design as well; they followed the design of inflow from the spiritual world into the physical one. Until now no one has known anything about this design, however, because no one has known anything about the spiritual world. The nature of this design will be revealed in its own time, when I come to the discussion of divine miracles as opposed to magical miracles.

TCR (Rose) n. 92 92
4. The “Son of God” is the human manifestation in which God sent himself into the world. The Lord frequently says that the Father sent him, or that he was sent by the Father (for example, Matthew 10:40; 15:24; John 3:17, 34; 5:23, 24, 36, 37, 38; 6:29, 39, 40, 44, 57; 7:16, 18, 28, 29; 8:16, 18, 29, 42; 9:4; and very often elsewhere). The Lord says this because being sent into the world means coming down among people, which he did through the human manifestation he took on through the Virgin Mary.
The human manifestation really is the Son of God, in that he was conceived by Jehovah God as the Father, as it says in Luke 1:32, 35.
He is called “the Son of God,” “the Son of Humankind,” and “the Son of Mary.” “The Son of God” means Jehovah God in his human manifestation. “The Son of Humankind” means the Lord in his role as the Word. “The Son of Mary” properly means the human manifestation he took on. Just below we will show that “the Son of God” and “the Son of Humankind” have the meanings just mentioned. As for “the Son of Mary” meaning just the human manifestation, this is obvious from human reproduction. The soul comes from the father, the body from the mother. The soul is in the fathers semen; it is clothed with a body in the mother. To put it another way, everything we have that is spiritual comes from our father; everything physical comes from our mother.
In the Lord’s case, the divine nature he had came from Jehovah his Father; the human nature he had came from his mother. These two natures united together are “the Son of God.” The truth of this is clearly substantiated by the Lord’s birth, as recorded in Luke: “The angel Gabriel said to Mary, The Holy Spirit will descend upon you and the power of the Highest will cover you; therefore the Holy One that is born from you will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
Another reason why the Lord described himself as “sent” by the Father is that “someone who has been sent” has a similar meaning to “an angel.” The word “angel” in the original language means “one who has been sent.” [The Lord] is said to be [an angel] in Isaiah, “The Angel of the Faces of Jehovah has freed them. Because of his love and his mercy he redeemed them” (Isaiah 63:9); and in Malachi, “Suddenly the Lord will come to his temple – the One you seek, the Angel of the Covenant, whom you desire” (Malachi 3:1); besides other passages.
Where we discuss the divine Trinity below in chapter 3 of this work [163188] it will become clear that the divine Trinity – God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – exists within the Lord; the Father in him is the divinity he draws on, the Son is his divine human manifestation, and the Holy Spirit is the divine power that radiates [from him].

TCR (Rose) n. 93 sRef Jer@51 @5 S0′ sRef Isa@45 @11 S0′ sRef Dan@4 @13 S0′ sRef Dan@4 @23 S0′ sRef Isa@17 @7 S0′ sRef Isa@10 @20 S1′ sRef Isa@12 @6 S1′ sRef Ps@78 @41 S1′ sRef Isa@47 @4 S1′ sRef Isa@43 @1 S1′ sRef Hab@3 @3 S1′ sRef Isa@43 @3 S1′ sRef Isa@30 @12 S1′ sRef Isa@30 @11 S1′ sRef Isa@1 @4 S1′ sRef Isa@49 @7 S1′ sRef Isa@29 @19 S1′ sRef Isa@5 @19 S1′ sRef Isa@54 @5 S1′ 93
Since the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy One that will be born from you will be called the Son of God,” I will now quote passages from the Word to show that the Lord in his human manifestation is called “the Holy One of Israel”:

I was seeing in visions, behold a Wakeful and Holy One coming down from heaven. (Daniel 4:13, 23)

God will come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. (Habakkuk 3:3)

I, Jehovah, am holy, the Creator of Israel, your Holy One. (Isaiah 43:15)

Thus said Jehovah, the Redeemer of Israel, its Holy One. (Isaiah 49:7)

I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1, 3)

As for our Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth is his name, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 47:4)

Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 43:14; 48:17)

Jehovah Sabaoth is his name, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 54:5)

They challenged God and the Holy One of Israel. (Psalms 78:41)

They have abandoned Jehovah and provoked the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 1:4)

They said, “Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from our faces. Therefore thus said the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:11, 12)

Those who say, “His work should go quickly so we may see it; and the counsel of the Holy One of Israel should approach and come.” (Isaiah 5:19)

In that day they will depend on Jehovah, on the Holy One of Israel, in truth. (Isaiah 10:20)

Shout and rejoice, daughter of Zion, because great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 12:6)

A saying of the God of Israel: “In that day his eyes will look toward the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 17:7)

The poor among people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:19; 41:16)

The earth is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel. (Jeremiah 50:29)

Also see Isaiah 55:5; 60:9; and elsewhere.
“The Holy One of Israel” means the Lord in his divine human manifestation, for the angel says to Mary, “The Holy One that will be born from you will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
From the passages just cited that describe Jehovah as the Holy One of Israel, you can see that although the names are different, “Jehovah” and “the Holy One of Israel” are one.
Many, many passages show that the Lord is called the God of Israel, such as Isaiah 17:6; 21:10, 17; 24:15; 29:23; Jeremiah 7:3; 9:15; 11:3; 13:12; 16:9; 19:3, 15; 23:2; 24:5; 25:15, 27; 29:4, 8, 21, 25; 30:2; 31:23; 32:14, 15, 36; 33:4; 34:2, 13; 35:13, 17, 18, 19; 37:7; 38:17; 39:16; 42:9, 15, 18; 43:10; 44:2, 7, 11, 25; 48:1; 50:18; 51:33; Ezekiel 8:4; 9:3; 10:19, 20; 11:22; 43:2; 44:2; Zephaniah 2:9; and Psalms 41:13; 59:5; 68:8.

TCR (Rose) n. 94 94
In the Christian churches of today it is common to call the Lord our Savior “the Son of Mary;” it is rare for people to call him “the Son of God” unless they mean the eternally begotten Son of God. This is a result of Roman Catholics putting Mother Mary’s sainthood above the rest and setting her up as the goddess or queen of all their saints.
Yet in fact, in the process of being glorified the Lord put off everything from his mother and put on everything from his Father, as we will fully demonstrate later on in this work [102-103]. Because the phrase “the Son of Mary” has become a common expression on everyone’s lips, many horrendous things have poured into the church. This is especially true of those who have not taken into consideration things said in the Word about the Lord – for example, that the Father and he are one, that he is in the Father and the Father is in him, that all things belonging to the Father are his, that he called Jehovah his Father, and that Jehovah the Father called him his Son.
The horrendous things that have poured into the church from our calling him “the Son of Mary” instead of “the Son of God” are that we lose the idea of the Lord’s divinity and we lose everything in the Word that is said about him as the Son of God. Furthermore, this concept lets in Judaism, Arianism, Socinianism, Calvinism in its original form, and finally materialist philosophy. Materialist philosophy brings with it the extreme position that the Son of Mary was Josephs child, or that his soul came from his mother, and as a result he is called “the Son of God,” but truly he is not. All people, both clergy and laity, should check to see whether the idea they have spawned and nurtured of the Lord as “the Son of Mary” is any different from the idea of him as a mere human being.
Already by the third century a concept like this was becoming prevalent among Christians, as the Arians were on the rise. To salvage divinity for the Lord, the Council of Nicaea made up “the eternally begotten Son of God.” Although it was a fiction, this concept did succeed at the time in elevating the Lord’s human nature to something divine; and it still works for many even today. It does not work, however, for those who see the hypostatic union as a union of two separate entities, one of whom is superior to the other.
What other outcome could this concept have but the destruction of the entire Christian church? The church is based entirely on worshiping Jehovah in human form; it is based on the Human God. The Lord states in many places that no one can see the Father, recognize him, come to him, or believe in him except through his human manifestation.
If people do not do this, all the church’s precious seeds turn into seeds of little value. Olive seeds turn into pine seeds; seeds from an orange, a lemon, an apple, and a pear turn into seeds from a willow, an elm, a linden, and a holly; seeds from a grapevine turn into seeds from a swamp rush; and wheat and barley turn into chaff. In fact, all forms of spiritual food become like the dust that snakes eat. Our spiritual light then becomes nature’s light; and in the long run it becomes the light of our physical senses, which is in reality a faint, deceptive light. Then we become like a bird that used to fly high but then its wings were cut off and it fell to earth; now as it walks around it does not see more than what lies at its own feet. Then when we think about the church’s spiritual teachings that are necessary for our eternal life, our thoughts about them are no more than the thoughts of a jester. All this is what happens when we regard the Lord God, the Redeemer and Savior, as no more than the Son of Mary, a mere human being.

TCR (Rose) n. 95 sRef Isa@9 @7 S0′ sRef Matt@3 @15 S0′ sRef Jer@23 @5 S0′ sRef Isa@63 @1 S0′ sRef Isa@1 @27 S0′ sRef Jer@23 @6 S0′ 95
5. Through acts of redemption the Lord became justice. Christian churches nowadays say and believe that merit and justice belong to the Lord alone because of the obedience he gave in this world to God the Father and especially because of his suffering on the cross. They suppose, however, that the Lord’s suffering on the cross was the act of redemption itself. That was not in fact an act of redemption; it was an act of glorification of his human nature (see the discussion of redemption under the next subheading [114-137]). The acts of redemption through which the Lord made himself justice were these: carrying out the Last Judgment, which he did in the spiritual world; separating the evil from the good and the goats from the sheep; driving out of heaven those who had joined the beasts that served the dragon [Revelation 13]; assembling a new heaven of the deserving and a new hell of the undeserving; bringing both heaven and hell back into the divine design; and establishing a new church. These acts were the acts of redemption through which the Lord became justice. Justice is following the divine design in all that one does, and bringing back into the divine design things that have fallen away from that design. Justice is the divine design itself.
These acts are meant by the following words of the Lord: “It is fitting for me to fulfill all the justice of God” (Matthew 3:15); also by these words in the Old Testament:

Behold, the days are coming when I will raise up for David a righteous offshoot who will reign as king and execute justice on earth. And this is his name: Jehovah is our Justice. (Jeremiah 23:56; 33:15-16)

I speak with justice; I am great in order to save. (Isaiah 63:1)

He will sit on the throne of David to establish it with judgment and justice. (Isaiah 9:7)

Zion will be redeemed with justice. (Isaiah 1:27)

TCR (Rose) n. 96 sRef Matt@5 @20 S1′ sRef Matt@13 @49 S1′ sRef Matt@5 @10 S1′ 96
Our contemporaries who hold high offices in the church describe the Lord’s justice in a completely different way. In fact, they say that what renders the faith capable of saving is that the Lord’s justice is written into us. The truth is this: because of its nature and origin, and because in and of itself it is purely divine, the Lord’s justice could not become part of anyone or produce any salvation any more than the divine life could, which is divine love and divine wisdom. The Lord does come into every one of us bringing his love and wisdom; but unless we are following the divine design in our lives, that life, although it may indeed be in us, makes no contribution whatever to our salvation. It gives us only the ability to understand what is true and do what is good.
Following the divine design in the way we live is following God’s commandments. When we live and function in this way, then we acquire justice for ourselves; but we do not gain the justice of the Lord’s redemption, we gain the Lord himself as justice. This is what the following passages mean: “Unless your justice is more abundant than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of the heavens” (Matthew 5:20). “Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens” (Matthew 5:10). “At the close of the age angels will go out and separate the evil from among the just” (Matthew 13:49), and elsewhere. Because the divine design is justice, “the just” in the Word means those who have followed the divine design in their lives.
The justice itself that the Lord became through acts of redemption cannot be ascribed to us, written into us, fitted into or united with us any more than light can belong to the eye, sound can belong to the ear, will can belong to the muscles that act, thought can belong to the lips that speak, air can belong to the lungs that breathe, or heat can belong to the blood, and so on. These elements all flow in and work with our body parts but do not become part of them, as everyone intuitively knows.
We acquire justice the more we practice it. We practice justice the more our interaction with our neighbor is motivated by a love for justice and truth.
Justice dwells in the goodness itself or the useful functions themselves that we do. The Lord says that every tree is recognized by its fruit. Surely we get to know other people well through paying attention not only to what they do but also to what outcome they want – what they are intending and why. All angels pay attention to these things, as do all wise people in our world.
Everything that grows and flourishes in the ground is identified by its flowers and seeds and by what it is good for. All types of metal are differentiated by their usefulness, all types of stone by their properties. Every piece of land is assessed on the basis of its features, as is every type of food, and even every animal on land and every bird in the sky. Why not us?
The factors that give our actions their quality will be disclosed in the chapter on faith [see especially 373-377].

TCR (Rose) n. 97 97
6. Through those same acts the Lord united himself to the Father and the Father united himself to him. Acts of redemption brought about this union because the Lord performed these acts in his human manifestation. As he performed them, the Divine meant by the Father came closer to him, helped him, and cooperated with him. At last they forged so close a partnership that they were not two but one. This union is the “glorification” referred to in what follows.

TCR (Rose) n. 98 sRef John@13 @20 S1′ 98
The idea that the Father and the Son, meaning the divine nature and the human nature, are united in the Lord like a soul and a body is part of the modern-day church’s belief and is based on the Word. Nevertheless barely five out of a hundred or fifty out of a thousand know it. The culprit is the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Many clergy who seek a scholarly reputation to advance their careers and financial situations are focusing all their effort on this doctrine, to the point where nowadays it occupies and obsesses every square inch of their mind. This doctrine has intoxicated their thinking as if it were alcohol. Like drunks, then, they miss the most crucial element in the church, which is that Jehovah God came down and took on a human manifestation. Yet our partnership with God is possible only through this union [of Father and Son]; and our salvation is possible only through our partnership with God. Anyone who takes into consideration that God is everything to all heaven, everything to all the church, and therefore everything to all theology can see that salvation depends on our recognition and acknowledgment of God.
First we will show that the union of the Father and the Son, or the divine nature and the human nature in the Lord, is like the union of a soul and a body. Next we will show that that union is reciprocal.
The concept of a union like the one between a soul and a body was established in the Athanasian Creed – a creed accepted by the entire Christian world as its position on God. There we read, “Our Lord Jesus Christ is both God and a human being. Yet although he is both God and a human being, still he is one Christ, not two. He is one because the divine nature took on a human nature for itself. In fact, he is completely one; he is one person. As a soul and a body is one human being, so God and a human being is one Christ.”
Admittedly, people take this to be a union between an eternally begotten Son of God and a Son born in time; but God is one, not three. Therefore when this is taken to be a union with the one God from eternity then the position in the Athanasian Creed agrees with the Word.
In the Word we read that the Son was conceived by Jehovah the Father (Luke 1:34-35). Since this was the origin of his soul and life, it says that he and the Father are one (John 10:30), and that those who see and know him see and know the Father (John 14:9). “If you had known me you would have known my Father also” (John 8:19). Those who receive me receive the One who sent me (John 13:20). The Word also says that he is close to the Father’s heart (John 1:18), that absolutely everything the Father has belongs to him (John 16:15), that he himself is called Father of Eternity (Isaiah 9:6), and that he has power over all flesh (John 17:2) and all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).
From these and many other passages in the Word we can clearly see that the union of the Father and the Son is like the union of a soul and a body. For this reason even in the Old Testament he is often named Jehovah, Jehovah Sabaoth, and Jehovah the Redeemer (see 83 above).

TCR (Rose) n. 99 sRef John@14 @10 S1′ sRef John@17 @10 S1′ sRef John@10 @38 S1′ sRef John@17 @21 S1′ sRef John@14 @11 S1′ 99
This union is also reciprocal, as the following passages in the Word clearly show:

Philip, do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. (John 14:10, 11)

So that you will know and believe that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. (John 10:38)

So that all may be one as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. (John 17:21)

Father, all that is mine is yours, and all that is yours is mine. (John 17:10)

The union is reciprocal because no union or partnership between two exists unless each party moves closer to the other. Every partnership in the entirety of heaven, in all the world, and throughout the human form is the result of two parties moving into a closer relationship with each other until both parties intend the same things. This leads to a similarity, harmony, unanimity, and agreement in every detail between the parties.
This is how our soul and our body form a partnership with each other. This is how our spirit forms a partnership with the sensory and motor organs of our body. This is how our heart and our lungs form a partnership. This is how our will and our intellect form a partnership. This is how all our parts and organs form partnerships, both within themselves and with each other. This is how the minds of people who deeply love each other form a partnership. It is an integral part of all love and friendship. Love wants to love and it wants to be loved.
In the world, too, all things that are inseparably linked to each other have a reciprocal interaction. There is an interaction like this between the heat of the sun and the heat in a piece of wood or a rock, and in living things between their vital heat and the heat in all their tissues. There is a similar interaction between the earth and a root, through the root with the tree, and through the tree with the fruit. Also like this is the relationship of a magnet to a piece of iron, and so on.
If a given partnership is not the result of two things moving closer to each other in a mutual and reciprocal way, then a partnership develops that is only superficial rather than deep. In time, the partners in a superficial relationship drift away from each other, sometimes so far that they no longer recognize each other.

TCR (Rose) n. 100 sRef John@15 @4 S0′ sRef Rev@3 @20 S0′ sRef John@6 @56 S0′ sRef John@15 @5 S0′ 100
A real partnership is not possible unless it happens mutually and reciprocally. Therefore the Lord’s partnership with us is mutual and reciprocal, as is obvious from the following passages: “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me and I in them” (John 6:56). “Live in me and I [shall live] in you. Those who live in me and I in them bear much fruit” (John 15:4, 5). “If any open the door, I will come in and will dine with them and they with me” (Revelation 3:20); and other passages as well. This partnership comes about as we move closer to the Lord and the Lord moves closer to us; for it is a fixed and unchangeable law that the closer we move toward the Lord, the closer the Lord moves toward us. (For more on this, see the chapters on goodwill and faith [336-462].)

TCR (Rose) n. 101 101
7. Through this process God became human and a human became God in one person. From all the previous sections in this chapter it follows that Jehovah God became human and a human became God in one person. It especially follows from two of those sections: “Jehovah, the Creator of the universe, came down and took on a human manifestation in order to redeem people and save them” (82-84); and “Through acts of redemption the Lord united himself to the Father and the Father united himself to him mutually and reciprocally” (97-100). From the reciprocal nature of that union it is obvious that God became human and a human became God in one person. The same thing also follows from the fact that their union was like the one between a soul and a body. This fits with the modern-day church’s belief based on the Athanasian Creed (see 98 above). It also fits with the Lutheran belief expressed in the section called the Formula of Concord in the volumes containing the Lutheran orthodoxy. There it is strongly established from both Sacred Scripture and the church fathers, as well as through argumentation, that Christ’s human nature was raised to divine majesty, omnipotence, and omnipresence; and that in Christ, God is human and a human is God; see pages 607 and 765. That section also offers convincing proof that the Word refers to Jehovah God’s human manifestation as “Jehovah,” “Jehovah God,” “Jehovah Sabaoth,” and “the God of Israel.”
Paul says, “All the fullness of divinity dwells physically in Jesus Christ” (Colossians 2:9). John says that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20). We showed above (92-93) that the phrase “the Son of God” properly refers to his human manifestation. For another thing, Jehovah God calls both himself and his human aspect “Lord.” We read, “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand” (Psalms 110:1). In Isaiah we read, “A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us, whose name is God, Father of Eternity” (Isaiah 9:6).
In David the word “Son” also refers to the Lord in his human manifestation: “I will announce a decision. Jehovah said, ‘You are my Son. Today I fathered you.’ Kiss the Son or he will be angry and you will perish on the way” (Psalms 2:7, 12). This does not mean an eternally begotten Son; it means the Son born in the world. It is a prophecy of the Lord to come. That is why it is called a decision that Jehovah is announcing to David. In the same Psalm it says before that, “I have anointed my King over Zion” (Psalms 2:6); and afterward it says, “I will give him the nations as an inheritance” (Psalms 2:8). Therefore “today” in this passage means “in time,” not “from eternity.” To Jehovah the future is present.

TCR (Rose) n. 102 sRef John@2 @3 S1′ sRef John@2 @4 S1′ sRef John@19 @27 S1′ sRef John@19 @26 S1′ 102
There is a belief that the Lord in his human manifestation not only was but still is the Son of Mary. This is a blunder, though, on the part of the Christian world. It is true that he was the Son of Mary; it is not true that he still is. As the Lord carried out the acts of redemption, he put off the human nature from his mother and put on a human nature from his Father. This is how it came about that the Lord’s human nature is divine and that in him God is human and a human is God. The fact that he put off the human nature from his mother and put on a divine nature from his father – a divine human nature – can be seen from his never referring to Mary as his mother, as the following passages show: “The mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said to her, ‘What do I have to do with you, woman? My hour has not yet come'” (John 2:34). Elsewhere it says, “Jesus on the cross saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing next to her. He said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother'” (John 19:26, 27). On one occasion he did not acknowledge her: “There was a message for Jesus from people who said, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to see you.’ Jesus said in reply, ‘My mother and my brothers are these people who are hearing the Word of God and doing it'” (Luke 8:20, 21; Matthew 12:46-49; Mark 3:31-35). So the Lord called her “woman,” not “mother,” and gave her to John to be his mother. In other passages she is called his mother, but not by the Lord himself.
sRef Matt@22 @41 S2′ sRef Isa@44 @6 S2′ sRef Matt@22 @43 S2′ sRef Matt@22 @42 S2′ sRef Luke@8 @20 S2′ sRef Luke@8 @21 S2′ sRef Matt@22 @44 S2′ sRef Matt@22 @46 S2′ sRef Matt@22 @45 S2′ [2] Another piece of supporting evidence is that the Lord did not acknowledge himself to be the son of David. In the Gospels we read,

Jesus asked the Pharisees, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They say, “David’s.” He said to them, “Why then does David in the spirit call him his Lord when he says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a footstool for your feet?”‘ If David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one could answer him a word. (Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35, 36, 37; Luke 20:41-44; Psalms 110:1)

sRef Rev@1 @8 S3′ sRef Rev@22 @13 S3′ sRef Rev@22 @12 S3′ sRef Rev@1 @17 S3′ sRef Rev@1 @13 S3′ sRef Rev@1 @11 S3′ [3] Here I will add something previously unknown. On one occasion I was given an opportunity to talk to Mother Mary. She happened past, and I saw her in heaven over my head in white clothing apparently made of silk. Then, stopping for a while, she said that she had been the Lord’s mother in the sense that he was born from her, but by the time he became God he had put off everything human that came from her. Therefore she adores him as her God and does not want anyone to see him as her son, because everything in him is divine.
From the points above another truth now becomes manifest: Jehovah is as human in what is first as he is in what is last, as the following passages indicate: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the One who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8, 11). When John saw the Son of Humankind in the middle of seven lampstands, he fell at his feet as if dead; but the Son of Humankind laid his right hand on John and said, “I am the First and the Last” (Revelation 1:13, 17; 21:6). “Behold, I am coming quickly to give to all according to their work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Revelation 22:12, 13). And in Isaiah, “Thus said Jehovah, the King of Israel and its Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth: I am the First and the Last” (Isaiah 44:6; 48:12).

TCR (Rose) n. 103 103
To these points I will attach the following secret.
The soul we get from our father is our true self. The body we get from our mother is part of us but is not our true self. It is only something that clothes us, woven out of substances belonging to the physical world. Our soul is woven out of substances belonging to the spiritual world. After death we put off the physical component we acquired from our mother but keep the spiritual component we acquired from our father, along with a border around it made of the finest substances in nature. For those of us who go to heaven this border is at the bottom and the spiritual part of us is above it. For those of us who go to hell the border is at the top and the spiritual part of us is below it. This border allows angelic people to speak from heaven and say what is good and true. It allows devilish people to speak from hell when they speak from their hearts, and to seem to speak from heaven when they speak with their lips, the latter being what they do in public and the former what they do at home.
[2] Our soul is our true self and is spiritual in origin. It is clear then why it is that a father’s higher mind, lower mind, character, tendencies, and feelings of love live on in one descendant after the other. They return and surface noticeably in generation after generation. As a result, many families, and in fact whole nations, resemble their first father. A common image manifests itself in the individual faces of successive generations.
That image does not change unless the spiritual realities of the church come into play. The reason why the general image of Jacob and Judah still remains in their descendants and they are differentiated from others by that image is that even to the present they have stuck firmly to their religious position.
In the sperm that conceives each one of us, there is a whole graft or offshoot of our father’s soul that is wrapped in substances from nature. Our body is formed by means of this in our mother’s womb. The formation of our body may lean toward a likeness of our father or a likeness of our mother, but the image of our father remains inside and constantly tries to assert itself. If it cannot manifest itself in the first child, it successfully manifests itself in the younger children.
[3] In sperm there is a whole image of the father because, as I say, the soul is spiritual in origin. What is spiritual has nothing in common with space; therefore it is the same in something small as it is in something large.
As for the Lord, by acts of redemption while he was in the world he put off everything human that came from his mother and put on a human nature that came from his Father – a divine human nature. As a result, in him a human is God and God is human.

TCR (Rose) n. 104 sRef Isa@53 @12 S0′ sRef Matt@27 @46 S0′ 104
8. When the Lord was being emptied out he was in a state of progress toward union; when he was being glorified he was in a state of union itself. The church recognizes that the Lord had two states while he was in the world: one called being emptied out; the other called glorification.
The prior state, being emptied out, is described in many passages in the Word, especially in the Psalms of David, but also in the Prophets. There is even one passage in Isaiah 53 where it says, “He emptied out his soul even to death” (Isaiah 53:12). This same state also entailed the Lord’s being humbled before the Father. In this state he prayed to the Father. In this state he says that he is doing the Father’s will and attributes everything he has done and said to the Father.
The following passages show that he prayed to the Father: Matthew 26:36-44; Mark 1:35; 6:46; 14:32-39; Luke 5:16; 6:12; 22:41-44; John 17:9, 15, 20. The following show that he did the Father’s will: John 4:34; 5:30. The following show that he attributed everything he had done and said to the Father: John 8:26, 27, 28; 12:49, 50; 14:10.
In fact, he cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Furthermore, without this state it would have been impossible to crucify him.
The state of being glorified is also a state of union. The Lord was in this state when he was transfigured before three of his disciples. He was in it when he performed miracles. He was in it as often as he said that the Father and he were one, that the Father was in him and he was in the Father, and that all things belonging to the Father were his. After complete union he said he had power over all flesh (John 17:2) and all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). There are also other such passages.

TCR (Rose) n. 105 105
The reason why the Lord experienced these two states, the state of being emptied out and the state of being glorified, is that no other method of achieving union could possibly exist. Only this method follows the divine design, and the divine design cannot be changed.
The divine design is that we arrange ourselves for receiving God and prepare ourselves as a vessel and a dwelling place where God can enter and live as if we were his own temple. We have to do this preparation by ourselves, yet we have to acknowledge that the preparation comes from God. This acknowledgment is needed because we do not feel the presence or the actions of God, even though God is in fact intimately present and brings about every good love and every true belief we have. This is the divine design we follow, and have to follow, to go from being earthly to being spiritual.
The Lord had to go through the same process to make his earthly human manifestation divine. This is why he prayed to the Father. This is why he did the Father’s will. This is why he attributed everything he did and said to the Father. This is why he said on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” [Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34]. In this state God appears to be absent.
After this state comes a second one, the state of being in a partnership with God. In this second state we do basically the same things, but now we do them with God. We no longer need to attribute to God everything good that we intend and do and everything true that we think and say in the same way as we used to, because now this acknowledgment is written on our heart. It is inside everything we do and everything we say.
In this same way, the Lord united himself to his Father and the Father united himself to the Lord. In a nutshell, the Lord glorified his human nature (meaning that he made it divine) in the same way that he regenerates us (meaning that he makes us spiritual).
The chapters on free choice [463-508], goodwill [392-462], faith [336-391], and reformation and regeneration [571-625] below will fully demonstrate three things: that all people who go from being earthly to being spiritual go through these two states; that they are brought to the second state through the first; and that this is how they move from this world to heaven. Here I will say only that in the first state, [also] called the state of being reformed, we have complete freedom to direct our actions with the faculty of reasoning that we have in our intellect. In the second state, the state of being regenerated, we have the same freedom but we intend, act, think, and speak with a new love and a new intelligence that come from the Lord.
In the first state our intellect plays the lead role while our will plays a supporting role. In the second state our will plays the leading role while our intellect plays a supporting role, although it is still the intellect that acts in connection with the will, not the will that acts through the intellect.
The same process applies to the joining of goodness and truth, the joining of goodwill and faith, and the joining of the inner and the outer self.

TCR (Rose) n. 106 106
Because these two states follow the divine design, and the divine design fills everything large and small down to the least detail in the universe, therefore there are a number of different things in the universe that represent these two states.
The first state is represented by the stages we all go through from infancy to childhood and into our teenage years, our twenties, and our thirties. These stages entail our being deferential and obedient to our parents, and learning from teachers and ministers.
The second state, however, is represented by our stages later on when we are responsible for ourselves and our own choices, when we have our own will and our own understanding, and have authority in our own home.
The first state, then, is represented by the situation of a prince, the son of a king, or else a son of a duke, before he becomes the king or the duke himself; or by the situation of any citizens before they become civic leaders; or of any royal subjects before they take government positions; or of any students studying for the ministry before they become priests. The same applies to the situation of those priests before they become rectors, and of those rectors before they become deans. The same also applies to the situation of any young women before they marry; or to the situation of any female servants before they become heads of households. This is generally the situation of apprentices before they go into business for themselves, of soldiers before they become ranking officers, and of male servants before they become heads of households. The first state in every case is a kind of slavery while the second state belongs to our own will and intellect.
These two states are also represented by various things in the animal kingdom. The first state is represented by animals and birds as long as they are still with their mothers and fathers, when they follow them around constantly and are fed and raised by them. The second state is represented when they leave their parents and take care of themselves.
Caterpillars are another example. They represent the first state when they inch along and eat leaves; the second, when they shed their old form and become butterflies.
These two states are also represented by members of the plant kingdom. The first state is represented when a plant grows from a seed and is decked out with branches, boughs, and leaves; the second is represented when the plant produces fruit and generates new seeds. This sequence is equivalent to the way truth and goodness join together, in that all parts of a tree correspond to kinds of truth, and pieces of fruit correspond to good things [that result].
If we stay in the first state and do not go on to the second we are like a tree that produces only leaves but no fruit. It says in the Word that this type of tree has to be uprooted and thrown into the fire (Matthew [7:19]; 21:19; Luke 3:9; 13:69; John 15:5, 6). This is also like a slave who does not want to be free. There used to be a law that slaves like this had to be taken to a door or a post and have their ears pierced with an awl (Exodus 21:6). “Slaves” are people who have no partnership with the Lord. “The free” are people who have such a partnership; for the Lord says, If the Son makes you free, you are truly free (John 8:36).

TCR (Rose) n. 107 sRef Rev@21 @2 S1′ sRef Rev@21 @1 S1′ sRef Rev@21 @5 S1′ sRef Isa@65 @18 S1′ sRef Isa@65 @17 S1′ 107
9. From now on, no Christians will go to heaven unless they believe in the Lord God the Savior and turn to him alone. We read in Isaiah, “Behold, I am creating a new heaven and a new earth, and the earlier heaven and earth will not be remembered or overwhelm the heart. Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a rejoicing and its people a joy” (Isaiah 65:17). In the Book of Revelation we read, I saw a new heaven and a new earth, and I saw the holy Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared like a bride for her husband. And the One sitting on the throne said, “Behold, I will make all things new” (Revelation 21:1, 2, 5). A number of times we read that no one can come into heaven except the people who have been written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27). “Heaven” in these passages does not mean the visible heaven or sky that is before our eyes; it means the angelic heaven. “Jerusalem” does not mean some city from the sky; it means the church that will descend out of the angelic heaven from the Lord. “The Lamb’s book of life” does not mean a book written in heaven that will be opened; it means the Word, which is from the Lord and is about him.
In fact, the reason why Jehovah God, who is called “the Creator” and “the Father,” came down and took on a human manifestation was so that we could turn to him and form a partnership with him, a point I have supported, proven, and established with the previous statements in this chapter.
When we go to see someone, we do not go to the person’s soul. Who would be able to go to someone’s soul? No, we go to the actual person. We see the person eye to eye and talk with the person face to face. It is the same with God the Father and the Son because God the Father is present in the Son the way a soul is present in its body.
sRef John@6 @47 S2′ sRef John@6 @40 S2′ sRef John@14 @20 S2′ sRef John@7 @38 S2′ sRef John@7 @37 S2′ sRef John@6 @33 S2′ sRef John@8 @24 S2′ sRef John@6 @46 S2′ sRef John@3 @36 S2′ sRef John@6 @28 S2′ sRef John@6 @35 S2′ sRef John@3 @15 S2′ sRef John@6 @29 S2′ sRef John@3 @16 S2′ sRef John@3 @18 S2′ sRef John@11 @25 S2′ sRef John@14 @6 S2′ sRef John@11 @26 S2′ sRef John@12 @36 S2′ sRef John@12 @45 S2′ sRef John@12 @46 S2′ [2] The following passages in the Word teach that we have to believe in the Lord God the Savior:

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that everyone who believes in him would not perish but would have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged because they have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)

Those who believe in the Son have eternal life. Those who do not believe in the Son will not see life; instead God’s anger will remain upon them. (John 3:36)

The bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Those who come to me will never hunger and those who believe in me will never thirst. (John 6:33, 35)

This is the will of the One who sent me, that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life, and I will revive them on the last day. (John 6:40)

They said to Jesus, “What shall we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered, “This is God’s work, to believe in the One whom the Father sent.” (John 6:28, 29)

Truly I say to you, those who believe in me have eternal life. (John 6:47)

Jesus cried out, saying, “If any are thirsty, they must come to me and drink. If any believe in me, rivers of living water will flow out of their bellies.” (John 7:37, 38)

Unless you have believed that I am [he], you will die in your sins. (John 8:24)

Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even if they die they will live. And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. (John 11:25, 26)

Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light so that all who believe in me will not remain in darkness.” (John 12:46; 8:12)

As long as you have the light, believe in the light so that you may be children of the light. (John 12:36)

People will live in the Lord and the Lord in them (John 14:20; 15:15; 17:23), a situation that is brought about by faith.

To both Jews and Greeks Paul proclaimed repentance before God and belief in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:21)

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

sRef Ex@33 @20 S3′ sRef Acts@20 @21 S3′ sRef John@8 @19 S3′ sRef John@9 @41 S3′ sRef John@13 @20 S3′ sRef John@1 @18 S3′ sRef John@5 @37 S3′ [3] Those who believe in the Son believe in the Father, since as we said above, the Father is in the Son like a soul in a body. The following passages make this clear:

If you had known me you would have known my Father also. (John 8:19; 14:7)

Those who see me see the One who sent me. (John 12:45)

Those who receive me receive the One who sent me. (John 13:20)

This is because no one can see the Father and live (Exodus 33:20), which is why the Lord says,

No one has ever seen God. The only begotten Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, has made him visible. (John 1:18)

No one has seen the Father except the One who is with the Father. He has seen the Father. (John 6:46)

You have never heard the voice of the Father or seen what he looks like. (John 5:37)

There are those of course who know nothing about the Lord, such as most people who are in those two great parts of the world called Asia and Africa, as well as in the Indies, for example. If they believe in one God and follow the principles of their religion in their lives they are saved by their faith and by their life. Spiritual credit or blame applies only to those who know; it does not apply to those who do not. We do not blame the blind for tripping. As the Lord says, “If you had been blind you would have had no sin; but now that you say you see, your sin remains” (John 9:41).

TCR (Rose) n. 108 108
To further support this point I will relate some things that I know and can testify to because I have seen them.
Today a new angelic heaven is being built by the Lord. It is being made up of those who believe in the Lord God the Savior and who go directly to him; the rest are rejected. From now on if any from the Christian world come into the spiritual world (as happens to us all after we die) and they do not believe in the Lord, do not turn to him alone, and are unable at that point to change in this regard because they have lived in evil ways or have convinced themselves of falsities, when they take their first step toward heaven they are pushed back. Their face is turned away from heaven toward the lower earth. They go off in that direction and join up with spirits in the lower earth who are meant by the dragon and the false prophet in the Book of Revelation.
From now on all people from Christian areas who do not believe in the Lord are not going to be listened to, either. In heaven their prayers are like foul smells and like belches from damaged lungs. If people like that think their own prayer is like burning frankincense, nevertheless it does not reach the angelic heaven any more effectively than would the smoke from a fire that was blown back into their eyes by a storm coming down. Or their praying is like burning incense in a censer under a monks robe.
This is what is going to happen from this time on with all piety that is directed to a separated Trinity rather than a united one.
The main point of this book is that the divine Trinity is united in the Lord.
Here I will add something previously unknown. Several months ago the Lord called together the twelve apostles and sent them out into the whole spiritual world just as they had been sent out before to the physical world. Their assignment was to preach this gospel. Each apostle was assigned a territory to cover. They are carrying out their assignment with complete enthusiasm and energy.
These topics will be specifically covered in the last chapter of this book on the close of the age, the Coming of the Lord, and the New Church [753-791].

TCR (Rose) n. 109 sRef 1Joh@5 @20 S0′ sRef Isa@30 @26 S0′ sRef Colo@2 @9 S0′ sRef Luke@24 @38 S0′ sRef Luke@24 @39 S0′ sRef Luke@24 @37 S0′ sRef Isa@30 @25 S0′ 109
A Supplement

All the churches that existed before the Lord’s coming were symbolic churches. They could see divine truths only in shadow. After the Lord’s coming into the world a church was instituted by him that saw divine truths – or rather was able to see divine truths – in full light. The difference between these churches is like the difference between evening and morning. In fact, in the Word the state of the church before the Lord’s coming is called “evening” and the state of the church after his coming is called “morning.”
Before his coming into the world the Lord was of course present with people in the church, but only indirectly through angels who represented him. Since his coming he is now directly present with people in the church. In the world he added on a divine physical form that enables him to be present with people in the church.
The Lord’s process of glorification was a transformation of the human nature that he took on in the world. The transformed human nature of the Lord is the divine physical form. A proof of this is that the Lord rose from the tomb with the whole body he had had in the world. Nothing was left in the tomb. Therefore he took with him from the tomb every aspect of his earthly human form. This is why after the resurrection he said to disciples who thought they were seeing a spirit, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Feel me and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:37, 39). From these words it is clear that through the process of glorification his physical body became divine. Therefore Paul says, “All the fullness of divinity dwells physically in Christ” (Colossians 2:9); and John says that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the true God (1 John 5:20). From these teachings angels know that in all the spiritual world, only the Lord is a complete human being.
sRef John@8 @58 S2′ sRef John@8 @56 S2′ [2] The church recognizes that all the worship among the ancient Israelite and Jewish people was purely external and that it foreshadowed the inner worship the Lord initiated later on. It is recognized, then, that before the Lord’s coming, worship was based on emblems and allegories that represented true worship in its proper form.
Now, the Lord was indeed seen among the ancients, for he says to the Jews, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day, and he did see it and was glad. I tell you, I existed before Abraham did” (John 8:56, 58). But that was only a representation of the Lord, which involved angels, and therefore everything having to do with the church among the ancients became symbolic. After the Lord came into the world those symbolic representations disappeared. The inner reason for this is that through the divine physical form the Lord added on in the world, he enlightens not only our inner spiritual self but also our outer physical self. If both of these are not enlightened at the same time, we are in shadow, but when they are both enlightened at once we are in daylight.
If just our inner self is enlightened but not our outer self, or if just our outer self is enlightened but not our inner self, we are like people who are asleep and dreaming; soon after they wake up they remember their dream and make various false inferences based on it. We are also like sleepwalkers who think the things they see are in broad daylight.
sRef 2Sam@23 @3 S3′ sRef 2Sam@23 @4 S3′ [3] The difference between the state of the church before the Lord’s coming and after it is like one person reading in moonlight and starlight and another person reading in sunlight. Obviously, the eye makes mistakes in that first type of light, a mere white light, but it does not make mistakes in the other type of light, which includes the colors of flame.
For this reason it is said of the Lord, “The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me, He was like a morning light when the sun arises, a morning without clouds” (2 Samuel 23:3, 4). “The God of Israel” and “the Rock of Israel” are the Lord. Elsewhere it says, “The light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times as strong, like the light of seven days, on the day when Jehovah will bind up the brokenness of his people” (Isaiah 30:26). These words refer to the state of the church after the Lord’s coming.
In brief, the state of the church before the Lord’s coming was like an old woman with makeup on her face, who looks beautiful to herself because of the warm color of the makeup. The state of the church after the Lord’s coming is like a young woman who is beautiful because of the blush of her own natural complexion.
The state of the church before the Lord’s coming is like the skin from a piece of fruitlike an orange, an apple, a pear, or a grape – and like the taste of that skin. The state of the church after his coming is like the flesh of those types of fruit and like the taste of that flesh. And so on.
This is because ever since the Lord added on a divine physical form, he enlightens our inner spiritual self and our outer earthly self at the same time. When just our inner self is enlightened but not our outer self, a shadow is cast. The same is true when our outer self is enlightened but not our inner self.

* * * * *

TCR (Rose) n. 110 110
Here I will add the following memorable occurrences.
The first memorable occurrence. In the spiritual world I once saw a strange light in the [night] sky that fell slowly down to the earth. It had a glow around it. It was a strange aerial phenomenon that the local population called “the dragon.” I made a note of the place where it landed; but in the early dawn as the sun was first coming up it disappeared, as all strange lights at night do.
Later in the morning I went to the place where I had seen it fall in the night. To my surprise, the ground there was a mixture of sulfur, iron filings, and white clay. Then I suddenly noticed two tents, one directly over the spot and the other beside it to the south. I looked up and I saw a spirit falling down from heaven like a thunderbolt. He was hurled right onto the tent that stood directly over the spot where the strange aerial phenomenon had come down. I was in the other tent that was next to it to the south. I stood up in the doorway of my tent, and I saw that the spirit, too, was standing in the doorway of his tent.
I asked him why he had fallen out of heaven like that. He answered that Michael’s angels had thrown him down as an angel of the dragon.
“It was because I voiced some of the beliefs I had convinced myself of in the world,” he said. “Among them was this one: God the Father and God the Son are not one; they are two. As it turns out, though, all who are in the heavens today believe that God the Father and God the Son are one like a soul and a body. Any statement to the contrary is like a stinging irritation up their noses or like an awl piercing their ears. They become disturbed and pained by it, so they order anyone voicing opposition to leave, and if you resist, they throw you out.”
[2] So I asked him, “Why don’t you believe what they believe?”
He replied that after leaving the world, people are unable to believe anything else except the convictions they have already adopted. These beliefs remain entrenched in people and cannot be pulled out – especially not personal convictions about God. In the heavens everyone’s location depends on his or her idea of God.
I also asked what evidence he had used to convince himself that the Father and the Son were two. He said, “It is the fact that in the Word the Son prays to the Father not only before suffering on the cross but even during it; and also that he humbles himself before his Father. How then can they be one like a soul and a body are one in us? Do we pretend to address a prayer to someone else or pretend to humble ourselves to someone else when we are actually that other person? No one does that – certainly not the Son of God. For another thing, in my day the entire Christian church had split the Divinity into persons, each person being one entity on its own. ‘Person’ is defined as something that exists and subsists on its own.”
[3] When I heard that I replied, “I gather from what you said that you are totally ignorant of how God the Father and the Son are one. Because you don’t know that, you have convinced yourself of false beliefs that the church still has about God.
“Surely you know that when the Lord was in the world he had a soul like every other human being. Where would his soul have come from but God the Father? That God the Father is its origin is abundantly clear in the Word of the Gospel writers. What then is that entity called the Son except a human manifestation conceived by the divine nature of the Father and given birth to by the Virgin Mary?
“A mother cannot conceive a soul. That idea completely contradicts the divine design that governs the birth of every human being. Neither could God the Father have given a soul from himself and then withdrawn, the way every father in the world does. God is his own divine essence, an essence that is single and undivided; and since it is undivided it is God himself. This is why the Lord says that the Father and he are one, and that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, as well as other things like that.
“The people who drafted the Athanasian Creed had a distant glimpse of this. Even after splitting God into three persons they wrote that in Christ, God and a human being, that is, the divine nature and the human nature, are not two; they are one like the soul and the body in one human being.
[4] “The Lord’s praying to the Father while in the world as if the Father were someone else and humbling himself before the Father as if the Father were someone else followed the unchangeable divine design established from the time of creation, which everyone has to follow in order to form a partnership with God. That design is that as we forge our connection with God by living according to the laws of the divine design, which are God’s commandments, God forges his connection with us and turns us from earthly people into spiritual people.
“The Lord united himself to his Father and God the Father united himself to the Lord in the same way. When the Lord was an infant, he was like an infant. When he was a child, he was like a child. We read that he advanced in wisdom and grace, and later on asked the Father to glorify his name, meaning his human nature. (To glorify is to make divine through union with God himself.) When the Lord prayed to the Father, then, he was clearly in a state of being emptied out, which was his state of progress toward union.
sRef John@16 @15 S5′ [5] “That same design has been built into every one of us from creation. Of course, it all depends on how we prepare our intellect with truths from the Word and adapt it to receive faith from God, and how we prepare our will with acts of goodwill and adjust it to receive love from God. In a similar way, depending on how jewelers cut a diamond they can adapt it to receive and transmit the brilliance of the light, and so on.
“We prepare ourselves to receive God and to forge a partnership with him by following the divine design in our lives. The laws of that design are all God’s commandments. In the case of the Lord, he fulfilled all these laws down to the finest details. By so doing he made himself a vessel for divinity in all its fullness. This is why Paul says that all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in Jesus Christ, and why the Lord himself says that all things belonging to the Father are his.
[6] “Furthermore, we must keep in mind that only the Lord is actually active in us. On our own we are completely passive. Thanks to life inflowing from the Lord we too can be active. Because of the constant inflow from the Lord it seems to us as though we are active on our own. Because of this inflow we have free choice, which is given to us so we can prepare ourselves to receive the Lord and forge a partnership with him. Forging a partnership cannot happen unless that partnership is reciprocal. It becomes reciprocal when we act with our own freedom, and yet on the basis of faith we attribute all our action to the Lord.”
[7] Next I asked whether he, like his colleagues, confessed that there is one God. He replied that he did. Then I said, “I am afraid, though, that the confession of your heart is that there is no God. What the mouth says emanates from what the mind thinks, does it not? The confession of your lips that there is one God will therefore tend to drive out of your mind the thought that there are three, and in turn your mind’s thought will tend to drive away from your lips the confession that there is one. Surely this will eventually culminate in denial of God. The position that there is no God would eliminate the whole discrepancy between your mind and your lips. About God, then, your mind will surely conclude that nature is God. About the Lord, it will conclude that his soul was either from his mother or from Joseph. Yet all the angels in heaven turn away from these two conclusions as something horrible and detestable.”
After I said that, the spirit was sent off into the great pit referred to in Revelation 9:23 where the dragon’s angels debate the mysteries of their faith.
[8] The next day when I looked out at the spot, in place of the tents I saw two statues that looked like human beings. They were made out of dust from the ground, which as I say was a mixture of sulfur, iron, and clay. One statue looked as though it had a scepter in its left hand, a crown on its head, and a book in its right hand, as well as a bodice held in place by a diagonal sash covered with gems, and a robe with a train that flowed out behind it toward the other statue. These features, however, had been put on the statue through someone’s power to project images.
Then I heard a voice there from some follower of the dragon: “This statue portrays our faith as a queen. The statue behind it portrays goodwill as faiths maidservant.”
The other statue was made out of the same mixture of different types of dust. It was placed just beyond the edge of the robe flowing down off the queens back. The second statue held a sheet of paper in its hand with writing on it that said, “Warning: don’t come too close or touch the robe.”
Then suddenly a rain shower fell from heaven, drenching each statue. They began to fizz because they were made out of that mixture of sulfur, iron, and clay. (A mixture of those substances in powdered form tends to effervesce when water is added to it.) An internal fire then melted them into piles that stood thereafter like burial mounds on that piece of ground.

TCR (Rose) n. 111 111
The second memorable occurrence. In our earthly world we have two types of thought, inner thought and outer thought, and because of that we have two modes of verbal communication. We are able to talk on the basis of both our inner and outer thought at the same time, and we are able to talk on the basis of our outer thought separate from our inner thought. In fact, we can say the opposite of what we think inside, which is something we do to put on appearances, insincerely agree with people, and play the hypocrite.
In the spiritual world, though, our thought process is single, not dual. There we say what we think. If we do not, we emit a horrible sound that hurts people’s ears. Nevertheless we have the option of being silent and not publicizing the thoughts in our mind. So when hypocrites come among the wise they either leave right away or throw themselves into a corner of the room, make themselves inconspicuous, and sit in silence.
[2] Once there was a large conference in the world of spirits. This was the very topic they were discussing with each other. The participants were saying that it is a hardship for spirits who have had unacceptable thoughts about God and the Lord not to be able to say what they think when they come into the company of the good.
In the center of the participants there was a group of Protestants, many of them clergy, and next to them a group of Roman Catholics including monks. Both the Protestants and the Catholics were saying at first that it is not hard. “Why not say what we think? they maintained. If we happen not to think the right things, we can always close our mouths and keep quiet.”
The clergy said, “Who doesn’t have the right thoughts about God and the Lord?”
So some participants in the conference said to each other, “Let’s test these Protestants and Catholics!”
Some [in the central groups] were convinced that there is a trinity of persons in God. The participants told them to say and think “One God.” They were unable to. They twisted and puckered their lips into all sorts of shapes but they still could not articulate the sound of any words but those in harmony with their thoughts and mental images, which were of three persons and therefore three gods.
[3] Some [in the central groups] were convinced that faith should be separate from goodwill. They were told to say the name “Jesus.” They could not, although they could all say “Christ” and also “God the Father.” [The participants] were amazed at this and wanted to know why. The reason, they discovered, was that those people had prayed to God the Father for the sake of the Son, but had not prayed to Jesus as their Savior, and “Jesus” means Savior.
sRef Matt@28 @18 S4′ sRef John@17 @2 S4′ sRef John@3 @35 S4′ sRef Matt@11 @27 S4′ [4] Then they were told to think about the Lord’s human nature and say “divine-human.” No Protestant clergy person who was there could do it, but some Protestant lay people could. At that point they gave the discussion some structure.
1. The following passages from the Gospels were read out loud to [the Protestant clergy]: “The Father has given all things into the hand of the Son” (John 3:35). The Father has given the Son power over all flesh (John 17:2). “All things have been handed to me by the Father” (Matthew 11:27). “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). They were told, “On the basis of these passages, hold it in your mind that Christ in both his divine nature and his human nature is the God of heaven and earth. Then say ‘divine-human.'” They still could not say it. They reported that on the basis of those passages they were able to hold some thoughts in their minds about it, but they could not hold any acknowledgment, so they were unable to say it.
[5] 2. Then Luke 1 verses 32, 34, and 35 were read to them, showing that the Lord’s human manifestation was the Son of Jehovah God. It was pointed out that in those passages he is called “the Son of the Highest” and everywhere else he is called “the Son of God,” and also “the only begotten One.” The participants asked [the Protestant clergy] to hold this in their thoughts and also to consider that an only begotten Son of God born in the world could not possibly be anything other than God, just as the Father is God, and then say “divine-human.”
“We can’t,” they said. “Our spiritual thinking, which goes on very deep inside us, does not allow incompatible ideas access to the thought processes located near speech.”
They said they were realizing that they could not now divide their thinking the way they had been able to in the physical world.
sRef John@10 @30 S6′ sRef John@14 @8 S6′ sRef John@14 @10 S6′ sRef John@14 @9 S6′ sRef John@14 @11 S6′ [6] 3. Then the Lord’s words to Philip were read to them: “Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father.’ And the Lord said, ‘Those who see me see the Father. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?'” (John 14:8-11). Other passages that say that the Father and the Son are one were also read, such as John 10:30. [The Protestant clergy] were told to hold this in their thinking and say “divine-human.” Since that thought was not rooted in any acknowledgment that even in his human manifestation the Lord is God, they contorted and twisted their lips to the point of exasperation and tried to force their mouth to enunciate the words, but they did not have the power; because all who are in the spiritual world find that the words they speak match the ideas that arise from the things they have acknowledged. If those ideas do not exist, the words are impossible, because speech is ideas turned into words.
[7] 4. Then the following passage was read to [the Protestant clergy] from teachings that are accepted in the entire Christian world: “The divine nature and the human nature in the Lord are not two but one. In fact, they are one person, united like the soul and the body in one human being.” This is part of the belief that was stated in the Athanasian Creed and ratified by councils. They were told, “From this passage you had every opportunity to form and acknowledge an idea that the Lord’s human nature is divine because his soul is divine, for this is part of the church teachings you acknowledged in the world. Furthermore, the soul is the very essence of a person and the body is the person’s form, and essence and form are one, like underlying reality and manifestation, or like the cause that produces an effect and the effect produced.”
[The Protestant clergy] held on to that idea and tried on that basis to say “divine-human,” but they could not. Their inner idea of the Lord’s human nature expelled and destroyed this new “supplemental” idea, as they were calling it.
sRef Colo@2 @9 S8′ sRef John@1 @14 S8′ sRef John@1 @1 S8′ sRef 1Joh@5 @20 S8′ [8] 5. There was a further reading to them from John: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). And this: “Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). Also a passage from Paul: “All the fullness of divinity dwells physically in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 2:9).
They were told to think like this, meaning to think that God who was the Word became human, that he is the true God, and that all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in him. This they did, but only in their outer thought. A resistance in their inner thought made it impossible for them to say “divine-human.” They openly stated that “divine-human” was an idea they could not have. “God is God,” they said, “and human is human. God is a spirit, and a spirit to our thinking is no different from wind or ether.”
sRef John@15 @4 S9′ sRef John@15 @5 S9′ [9] 6. Finally they were asked, “Don’t you know that the Lord said, Live in me and I [shall live] in you. Those who live in me and I in them bear much fruit, because without me you cannot do anything” (John 15:4, 5)?
Because some of them were Anglican clergy, a passage stated at their Holy Communion was read to them: “For when we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ and drink the blood, then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us.” They were told, “If you now think that this situation could not occur unless the Lord’s human manifestation was divine, then say divine-human from this acknowledgment in your thought.”
They still could not say it. The idea had been too deeply impressed on them that what was divine could not be human and what was human could not be divine, and so too had the idea that his divine nature came from the divinity of the eternally begotten Son, and that his human nature was just like anyone else’s.
They were asked, “How can you think that way? Can a rational mind really think that some Son was born from God from eternity?”
[10] 7. Next the participants focused on the Lutheran Protestants. They said to them that the Augsburg Confession and Luther himself taught the following:

The Son of God and the Son of Humankind are one person in Christ. Even his human manifestation is omnipotent and omnipresent. It sits at the right hand of God the Father and rules all things in the heavens and on earth, fills all things, is with us, and dwells and is at work in us. His human manifestation deserves no different adoration, because through his human manifestation, which is perceptible, we adore the Divinity that is not perceptible. In Christ, God is human, and a human is God.

To this they replied, “Is that so?” They looked around. Soon they said, “We didn’t know these things before, so we can’t say divine-human.”
Nevertheless first one, then another, said, “We read that text and we even wrote some of it, but still when we thought about it they were only words. We did not have the inner idea that goes with them.”
[11] 8. Finally the participants turned to focus on the Catholics and said, “Perhaps you are able to pronounce ‘divine-human,’ since you believe that in your Eucharist Christ is fully present in the bread and wine, in each and every part of them. You adore Christ as the most holy God when you display and convey the host. Since you call Mary ‘the Bearer of God’ or ‘the one who gave birth to God,’ you therefore acknowledge that she bore God, that is, the Divine-Human Being.”
They then tried to say it, but they could not. What came to their minds was a physical idea of Christ’s body and blood, as well as the belief that his humanity is separable from his divinity, and is actually separated in the case of the pope, to whom only Christ’s human power, not his divine power, had been transferred.
Then a monk stood up and said that he could think of the Holy Virgin Mary and also the saint of his monastery as divine-human.
Another monk came forward and said, “With the idea I have of the holy pope – an idea I have come to cherish – I can more easily speak of the holy pope than of Christ as divine-human.”
Some other Catholics, however, pulled him back and said, “Shame on you!”
[12] After this heaven seemed to open and tongues like little flames seemed to come down and flow into some people. They began praising the Lord’s divine humanity and saying, “Remove the idea of three gods. Believe that all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in the Lord. Believe that the Father and he are one as the soul and the body are one. Believe that God is a human being, not wind or ether. Then you will be connected to heaven, and from the Lord you will be able to name Jesus and say ‘divine-human.'”

TCR (Rose) n. 112 112
The third memorable occurrence. Once I woke up just after first light. I went out into the garden in front of my house and watched the sun rising in its splendor. There was a halo around it, at first very subtle, but later on more definite, shining as though it was made of gold. Beneath the sun’s rim I saw a cloud rising up. Mirroring the flame of the sun, it gleamed like a ruby.
At that point I fell into a meditation based on the myths of the most ancients, reflecting on how they pictured Aurora, the Dawn, as having silver wings and carrying gold in her mouth. Mentally taking great pleasure in these sights, I came into my spirit.
I heard some spirits in a discussion saying, “I would love an opportunity to talk to that innovator who has tossed an apple of discord among the leaders of the church. Many lay people have rushed to that apple, picked it up, and set it before our eyes.”
The “apple” they meant was the little volume titled Survey of Teachings for the New Church.
“It is something genuinely schismatic that no one has thought of before,” they said.
I heard one of them cry out, “Schismatic? Its heretical!”
Some by his side retorted, “Be quiet! It isn’t heretical. It cites many statements from the Word that the strangers in our midst (meaning our lay people) pay attention to and support.”
[2] When I had heard all that, I went to them (since I was in my spirit) and said, “Here I am. What’s your concern?”
One of them – I heard later that he was a German, a native of Saxony – speaking with the tone of authority, immediately said, “Where did you get the audacity to overturn the worship that has been established in the Christian world for so many centuries, the practice of calling on God the Father as Creator of the universe, his Son as its Mediator, and the Holy Spirit as its Effecter? You remove the first and the last God from our concept of personhood. Yet the Lord himself says, ‘When you pray, pray like this: “Our Father who is in the heavens, your name must be kept holy; your kingdom must come.”‘ We are commanded then to call on God the Father.”
After he had spoken it became quiet. All who sided with him stood like mighty soldiers on warships who have spotted the enemy fleet and are about to shout, “Now to battle! The victory is sure!”
sRef John@1 @14 S3′ sRef John@1 @1 S3′ [3] Then I stood up to speak. “Surely you are all aware,” I said, “that God came down from heaven and became a human being. We read, ‘The Word was with God and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh.’ Again, surely you all know” – and I looked at the Lutherans, including the tyrant who had just spoken to me – “that in Christ, who was born of the Virgin Mary, God is human and a human is God.”
The crowd objected loudly to this, so I said, “Don’t you know this? It accords with the point of view in your confession called the Formula of Concord, where this statement is made and extensively supported.”
The tyrant turned to the crowd and asked whether they had known this. They replied, “We haven’t paid much attention to what that book says about the person of Christ, but we have sweated over the article there on justification by faith alone. Still, if that is what it says, we will grant you that.”
Then one of them remembered and said, “It does say that. It goes on to say that Christ’s human nature was raised to divine majesty and all the attributes that go with it, and that Christ in his human nature sits at the right hand of his Father.”
sRef John@17 @10 S4′ sRef John@10 @30 S4′ sRef John@14 @9 S4′ sRef John@10 @38 S4′ [4] When they heard that they kept quiet. With that point resolved, I spoke again and said, Since that is so, is the Father then anything other than the Son, and is the Son anything other than the Father?
Because this too sounded harsh to their ears, I went on to say, “Hear the actual words the Lord said. If you haven’t paid attention to them before, pay attention to them now. He said, ‘The Father and I are one. The Father is in me and I am in the Father. Father, all that is mine is yours, and all that is yours is mine. Those who see me see the Father.’ What else do these words mean except that the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father, and they are one like the soul and the body in a human being, so they are one person? This has to be part of your faith if you believe the Athanasian Creed, where statements just like this occur.
“Of the passages I quoted, just take this saying of the Lord’s: ‘Father, all that is mine is yours, and all that is yours is mine.’ Surely this means that the Father’s divine nature belongs to the Son’s human nature and the Son’s human nature belongs to the Father’s divine nature; and therefore in Christ God is human and a human is God and they are one as the soul and the body are one.
sRef Luke@1 @32 S5′ sRef Luke@1 @35 S5′ aRef John@1 @18 S5′ [5] “We can all say the same thing of our own soul and body: ‘All that is yours is mine and all that is mine is yours. You are in me and I am in you. Those who see me see you. We are one individual and we have one life.’ Why? Because the soul exists throughout us and in every part of us. Our souls life is the life in our body. It is something the soul and the body share.
“Clearly then, the divine nature of the Father is the Son’s soul, and the human nature of the Son is the Father’s body. Where does a son’s soul come from except from his father? Where does his body come from except from his mother? When I say ‘the divine nature of the Father’ what I mean is ‘the Father himself,’ since he is the same as his nature; his nature is one undivided thing.
“The truth of this is clear from the angel Gabriel’s words to Mary: ‘The power of the Highest will cover you, and the Holy Spirit will descend upon you; and the Holy One that will be born from you will be called the Son of God’ [Luke 1:35]. Just before that the Lord is called ‘the Son of the Highest’ [Luke 1:32], and elsewhere he is called ‘the only begotten Son’ [John 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9].
“Those of you, however, who call him only ‘the Son of Mary’ lose the idea of his divinity. The only people who lose that, though, are learned clergy and scholarly laity whose only goal in lifting their thoughts above their physical senses is to gain glory for their own reputation; but that glory does not merely overshadow, it actually extinguishes, the light that brings the glory of God.
sRef Matt@6 @9 S6′ sRef Matt@6 @10 S6′ sRef John@12 @28 S6′ sRef John@14 @6 S6′ sRef Isa@9 @6 S6′ [6] “Let’s go back to the Lord’s prayer. There it says, ‘Our Father who is in the heavens, your name must be kept holy; your kingdom must come’ [Matthew 6:910]. You who are here understand these words as referring solely to the Father in his divine nature. I, however, understand them as referring to the Father in his human manifestation, which is in fact the Father’s name. The Lord said, ‘Father, glorify your name’ [John 12:28], that is, your human manifestation. When this takes place, then God’s kingdom comes. This prayer was commanded for this time, that is, when people are going to God the Father through his human manifestation.
“In fact, the Lord says, ‘No one comes to the Father except through me’ [John 14:6]. And in the prophet, ‘A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us, whose name is God, Hero, Father of Eternity’ [Isaiah 9:6]. Elsewhere it says, ‘You, Jehovah, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is your name’ [Isaiah 63:16]. There are also a thousand other passages where the Lord our Savior is called Jehovah. This is the true interpretation of the words of that prayer.”
[7] After I had said all that I looked at them. I noticed that their faces changed as they changed their minds. Some were agreeing with me and looking at me; some were disagreeing and turning away from me.
Then to the right I saw a cloud the color of an opal, and to the left a dark cloud, and precipitation below each of them. Under the dark cloud the precipitation was like a hard rain in late fall; under the opalescent cloud it was like dew falling at the beginning of spring.
Suddenly I came from my spirit into my body and returned from the spiritual world to the physical one.

TCR (Rose) n. 113 113
The fourth memorable occurrence. I looked out across the world of spirits and saw an army on red horses and black horses. The riders looked like monkeys. They were turned around with their faces and chests facing the horses’ backs and tails, while the riders’ backs and the backs of their heads faced the horses’ necks and heads. The reins were hanging around the riders’ necks. They were uttering [battle] cries at some riders on white horses and plying the reins with both hands, yet in fact they were reining in their horses from battle. This went on and on.
Then two angels descended from heaven, and came over to me and said, “What do you see?”
I told them how I was watching a very entertaining cavalry. I asked what was going on and who they were.
“Those people are from the place that is called Armageddon in Revelation 16:16, the angels replied. As many as several thousand have gathered there with the purpose of fighting those who are from the Lord’s new church that is called the New Jerusalem.
“At that spot they have been discussing the church and religion, although they have no church, because they have no spiritual truth, and they have no religion, because they have no spiritual goodness. They have been discussing the church and religion with their mouths and lips, but only with the purpose of using the church and religion to dominate [others].
[2] “In early adulthood they learned to sanction faith alone and learned something about God. When they were promoted to higher-ranking positions in the church, they held on to what they had learned for a while. Then they gradually ceased thinking about God or heaven, and instead began thinking about themselves and the world. They did not think about blessedness or happiness in eternity; they thought about prominence and wealth in time. They moved the teachings they had been attracted to in early adulthood out of the inner realms of their rational mind – realms that communicate with heaven and are in heavens light. They drove them instead into the outer realms of their rational mind – realms that communicate with the world and are in the worlds light. In the final stage they pushed those teachings down to the realm of their physical senses. For them the teachings of the church became the exclusive property of their lips; those teachings were no longer part of their thinking on the basis of reason, let alone part of their feelings of love. As a result, they do not now let in any divine truth that is part of the church or any genuine goodness that is part of religion.
“The inner realms of their mind have become like beakers full of iron filings mixed with powdered sulfur. If water is poured in the beakers, first there is increasing heat and then there is fire, which breaks the beakers. Likewise, when they hear living water, which is the genuine truth in the Word, and it goes into their ears, they burst violently into flames and expel it as something that is about to break their heads.
[3] “These are the people who looked to you like monkeys riding backward on red horses and black horses with the reins around their own necks. Those who have no love for the truth or the goodness from the Word that belong to the church want to see the back, not the front, of a horse. A horse means one’s understanding of the Word. A red horse means an understanding of the Word that has lost its goodness. A black horse means an understanding of the Word that has lost its truth. Those people were uttering battle cries against riders on white horses because a white horse means an understanding of the Word’s truth and goodness. They appeared to drag their horses backward by the neck because they themselves were afraid to fight, fearing that the truth of the Word would reach many people and would come to light that way. This is the interpretation.”
[4] The angels went on to say, “We are from the community in heaven that is called Michael. The Lord commanded us to come down to the place called Armageddon where the cavalry you saw was on the attack. To us in heaven Armageddon means the mindset that fights, using falsified truths as weapons – a mindset that originates in a love for dominating and being superior to all. We sense your desire to know about that battle, so we will tell you something about it.
“After we came down from heaven we went to the place called Armageddon. We saw as many as several thousand who had gathered there, but we did not go into the crowd. Off to the south side of that area there were some houses where there were children and teachers. We went there, and they kindly took us in. We enjoyed their company. Their faces were all good-looking as a result of their lively eyes and their impassioned way of speaking. What made their eyes lively was their awareness of what is true, and what made their talk impassioned was their passion for what is good. So we presented a gift to them of hats whose rims were decorated with bands made of golden threads with pearls woven in, as well as clothing of white and blue.
“We asked them whether they had looked at the neighboring area called Armageddon. They said they had looked out a window just under the roof of the house. They had seen a gathering there, but those gathering changed shapes, at one point looking like nobility, at another not even seeming to be human; they looked like statues and carved idols with a crowd around them on their knees. We too had seen that group in different forms. Some looked like people, some like leopards, some like goats. The goats had horns that curved downward; they were digging up the ground with them. We explained those metamorphoses – whom they portrayed and what they meant.
sRef Matt@6 @10 S5′ sRef Matt@6 @9 S5′ [5] “But back to the main point. When the people who had gathered heard that we had gone into those houses, they said to each other, What do they want with those children? We should send some from our crowd over there to throw them out. And so they did.
“When their envoys arrived they said to us, ‘Why did you go into those houses? Where are you from? With full authority we order you to leave.’
“We replied, That is not an order you can give with any authority. Admittedly, in your own eyes you are like the Anakim, and the people who are here are like dwarves. But nonetheless you have no power or jurisdiction here except by fraud, and that is not valid. Tell your people that we have been sent here from heaven to assess whether religion exists among you or not. If it doesn’t, you will be thrown out of the place. Propose the following to your people, therefore – a point in which lies the essence of the church and religion. How do they understand the following words in the Lord’s prayer: “Our Father, you who are in the heavens, your name must be kept holy; your kingdom must come” [Matthew 6:9-10]?’
“When the others heard this, at first they said, ‘What is this?’ But then they said they would propose it. They left and conveyed this proposition to their people.
“Their people replied, ‘What kind of a proposition is that?’ But they understood the hidden agenda. They thought, ‘They want to know whether these words support the orientation of our faith to God the Father.’ So they said, ‘The words are clear that we must pray to God the Father, and because Christ is our Mediator, we must pray to God the Father for the Son’s sake.’
“Soon in their indignation they decided to come over to us in person and tell us this. In fact, they said that they were going to twist our ears. They left that place and came to a stand of trees that was near the houses where the children and their teachers were. In the middle of the trees there was a raised level area like a natural stage. They went onto that stage hand in hand. We were there waiting for them. There were piles of sod on the ground there. They sat on these piles, because they had said to each other, ‘We are not going to stand up in front of them; we’ll sit down.’
“One of them who was able to make himself appear to be an angel of light had been ordered by the rest to speak to us. He said, ‘You have proposed to us that we reveal our opinions on the first words of the Lord’s prayer and how we understand them. Therefore I am telling you that we understand those words to mean that we have to pray to God the Father. Because Christ is our Mediator and we are saved by his merit, we have to pray to God the Father with a belief in Christ’s merit.’
[6] “We said to them, ‘We are from the community in heaven called Michael. We have been sent to assess and investigate whether you who have gathered in that place have any religion or not. The idea of God permeates every aspect of religion. Through that idea a partnership [with God] is forged, and through that partnership comes salvation. In heaven we recite the Lord’s prayer every day just as people on earth do. When we do so we don’t think of God the Father, because he cannot be seen. We think of him in his divine-human manifestation, because in that he can be seen. In that human manifestation he is called Christ by you, but the Lord by us. To us the Lord is our Father in the heavens.
“‘The Lord taught that he and the Father are one, that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, and that those who see him see the Father. He also taught that no one comes to the Father except through him, and that the will of the Father is that people should believe in the Son. Those who do not believe in the Son do not see life; in fact, God’s anger remains on them. From these teachings it is clear that access to the Father is gained through the Lord and in him. Because that is true, the Lord also taught that all power in heaven and on earth was given to him.
“‘In the prayer it says, “Your name must be kept holy; your kingdom must come.” We have demonstrated from the Word that his divine-human manifestation is the name of the Father; and that the Father’s kingdom exists when the Lord is directly approached, but does not exist at all when God the Father is directly approached. That is why the Lord commanded the disciples to preach the kingdom of God. This is the kingdom of God.’
sRef Mark@16 @15 S7′ sRef John@3 @35 S7′ sRef Dan@7 @13 S7′ sRef Mark@1 @15 S7′ sRef Rev@11 @15 S7′ sRef John@17 @2 S7′ sRef Mark@1 @14 S7′ sRef Isa@54 @5 S7′ sRef Matt@28 @18 S7′ sRef Dan@7 @14 S7′ sRef Matt@3 @2 S7′ sRef Matt@4 @23 S7′ sRef Matt@4 @17 S7′ sRef Matt@11 @27 S7′ [7] “When they heard that, our opponents said, ‘You are citing many passages from the Word. We may have read things like that there, but we don’t remember. Open the Word before us and read those things from it, especially that point about the kingdom of the Father coming when the Lord’s kingdom comes.’
“Then they said to the children, ‘Bring the Word,’ so the children brought it.
“From it we read the following: ‘As he preached the gospel of the kingdom, John said, “The time has been completed. The kingdom of God has come near” (Mark 1:14, 15; Matthew 3:2). Jesus himself preached the gospel of the kingdom and that the kingdom of God was coming near (Matthew 4:17, 23; 9:35). Jesus commanded his disciples to preach and evangelize the kingdom of God (Mark 16:15; Luke 8:1; 9:60); he gave a similar command to the seventy he sent out (Luke 10:9, 11).’ We also read passages such as Matthew 11:5; 16:27, 28; Mark 8:35; 9:1, 47; 10:29, 30; 11:10; and Luke 1:19; 2:10, 11; 4:43; 7:22; 21:30, 31; 22:18.
“We said, ‘The following passages make clear that the kingdom of God that was evangelized was the Lord’s kingdom and at the same time the Father’s kingdom:

The Father has given all things into the hand of the Son. (John 3:35)

The Father has given the Son power over all flesh. (John 17:2)

All things have been handed to me by the Father. (Matthew 11:27)

All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:18)

And also these passages:

Jehovah Sabaoth is his name, and he will be called the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5)

I saw and behold, there was someone like the Son of Humankind. He was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom. All people and nations will worship him. His dominion is a dominion of an age that will not pass, and his kingdom is one that will not perish. (Daniel 7:13, 14)

When the seventh angel sounded, great voices rang out in the heavens saying, “The kingdoms of the world have become kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15; 12:10)

sRef John@14 @9 S8′ sRef Isa@9 @6 S8′ sRef Isa@63 @16 S8′ [8] “We also used the Word to teach them that the Lord came into the world not only to redeem angels and people but also to unite them to God the Father through himself and in himself. He taught that if people believe in him, he is in them and they are in him (John 6:56; 14:20; 15:4, 5).
“Upon hearing that they asked, ‘Then how can your Lord be called Father?’
“We said, ‘That is based on the passages we already read to you, and also on the following passages: “A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us, whose name is God, Hero, Father of Eternity” (Isaiah 9:6). “You are our Father. Abraham did not know us and Israel did not acknowledge us. You, Jehovah, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is your name” (Isaiah 63:16). When Philip wanted to see the Father, Jesus said, “Have you not known me, Philip? Those who see me see the Father” (John 14:9; 12:45). Who else then is the Father except the One whom Philip was seeing with his eyes?
“And let’s add this as well. Throughout the whole Christian world there is a saying that those who are part of the church form the body of Christ and are in his body. How then can people who belong to the church go to God the Father without going through the One whose body they are in? Otherwise they would have to go completely outside that body to go to the Father.’
“Finally, we informed them, ‘Today the Lord is establishing the new church meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation [Revelation 3:12; 21:2, 10]. In it there will be worship of the Lord alone, as there is in heaven. This is fulfilling everything contained in the Lord’s prayer from beginning to end.’
“To support all these points we used the Word in the Gospels and in the Prophets, and we quoted so much from the Book of Revelation, which from beginning to end is about this church, that they became tired of hearing it.
[9] “Annoyed at all this, those Armageddonites wanted to interrupt our diatribe now and then. Finally they broke in and shouted, ‘You have spoken against the doctrine of our church, which teaches us to go directly to God the Father and believe in him. You have made yourselves guilty of violating our faith. Therefore go away from here. If you don’t, you will be thrown out.’
“Their minds became inflamed with their own threats and soon turned toward action, but then by a power given to us we struck them with a blindness. Because they couldn’t see us, as they went on the attack they ran off in the wrong direction. Some fell down into the great pit mentioned in Revelation 9:2, which is now on the eastern side of the southern region. The spirits there support a belief in justification by faith alone. The people there who are using the Word to support that belief are now being sent into a desert in which they are taken all the way to the farthest edge of the Christian world. There they are being integrated among pagans.”

TCR (Rose) n. 114 114
Redemption

It is known in the church that the Lord has two roles, a priestly one and a royal one. Few know, however, what each role consists of; therefore they will be described. In his priestly role the Lord is called Jesus; in his royal role he is called Christ. In the Word, in his priestly role he is called Jehovah and the Lord; in his royal role he is called God and the Holy One of Israel, as well as King.
The two roles are differentiated from each other, just as love and wisdom are, or their equivalents, goodness and truth. Therefore whatever the Lord did from divine love or divine goodness, he did from his priestly position. On the other hand, whatever the Lord did from divine wisdom or divine truth, he did from his royal position. In fact, in the Word “priest” and “priesthood” mean divine goodness, and “king” and “royal” mean divine truth. The priests and kings in the Israelite church represented these two roles.
As for redemption, it relates to both roles. Which aspect of it relates to which role will be disclosed in what follows. In order that the details may be clearly perceived, the explanation will be broken up into topics or points. They will be the following:

1. Redemption was actually a matter of gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and by so doing preparing for a new spiritual church.

2. Without this redemption no human being could have been saved and no angels could have continued to exist in their state of integrity.

3. The Lord therefore redeemed not only people but also angels.

4. Redemption was something only the Divine could bring about.

5. This true redemption could not have happened if God had not come in the flesh.

6. Suffering on the cross was the final trial the Lord underwent as the greatest prophet. It was a means of glorifying his human nature, that is, of uniting that nature to his Father’s divine nature. It was not redemption.

7. Believing that the Lord’s suffering on the cross was redemption itself is a fundamental error on the part of the church. That error, along with the error about three divine Persons from eternity, has ruined the whole church to the point that there is nothing spiritual left in it anymore.
I will discuss these matters point by point.

TCR (Rose) n. 115 115
1. Redemption was actually a matter of gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and by so doing preparing for a new spiritual church. I can say with absolute certainty that these three actions are redemption, because the Lord is bringing about redemption again today. This new redemption began in the year 1757 along with a Last Judgment that happened at that time. The redemption has continued from then until now. The reason is that today is the Second Coming of the Lord. A new church is being instituted that could not have been instituted unless first the hells were brought under control and the heavens were restructured.
Because I have been allowed to see it all I could describe how the hells were brought under control and how the new heaven was built and put into the divine design, but that would be the subject of a whole work. In a little work published in London in 1758 I did lay out how the Last Judgment was carried out.
Gaining control over the hells, restructuring the heavens, and establishing a new church was redemption because without those actions no human being could have been saved. In fact, they follow in a sequence. The hells had to be controlled first before a new angelic heaven could be formed, and that heaven had to be formed before the new church on earth could be instituted, because people in the world are so closely connected to angels from heaven and spirits from hell that at the level of the inner mind they are one. This point will be taken up in the last chapter of this book, which specifically covers the close of the age, the Coming of the Lord, and the New Church [753-791].

TCR (Rose) n. 116 sRef Isa@63 @2 S1′ sRef Isa@63 @1 S1′ sRef Isa@63 @7 S1′ sRef Isa@63 @6 S1′ sRef Isa@63 @9 S1′ sRef Isa@63 @8 S1′ sRef Isa@63 @5 S1′ sRef Isa@63 @3 S1′ sRef Isa@63 @4 S1′ 116
Many passages in the Word make it clear that while he was in the world the Lord fought battles against the hells, conquered them, brought them under control, and made them obedient to himself. I will extract just a few.
In Isaiah:

Who is this who comes from Edom, from Bozrah with his clothes spattered, this one honorable in his clothing, walking in the magnitude of his strength?
“It is I who speak with justice, great in order to give salvation.”
Why are your clothes reddish? Why are your clothes like those of someone trampling in a winepress?
“I trampled the winepress alone. There was no man from the people with me. Because I trampled people in my anger and stamped on them in my rage, their victory was spattered on my clothes. For the day of revenge was in my heart and the year of my redeemed had come. My arm performed salvation for me. I made the enemies victory go down into the ground.”
He said, “Behold those others are my people, my children.”
That is why he became their Savior. Because of his love and his mercy he redeemed them. (Isaiah 63:19)

These words are about the Lord’s battles against the hells. The clothes in which he was honorable and which were reddish mean the Word, to which the Jewish people had done violence. The combat itself against the hells and victory over them is described by his trampling people in his anger and stamping on them in his rage. The fact that he was alone and fought from his own power is described by these phrases: “there was no man from the people with me;” “my arm performed salvation for me;” and “I made the enemies’ victory go down into the ground.” His bringing salvation and redemption as a result is described by these phrases: “That is why he became their Savior;” and “because of his love and mercy he redeemed them.” The fact that this was the reason for his coming is meant by these phrases: “the day of revenge was in my heart and the year of my redeemed had come.”
sRef Isa@59 @16 S2′ sRef Ps@45 @6 S2′ sRef Ps@45 @4 S2′ sRef Ps@45 @3 S2′ sRef Ps@45 @5 S2′ sRef Isa@59 @17 S2′ sRef Ps@45 @7 S2′ sRef Isa@59 @20 S2′ sRef Jer@46 @5 S2′ sRef Jer@46 @10 S2′ [2] Also in Isaiah:

He saw that there was no one and was astounded that there was no one interceding. Therefore his own arm performed salvation for him and justice made him stand up. Then he put on justice like a breastplate and a helmet of salvation on his head. He put on the clothes of vengeance and covered himself with zeal like a cloak. Then the Redeemer came to Zion. (Isaiah 59:16, 17, 20)

In Jeremiah:

They were terrified; their mighty ones were broken. They fled in flight and did not look back. That day belonged to the Lord Jehovih Sabaoth, a day of retribution for him to take revenge on his enemies, for the sword to eat and be satisfied. (Jeremiah 46:5, 10)

These last two passages are about the Lord’s combat against the hells and victory over them.
In David:

Strap the sword on your thigh, Powerful One. Your arrows are sharp. Populations fall beneath you – enemies of the king at heart. Your throne is for an age and forever. You have loved justice. God anointed you for this. (Psalms 45:3, 57)

There are also many other relevant passages in the Psalms.
sRef Ps@24 @8 S3′ sRef Ps@24 @10 S3′ sRef Luke@10 @18 S3′ sRef John@12 @31 S3′ sRef John@16 @11 S3′ sRef John@16 @33 S3′ [3] Because the Lord conquered the hells alone with no help from any angel he is called Hero and a Man of Wars (Isaiah 42:13; 9:6), the King of Glory, Jehovah the Mighty, a Hero of war (Psalms 14:8, 10), the Mighty One of Jacob (Psalms 132:2), and in many passages “Jehovah Sabaoth,” that is, “Jehovah of Armies.” For the same reason his coming is called the terrible day of Jehovah; a cruel day; a day of indignation, rage, anger, revenge, destruction, and war; a day of the trumpet, of the call to arms, of uproar; and so on.
In the Gospel writers we read the following:

Now is the judgment of the world; the Prince of This World is cast to the outside. (John 12:31)

The Prince of This World has been judged. (John 16:11)

Have confidence; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

I saw Satan falling like a thunderbolt out of heaven. (Luke 10:18)

In these passages “the world,” “the Prince of This World,” “Satan,” and “the Devil” mean hell.
[4] In addition, the Book of Revelation from beginning to end de scribes the condition of the Christian church today and the fact that the Lord is going to come again, take control of the hells, make a new angelic heaven, and then establish a new church on earth. All this is foretold there but it has not been disclosed before today. The reason is that the Book of Revelation, like all the prophetic portions of the Word, was written in pure correspondences. If the correspondences had not been disclosed by the Lord, hardly anyone could have correctly understood a single verse there.
Now, for the sake of the new church, everything in the Book of Revelation has been disclosed in Revelation Unveiled, published in Amsterdam, 1766. Some will see those things – those who believe the Word of the Lord in Matthew 24 about the state of the church today and about his coming. In fact, the only people who are still ambivalent are those who have planted two of the modern-day church’s beliefs so deeply in their own hearts that those beliefs cannot be uprooted: the belief in three divine Persons from eternity; and the belief that the suffering on the cross was the actual redemption. As noted in the memorable occurrence above at 113[:2], these people are like beakers full of iron filings and powdered sulfur. If water is poured in the beakers, first there is increasing heat and then there is fire, which breaks the beakers. Likewise, when these people hear some living water, which is the genuine truth in the Word, and it goes into their eyes or ears, they burst violently into flames and expel it as something that is about to break their heads.

TCR (Rose) n. 117 aRef 1Ki@4 @25 S0′ aRef 1Ki@4 @24 S0′ aRef Micah@4 @3 S0′ aRef Micah@4 @4 S0′ 117
Gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and then establishing a church can be illustrated by various comparisons.
They can be illustrated by a comparison with an army of looters or rebels who invade a country or a city, set fire to the houses, plunder the citizens’ goods, and divide the spoils among themselves, enjoying and glorifying themselves because of it. Redemption itself can be illustrated by a comparison with an upright monarch who attacks these invaders with an army, puts some of them to the sword, imprisons the rest in labor camps, takes the stolen goods away from them to give back to the citizens, and then restructures the country and gives it protection against attack by similar assailants in the future.
It could also be illustrated by a comparison with wild animals that have formed packs and are charging out of the forest attacking flocks and herds and even people. The people do not dare to go outside the walls of the city and cultivate the land, so the fields are becoming deserts and the people in the city are about to die of hunger. Redemption could be illustrated by analogy with killing some of the wild animals, driving away the others, and protecting the fields and plains from any further attack of the kind.
It could also be illustrated by locusts that are consuming every green thing in the ground and then by the means of stopping them from going any farther. Also by caterpillars at the beginning of summer that strip the leaves off the trees (thus preventing the fruit from coming) so that the trees stand as naked as in midwinter; and then by the act of shaking the caterpillars off and restoring the garden to flowering and fruit-bearing.
The church would have been in a comparable situation unless the Lord through redemption had separated the good from the evil, had cast the evil into hell, and had lifted the good to heaven.
What would it be like in an empire or a country that knew no justice or judgment? Justice and judgment take evil people away from the company of the good; they protect good people from being violated so that they may live safely in their own homes and, as it says in the Word, sit in serenity under their own fig tree and their own vine [1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4].

TCR (Rose) n. 118 118
2. Without that redemption no human being could have been saved and no angels could have continued to exist in their state of integrity. First I need to say what redemption is. To redeem means to free the captive and the bound from damnation, to rescue them from everlasting death, to snatch them from hell, and to carry them away from the hand of the Devil. The Lord did this by gaining control over the hells and establishing a new heaven.
Otherwise we could not have been saved, because the spiritual world is so closely connected to the earthly world that they are inseparable. The main connection between the two worlds is through our inner levels – our souls and our minds. For good people, that connection is with the souls and minds of angels; for evil people it is with the souls and minds of hellish spirits. We are so united to the angels or the hellish spirits that if they were taken away from us we would fall down as dead as a piece of wood. Neither could the angels or the hellish spirits continue to exist if we were taken away from them. This makes it clear why redemption was brought about in the spiritual world and why heaven and hell had to be restructured before a church could be established on earth. This sequence is clear in the Book of Revelation: after the new heaven was made, the New Jerusalem, which is the new church, came down from that heaven (Revelation 21:1, 2).

TCR (Rose) n. 119 119
If the Lord had not brought about redemption, angels could not have continued to exist in a state of integrity either. To the Lord, the entire angelic heaven along with the church on earth is like a single human being. The angelic heaven constitutes the inner level of that person; the church constitutes the outer level.
To be more specific, the highest heaven forms the head of that person; the second and the lowest heavens form the chest and the midsection of that person’s body; and the church on earth constitutes the person’s body from below the waist to the feet. The Lord himself is the soul and life of the whole person.
If the Lord had not brought about redemption, that person would have been destroyed. The loss of the church on earth destroys that body from the waist down; the loss of the lowest heaven destroys the digestive area; the loss of the second heaven destroys the thorax. Then the head loses consciousness because it has no relationship with the body.
[2] Analogies will illustrate this. It is like someone’s feet becoming gangrenous and the gangrene climbing progressively higher, reaching the genitals and then the abdominal organs, and finally attacking the region of the heart. As we know, at that point the person succumbs to death.
This can also be illustrated by analogy with diseases of the internal organs below the diaphragm. When they fail, the heart begins to palpitate and the lungs begin to heave desperately. In the end the heart and lungs stop functioning.
This can also be illustrated by analogy with our higher and lower self. The higher self is strong as long as the lower self is obediently fulfilling its obligations; but if the lower self is resistant rather than obedient, and worse yet if it attacks the higher self, the higher self eventually becomes weak and finally gets carried away by the lower self’s pleasures until the higher self agrees and goes along with the lower self.
This can also be illustrated by comparison with people standing on a mountain who notice that the land below is flooded and the water is rising higher and higher. When it reaches the level where they are standing, unless they can ensure their own safety by getting on some life raft washed to them on the floodwaters, they too are submerged.
Likewise when people on a mountain see a thick fog rising higher and higher above the ground, covering the fields, villages, and cities. Finally, when the fog reaches them, they do not see a thing – not even in the spot where they themselves are standing.
sRef Rev@6 @9 S3′ sRef Rev@6 @11 S3′ sRef Rev@6 @10 S3′ [3] It is like this for angels. When the church on earth dies, the lower heavens also disintegrate. The reason is that the heavens consist of people from the world. When there is nothing good left in the human heart and no truth from the Word, the heavens are flooded with evils that rise up; they are choked by them as by the waters of the Styx. Nevertheless the Lord hides [good spirits] somewhere else and preserves them till the day of the Last Judgment, then lifts them into a new heaven.
The Book of Revelation refers to these good spirits in the following statements:

I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the sake of God’s word and for the testimony that they had given. They were shouting with a loud voice saying, “How long, Lord, you who are holy and true, will you refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who live on earth?” They were given white robes and were told that they should rest a little longer until they were all together, they and their fellow slaves, and their brothers and sisters who were going to be killed as they had been. (Revelation 6:9, 10, 11)

TCR (Rose) n. 120 120
If there had been no redemption by the Lord, injustice and malice would have spread throughout the Christian realm in both worlds (the earthly and the spiritual).
There are many reasons for this. One is that all human beings after death come into the world of spirits. They are exactly the same then as they were before. When they first enter that world, none of them can be prevented from interacting with parents, siblings, relatives, and friends who have died. At that time every husband first looks for his wife and every wife looks for her husband. Their spouses as well as their family and friends introduce them into various social groups that include people who are outwardly like sheep but are inwardly like wolves. The newcomers are corrupted by these wolves – even the newcomers who have been particularly devoted to religion. Because of this, and also because of horrible practices that are unknown in the physical world, that world is as full of malicious people as a pond is green with frog’s eggs.
[2] Interaction with evil people there has this contagious effect, as you can clearly see from the following similar situations: As you spend time with thieves or pirates you eventually become like them. As you live among adulterous men and promiscuous women, eventually you think nothing of adultery. If you join a rebel group, eventually you think nothing of doing violence to anyone.
All evils are contagious. They are like a plague you become infected with just by breathing in and out. They are like cancer and gangrene that spread and corrupt nearby areas, then more and more remote areas, until the whole body dies.
The cause: from birth we all enjoy evil.
sRef John@15 @4 S3′ sRef John@15 @6 S3′ sRef John@15 @5 S3′ [3] From the points made just now it can be clear that if the Lord had not brought about redemption, no human being could have been saved and no angels could have continued to exist in their state of integrity.
The sole and only direction in which to run for refuge is to the Lord, or else we perish. He says,

Live in me and I [shall live] in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it lives in the vine, the same goes for you unless you live in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me and I in them bear much fruit. For without me you can do nothing. If any do not live in me, they are cast out. Once dried they are thrown into the fire and burned. (John 15:4, 5, 6)

TCR (Rose) n. 121 121
3. The Lord therefore redeemed not only people but also angels. This follows from something stated in the previous point: no angels could have continued to exist without being redeemed by the Lord. The following reasons supplement those already given.
The first reason: At the time of the Lord’s First Coming the hells had risen so high that they filled the entire world of spirits that is midway between heaven and hell. They not only wrecked the heaven called the lowest heaven, they also attacked the middle heaven and harassed it in a thousand ways. If the Lord had not preserved it, it would have been destroyed.
This kind of attack by the hells is meant by the tower built in the land of Shinar whose top reached all the way to heaven. The confusion of their languages thwarted those people’s efforts; they were scattered and the city was called Babel (Genesis 11:19). The meaning of the tower and of the confusion of their languages is explained in Secrets of Heaven, published in London.
[2] The reason why the hells had risen so high was that by the time the Lord came into the world the whole planet had completely alienated itself from God by worshiping idols and practicing sorcery; and the church that had existed among the children of Israel and later among the Jews had been utterly destroyed by their falsifying and contaminating the Word.
After death both of the above groups arrived in the world of spirits. Over time they grew in numbers there to such an extent that they could not have been driven out thereafter if God himself had not come down and used the power of his divine arm to deal with them. The Lord in fact did so, as I have described in Last Judgment, a little work published in London in 1758. While the Lord was in the world, he accomplished their overthrow.
The Lord is again doing something similar today since, as I said, today is his Second Coming, an event foretold throughout the Book of Revelation and in Matthew 24:3, 30; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27; and Acts 1:11, as well as other places.
A difference is that during his First Coming the hells were swollen with idol-worshipers, sorcerers, and falsifiers of the Word. During this Second Coming the hells are swollen with so-called Christians – some who are steeped in materialist philosophy, and others who have falsified the Word by using it to sanction their made-up faith about three divine persons from eternity and about the Lord’s suffering as the true redemption. The dragon and his two beasts in Revelation 12 and 13 mean the so-called Christians just mentioned.
[3] The second reason why the Lord’s redemption affected angels as well is that the Lord restrains not only all people but also all angels from evil, and keeps them focused instead on what is good. No angels or people are good on their own. Everything good comes from the Lord. When the angels’ footstool (meaning the world of spirits) was stolen, it was as if the platform under someone’s chair was suddenly removed.
The angels are not pure before God. This is something the Prophets and also Job make clear. This is also clear from the fact that there is no such thing as an angel who was not previously a human being. These points support what was said at the beginning of this work under the headings “the faith of the new heaven and the new church in a universal form” and “in a specific form:”

The Lord came into the world to separate hell from the human race. He accomplished this by repeatedly doing battle with hell and conquering it. In this way he gained control over it and forced it to obey him. (2)

Also these words there:

Jehovah God came down and took on a human manifestation for the purpose of forcing everything in heaven and everything in the church back into the divine design. For at that time the power of the Devil, that is, hell, was stronger than the power of heaven, and on earth the power of evil was stronger than the power of goodness; therefore a total damnation stood at the door and threatened. By means of his human manifestation Jehovah God lifted this pending damnation and redeemed both people and angels. From all this it is clear that if the Lord had not come, no one could have been saved. The situation today is similar. If the Lord does not come into the world again, no one can be saved. (3)

TCR (Rose) n. 122 122
The Lord rescued the spiritual world from universal damnation, and through the spiritual world he is going to rescue the church from universal damnation.
This rescue can be illustrated by comparing it with a king whose children have been captured by an enemy, locked in prisons, and bound with chains; by a series of victories over that enemy the king frees the children and brings them back to his court.
The divine rescue would also be comparable to a shepherd, like Samson or David, snatching sheep from the jaws of a lion or a bear. Or it would be comparable to a shepherd who drives away lions and bears that have rushed out of a forest into the pastures, chases those wild animals to the farthest borders, finally pushes them back into wetlands or deserts, and then returns to the sheep, pastures them in safety, and quenches their thirst with clear spring water.
This divine rescue can also be illustrated by comparing it with a person who notices a snake that is coiled up on the road with the intention of striking the heel of a passerby, catches the snake by the head, carries it home (although the snake is wrapping itself around the person’s arm), and there cuts off its head and throws the rest into the fire.
This divine rescue can also be illustrated by a bridegroom or husband who sees an adulterer attempting to rape his bride or wife. He attacks the rapist and either wounds the rapist’s hand with a sword, or assaults the rapist’s legs and groin with punches, or instructs his servants to throw the rapist out into the street and to brandish their clubs while they follow the rapist all the way to his home. When the bride or wife has been freed the bridegroom escorts her to their bedroom. In fact, in the Word a bride and wife mean the Lord’s church and adulterers mean those who violate the church, that is, those who contaminate his Word. Because the Jews had done this the Lord called them an adulterous generation [Matthew 12:39; 16:4; Mark 8:38].

TCR (Rose) n. 123 123
4. Redemption was something only the Divine could bring about. If you knew what hell is like, and you knew how high it swelled and how it flooded the entire world of spirits at the time of the Lord’s coming, and you saw the great power with which the Lord cast hell down and scattered it and then restructured both it and heaven in accordance with the divine design, you could not help being stunned and exclaiming that all of it was something only the Divine could do.
First, what hell is like. It consists of millions, since it consists of all from the creation of the world who have alienated themselves from God through their evil lives and false beliefs.
Second, how high hell swelled and how it flooded the entire world of spirits at the time of the Lord’s coming. This has been somewhat explained in the earlier points [115-122]. No one knows the situation at the time of the First Coming, because it has not been revealed in the literal sense of the Word. I have been allowed to see with my own eyes the situation at the time of the Lord’s Second Coming. One can draw conclusions about the earlier situation from that. I described this situation in the little work Last Judgment, published in London in 1758.
That little work also covers the great power with which the Lord cast hell down and scattered it. My eyewitness accounts appear in that little work, but copying them here would be a pointless exercise because it is in print and there are still many copies available at the printers in London. Everyone who reads it can clearly see that the Last Judgment was the work of Almighty God.
[2] The fourth point, how the Lord then restructured everything in heaven and in hell in accordance with the divine design, I have not yet described, because the restructuring of the heavens and the hells has been going on since the day of the Last Judgment until the present time and is still going on. Nevertheless, after I have published this book, if further information is desired, I will present it to the public.
If I may add a personal comment on this topic: I see the face, so to speak, of the Lord’s divine omnipotence every day.
Strictly speaking, this restructuring of the spiritual world has to do with redemption, whereas the stages before it had to do with the Last Judgment. People who keep redemption and the Last Judgment separate are capable of seeing many things in prophetical passages in the Word. These things, though hidden in allegories there, still give clear descriptions – provided that their correspondences are explained in such a way as to allow the light of the intellect to fall on them.
[3] Redemption and the Last Judgment can be illustrated only with comparisons, and even these are inadequate.
They could be illustrated by comparison with a battle against the armies of every nation in the entire world, armed with spears, shields, swords, guns, and cannons, under generals and officers who are cunning, experienced strategists. (I say this last part because many spirits in hell are skilled in practices unknown in our world, which they rehearse on each other – ways of stalking those who are from heaven, and ambushing, setting siege to, and attacking them.)
[4] The Lord’s battle with hell can also be compared, although inadequately, with someone fighting against all the wild animals in the world, slaughtering or taming them until not one animal would dare to go out and attack any human being who is with the Lord. Then if any wild animal so much as put on a menacing look, it would suddenly stop itself as if it felt a vulture deep inside its chest trying to pierce it to the very heart.
In fact, the wild animals in the Word depict hellish spirits. The wild animals with which the Lord spent forty days (Mark 1:13) also mean hellish spirits.
[5] The Last Judgment and redemption could also be compared to resisting the whole ocean after dikes have broken and waves are pounding cities and the countryside.
In fact, when the Lord controls the sea by saying “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:38, 39; Matthew 8:26; Luke 8:23, 24), it means the Lord’s process of gaining control over the hells. There and in many other passages the sea means hell.
[6] The Lord uses the same divine power today to fight against hell in every one of us who is being regenerated. Hell attacks us all with diabolical fury. If the Lord did not counter hell and control it, we could not help succumbing. Hell is like one monstrous human being or a massive lion; in fact, it is compared to a lion in the Word. The Lord has to chain the forelegs and shackle the hind legs of that lion, that monster. Otherwise the only possible outcome would be that once we were rescued from one evil we would spontaneously fall into the next, and in fact into many others.

TCR (Rose) n. 124 sRef Rev@6 @15 S0′ sRef Ex@33 @20 S1′ 124
5. This true redemption could not have happened if God had not come in the flesh. The preceding point showed that redemption was something only the Divine could bring about – for anyone other than God Almighty it would have been impossible. Furthermore, God could not have brought about this redemption if he had not taken on flesh (that is, become human), because in his infinite essence Jehovah God could not come near hell, let alone enter it. He exists in what is first and most pure. If Jehovah God as he is in himself were only to breathe on those who are in hell he would instantly kill them all. When Moses wanted to see him he said, “You cannot see my faces, because no human being will see me and stay alive” (Exodus 33:20). If Moses could not do this, still less could those who are in hell, where everyone exists in what is lowest, densest, and farthest away [from God]. Those who are earthly are the lowest. Therefore if Jehovah God had not taken on a human manifestation, clothing himself with a body that is on the lowest level, his undertaking any act of redemption would have been a waste of time.
We could not attack an enemy without being armed for battle and coming within range. We could not destroy or drive away the dragons, hydras, and basilisks in some desert without putting a breastplate on our body, a helmet on our head, and a spear in our hand. We could not catch whales at sea without a ship and whaling equipment. These examples are not actual parallels, but they do illustrate the fact that God Almighty could not have even attempted to battle hell without first putting on a human manifestation.
sRef Rev@6 @15 S2′ sRef Isa@2 @19 S2′ sRef Rev@6 @17 S2′ sRef Rev@6 @16 S2′ [2] It is important to know, however, that the Lord’s battle with the hells was not some verbal to and fro like a philosophical debate or a legal battle. That kind of battle has no effect whatever on hell. It was a spiritual battle using the divine truth connected with divine good – the very vitality of the Lord. When this truth visibly flows in, no one in the hells is able to oppose it. There is so much power in it that when demons from hell merely sense that it might be present they run away, throw themselves down into deep places, and squeeze into underground shelters to hide. This phenomenon is the same thing described by Isaiah: “They will go into caverns in the rocks and into crevices in the dust, dreading Jehovah, when he rises to terrify the earth” (Isaiah 2:19); and in the Book of Revelation: “They will all hide themselves in caves in the rocks and in the rocks on the mountains, and they will say to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One sitting on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:15, 16, 17).
[3] How much power the Lord exercised from divine goodness when he carried out the Last Judgment in 1757 is clear from the descriptions in the little work Last Judgment. For example, in the world of spirits there were mountains and hills occupied by hellish spirits that the Lord ripped from their moorings and moved far away; some he flattened. He flooded their cities, villages, and fields, and turned their land upside down. He threw those mountains and hills and their inhabitants into quagmires, ponds, and swamps; and more. The Lord alone accomplished all this using the power of divine truth connected with divine goodness.

TCR (Rose) n. 125 125
Jehovah God could not have taken these actions and made them effective without a human manifestation, as various comparisons can illustrate.
An invisible person cannot shake hands or talk with a visible one. In fact, angels and spirits cannot shake hands or talk with us even when they are standing right next to our bodies or in front of our faces. No one’s soul can talk, or do things, with anyone else except through its own body. The sun cannot convey its light and heat into any human, animal, or tree, unless it first enters the air and acts through that. It cannot convey its light and heat to any fish unless it passes through the water. It has to act through the element the entity is in. None of us could scale a fish with a knife or pluck a raven’s feathers if we had no fingers. We cannot go to the bottom of a deep lake without a diving bell. In a word, one thing needs to be adapted to another before the two can communicate and work with or against each other.

TCR (Rose) n. 126 aRef Rev@21 @4 S0′ 126
6. Suffering on the cross was the final trial the Lord underwent as the greatest prophet. It was a means of glorifying his human nature, that is, of uniting that nature to his Father’s divine nature. It was not redemption. There are two things for which the Lord came into the world and through which he saved people and angels: redemption, and the glorification of his human aspect. These two things are distinct from each other, but they become one in contributing to salvation.
In the preceding points we have shown what redemption was: battling the hells, gaining control over them, and then restructuring the heavens. Glorification, however, was the uniting of the Lord’s human nature with the divine nature of his Father. This process occurred in successive stages and was completed by the suffering on the cross.
All of us have to do our part and move closer to God. The closer we come to God, the more God enters us, which is his part. It is similar with a house of worship: first it has to be built by human hands; then it has to be dedicated; and finally prayers are said for God to be present and unite himself to the church that gathers there.
The union itself [between the Lord’s divine and human natures] was completed by the suffering on the cross, because this suffering was the final spiritual test that the Lord went through in the world. Spiritual tests lead to a partnership [with God]. During our spiritual tests, we are apparently left completely alone, although in fact we are not alone – at those times God is most intimately present at our deepest level giving us support. Because of that inner presence, when any of us have success in a spiritual test we form a partnership with God at the deepest level. In the Lord’s case, he was then united to God, his Father, at the deepest level.
The Lord was left to himself during the suffering on the cross, as is clear from his crying out on the cross: “God, why have you abandoned me?” [Matthew 27:46]. This is also clear from the following words spoken by the Lord: “No one is taking my life away from me – I am laying it down by myself. I have the power to lay it down and I have the power to take it up again. I received this command from my Father” (John 10:18).
From the points just made it is clear that it was not the Lord’s divine nature that suffered, it was his human nature; and then the deepest union, a complete union, took place.
An illustration of this is that when we suffer physically, our soul does not suffer, it merely feels distress. After victory, God relieves that distress and washes it away like tears from our eyes.

TCR (Rose) n. 127 127
Redemption and the suffering on the cross must be seen as separate. Otherwise the human mind gets wrecked as a ship does on sandbars or rocks, causing the loss of the ship, the helmsman, the captain, and the sailors. It goes astray in everything having to do with salvation by the Lord. If we lack separate ideas of these two things we are in a kind of dream; we see images that are unreal and we make conjectures based on them that we think are real but are just made up. We are like someone walking out [to a tryst] at night, who, thinking that the leaves of a tree within his grasp are human tresses, sidles closer, only to entangle his own hair in them.
Although redemption and the suffering on the cross are two different things, nevertheless they become one in contributing to salvation. When the Lord became united to his Father, which happened through the suffering on the cross, he became the Redeemer forever.

TCR (Rose) n. 128 sRef Luke@24 @26 S0′ sRef John@17 @5 S0′ sRef John@17 @1 S0′ sRef John@13 @31 S0′ sRef John@12 @27 S0′ sRef John@13 @32 S0′ sRef John@12 @28 S0′ 128
The suffering on the cross completed the process of glorification (meaning the uniting of the Lord’s divine-human nature to the divine nature of the Father). The Lord himself says so in the Gospels: “After Judas left, Jesus said, Now the Son of Humankind is glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and glorify him immediately” (John 13:31, 32). Here glorification refers to both God the Father and the Son; it says “God is glorified in him and will glorify him in himself.” Clearly this means that they became united.
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that your Son may also glorify you” (John 17:1, 5). This form of expression occurs here because the uniting was reciprocal. As it says, the Father was in him and he was in the Father.
Jesus said, “‘Now my soul is disturbed.’ And he said, ‘Father, glorify your name.’ And a voice came out of heaven, ‘I both have glorified it and will glorify it again'” (John 12:27, 28). It says this because the uniting occurred in successive stages.
“Was it not fitting for Christ to suffer and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26). In the Word when “glory” is related to the Lord it means the divine truth united to divine goodness.
From these passages it is very clear that the Lord’s human manifestation is divine.

TCR (Rose) n. 129 sRef Deut@18 @18 S0′ sRef Matt@13 @57 S0′ sRef Deut@18 @17 S0′ sRef Deut@18 @19 S0′ sRef Luke@13 @33 S0′ sRef Luke@7 @16 S0′ sRef Deut@18 @16 S0′ sRef Matt@21 @11 S0′ sRef Deut@18 @15 S0′ 129
The Lord was willing to undergo spiritual tests, including even the suffering on the cross, because he was the ultimate prophet. The prophets stood for the church’s teachings from the Word. As a result they represented the nature of the church in various way – seven by doing unjust, harsh, and wicked things that God commanded them to do. In the Lord’s case, however, he was the Word itself. During his suffering on the cross he was the ultimate prophet, representing the way the Jewish church had desecrated the Word.
An additional reason why the Lord was willing to suffer on the cross was that by doing so he would come to be acknowledged in the heavens as the Savior of both worlds. Every aspect of his suffering meant something related to the desecration of the Word. When people in the church understand these aspects in physical terms, angels understand them in spiritual terms.
The following passages make it clear that the Lord was the ultimate prophet: “The Lord said, ‘A prophet is nowhere less honored than in his own country and in his own house'” (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24). “Jesus said, ‘It is not right for a prophet to die away from Jerusalem'” (Luke 13:33). “Fear took hold of them all. They were praising God and saying that a great prophet had risen among them” (Luke 7:16). They called Jesus “that prophet from Nazareth” (Matthew 21:11; John 7:40, 41). It says in Deuteronomy that a prophet would be raised up from among his brothers and sisters, and they would obey his words (Deuteronomy 18:15-19).

TCR (Rose) n. 130 sRef Ezek@12 @11 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @7 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @2 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @1 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @15 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @14 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @6 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @5 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @4 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @11 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @8 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @9 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @10 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @12 S0′ sRef Ezek@12 @6 S0′ sRef Ezek@12 @7 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @3 S0′ sRef Ezek@12 @5 S0′ sRef Ezek@4 @13 S0′ sRef Ezek@12 @3 S0′ sRef Ezek@12 @4 S0′ sRef Hos@1 @2 S0′ sRef 1Ki@20 @35 S0′ sRef Hos@1 @8 S0′ sRef 1Ki@20 @38 S0′ sRef 1Ki@20 @36 S0′ sRef Hos@1 @6 S0′ sRef Hos@1 @9 S0′ sRef 1Ki@20 @37 S0′ sRef Hos@1 @3 S0′ sRef Hos@1 @4 S0′ sRef Hos@1 @7 S0′ sRef Hos@1 @5 S0′ sRef Isa@20 @3 S1′ sRef Isa@20 @2 S1′ 130
The prophets represented their church’s condition relative to its teachings from the Word and its life according to them, as the following stories from the Word make clear:
Isaiah the prophet was commanded to take the sackcloth off below his waist and the sandals off his feet and go naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a wonder (Isaiah 20:2, 3).
Ezekiel the prophet was commanded to represent the state of the church by making travel bags, moving to another place before the eyes of the children of Israel, taking out his bags from time to time, going out in the evening through a hole in the wall, and covering his face so he could not see the ground. In this way he would be a wonder to the house of Israel. He was told to say, “Behold, I am your wonder. As I have done, so it will be for you” (Ezekiel 12:3-7, 11).
Hosea the prophet was commanded to represent the church’s condition by marrying a promiscuous partner, which he did. She bore him three sons, one of whom he called Jezreel, the second No Mercy, and the third Not My People. At another point he was commanded to go love a woman who already had a lover and who was committing adultery, and buy her for himself (Hosea 1:2-9; 3:1, 2).
One prophet was commanded to put ashes over his eyes and let himself be beaten and whipped (1 Kings 20:35, 38).
Ezekiel the prophet was commanded to represent the condition of the church by taking a brick and sculpting Jerusalem on it, laying siege to it, building a rampart and a mound against it, putting an iron frying pan between himself and the “city,” and sleeping on his left side and then on his right side. He also had to take wheat, barley, lentils, millet, and spelt and make bread out of them. He also had to make a cake of barley with human excrement; but because he begged not to have to do that, he was allowed to make it with cow dung instead. He was told,

Lie on your left side and put the injustice done by the house of Israel on it. For the number of days during which you sleep on that side you will carry their injustice. For I will give you the years of their injustice according to the number of days, 390 days for you to carry the injustice done by the house of Israel. But when you have finished them, you will lie again on your right side to carry the injustice done by the house of Judah. (Ezekiel 4:1-15)

sRef Isa@53 @11 S2′ sRef Isa@53 @6 S2′ sRef Ezek@4 @13 S2′ sRef Ezek@4 @16 S2′ sRef Ezek@4 @17 S2′ sRef Isa@53 @4 S2′ [2] By these actions the prophet Ezekiel carried the injustices done by the house of Israel and the house of Judah; but he did not take away those injustices or atone for them, he only represented them and made them visible. This is clear from the following verses in the same chapter:

“Like this,” says Jehovah, “will the children of Israel eat their unclean bread. Behold I am breaking the staff of bread so that they lack bread and water. A man and his brother will become desolate and will waste away because of their injustice.” (Ezekiel 4:13, 16, 17)

The same thing is meant by the statement about the Lord that says, “He bore our diseases, he carried our pains. Jehovah put on him the injustices committed by us all. Through his knowledge he justified many as he himself carried their injustices” (Isaiah 53:4, 6, 11). This whole chapter in Isaiah is about the Lord’s suffering.
[3] The following details of the Lord’s suffering make it clear that he was the ultimate prophet, embodying the Jewish church’s treatment of the Word: He was betrayed by Judas. The chief priests and the elders arrested him and condemned him. They hit him repeatedly. They beat his head with a cane. They put a crown of thorns on him. They tore up his clothes and cast lots for his undergarment. They crucified him. They gave him vinegar to drink. They pierced his side. He was buried, and on the third day he rose.
His betrayal by Judas meant his betrayal by the Jewish nation, among whom the Word existed at that time. Judas represented that nation. The chief priests and the elders who arrested and condemned him meant that whole church. Their punching him repeatedly, spitting in his face, whipping him, and beating his head with a cane meant that they had done the same to the divine truths in the Word. Their putting a crown of thorns on him meant that they had falsified and contaminated those divine truths. Their tearing up his clothes and casting lots for his undergarment meant that they had split apart all the truths of the Word but they had not split apart its spiritual meaning, which was symbolized by the Lord’s undergarment. Their crucifying him meant that they had desecrated and destroyed the entire Word. Their offering him vinegar to drink meant that everything they offered him had been completely falsified; therefore he did not drink it. Their piercing his side meant that they had completely annihilated everything true and everything good in the Word. His being buried meant his casting off what was left from his mother. His rising on the third day meant the glorification, the union of his human nature with the divine nature of the Father.
From all this it is clear that “carrying injustices” does not mean taking them away; it means representing the desecration of the Word’s truth.

TCR (Rose) n. 131 sRef John@10 @11 S0′ sRef John@10 @17 S0′ 131
This point can also be illustrated by comparisons. (I make comparisons for the sake of ordinary people, who see more in a comparison than they do in a deductive analysis based on the Word and on reason.)
When any citizens or subjects obey the commands and orders of their king, they are united to him. If they endure oppressive circumstances for him, they are more deeply united to him. If they suffer death for him, as happens in battles and wars, they are still more deeply united to him.
In the same way, doing the other person’s will is how a friend is united to a friend, a child to a parent, or a servant to the head of the household. If the friend, child, and servant defend their superiors against enemies they are more deeply united to them. If they fight for their superiors honor they are even more deeply united to them.
Take for example a young man and the young woman he hopes to marry. When he confronts people who are destroying her reputation, surely he becomes more united to her. What about when he is injured fighting a rival? It is a law inscribed on nature that under these circumstances the couple will become more deeply united.
The Lord says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. For this reason the Father loves me” (John 10:11, 17).

TCR (Rose) n. 132 132
7. Believing that the Lord’s suffering on the cross was redemption itself is a fundamental error on the part of the church. That error, along with the error about three divine Persons from eternity, has ruined the whole church to the point that there is nothing spiritual left in it anymore. There is no topic that fills more books by orthodox theologians today, that is more intensely taught and aired in lecture halls, or that is more frequently preached and pronounced from the pulpit than the following: God the Father was angry at the human race, so he not only moved us all away from himself but locked us into a universal damnation and cut off communication with us. Nevertheless, because he is gracious, he either convinced or goaded his Son to come down to take a limited damnation on himself and ritually purge the Father’s anger. This was the only way the Father could look on the human race with any favor. So this was in fact done by the Son. For example, in taking on our damnation, the Son let the Jews whip him, spit in his face, and then crucify him like someone accursed of God (Deuteronomy 21:23). After that happened the Father was appeased, and out of love for his Son he retracted the damnation, but only from those for whom the Son would intercede. Therefore the Son became a Mediator to the Father for all time.
[2] These ideas, and others like them, resound in churches today and reverberate off the walls like an echo from a forest, filling the ears of all who are there. Surely, though, everyone with decent reasoning enlightened by the Word can see that God is compassion and mercy itself. He is absolute love and absolute goodness – these qualities are his essence. It is a contradiction to say that compassion itself or absolute goodness could look at the human race with anger and lock us all into damnation, and still keep its divine essence. Attitudes and actions of that kind belong to a wicked person, not a virtuous one. They belong to a spirit from hell, not an angel of heaven. It is horrendous to attribute them to God.
sRef Isa@28 @7 S3′ sRef Isa@28 @8 S3′ [3] If you investigate what caused these ideas, you find this: People have taken the suffering on the cross to be redemption itself. The ideas above have flowed from this idea the way one falsity flows from another in an unbroken chain. All you get from a vinegar bottle is vinegar. All you get from an insane mind is insanity.
Any inference leads to a series of related propositions. These are latent within the original inference and come forth from it, one after the other. This idea, that the suffering on the cross was redemption, has the capacity to yield more and more ideas that are offensive and disgraceful to God, until Isaiah’s prophecy comes to pass:

The priest and the prophet have gone astray because of beer; they stagger in their judgment. All the tables are full of the vomit they cast forth. (Isaiah 28:7, 8)

TCR (Rose) n. 133 133
This idea of God and redemption has turned the entire theology from something spiritual into something earthly of the lowest kind. This is because mere earthly characteristics have been attributed to God. Yet everything about the church hinges on its concept of God and its view of redemption (which is the same as its view of salvation). The concept of God and redemption is like a head: every part of the body is connected to it. When the concept is spiritual, everything about the church becomes spiritual; when it is earthly, everything about the church becomes earthly. Because the church’s concept of God and redemption became merely earthly (meaning that it was down on the level of our bodies and senses), all the dogmatic ideas expressed since then by the church’s heads and members have been merely earthly. Further ideas that hatch from these ideas will inevitably be false, because our earthly self constantly opposes our spiritual self; our earthly self sees spiritual things as phantoms and apparitions in the air.
This materialistic idea of redemption and of God has allowed thieves and robbers, so to speak (John 10:1, 8, 9), to take over the roads that lead in the direction of heaven and the Lord God the Savior. The main doors have been torn off the churches and now dragons, screech owls, wild beasts of the desert, and jackals have come in and are singing together out of tune.
This idea of redemption and God has been injected into the modern-day belief about prayer, as we know. We are supposed to ask God the Father to forgive our offenses for the sake of the cross and his Son’s blood; we are supposed to ask God the Son to pray and intercede for us; and we are supposed to ask God the Holy Spirit to justify us and sanctify us. Is this any different from praying to three gods, one after the other? Under this system, what differentiates divine governance from an aristocratic or hierarchical government? Or even the triumvirate that once occurred in Rome? Instead of a “triumvirate,” this should be called a “triumpersonate.”
Under this belief, it would be easy for the Devil to “divide and conquer,” as the saying goes – that is, to cause a division of minds and incite rebel movements, now against one god, now against another (as people have been doing since the time of Arius up to the present). The Devil would then be able to dethrone the Lord God the Savior, who has all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18), put some puppet of his own there, and either redirect worship to the puppet or reduce the amount of worship to both.

* * * * *

TCR (Rose) n. 134 sRef Deut@21 @22 S0′ 134
Here I will add the following memorable occurrences.
The first memorable occurrence. Once I went to a church in the world of spirits. Many people had gathered there. Before the service, they were debating back and forth about redemption.
The church was a square building. It had no windows in the walls, but there was a large opening overhead in the center of the roof. Light from heaven came in through that opening and provided more illumination inside than would have been supplied by windows in the walls.
As the people were talking back and forth about redemption, all of a sudden a pitch-black cloud sailing in from the north covered the opening. It became so dark inside that the people could not see each other at all and could scarcely see their own hands. While they were standing there stunned by this, the black cloud split down the middle. Through the gap the people saw angels coming down from heaven. The angels drove away the clouds on either side so that it became light again in the church.
Then the angels sent one of their own down to the church. At the request of the other angels, that angel asked the people what topic they were arguing about that so dark a cloud should come over them, taking away their light and plunging them in darkness.
They answered that the topic was redemption: “We were saying that the Son of God redeemed us all by suffering on the cross. By suffering he ritually purged and freed the human race from damnation and eternal death.”
The angel who had been sent down said, “Why by the suffering on the cross? Explain why that was redemptive.”
aRef Deut@21 @23 S2′ aRef Gala@3 @13 S2′ [2] At that point the priest came in and said, “I will lay out in sequence the things we know and believe. God the Father was angry at the human race. He damned it, excluded it from his mercy, declared us all detestable and accursed, and assigned us all to hell. He wanted his Son to take that damnation on himself. The Son agreed. For this purpose the Son came down, took on a human manifestation, and let himself be crucified, thereby transferring the damnation of the human race to himself. For we read, ‘Accursed is everyone who hangs on the wood of the cross’ [Deuteronomy 21:22-23; Galatians 3:13]. By interceding and mediating like this, the Son appeased the Father. Then, moved with love for the Son and affected by the wretched state he saw him in on the wood of the cross, the Father proclaimed that he would give pardons, ‘But only,’ he said, ‘for those to whom I attribute your justice. These children born of anger and a curse I will turn into children born of grace and a blessing. I will justify them and save them. The rest remain, as I proclaimed them before, children born of anger.’ This is our faith; and that is the justice, added by God the Father to our faith, that enables this faith alone to justify us and save us.”
[3] After the angel heard this he was silent for a long time; he could not help feeling stunned. Eventually he broke his silence and said the following:
“How can the Christian world be that insane? How can it wander that far from sound reason toward derangement? How can it base its fundamental dogma of salvation on paradoxes of this kind?
“Surely anyone can see that those ideas are totally opposite to the divine essence, meaning the Lord’s divine love and divine wisdom, as well as his omnipotence and omnipresence. No decent master could treat his servants that way. Not even a wild animal would treat its offspring or its young that way. That’s horrible!
“To stop calling out to every member of the human race would go against the divine essence. It would go against the divine essence to change the divine design that has been established from eternity – the principle that all are judged by their own lives. It would go against the divine essence to take love or mercy away from anyone, let alone from the whole human race. It would go against the divine essence for the Father to be brought back to mercy by seeing the Son feeling wretched. Wouldn’t that be the same as the Father’s being brought back to his own essence, since mercy is the very essence of God? It is horrendous to think that he ever left it. From eternity to eternity, he is mercy.
[4] “Surely it is also impossible to transfer the justice of redemption to any entity (as you believe). This justice belongs to divine omnipotence. It is impossible to attribute and assign this justice to people, and pronounce them just, pure, and holy in the absence of any other means. It is impossible to forgive people’s sins and renew, regenerate, and save people just by giving them credit they do not deserve.
“Is it that easy to turn injustice into justice or a curse into a blessing? Couldn’t God in that case turn hell into heaven and heaven into hell? Couldn’t he turn the dragon into Michael and Michael into the dragon to break up their fight? What else would he need to do then but take away the faith that had been credited to one person and credit it to another? If that were possible, we in heaven would spend eternity shaking with fear!
“It is not consistent with justice or judgment for anyone who committed a crime to become guiltless, or for the crime to be wiped away, by someone else’s taking it on. Surely this goes against all justice, both divine and human.
“The Christian world is still ignorant that the divine design exists. It is especially ignorant of the design that God built into the world at creation. God cannot go against that design – that would be going against himself, for God is the divine design itself.”
[5] The priest understood what the angel had said, because the angels above were pouring down light from heaven. The priest groaned and said, “What can we do? Everyone today preaches this, prays it, believes it. All mouths are saying, ‘Good Father, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins for the sake of the blood that your Son shed on the cross for us.’ To Christ they all say, ‘Lord, intercede for us.’ We priests add, ‘Send us the Holy Spirit.'”
The angel said, “I have watched priests make salves from a shallow understanding of the Word and smear those salves on eyes that have been blinded by their faith. Either that or from the same source they make medicated bandages to put on the wounds inflicted by their own dogmas; but the wounds don’t heal. They are chronic.
“Therefore go to the person who is standing there” – and he pointed to me with his finger. “On behalf of the Lord he will teach you that the suffering on the cross was not redemption. It was the uniting of the Lord’s humanity with the Father’s divinity. Redemption, on the other hand, was gaining control over the hells and restructuring the heavens. Without these achievements, carried out while the Lord was in the world, no one on earth or in heaven would have attained salvation. That man will also tell you the divine design that was set up at creation for people to follow in their lives in order to be saved. Those who live by that design are numbered among the redeemed and are called the chosen.”
After the angel said that, windows formed on the sides of the church. Light flowed in through them from the four directions of that world. Angel guardians appeared, flying in a brilliant light. The angel was taken up to his companion angels above the opening in the roof; and we left feeling happy.

TCR (Rose) n. 135 sRef Ex@33 @20 S1′ 135
The second memorable occurrence. One morning after I woke up, the sun in the spiritual world appeared to me in its splendor. Beneath it I saw the heavens as far away from that sun as our earth is from our sun. Then from the heavens I heard individual words that would be impossible for me to convey, which came together to form a statement that could be expressed as follows: There is one God, he is human, and his dwelling place is in that sun. This utterance came down through the middle heavens to the lowest one. From there it came into the world of spirits, where I was.
The angels’ idea of one God gradually turned into an idea of three gods as it came down – I could sense it. So I went over to speak with spirits who were thinking three gods.
“What a heinous idea!” I said. “Why did it ever occur to you?”
“We are thinking three from our mental image of a triune God,” they answered, “but this does not come down into words when we speak. Out loud we always say that God is one. If there is a different idea in our minds, so be it, as long as it does not flow down and break up the oneness of God in what we say. From time to time, though, our idea does in fact flow down, because it is there inside us. If we happened to speak at that point we would be saying three gods; but we are careful not to say that so that we are not laughed at by people who hear us.”
aRef Hebr@12 @24 S2′ aRef Hebr@8 @6 S2′ aRef 1Tim@2 @5 S2′ aRef Gala@3 @19 S2′ aRef Gala@3 @20 S2′ aRef Hebr@9 @15 S2′ [2] Then they openly voiced their real thinking and said, “Aren’t there three gods, though? There are three divine persons, each of whom is God. What else can we think when the leader of our church, drawing on the treasury of the church’s sacred dogmas, ascribes creation to one divine person, redemption to another, and sanctification to the third? Worse yet, when our leader assigns them activities, he gives each person its own activity and says that that activity cannot be shared by the other persons. The activities are not only creating, redeeming, and sanctifying, but also assigning spiritual credit or blame, mediating, and putting things into effect. In that case surely there is one who created us, who also assigns us credit or blame; a second who redeemed us, who also mediates for us; and a third who gives us our assigned and mediated credit or blame, who also sanctifies us.
“Everyone knows that the Son of God was sent into the world by God the Father to redeem the human race. That’s why he became the One who purges, mediates, appeases, and intercedes. Because he is the same as the Son of God from eternity, there are two persons that are distinct from each other. And because the two of them are in heaven, the one sitting on the others right-hand side, there has to be a third who carries out in the world the decisions the other two made in heaven.”
[3] When they finished I kept quiet, but I was thinking to myself, “What idiocy! They have no idea what the Word means by mediation.”
Then the Lord commanded three angels to come down from heaven and become connected to me so that I could draw on deep perception as I talked to the spirits who had the idea of three gods, particularly on the topics of mediation, intercession, appeasement, and ritual purging. The spirits I was talking to attribute those activities to the second person, the Son, but only after he became human. Yet he became human many ages after creation. In the meantime those four means of salvation did not exist: God the Father had not been appeased, the human race had not been ritually purged, and no one had been sent from heaven to intercede or mediate.
sRef John@1 @18 S4′ sRef John@5 @37 S4′ [4] Then I spoke to them from the inspiration that came over me at that point. I said, “Come near, all who are able, and hear what the Word means by mediation, intercession, ritual purging, and appeasement. They are four activities attributed to the grace of the one God in his human manifestation.
“No human being can ever get close to God the Father. Neither can God the Father get close to any human being. He is infinite. He is in his underlying reality, which is Jehovah. If he came close to any of us with that underlying reality he would consume us the way fire consumes a piece of wood and leaves nothing but ashes. This is clear from what God said to Moses when Moses wanted to see him: God said that no one can see him and live (Exodus 33:20). The Lord says, ‘No one has ever seen God except the Son, who is close to the Father’s heart’ (John 1:18; Matthew 11:27). The Lord also says, ‘No one has heard the voice of the Father or seen what he looks like’ (John 5:37).
“Admittedly, we read that Moses saw Jehovah eye to eye and spoke with him face to face [Exodus 33:11; Deuteronomy 34:10]; but an angel was involved as an intermediary. The same with Abraham and Gideon.
“Now, because this is the true nature of God the Father, it pleased him to take on a human manifestation and give people access through it so that he could hear them and talk to them. This human manifestation is what is called the Son of God. This is what mediates, intercedes, appeases, and ritually purges.
“Let me, therefore, give the meaning of these four activities carried out by God the Father’s human manifestation:
[5] “Mediation refers to his human manifestation as the medium through which we can get closer to God the Father, and God the Father can get closer to us and teach and lead us so as to save us. This is why the Son of God, meaning the human manifestation of God the Father, is called the Savior, and in the world was called Jesus, which means salvation.
“Intercession refers to ongoing mediation. Absolute love, with its mercy, forgiveness, and grace, constantly intercedes; that is, it mediates for the people who do its commandments, the people it loves.
“Ritual purging refers to the removal of the sins that we would quickly fall into if we turned to Jehovah without mediation.
“Appeasement refers to the actions of mercy and grace that prevent us from causing our own damnation through sin and also protect us from desecrating what is holy. This has the same meaning as the mercy seat over the ark in the tabernacle.
[6] “It is known that God uses appearances when he speaks in the Word: for example, the appearance that he is angry, takes revenge, tests people, punishes them, throws them into hell, and damns them. Indeed, the appearance is that he does evil. Nevertheless, he is angry at no one, does not take revenge on, test, or punish anyone, throw anyone into hell, or damn anyone. To do this would be as far from God as hell is from heaven – in fact, infinitely farther. Therefore these are expressions of an appearance. In a sense, ritual purging, appeasement, interceding, and mediating are also expressions of an appearance. They mean activities through God’s human manifestation that provide us access to God, and to grace from God.
“Because people have not understood these qualities they have divided God into three and have founded every teaching in the church on these three. By doing so they have falsified the Word. The result is the abomination of desolation foretold by the Lord in Daniel [11:31; 12:11], and later on in Matthew chapter 24[:15].”
After I had spoken, the group of spirits withdrew from around me. I noticed that the spirits who were still thinking three gods were looking down toward hell. The spirits who were thinking that there is one God within whom there is a divine Trinity and that the Trinity is in the Lord God the Savior were looking toward heaven. To the latter group the sun in heaven appeared, where Jehovah exists in his human manifestation.

TCR (Rose) n. 136 sRef Mark@16 @19 S1′ 136
The third memorable occurrence. From far away I saw five halls. Each one was surrounded with light from heaven. The first hall was surrounded with crimson light like the light in the clouds just before sunrise on earth. The second hall was surrounded with a yellow light like the light of the dawn after the sun has come up. The third hall was surrounded with a bright white light like the light in our world at midday. The fourth hall was surrounded with a half light as when daylight begins to mix with evening shadows. The fifth hall stood in the shadow of evening itself.
These halls in the world of spirits are buildings where educated people meet to discuss various deep questions that serve to develop their knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.
Once I spotted these halls, a strong desire to go to one of them came over me. I went in my spirit to the one that was surrounded with a half light. I entered the hall and saw a group of educated people who had gathered. They were discussing with each other the implications of the statement that since being taken up into heaven the Lord sits at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19).
[2] Many of the participants said that it should be taken to mean just what it says – the Son sits next to the Father. When they were asked why, some said that the Father placed the Son on his right side because of the redemption that the Son had brought about. Some said that the Son sits there because of love. Some said that he sits there because he is the Father’s adviser and the angels honor him. Others said that he sits there because the Father had allowed him to rule in his place – the Word says that he was given all power in heaven and on earth. A large part of the group, however, said he sits there so that he can hear the people on the right for whom he intercedes; all people in the church today go to God the Father and pray that he may have mercy for the sake of his Son; this has the effect that the Father turns to the Son to receive the Son’s mediation. Some others said that it is only the Son of God from eternity who sits to the right of the Father. He sits there in order to share his divinity with the Son of Humankind born in the world.
sRef John@14 @11 S3′ sRef John@14 @10 S3′ [3] On hearing these statements, I felt utterly astounded that these well-educated people were still so ignorant about heaven, even though they had already spent some time in the spiritual world. I became aware of the reason, though: because of their confidence in their own intelligence, they had not let themselves be taught by the wise.
So that they would no longer remain in ignorance about the Son sitting at the right hand of the Father, I raised my hand and asked that the participants lend their ears to a few things I desired to say on the subject.
Because they agreed, I said, “Don’t you know from the Word that the Father and the Son are one, and that the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father? The Lord openly says so in John chapter 10, verse 30, and chapter 14, verses 10 and 11. If you don’t believe these statements you divide God into two. Once you have done that, you cannot help thinking about God in a way that is earthly, limited to your senses, and even materialistic. This type of thinking has been occurring in the world ever since the Council of Nicaea, which introduced the idea of three divine persons from eternity. With that idea, the Council turned the church into a stage with painted drop curtains where actors perform new plays.
“Surely everyone knows and acknowledges, however, that there is one God. If you acknowledge this in your heart and your spirit, all the ideas you uttered a moment ago will spontaneously disperse and bounce off you into the air like nonsense off the ear of a wise person.”
sRef Isa@62 @8 S4′ sRef Ps@80 @15 S4′ sRef Ps@18 @35 S4′ sRef Matt@26 @64 S4′ sRef Luke@22 @69 S4′ sRef Ps@110 @2 S4′ sRef Ps@80 @17 S4′ sRef Isa@48 @13 S4′ sRef Ps@110 @1 S4′ [4] Many of them blazed with anger when they heard that. They had a burning desire to twist my ears and demand silence from me. Instead the leader of the gathering said indignantly, “This is not a discussion about unity and plurality in God. We believe in both. This discussion concerns the meaning of the fact that the Son sits at the right hand of his Father. If you know anything about this, say it.”
“I will,” I answered, “but please stop all the noise. Sitting at the right hand doesn’t mean literally sitting at the right hand! It means the omnipotence God has through the human manifestation he took on in the world. Through that human manifestation God became the same on the lowest level as he is on the highest. Through that human manifestation he entered the hells, dismantled them, and gained control over them. Through that human manifestation he restructured the heavens. It was through that human manifestation, then, that he redeemed both people and angels, a redemption that will last forever.
“If you consult the Word, and you are in a condition that allows for enlightenment, you are going to perceive that the right hand there means omnipotence. For instance in [Isaiah and] David: ‘My hand founded the earth, and my right hand hammered out the heavens’ (Isaiah 48:13). ‘God has sworn by his right hand and by the arm of his strength’ (Isaiah 62:8). ‘Your right hand sustains me’ (Psalms 18:35). ‘Pay attention to the Son whom you have strengthened for yourself. Your hand is for the man on your right. You have strengthened yourself for the Son of Humankind’ (Psalms 80:15, 17).
“From these passages it is clear how we should understand another passage: ‘Jehovah said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a footstool for your feet.” Jehovah will send the rod of your strength out of Zion to rule in the midst of your enemies’ (Psalms 110:1, 2). The whole of Psalm 110 is about the Lord’s battle with the hells and the process of gaining control over them. Because the right hand of God means omnipotence, the Lord says that he is going to sit at the right hand of power (Matthew 26:63, 64), and at the right hand of God’s strength (Luke 22:69).”
[5] The group shouted disapproval; but I said, “Be careful now. Perhaps the hand will appear from heaven. When it appears – and I myself have seen it – it strikes unbelievable terror into you because of its power. That hand convinced me that the right hand of God means omnipotence.”
No sooner had I said this than the hand appeared in the sky just above us. It was huge. When they saw it, it struck so much terror into them that they rushed in throngs to the doors. Some ran to the windows to throw themselves out. Some collapsed, fainting because they could not breathe. I was not terrified, though. I walked out slowly behind them.
When I was at a distance I turned around and saw the hall covered in a dark cloud. Word came to me from heaven that the cloud was there now because the participants had been speaking from a belief in three gods; but the light that had been around the hall before would return when saner people were meeting there.

TCR (Rose) n. 137 137
The fourth memorable occurrence. I heard that a council had been summoned that was made up of those who were famous for writing and research on the modern-day faith and on the justification of the elect by that faith.
This was in the world of spirits. I was allowed to attend in spirit. I saw that the participants were from the clergy. There were some who agreed and some who disagreed. To the right stood people who in the world had been called the apostolic fathers, who had lived in the centuries before the Council of Nicaea. To the left stood men from after those centuries who were well known for their printed works or works their followers had copied in manuscript form. Many in the latter group had clean-shaven faces and wore curled wigs of women’s hair. Some of them had collars with ruffs; some had collars with bands. The former group, however, were bearded and wore no wigs.
Before both groups stood a man who had been a judge and critic of the writers of this century. With the staff in his hand, this chairman banged on the floor and brought about silence. He stepped up onto the dais where the central chair was and uttered a groan. After groaning he intended to shout out loud, but the breath expended in groaning made the shout catch in his throat.
[2] Finally, when he was able to speak, he said, “Friends, what times we live in! Someone has risen out of the herd of the laity. He has no gown, no cap, no laurel. Yet he has pulled our faith down from heaven and thrown it into the river Styx. What a crime! Yet that faith is our only star. It shines like Orion during the night and like Lucifer in the morning. That man, although well advanced in years, remains completely blind to the mysteries of our faith because he has not opened our faith and seen in it the justice of the Lord our Savior, as well as the Lord’s mediation and appeasement. And since he hasn’t seen these aspects of our faith, he has also missed the wonders of justification by that faith. These wonders are the forgiving of sins, regeneration, sanctification, and salvation.
“Instead of accepting our faith, which is supremely effective for one’s salvation because it is a faith in three divine persons and therefore in the whole of God, this man has redirected belief toward the second Person – in fact, not even the whole second Person, but just his human manifestation. That human manifestation we do indeed call divine, because it was the incarnation of the Son from eternity; but who thinks of it as anything other than something merely human? What faith can we have in that except one that gushes materialist philosophy like a fountain? Since that kind of faith is not spiritual, it is virtually the same as faith in a substitute or a saint. You all know what Calvin said in his day about worship from a faith like that. Any one of you, tell us, please, where faith comes from. Doesn’t it come directly from God? That is why it contains all the means of salvation.”
[3] At that the chairman’s colleagues on the left side (the men with clean-shaven faces, curly wigs, and ruffs around their necks) burst into applause and shouted, ‘Very wisely said! We know that we cannot receive anything that is not given us from heaven!”
[Then the chairman continued,] “That prophet should tell us where faith comes from and what faith is if it isn’t this. It is impossible for faith to be different or to come from any other source. Revealing another true faith besides this one is as impossible as riding a horse to some constellation in the sky, grabbing one of its stars, hiding it in your coat pocket, and bringing it back with you!”
He included this last comment to make his friends laugh at any new faith.
aRef Ex@32 @0 S4′ [4] The men on the right side, though, who were bearded and wore no wigs, were upset when they heard this. One of them, an old man, stood up. (Later, however, he looked like a young adult, because he was an angel from heaven, where people of every stage of life become young adults.)
The old man said, “I have heard the nature of the faith you all have – the faith the chairman praised just now. But that faith is nothing but the tomb of our Lord after the resurrection, locked up again by Pilates soldiers. I have opened that faith but found nothing inside it except magicians’ wands used by the sorcerers in Egypt for doing miracles. To your eyes, your faith looks like a treasure chest made of gold and encrusted with precious stones; but when it is opened, the chest is empty, except perhaps for some dust from papal relics left in the corners. Papists have the same faith, you see, except that they are hiding it now behind external acts of piety.
“To use a simile, your faith is also like the Vestal virgin in ancient times who was buried alive for extinguishing the sacred fire. In fact, I can state it directly: to my eyes your faith looks just like the golden calf around which the children of Israel danced after Moses had left to go up to Jehovah on Mount Sinai [Exodus 32:1-20]. [5] Don’t be surprised that I have spoken about your faith in these analogies – this is the way we who are in heaven speak about it.
“Our faith, on the other hand, is, was, and will be to eternity a belief in the Lord God the Savior, whose humanity is divine and whose divinity is human. It is a faith, then, that is adapted for reception. It is a faith that unites what is divine and spiritual to what is human and earthly. It becomes a spiritual faith on an earthly plane. What is earthly then becomes transparent from the spiritual light of our faith.
“The truths that constitute our faith are as many as the verses in the sacred tome. These truths are all like stars, whose light reveals, and shows the shape of, our faith. People acquire this faith from the Word by means of their earthly light – the light of knowledge, thought, and persuasion; but if people believe in the Lord, he turns this faith into conviction, trust, and confidence. Through this process their faith comes to be spiritual as well as earthly, and enlivened by goodwill. To us this faith is like a queen decorated with as many precious stones as could be seen in the wall of the Holy Jerusalem (Revelation 21:17-20).
sRef Colo@2 @9 S6′ sRef Acts@20 @21 S6′ sRef 1Joh@5 @20 S6′ sRef Matt@28 @18 S6′ [6] “So that you won’t think the words I am saying are exaggerated and discount them as a result, I will read you something from the Holy Word that will make it clear that our faith is not faith in a human being, as you think it is; it is faith in the true God in whom everything divine exists. John says, ‘Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life’ (1 John 5:20). Paul says, ‘All the fullness of divinity dwells physically in Christ’ (Colossians 2:9). In the Acts of the Apostles it says of Paul, ‘To both Jews and Greeks he preached repentance before God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Acts 20:21). The Lord himself says that all power in heaven and on earth has been given to him (Matthew 28:18); but these are just a few passages.”
[7] After that the angel looked at me and said, “You know what the beliefs of the so-called Evangelicals are or should be about the Lord the Savior. Recite a few of them so that we may know whether they foolishly believe that the Lord’s human manifestation is merely human, or whether they ascribe anything of divinity to that human manifestation, and if so, how.”
I then read out loud excerpts from the book of Evangelical orthodoxy called the Formula of Concord, printed in Leipzig in 1756. I read the following: “In Christ the divine nature and the human nature are so united that they are one Person” (pages 606, 762). “Christ is truly God and a human being in an individual Person; he remains so to eternity” (pages 609, 673, 762). “In Christ God is human and a human is God” (pages 607, 765). “Christ’s human nature has been exalted to all divine majesty” (with quotes from many of the apostolic fathers, pages 844-852, 860-865, 869-878). “In his human nature Christ is omnipresent and fills all things” (pages 768, 783, 784, 785). “In his human nature Christ has been given all power in heaven and on earth” (pages 775, 776, 780). “In his human nature Christ sits at the right hand of the Father” (pages 608, 764). “We are to call on Christ in his human nature” (page 226; this statement is supported there by Scriptural passages). The Augsberg Confession completely supports this worship (page 19).
[8] After I read these things out loud, I turned to the chairman and said, “I know that all who are here are associated with people on earth who are like them. Tell me, if you would: do you know whom you are associated with?”
He answered in a solemn tone, “I do know. I am associated with a famous man, a commander of battalions in the church’s army of the enlightened.”
Because he answered in such a solemn tone, I said, “Forgive my asking if you know where that famous commander lives.”
“I do know,” he said. “He lives not far from where Luther is buried.”
Smiling at this I said, “Why do you say where Luther is buried? Don’t you know that Luther has risen, and that he has now recanted his errors regarding justification by faith in three divine Persons from eternity? Surely you know that because of this he has been transferred to join the blessed in the new heaven, and that he laughs when he looks upon his insane followers.”
“I know,” he retorted, “but what difference does that make to me?”
Then in the same tone he had used, I addressed him and said, “Pass on to the famous person you are associated with that I am concerned that on a recent occasion he went against the orthodoxy of his own church and took away the Lord’s divinity. He let his pen plow a furrow and carelessly sowed materialist philosophy in it when he wrote against the worship of our Lord the Savior.”
“I can’t do that,” the chairman replied, “because on this topic he and I are more or less of one mind. Besides, he doesn’t understand the things I tell him, although all the things he tells me I understand very clearly. The spiritual world enters the material world and perceives the thoughts of people there, but it doesn’t work the other way around. These are the present conditions of interaction between spirits and people.”
[9] Since the chairman and I were already conversing, I added: “If possible I’d like to digress to some other questions. Do you know that the orthodoxy of the Evangelicals, presented in their church handbook called the Formula of Concord, teaches that in Christ, God is human and a human is God and that his divinity and humanity exist in one individual person and remain so to eternity? If so, how then could he, and how can you, befoul the worship of the Lord with materialist philosophy?”
To that he replied, “Do I know that? Yes and no.”
Therefore I went on to say, “I ask your associate, although he is absent, or else you in his place: where did the soul of the Lord our Savior come from? If you say it came from Mary, you are insane. If you say it came from Joseph, you desecrate the Word. But if you say it came from the Holy Spirit you have the right answer, provided that by the Holy Spirit you mean the Divinity emanating and having an effect, which means that the Lord is the Son of Jehovah God.
[10] “Again I ask, what is the hypostatic union [in the Lord our Savior]? If you reply that it is a union between two entities, one above and the other below, you are insane, because in that case you could view God our Savior as two entities just as you have viewed the Godhead as three entities. If you say that it is a personal union like the partnership between the soul and the body, you have the right answer. This follows your doctrine and the doctrine of the church fathers. See the Formula of Concord pages 765 to 768.
“Also check the Athanasian Creed where it says, ‘Proper faith is for us to believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is both God and a human being. Yet although he is both God and a human being, still he is one Christ, not two. He is one in every way, not by a mixing of substance but by a oneness of person. For as the rational soul and the flesh is one human being, so God and a human being is one Christ.’
sRef Jer@23 @5 S11′ sRef Jer@23 @6 S11′ [11] “Still further I ask, what was the damnable heresy of Arius that caused Emperor Constantine the Great to call the Council of Nicaea? Wasn’t it the denial of the divinity of the Lord’s human manifestation?
“For another thing, tell me whom you see as the subject of the following words in Jeremiah: ‘Behold, the days are coming when I will raise up for David a righteous offshoot who will rule as king; and this is his name: Jehovah is our Justice’ (Jeremiah 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16). If you say ‘the Son from eternity,’ you are insane. He was not the Redeemer. If you say ‘the Son born in time, who was the only begotten Son of God’ (John 1:18; 3:16), you have the right answer. By redeeming us, he became the justice on which you base your faith. Also read Isaiah 9:6 and the other passages predicting that Jehovah himself was going to come into the world.”
At this the chairman looked away in silence.
sRef Matt@12 @30 S12′ [12] The presiding officer then wanted to end the council with a prayer but suddenly a man in the left-hand group interrupted. He had a cloth head-covering on with a hat on top of it. He touched his hat with one finger and said, “I too am associated with a man in your world. He has been appointed to a highly exalted position. I know this because I speak on his behalf as on my own.”
I asked him where that eminent man lives. He answered, “In Goteborg. From him I once got the impression that your new doctrine smacks of Muhammadanism.”
I saw that all the spirits on the right where the apostolic fathers were standing were shocked when they heard that word, and their faces fell. I heard them crying, both in thought and out loud, “What an outrage! What times we live in!”
To calm their understandable wrath I lifted my hand and asked for their attention. When they gave it to me, I said, “I am aware that a man of stature wrote some such accusation in a letter; later the letter was printed. If he had known at that point, however, what blasphemy it was, he would surely have torn it to pieces with his own fingers and given it to Vulcan to consume. The Lord responded to a similar attack when the Jews said that Christ was doing miracles with something other than divine power (Matthew 12:22-32). Among other things, the Lord says in that response, ‘Whoever is not with me is against me. Whoever is not gathering with me is scattering’ (Matthew 12:30).”
At this, the chairman, his ally, lowered his face. Soon, however, he lifted it again and said, “Now I have heard harder things than ever from you!”
I countered, “There are two doctrines behind these proceedings: materialist philosophy and Muhammadanism – lies invented by treachery, two deadly stabs aimed at turning and deterring the human will from the holy worship of the Lord.”
I turned to the man from the left-hand group and said, “Tell your man in Goteborg, if you can, to read what the Lord has said in Revelation 3:18 and also in Revelation 2:16.”
[13] When I said that, a riot broke out, but it was calmed by light sent down from heaven. As a result of the light, many on the left crossed over to join those on the right. Two groups who stayed on the left were those spirits whose thoughts were without purpose and who would therefore hang on the sayings of any authority, and those spirits who saw the Lord as only a human being. The light sent down from heaven seemed to be repelled by these latter two groups, but it seemed to flow into the spirits who crossed from left to right.

TCR (Rose) n. 138 138
Chapter 3
The Holy Spirit and the Divine Action

UPON entering the spiritual world, which generally happens on the third day after death, all members of the Sacred Order who have developed a just idea of the Lord our Savior are first taught about the divine Trinity. They are specifically taught that the Holy Spirit is not a separate God; the Word uses the phrase to mean the divine action that radiates from the one omnipresent God. They are specifically taught about the Holy Spirit because after death many fanatics who have believed they were divinely inspired fall into the mad delusion that they themselves are the Holy Spirit. There are many church people who believed while they were in the world that the Holy Spirit spoke through them. They terrify others with the Lord’s statement in Matthew that it is an unforgivable sin to speak against what the Holy Spirit has inspired in them (Matthew 12:31, 32).
After all are taught, any who abandon their belief that the Holy Spirit is a separate God are later informed about the unity of God. They are told that that unity has not been partitioned into three Persons, each of whom is God and Lord (as the Athanasian Creed would have it). Instead the divine Trinity exists within the Lord the Savior like the soul, the body, and the radiating effect of any human being.
Then they undergo preparations to accept the faith of the new heaven. After their preparation is complete, a road opens up for them to a community in heaven where that same faith exists. They are given a place to live among their companions. There they live in eternal bliss.
Because we have covered God the Creator and the Lord the Redeemer, we need to cover the Holy Spirit as well. This treatment, like the rest, will be divided into separate points. They are as follows:

1. The Holy Spirit is the divine truth and also the divine action and effect that radiate from the one God, in whom the divine Trinity exists: the Lord God the Savior.

2. Generally speaking, the divine actions and powerful effects meant by the Holy Spirit are the acts of reforming and regenerating us. Depending on the outcome of this reformation and regeneration, the divine actions and powerful effects also include the acts of renewing us, bringing us to life, sanctifying us, and making us just; and depending on the outcome of these in turn, the divine actions and powerful effects also include the acts of purifying us from evils, forgiving our sins, and ultimately saving us.

3. In respect to the clergy, the divine actions and powerful effects meant by “the sending of the Holy Spirit” are the acts of enlightening and teaching.

4. The Lord has these powerful effects on those who believe in him.

5. The Lord takes these actions on his own initiative on behalf of the Father, not the other way around.

6. Our spirits are our minds and whatever comes from them.

TCR (Rose) n. 139 139
1. The Holy Spirit is the divine truth and also the divine action and effect that radiate from the one God, in whom the divine Trinity exists: the Lord God the Savior. The Holy Spirit really means the divine truth; therefore it also means the Word. In this sense, the Lord himself is in fact the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, because the church nowadays characterizes the Holy Spirit as the divine action (meaning that part of the Divine that actually justifies us), therefore the divine action is what we mean by “the Holy Spirit” in the discussion here. For another thing, divine action takes place through the divine truth that radiates from the Lord. Whatever radiates out has one and the same essence as the source it radiates from. Take for example someone’s soul, someone’s body, and someone’s effect: these three together share one essence. In us that essence is merely human. In the Lord there was a divine essence and also a human one. After the Lord’s glorification these two essences were as completely united as a cause is with its effect or an essence with its form. Therefore three essential components, called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are one in the Lord.
sRef Isa@11 @1 S2′ sRef Isa@59 @19 S2′ sRef Isa@59 @20 S2′ sRef Isa@11 @4 S2′ sRef Isa@11 @5 S2′ sRef Isa@11 @2 S2′ sRef Isa@61 @1 S2′ [2] I have already demonstrated that the Lord is divine trueness or truth [see 85:3]. As for the Holy Spirit being divine truth, the following passages make this clear:

A branch will come out of the trunk of Jesse. The spirit of Jehovah will rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and intelligence, the spirit of counsel and strength. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the spirit of his lips he will kill the ungodly. Justice will be his loincloth, and the truth will wrap his thighs. (Isaiah 11:1, 2, 4, 5)

He will arrive like a narrow river; the spirit of Jehovah will lift up a standard against him. Then the Redeemer will come to Zion. (Isaiah 59:19, 20)

The spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon me. Jehovah has anointed me. He has sent me to proclaim the good news to the poor. (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18)

This is my covenant. My spirit that is upon you, my words, will not leave your mouth from now on forevermore. (Isaiah 59:21)

sRef John@16 @15 S3′ sRef John@14 @17 S3′ sRef John@16 @7 S3′ sRef John@16 @13 S3′ sRef John@14 @16 S3′ sRef John@14 @18 S3′ sRef Isa@59 @21 S3′ sRef John@16 @14 S3′ sRef John@14 @19 S3′ sRef John@15 @26 S3′ [3] Since the Lord is absolute truth, everything that radiates from him is truth. All this truth is known as the Comforter, which is also called the Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit, as the following passages clearly show:
I tell you the truth: it is better for you that I go away, because if I do not go away the Comforter will not come to you; but if I do go away I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will lead you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; rather, whatever he hears he will say. (John 16:13)

[The Comforter] will glorify me because he will take from what is mine and will make it known to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I said that [the Comforter] will take from what is mine and will make it known to you. (John 16:14, 15)

I will ask the Father to give another Comforter to you, the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him because it does not see him or recognize him; but you know him because he dwells among you and will be in you. I will not leave you
orphans; I am coming to you and you will see me. (John 14:16, 17, 18)

When the Comforter comes – the Spirit of Truth whom I am going to send you from the Father – he will testify about me. (John 15:26)

The Comforter is called “the Holy Spirit” (John 14:26).

sRef Matt@28 @20 S4′ [4] In mentioning the Comforter and the Holy Spirit, the Lord was referring to himself. This is clear from these words of his: “the world would not recognize him but you know him; I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you; you will see me.” And elsewhere, “Behold I am with you every day, even to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Also from the Lord’s saying, “He will not speak from himself; instead he will take from what is mine.”

TCR (Rose) n. 140 sRef Matt@1 @20 S0′ sRef John@20 @22 S0′ sRef Luke@1 @35 S0′ sRef John@1 @1 S0′ sRef Matt@1 @25 S0′ sRef John@7 @39 S0′ sRef John@1 @14 S0′ 140
Now, because the Holy Spirit means divine truth and this was in the Lord and was the Lord himself (John 14:6), and the Holy Spirit could not come from anywhere else, therefore the Word says, “The Holy Spirit was not yet in existence, because Jesus was not glorified yet” (John 7:39); and after he was glorified, “He breathed on his disciples and said, Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). The Lord breathed on his disciples and said this because breathing on someone is an outward representation of divine inspiration. To be inspired is in fact to be inserted into angelic communities.
From these points the intellect can grasp what the angel Gabriel said about the Lord’s conception: “The Holy Spirit will descend upon you and the power of the Highest will cover you; therefore the Holy One that is born from you will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Likewise, “The angel of the Lord said to Joseph in a dream, Do not be afraid to accept Mary as your bride, for the Child that is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. And Joseph did not touch her until she bore her firstborn Son” (Matthew 1:20, 25). The “Holy Spirit” in this passage is the divine truth that radiates from Jehovah the Father. This emanation was the power of the Highest that covered Mary then. This view is therefore in alignment with the following statement in John: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). The Word there means divine truth, as you can see above under the heading “the faith of the new church,” 3.

TCR (Rose) n. 141 141
We have already shown that the divine Trinity exists within the Lord. This will be shown further in the following sections where we will need to deal with this point explicitly. Here I will only add something to show the absurdity of dividing the Trinity into persons.
It would be like a minister in the church teaching from the pulpit what people should believe and practice while another minister stands next to him and whispers in his ear, “You are saying the right thing; say some more about that.” The two of them tell a third minister standing on the pulpit stairs to go down into the church, open the congregations ears, and pour these things into their hearts; the third minister is also told to make the people pure and holy – living examples of justice.
The divine Trinity divided into persons, each of whom is individually God and Lord, is like three suns over one solar system – one sun beside another high up, and a third sun lower down that bathes angels and people and brings the heat, the light, and all the power of the first two suns into human minds, hearts, and bodies and refines them the way fire under a retort sharpens, clarifies, and sublimates substances. If this were the reality, surely we would all be burned to ashes.
A governance in heaven by three divine persons would be like a government of three monarchs in one country. It would be like a leadership of three equally powerful generals over one army. It would be much like the Roman government before the times of the Caesars when there was a consul, a senate, and a tribune for the common people. Power was indeed divided between them, but the ultimate power was held by them all together.
Anyone can see that it would be ridiculous, preposterous, and insane to impose a government like that over heaven. Yet that kind of government would be imposed if power like the supreme consul’s were given to God the Father, power like the senates’ to the Son, and power like the tribunes to the Holy Spirit. This is what is involved in attributing to each person a function of his own, especially if you add that these activities cannot be shared.

TCR (Rose) n. 142 142
2. Generally speaking, the divine actions and powerful effects meant by the Holy Spirit are the acts of reforming and regenerating us. Depending on the outcome of this reformation and regeneration, the divine actions and powerful effects also include the acts of renewing us, bringing us to life, sanctifying us, and making us just; and depending on the outcome of these in turn, the divine actions and powerful effects also include the acts of purifying us from evils, forgiving our sins, and ultimately saving us. These are the powerful effects, one after the other, that the Lord has on people who believe in him and who adapt and modify themselves in order to welcome him and invite him to stay. Divine truth has these effects. Among Christians the Word has these effects because the Word is the only means by which Christians can go to the Lord and the Lord can come to them. As I said before, the Lord is absolute divine truth; so is everything that emanates from him. It is important to take this to mean the divine truth in connection with goodness, which is the same as faith in connection with goodwill; faith is nothing but truth, and goodwill is nothing but goodness.
The divine truth in connection with goodness, that is, faith in connection with goodwill, is the force that reforms and regenerates us; then renews us, brings us to life, sanctifies us, and justifies us; and, depending on our level of growth and forward movement, purifies us from evils. (Being purified from our evils is the same as having our sins forgiven.)
All these actions of the Lord cannot be explained here one by one, however. Each one would need its own analysis with support from the Word and illustrative reasoning. This is not the place for that. The reader [who wishes to know more about them] should turn instead to the topics that come later in the book: goodwill [392-462], faith [336-391], free choice [463-508], repentance [509-570], and reformation and regeneration [571-625].
It is important to know that the Lord is carrying out these salvation processes in every single one of us all the time. They are the steps to heaven. The Lord wants to save everyone; his purpose is to save all people. Anyone who has a purpose desires the means to achieve it. The Lord’s coming, his redeeming humankind, and his suffering on the cross were for the sake of our salvation (Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10). Because saving people was his purpose and is his purpose forever, it follows that having the powerful effects on us that were just listed is his intermediate purpose, and saving us is his ultimate purpose.

TCR (Rose) n. 143 sRef Ps@51 @12 S0′ sRef Ezek@36 @26 S0′ sRef Ps@51 @10 S0′ sRef Zech@12 @1 S0′ sRef Isa@26 @9 S0′ sRef Ezek@18 @31 S0′ sRef Ezek@36 @27 S0′ 143
The producing of these powerful effects is the “Holy Spirit” that the Lord sends to those who believe in him and who modify themselves to receive him. The producing of these powerful effects is also meant by “the spirit” in the following passages:

I will give a new heart and a new spirit. I will put my spirit within you and I will make you walk the path of salvation. (Ezekiel 36:26, 27; 11:19)

Create a clean heart in us, O God, and renew a firm spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and let a willing spirit sustain me. (Psalms 51:10, 12)

Jehovah forms the human spirit within us. (Zechariah 12:1)

In my soul I awaited you at night. In my spirit, which is within me, I awaited you in the morning. (Isaiah 26:9)

Make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 18:31)

And so on.
In these passages, “a new heart” means wanting what is good and “a new spirit” means understanding what is true. The reference to God’s giving a soul to those who walk the path of salvation makes it clear that the Lord has these powerful effects on those who do what is good and believe what is true – those who have a faith that is connected with goodwill. This is also clear from the mention of a “willing spirit.” The necessity for us to do our part of the work is clear from the following words: “Make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, O house of Israel?” [Ezekiel 18:31].

TCR (Rose) n. 144 144
We read that when Jesus was baptized the heavens opened and John saw the Holy Spirit coming down like a dove (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32, 33). This happened because baptism means regeneration and purification, and so does a dove.
Surely anyone can see that that dove was not the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit was not in the dove. In heaven doves appear quite often. Every time they appear, the angels know that they correspond to feelings and thoughts in other angels nearby about regeneration and purification. As soon as the angels go to those other angels and start a conversation on a different subject than the one being pondered when the doves appeared, the doves immediately vanish.
The situation is similar with many things the prophets saw. John, for example, saw a lamb on Mount Zion (Revelation 14:1 and elsewhere). Surely everyone realizes that the Lord was not that lamb and was not in that lamb. The lamb was instead a representation of the Lord’s innocence. This highlights the error of those who deduce the existence of three persons in the Trinity from the dove seen above the Lord when he was baptized and the voice heard from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son” [Matthew 3:16, 17].
The Lord uses faith and goodwill to regenerate us. This is the meaning of John the Baptists saying, “I baptize you for repentance with water, but the one who is coming after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16). Baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire means regenerating through the divine truth that is in faith and the divine goodness that is in goodwill. The following words of the Lord also mean the same thing: “Unless you have been born of water and spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). “Water” in this passage, and elsewhere in the Word, means truth in our earthly or outer self, while “spirit” means truth connected with goodness in our spiritual or inner self.

TCR (Rose) n. 145 145
Now, the Lord is absolute divine truth from divine goodness – this is his very essence. We all do what we do because of our essence. It is clear then that the Lord constantly tries (and cannot help trying) to implant truth and goodness, or faith and goodwill, in everyone.
Many things in the world could be used to illustrate this [connection between essence and action]. For one thing, we all will and think, and as much as possible speak and act, on the basis of our essence. Faithful people, for example, have faithful thoughts and intentions. People who are honorable, honest, godly, and religious have thoughts and intentions that are honorable, honest, godly, and religious. On the other hand, people who are arrogant, cunning, deceitful, and greedy have thoughts and intentions that are one with their essence. Jokers want only to joke around, and fools want only to babble their opposition to anything wise. In a word, an angel focuses and works only on what is heavenly, and a devil only on what is hellish.
As this is true of every bird, animal, fish, and winged or wingless insect, so it is true of every creature in the animal kingdom down to the lowest level: everything is known by its essence or nature. Every creature has its instincts accordingly.
Likewise in the plant kingdom, every tree, every bush, and every plant is known by its fruit and its seed. Its essence is bred into its fruit and its seed. It cannot produce anything that is unlike itself and its own kind. In fact, every type of soil or clay, every type of stone both precious and common, and every type of mineral and metal is recognized by its essence.

TCR (Rose) n. 146 sRef Acts@2 @3 S0′ sRef Acts@2 @4 S0′ 146
3. In respect to the clergy, the divine actions and powerful effects meant by “the sending of the Holy Spirit” are the acts of enlightening and teaching. The actions of the Lord listed in the preceding point – reforming, regenerating, renewing, bringing to life, sanctifying, justifying, purifying, forgiving sins, and finally saving – flow from the Lord into both clergy and lay people. These actions are accepted by those who are in the Lord and in whom the Lord is (John 6:56; 14:20; 15:4, 5).
In the case of the clergy, however, there are other actions of the Lord as well: enlightening and teaching. The reason is that for ministers, being enlightened and taught is a part of their jobs that comes with their inauguration into the ministry.
Also, when ministers preach with passion they believe they are inspired, just like the Lord’s disciples on whom the Lord breathed and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22; see also what Mark 13:11 says). Some ministers even maintain that they have felt an inflow.
Ministers have to be very careful, though, not to convince themselves that the passion that comes over many of them when they preach is God at work in their hearts. The same level of passion and an even more ardent one is found in fanatics who believe they are divinely inspired, in people who have the falsest teachings, and even in people who see no value in the Word and worship nature as their god, who toss faith and goodwill into packs on their backs. When they preach and teach they hang these packs in front of their faces like some ruminatory stomach, squeezing and regurgitating out of them things they know will feed their listeners.
Passion in preaching is just an intensity in the earthly self. If passion has a love for truth inside it, then it is like the sacred fire that flowed into the apostles, about which it says in Acts:

There appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one rested on each one of them. As a result they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:3, 4)

If, on the other hand, there is a love for falsity inside that passion or intensity, then it is like fire smoldering inside a piece of wood that bursts into flame and burns the house down.
You who deny that the Word is holy and the Lord divine, please take your pack off your back and open it (as you freely do when you are at home). You will see.
When they enter the church, and even more when they climb the stairs into the pulpit, I know that the people meant by Lucifer in Isaiah – the people of Babylon, especially those who named themselves the Society of Jesus – are overcome with passion. For many of them that passion comes from a hellish love. They raise their voices more vehemently and draw sighs from their chests more deeply than those whose passion comes from a heavenly love.
There are also two other spiritual actions of the Lord in members of the clergy; see 155 below.

TCR (Rose) n. 147 147
The church is still hardly aware that in all our desire, thought, action, and speech, there is an inside and an outside. From early childhood we are taught to speak from the outside, no matter how the inside disagrees, which leads to pretense, flattery, and hypocrisy. People are double. The only simple people are those whose outer selves think and speak, and desire and act, from their inner selves. These people are in fact referred to as “simple” in the Word; for example, Luke 8:15, 11:34, and elsewhere, even though they are wiser than double people.
Every created thing has two-fold and three-fold design, as the human body shows. Every nerve in the body is made of fibers, and every fiber is made of fibrils. Every muscle consists of bundles of fibers, and each bundle consists of individual motor fibers. Every artery consists of three layers of sheaths. It is the same in the human mind – its spiritual organic structure is the same. As I said before [34, 42, 69], the structure of the human mind is divided into three different levels. The highest or inmost of these is called the heavenly level, the middle is called the spiritual level, and the lowest is called the earthly level.
There are people who deny that the Word is holy and that the Lord is divine; in every case their minds think at the lowest level. Nevertheless, because these people have learned the church’s spiritual teachings from early childhood, they accept them, but they put them down below earthly preoccupations, which are various things having to do with academics, politics, and the civic and moral arena. Because these preoccupations sit at the lowest level of their mind, the level that is closest to speech, these people draw on the church’s spiritual teachings when they speak in church and at public gatherings. Astoundingly, at the time they do not even realize that they are speaking and teaching something they do not believe. Nevertheless, when they are at home and feeling free, the door that had closed off their inner mind opens up and then they laugh at their own talk to the crowd. They say in their hearts that theological teachings are attractive traps for catching doves.

TCR (Rose) n. 148 148
The inner and outer selves of people like that are like poisons with a coating of sugar, and like the wild gourds that the servants of the prophets gathered and put into a stew, but shouted when they ate it, “There is death in the pot!” (2 Kings 4:38-41). These people can also be likened to the beast from the earth that had two horns like the Lamb but spoke like a dragon (Revelation 13:11). Later in the Book of Revelation that beast is called the false prophet.
These people are like robbers spending time in a city where upright citizens live. The robbers behave morally and speak rationally while they are in town, but when they return to the woods they are wild animals. Or they are like pirates who are humans on land but crocodiles at sea. The pirates on land and the robbers in the city go around like panthers wearing sheepskins.
These people are like monkeys dressed in human clothing, with a mask of a human face in front of their own face. They can be likened to a woman preparing to go out, who puts on perfume, makeup, and a white silk dress embroidered with flowers; but when she comes home again, she strips for several lovers and gives them her disease.
This is the nature of those who take holiness away from the Word and divinity away from the Lord in their hearts, as years of experience in the spiritual world have allowed me to know. In that world all are kept at first in their outer selves; but afterward their outer selves are removed and they shift to their inner selves. At that point their comedy becomes a tragedy.

TCR (Rose) n. 149 sRef Rev@12 @17 S0′ sRef Rev@12 @11 S0′ sRef Rev@19 @10 S0′ 149
4. The Lord has these powerful effects on those who believe in him. The Lord has the powerful effects meant by the sending of the Holy Spirit on those who believe in him; that is, these are the people he reforms, regenerates, renews, brings to life, sanctifies, justifies, purifies from evils, and finally saves. This is clear from all the passages in the Word that establish that salvation and eternal life come to those who believe in the Lord (see the passages quoted in 107 above). The following passage makes the same point:

Jesus said, “Any who believe in me – as Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow out of their bellies.” This he said of the Spirit that those who believe in him are going to receive. (John 7:38, 39)

Also this passage:

The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)

The “spirit of prophecy” means a true doctrinal perspective from the Word. “Prophecy” has no other meaning except a doctrinal perspective. To prophesy means to teach that perspective. The testimony of Jesus means confessing faith in him. The testimony of Jesus also has this meaning in the following passage:

Michael’s angels’ conquered the dragon using the blood of the Lamb and the Word of his testimony. The dragon went away to make war on the rest of his seed, who were keeping God’s commandments and who have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:11, 17)

TCR (Rose) n. 150 150
The people who are going to receive the powerful spiritual effects listed above [142] are those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is salvation and eternal life. He is salvation because he is the Savior – this is the meaning of his name, Jesus. He is eternal life because those in whom he is and who are in him have eternal life. He is even called “eternal life” in 1 John 5:20.
Now, because the Lord is salvation and eternal life, it follows that he is also everything that enables us to gain salvation and eternal life. Therefore he is every part of reforming, regenerating, renewing, bringing to life, sanctifying, justifying, purifying from evils, and finally saving. The Lord is carrying out these processes in all of us, meaning that he is trying to have these effects on us; and when we adapt and modify ourselves to receive them, he actually carries them out in us. (Even the acts of adapting and modifying ourselves are actually from the Lord.) If we do not accept the Lord’s processes with a willing spirit, he cannot carry them out in us, but his desire to do so remains constant.

TCR (Rose) n. 151 151
Believing in the Lord is not only acknowledging him but also doing what he commands. Merely acknowledging him is just a matter of thought in our intellect. Doing what he commands also entails an acknowledgment in our will. The human mind consists of an intellect and a will. Thinking belongs to our intellect; doing belongs to our will. Therefore when we make a mere acknowledgment based on thinking in our intellect, we move toward the Lord with only half our mind. When we act, however, then we move toward the Lord with our whole mind; and this is believing.
The alternative to true belief is to divide our hearts, forcing our gaze upward while our flesh turns to face the ground. Then we fly like an eagle between heaven and hell. We do not follow our line of sight, however; we follow the pleasures of our flesh. Because our pleasures lie in hell, we fly down there. After indulging in our pleasures there and pouring out a libation of new wine to the demons, we develop a polite affectation and a sparkle in our eye; and so we masquerade as an angel of light.
These are the kind of satans that we become after death if we acknowledge the Lord but do not do what he commands.

TCR (Rose) n. 152 152
In a previous section [142] we showed that the Lord’s first and last purpose is for people to have salvation and eternal life. Since first and last purposes include all intermediate purposes as well, it follows that all the spiritual processes listed above [142] are present in the Lord at the same time. In fact, the Lord brings all these processes to us at the same time, but they nonetheless take effect one after the other.
Our human body grows; so does our human mind. Our body grows in stature; our mind in wisdom. Furthermore, our mind rises up from one level to another. It goes from being earthly to being spiritual, and from being spiritual to being heavenly. At the lowest level we are knowledgeable; at the middle level we have understanding; at the highest level we are wise. This rising of the mind, though, happens only over the course of time; it takes place as we acquire truths for ourselves and connect them to something good.
This process is much like building a house. First we get ourselves the materials for it – the bricks, the shingles, the beams, the boards. Then we lay the foundation, put up the outside walls, frame out the rooms, hang the doors, install the windows in the walls, and build the stairs from one level to the next. All these stages and features are together at once in our goal, however, which is the comfortable and respectable living space we planned and provided for.
It is the same with a church building. As it is being constructed, all stages and features of it share one goal: the worship of God. The same goes for everything else – for example, horticulture and farming. It is also the same with management and business: the goal itself leads to the equipment and preparations necessary to meet that goal.

TCR (Rose) n. 153 sRef John@14 @13 S0′ sRef John@14 @14 S0′ sRef John@15 @26 S1′ sRef John@16 @7 S1′ sRef John@16 @14 S1′ sRef John@20 @22 S1′ sRef John@7 @39 S1′ sRef John@16 @13 S1′ sRef John@16 @15 S1′ 153
5. The Lord takes these actions on his own initiative on behalf of the Father, not the other way around. The reference to “taking actions” in this opening sentence means the same thing as “sending the Holy Spirit,” since the processes listed above – reforming, regenerating, renewing, bringing to life, sanctifying, justifying, [purifying] from evils, and forgiving sins – which are attributed these days to the Holy Spirit as a God by himself, are actually processes carried out by the Lord.
As for the point that these processes are carried out by the Lord on behalf of the Father and not the other way around, I will first support this from the Word and then illustrate it with parallels.
Support from the Word occurs in the following passages:

When the Comforter comes, whom I am going to send from the Father – the Spirit of Truth that goes out from the Father – he will testify about me. (John 15:26)

If I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I do go away, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, will not speak to you on his own; he will take from what is mine and make it known to you. All things whatever that the Father has are mine. This is why I said that he will take from what is mine and make it known to you. (John 16:13, 14, 15)

The Holy Spirit was not yet in existence, because Jesus was not glorified yet. (John 7:39)

Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22)

Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, so that the Father is glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I myself will do it. (John 14:13, 14)

sRef John@5 @26 S2′ sRef John@3 @35 S2′ sRef John@1 @18 S2′ sRef John@14 @20 S2′ sRef John@16 @15 S2′ sRef John@5 @37 S2′ sRef John@6 @63 S2′ sRef John@15 @26 S2′ [2] From these passages it is perfectly obvious that the Lord “sends the Holy Spirit,” that is, carries out those processes that are ascribed nowadays to the Holy Spirit as a God by himself. The Lord said that he was going to send the Holy Spirit from the Father; he was going to send the Holy Spirit “to you.” Furthermore, the Holy Spirit was not yet in existence, because Jesus was not glorified yet; and after Jesus was glorified he breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The Lord also said “Whatever you ask in my name, I myself will do it;” and said that the Comforter was going to take “from what is mine” that which he was to make known. (For evidence that the Comforter is the same as the Holy Spirit, see John 14:26.)
It is not that God the Father carries out those processes on his own initiative through the Son, but rather that the Son carries them out on his own initiative on behalf of the Father, as the following passages clearly show: “No one has ever seen God. The only begotten Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, has made him visible” (John 1:18 and elsewhere). “You have never heard the voice of the Father or seen what he looks like” (John 5:37). [3] From these passages it follows that God the Father works on and in the Son but not through him. Instead, the Lord works on his own initiative on behalf of his Father. For he says, “Everything the Father has is mine” (John 16:15). “The Father has given all things into the hand of the Son” (John 3:35). Also, “as the Father has life in himself, so he has given the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). And “the words that I speak are spirit and are life” (John 6:63).
Admittedly, the Lord does say that the Spirit of Truth goes out from the Father (John 15:26). The reason he says this, however, is that the Spirit of Truth goes out from God the Father into the Son, and it goes out from the Son on behalf of the Father. This is why it says, “In that day you will recognize that the Father is in me and I am in the Father, and you are in me and I am in you” (John 14:11, 20).
The Lord’s clear statements reveal as blatantly incorrect the Christian worlds belief that God the Father sends the Holy Spirit to us. The Greek Church, as well, is wrong to believe that God the Father sends the Holy Spirit directly.
The concept that the Lord sends the Holy Spirit on his own initiative on behalf of God the Father, not the other way around, comes from heaven. Angels call it a secret that has not yet been discovered in the world.

TCR (Rose) n. 154 154
This point can also be illustrated by a number of parallels.
We all know that after the Lord bestowed the Holy Spirit on the apostles, they preached the good news across much of the world and publicized it through speaking and writing. They did this on their own initiative on behalf of the Lord. Peter wrote and taught one way, James another way, John a third, and Paul a fourth. Each of them used their own intelligence. The Lord filled them all with his spirit, but they each took a portion of it that depended on the quality of their perception, and they each exercised that portion depending on the quality of their own ability.
All the angels in the heavens are filled with the Lord – they are in the Lord and the Lord is in them. Yet for each of them, the speech and action depends on the quality of the mind. Some speak and act simply, and some wisely, with infinite variety. They all speak on their own initiative on behalf of the Lord.
[2] The same goes for all ministers in the church – those with false beliefs as well as those with true beliefs. They each have their own voice and their own intelligence. They each speak on the basis of their own mind, meaning the spirit inside them.
Consider the situation of all Protestants, whether they happen to be called Evangelical or Reformed. Once they have been taught the theological system handed down by Luther, Melanchthon, or Calvin, it is not that Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin, or the theologies themselves, speak on their own initiative through the Protestants’ mouths. Instead, the Protestants speak on their own initiative on behalf of their church founders.
Every dogma can be explained in a thousand different ways. It is like a horn of plenty. People take out of the dogma whatever is matched and suited to their character, and use their particular gifts to explain it.
[3] This point can also be illustrated by the action of the heart on and in the lungs, and the lungs’ reaction on their own initiative on behalf of the heart. These are two distinct things, yet they are reciprocally united. The lungs breathe on their own initiative on behalf of the heart. The heart, however, does not breathe through the lungs. If it did they would both stop functioning.
The same applies to the heart’s action on and in every internal organ in the body. The heart sends blood out in all directions. The internal organs draw on that blood. Each organ takes whatever it needs depending on how vital a service it provides. Its level of service also determines how it functions; different organs function in different ways.
[4] The same point can be illustrated by the following parallels as well. The evil we get from our parents, called hereditary evil, acts on us and in us. So does goodness from the Lord. Goodness comes from above or within; evil from below or outside. If evil were to act through us we could not be reformed, but we would not be responsible either. By the same token, if goodness from the Lord acted through us we could not be reformed. Because good and evil are a matter of our free choice we become guilty when we act on our own initiative on behalf of evil, and innocent when we act on our own initiative on behalf of goodness. Because evil is the Devil and goodness is the Lord, we become guilty if we act on behalf of the Devil, and innocent if we act on behalf of the Lord. The free choice that we all have makes it possible for us to be reformed.
[5] The same situation exists for all of us with our inner and outer selves. These selves are two distinct things, yet they are reciprocally united. Our inner self acts on and in our outer self, but not through it. Our inner self contains thousands of things. Our outer self takes from our inner self only what is suited for some useful purpose. In our inner self, the part of our mind that enables us to have volition and perception, there are arrays of concepts in enormous quantities. If these concepts flowed out through our mouths they would be like a blast of air from an industrial bellows. Our inner self, with its universe of contents, is comparable to an ocean, a large flower garden, or a park. The outer self takes from it just as much as it needs to get something done.
When the Lord’s Word is quite thoroughly present in our inner self it too is comparable to an ocean, a large flower garden, or a park. In that case we speak and act on our own initiative on behalf of the Word. The Word does not act through us. The same is true in regard to the Lord, because he is the Word, that is, the divine truth and the divine goodness in it. The Lord acts on his own (or from the Word) on us and in us, but not through us, because we act and speak freely on the Lord’s behalf when we act and speak from the Word.
sRef John@16 @27 S6′ sRef John@16 @26 S6′ [6] The point here can be more accurately illustrated by the mutual interaction between soul and body. The soul and the body are two distinct things, yet they are reciprocally united. The soul acts on and in the body but not through it. Instead, the body acts on its own initiative on behalf of the soul.
The soul does not act through the body in that the soul and the body do not consult and engage in decision making with each other. The soul does not command or request the body to do this or that, or say this or that with its mouth. The body does not call for or petition the soul to give it, or supply it with, something. Everything belonging to the soul belongs to the body, mutually and reciprocally.
The same is true for the divine and the human natures in the Lord. The Father’s divine nature is the soul of his human nature, and the human nature is his body. The human nature does not ask its divine nature to tell it what to say or do. This is why the Lord says, “In that day you will ask in my name. And I will not tell you that I am going to petition the Father on your behalf, for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me” (John 16:26, 27). “In that day” means after glorification, that is, after complete and absolute union with the Father.
The Lord himself is divulging this secret for those who will be part of his new church.

TCR (Rose) n. 155 155
It was shown above, in point 3 of this part of the chapter [146], that the divine effects (which are meant by the actions of the Holy Spirit) that specifically apply to the clergy are the processes of enlightening and teaching them. There are, however, two intermediate processes to add to the two just mentioned: their perceiving and shaping [what they are learning]. For the clergy, then, there are four processes that follow in sequence: becoming enlightened; perceiving; shaping; and being instructed.
The enlightening is done by the Lord.
The process of perceiving takes place in the individuals. It is affected by the quality of mind they have developed as a result of doctrinal teachings. If these doctrinal teachings are true, the light that enlightens them clarifies their perception. If these doctrinal teachings are false, their perception becomes obscured. It may still seem clear [to the ministers], however, because of other teachings that lend confirmation. The apparent clarity is caused by a faint, deceptive light that to mere earthly vision seems clear.
The process of shaping depends on the type of love that exists in the ministers will. The enjoyment related to that love actually does the shaping. If the minister has enjoyment in an evil love and the false perspective that goes with it, that enjoyment generates a passion that is outwardly rough, prickly, intense, and fire-belching; inside the passion there is anger, rage, and lack of compassion. If, however, the minister has enjoyment in a good love and the truth that goes with it, the passion is outwardly even, smooth, thundering, and blazing; inside the passion there is goodwill, grace, and compassion.
The process of being instructed follows as an effect from the other three processes as causes.
Therefore the enlightening that comes from the Lord is turned into different types of light and heat in individual ministers depending on the quality of each individual’s mind.

TCR (Rose) n. 156 sRef Ezek@18 @31 S0′ sRef Ezek@13 @3 S0′ sRef Ezek@21 @7 S0′ sRef Isa@57 @15 S0′ sRef Ezek@20 @32 S0′ sRef Hos@5 @4 S0′ sRef Isa@61 @3 S0′ 156
6. Our spirits are our minds and whatever comes from them. Our “spirit” really means nothing else but our mind. Our mind is what lives on after death. It is then called a spirit. If it is good, it is called an angelic spirit and later on an angel. If it is evil, it is called a satanic spirit and later on a satan. For each one of us, our mind is our inner self, our true self. It lives inside our outer self that constitutes our body. When our body is cast aside, which death does for us, we are in a complete human form.
People are wrong, then, to believe that our mind exists only in our head. Our mind is present in our head only in its primary structures. Everything that we think with our intellect and do from our will first emanates from these primary structures. In the rest of our body, our mind is present in extensions of these primary structures that have been designed to allow us sensation and action. Because our mind is inwardly connected to the parts of our body, our mind supplies those parts with sensation and motion and also inspires awareness as if our body thought and acted on its own, although every wise person knows this is not how it is.
Now, because our spirit thinks with its intellect and acts with its will, and our body thinks and acts not on its own but with the help of our spirit, it follows that our “spirit” means our intelligence and our type of love, as well as whatever emanates from our love and intelligence and has an effect.
Many passages in the Word make clear that our “spirit” means the nature of our mind. When I quote only a few of these passages, anyone will be able to see that this is exactly what “spirit” means. The following are just a few of the many:

And Bezaleel was filled with the spirit of wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge. (Exodus 31:3)

Nebuchadnezzar said of Daniel that there was “an excellent spirit” of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom in him (Daniel 5:12).

Joshua was filled with the spirit of wisdom. (Deuteronomy 34:9)

Make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. (Ezekiel 18:31)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, because the kingdom of the heavens consists of such people. (Matthew 5:3)

I live among people with a beaten and humble spirit so that I may revive the spirit of the lowly. (Isaiah 57:15)

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. (Psalms 51:17)

I will give a cloak of praise to replace a constricted spirit. (Isaiah 61:3)

And so on.
“Spirit” can also mean the nature of a corrupt and unjust mind, as the following passages make clear:

He spoke to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit. (Ezekiel 13:3)

Conceive garbage, give birth to stubble; in your spirit, fire will consume you. (Isaiah 33:11)

A man who is a wanderer in his spirit and who babbles a lie. (Micah 2:11)

A generation whose spirit was not steadfast with God. (Psalms 78:8)

A spirit of promiscuity. (Hosea 5:4; 4:12)

To melt every heart and constrict every spirit. (Ezekiel 21:7)

What has come up in your spirit will never be done. (Ezekiel 20:32)

Provided there is no guile in their spirit. (Psalms 32:2)

The spirit of Pharaoh was disturbed. (Genesis 41:8)

Likewise the spirit of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:3). These and many other passages make it obvious that our “spirit” means our mind and its characteristics.

TCR (Rose) n. 157 sRef Ezek@3 @14 S0′ sRef Ezek@3 @12 S0′ sRef Ezek@11 @24 S0′ sRef Ezek@8 @3 S0′ sRef Ezek@11 @1 S0′ sRef Ezek@40 @2 S0′ 157
Since our spirit means our mind, therefore “being in the spirit,” as the Word sometimes says, refers to the state of our mind when it is separated from our body. In this state the prophets saw the sort of things that exist in the spiritual world; therefore this state is called “a vision of God.” At those times, the prophets’ state was like the state of spirits and angels in the spiritual world. In this state our spirit can move from place to place while our body stays where it is (as is also true of our mind’s eye).
This is the state I myself have been in now for twenty-six years, with the difference that I am in my spirit and my body at the same time, and only sometimes out of my body.
Ezekiel, Zechariah, Daniel, and John (when he wrote the Book of Revelation) were in this state, as is clear from the following passages: Ezekiel said, “The spirit lifted me up and led me into Chaldea to the captivity in the vision of God, in the spirit of God. In this way the vision that I saw came over me” (Ezekiel 11:1, 24). The spirit lifted Ezekiel up and he heard the earth tremble behind him (Ezekiel 3:12, 14). The spirit lifted him up between earth and heaven, and led him away to Jerusalem where he saw abominable things (Ezekiel 8:3-4). He saw four creatures that were angel guardians and various details about them (Ezekiel 1 and 10). Then he saw a new earth in the form of a new temple, and an angel measuring the temple (Ezekiel 40-48). At that time he was in a vision and in the spirit (Ezekiel 40:2; 43:5).
sRef Zech@3 @1 S2′ sRef Zech@4 @1 S2′ sRef Dan@8 @1 S2′ sRef Zech@5 @1 S2′ sRef Zech@1 @18 S2′ sRef Zech@2 @1 S2′ sRef Dan@9 @21 S2′ sRef Dan@9 @22 S2′ sRef Zech@1 @8 S2′ sRef Zech@5 @6 S2′ sRef Dan@7 @1 S2′ [2] The same thing happened to Zechariah when an angel was with him and he saw a man riding among the myrtle trees (Zechariah 1:8-9); when he saw four horns and a man who had a string in his hand for measuring (Zechariah 1:18; 2:1-2); when he saw Joshua the high priest (Zechariah 3:1, 6); and when he saw four chariots with horses headed off between two mountains (Zechariah 6:1-3).
Daniel was in the same state when he saw four beasts rising up out of the sea, and many details about them (Daniel 7:1-8); and when he saw battles between a ram and a goat (Daniel 8:1-14). He was in a vision when he saw those things (Daniel 7:1, 2, 7, 13; 8:2; 10:1, 7, 8). In a vision he saw the angel Gabriel and spoke with him [Daniel 8:15-27].
sRef Rev@9 @17 S3′ sRef Rev@17 @3 S3′ sRef Rev@1 @10 S3′ sRef Rev@21 @10 S3′ [3] The same thing happened to John when he wrote the Book of Revelation. He said he was in the spirit on the Lord’s day (Revelation 1:10); he was carried off into the wilderness in the spirit (Revelation 17:3); and he was on a high mountain in the spirit (Revelation 21:10). He was seeing things in a vision (Revelation 9:17).
Elsewhere [in the Book of Revelation] he says that he saw the things he described. For example, he saw the Son of Humankind in the middle of seven lampstands. He saw a tabernacle, a temple, an ark, and an altar in heaven; a book sealed with seven seals and horses that came out of it; four creatures around a throne; twelve thousand chosen people, some from every tribe; a lamb on Mount Zion; locusts rising up from an abyss; a dragon and its war with Michael; a woman giving birth to a male child and running away into a desert because of the dragon; two beasts, one rising up out of the sea and another out of the land; a woman sitting on a scarlet beast; a dragon thrown into a lake of fire and sulfur; a white horse and a great supper; the holy city Jerusalem coming down, with details of its entrances, its wall, and the wall’s foundations; a river of living water; and trees of life producing different types of fruit every month; and so on.
Peter, James, and John were in the same state when they saw Jesus transfigured, as was Paul when he heard ineffable things from heaven.

TCR (Rose) n. 158 sRef John@7 @39 S0′ sRef Luke@1 @35 S0′ 158
A Supplement

Since the Holy Spirit is the subject of this chapter, it is very worthwhile to point out that nowhere in the Word of the Old Testament is the Holy Spirit mentioned. The “spirit of holiness” occurs in three passages, once in David (Psalms 51:11), and twice in Isaiah (Isaiah 63:10, 11). The Holy Spirit is of course frequently mentioned in the Word of the New Testament, both in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles and their Epistles. The reason for this is that the Holy Spirit first came into existence when the Lord had come into the world. The Holy Spirit emanates from him on behalf of the Father. The Lord alone is holy (Revelation 15:4). This is why the angel Gabriel mentioned to Mother Mary “the Holy One that will be born from you” (Luke 1:35).
Now, it says, “The Holy Spirit was not yet in existence, because Jesus was not glorified yet” (John 7:39), and yet before that it says that the Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth (Luke 1:41) and Zechariah (Luke 1:67), and also Simeon (Luke 2:25). The reason for this is that the spirit of Jehovah the Father filled them, and this is called “the Holy Spirit” because of the Lord, who was already in the world.
This is why no passage in the Word of the Old Testament says that the prophets spoke on behalf of the Holy Spirit; they spoke on behalf of Jehovah. It constantly says Jehovah spoke to me, the word of Jehovah came to me, Jehovah said, says Jehovah. So that no one will doubt the truth of this, I want to list the references in Jeremiah alone where these expressions occur:
Jeremiah 1:4, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19; 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 19, 22, 29, 31; 3:1, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16; 4:1, 3, 9, 17, 27; 5:11, 14, 18, 22, 29; 6:6, 9, 12, 15, 16, 21, 22; 7:1, 3, 11, 13, 19, 20, 21; 8:1, 3, 12, 13; 9:3, 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, 22, 24, 25; 10:1, 2, 18; 11:1, 6, 9, 11, 17, 18, 21, 22; 12:14, 17; 13:1, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 25; 14:1, 10, 14, 15; 15:1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 19, 20; 16:1, 3, 5, 9, 14, 16; 17:5, 15, 19, 20, 21, 24; 18:1, 5, 6, 11, 13; 19:1, 3, 6, 12, 15; 20:4; 21:1, 4, 7, 8, 11, 12; 22:2, 5, 6, 11, 18, 24, 29, 30; 23:2, 5, 7, 12, 15, 24, 29, 31, 38; 24:3, 5, 8; 25:1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 15, 27, 28, 29, 32; 26:1, 2, 18; 27:1, 2, 4, 8, 11, 16, 19, 21, 22; 28:2, 12, 14, 16; 29:4, 8, 9, 16, 19, 20, 21, 25, 30, 31, 32; 30:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18; 31:1, 2, 7, 10, 15, 16, 17, 23, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38; 32:1, 6, 14, 15, 25, 26, 28, 30, 36, 42; 33:1, 2, 4, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 23, 25; 34:1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 13, 17, 22; 35:1, 13, 17, 18, 19; 36:1, 6, 27, 29, 30; 37:6, 7, 9; 38:2, 3, 17; 39:15, 16, 17, 18; 40:1; 42:7, 9, 15, 18, 19; 43:8, 10; 44:1, 2, 7, 11, 24, 25, 26, 30; 45:2, 5; 46:1, 23, 25, 28; 47:2; 48:1, 8, 12, 30, 35, 38, 40, 43, 44, 47; 49:2, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 16, 18, 26, 28, 30, 32, 35, 37, 38, 39; 50:1, 4, 10, 18, 20, 21, 30, 31, 33, 35, 40; 51:25, 33, 36, 39, 52, 58.
These are just the passages in Jeremiah. It says the same thing in all the other prophets. It does not say that the Holy Spirit spoke; and it does not say that Jehovah spoke to them through the Holy Spirit.

* * * * *

TCR (Rose) n. 159 159
To these points I will add the following memorable occurrences.
The first memorable occurrence. Once when I was spending some time with angels in heaven, in the distance below I saw a huge cloud of smoke with flames shooting out of it periodically. I said to the angels who were talking with me at that moment, “Although few up here know it, the origin of the smoke that one sees in hell is the hellish spirits’ use of reasoning to support things that aren’t true; and the origin of the fire seen in hell is their blowing up at others who speak against them.
“It is equally unknown in this spiritual world as it is in the world where I am physically alive that flame is nothing but smoke that is on fire,” I added. “I have often observed this myself. I have watched the plumes of smoke rising from the logs in the fireplace. When I set fire to them with a match, I have seen that the plumes of smoke become flames. The flames have the same shape as the plumes of smoke had. The individual particles of smoke become little sparks that burn together. (The same thing happens when you set fire to gunpowder.) The situation is similar in the case of the smoke that we are seeing down below us now. It consists of a great number of things that aren’t true. The flame shooting out of it is the intense passion the hellish spirits have to defend the things that aren’t true.”
[2] The angels said to me, “Let’s pray to the Lord to be allowed to go down and get near them in order to learn what their false beliefs are that are smoking and burning like that.”
It was granted. A column of light appeared around us that went all the way down to that place.
Once down there, we saw four sets of spirits in ranks. They were adamantly defending the idea that one must turn to God the Father and worship him, because he cannot be seen; one must not turn to his Son born in the world and worship him, because he is human and can be seen.
When I looked to the sides, to the left I saw learned clergy, and behind them regular clergy. To the right I saw educated laity, and behind them, uneducated laity. Between us, though, there was a gaping void that could not be crossed.
[3] We turned our eyes and ears to the left where the learned clergy were, with the regular clergy behind them. We heard them reasoning about God in the following way: “On the basis of the doctrine of our church – the single view of God shared by the entire European world – we know that we have to turn to God the Father, because he cannot be seen. By so doing we also turn to God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, who likewise cannot be seen because they are coeternal with the Father. Because God the Father is the Creator of the universe and is therefore in the universe, wherever we turn our eyes he is present. When we pray to him he graciously hears us. After accepting the Son’s mediation, the Father sends the Holy Spirit, who carries the glory of the Son’s justice into our hearts and blesses us.
“Created as we were to be teachers of the church, when preaching we have felt in our chests the holy effect of that sending and we have inhaled a devoutness from its presence in our minds. We have been affected in this way because we have directed all our senses to a God who cannot be seen, who works not in a particular way in the sight of our intellect but in a universal way throughout the whole system of our mind and body through his emissary Spirit. Worshiping a God who can be seen, a God whom our minds can picture as a human being, would not yield such good results.”
[4] The regular clergy who were behind them applauded these points and added, “Where does holiness come from if not from a Divinity who is beyond our ability to picture or perceive? On first hearing even a mention of such a Divinity, our faces light up and broaden into a smile. Like the caress of some sweet-smelling breeze, the thought exhilarates us and we thump our chests with vigor. To the mention of a Divinity who is within our ability to picture and perceive, we react completely differently. When this comes within earshot it translates into something merely earthly and not divine.
“For the same reason the Roman Catholics conduct their mass in the Latin idiom; from the sanctuary of the altar they take the host, about which they utter divine and mystical things, and display it, and the people fall to their knees, as before the greatest of mysteries, and breathe in the holiness.”
[5] After that we turned to the right where the educated laity were, and behind them the uneducated laity. We heard the following statements coming from the educated laity.
“We know that the wisest people among the ancients worshiped a God who was beyond their power to picture, whom they called Jehovah. Later on in the age that followed, however, people deified their deceased rulers, among whom were Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Apollo, and Minerva, Diana, Venus, and Themis. People built temples for them and worshiped them as divinities. As the times worsened, that worship led to idolatry and eventually made the whole world insane. With unanimous consent, therefore, we agree with our priests and elders that there are three divine persons from eternity, each of whom was and is God. We are satisfied that these three are beyond our power to picture.”
The uneducated laity behind them added, “We agree. God is one thing and a human being is another. We are aware, though, that if someone proposes the existence of a human God, the common people with their sensory concept of God are going to welcome the idea.”
[6] Then the spirits’ eyes were opened and they saw us nearby. Annoyed that we had heard them, they immediately stopped talking. The angels, with a power that had been given them, closed the outer or lower levels of the spirits’ thought, which were the source of the statements they had just made. The angels opened instead the inner or higher levels of the spirits’ thought and compelled them to speak about God from those levels.
The spirits then spoke and said, “What is God? We haven’t seen the way he looks or heard his voice. What then is God except nature with all its levels? Nature we have seen, because it shines in our eyes. Nature we have heard, because it sounds in our ears.”
On hearing that, we asked them, “Have you ever seen Socinus, who acknowledged only God the Father, or Arius, who denied the divinity of the Lord the Savior, or any of their followers?”
“No, we haven’t seen them,” they answered.
“They are deep beneath you,” we said.
Soon we summoned some of the spirits from down there and asked them about God. They said the same type of things as these spirits had been saying. The spirits from below also said, “What is God? We can make as many gods as we want.”
sRef John@3 @18 S7′ sRef John@14 @14 S7′ sRef John@14 @13 S7′ sRef John@3 @16 S7′ sRef John@3 @36 S7′ sRef John@14 @6 S7′ sRef John@14 @9 S7′ sRef John@14 @7 S7′ sRef John@14 @8 S7′ sRef John@14 @11 S7′ sRef John@14 @12 S7′ sRef John@3 @15 S7′ sRef John@14 @10 S7′ sRef John@14 @15 S7′ [7] We said, “It is pointless to talk to you about the Son of God born into the world, but we are going to do it nonetheless.
“Faith is like a bubble in the air. It was beautifully colored in the first and second ages, but was in danger of bursting in the third and following ages because no one saw God. Therefore to preserve our faith about him, faith in him, and faith from him, it pleased Jehovah God to come down and take on a human manifestation. He did this to bring himself into view and to convince us that God is not a figment of our imagination; he is the absolute being who was and is and will be from eternity to eternity. God is not a three-letter word; he is everything real from alpha to omega. Therefore he is the life and salvation of all who believe in him as a God who can be seen, although he is not the life and salvation of those who say they believe in a God who cannot be seen, because believing, seeing, and recognizing are one. This is why the Lord said to Philip, ‘Those who see and recognize me, see and recognize the Father.’ This is also why the Lord says elsewhere, ‘The Father’s will is for them to believe in the Son. Those who believe in the Son have eternal life. Those who do not believe in the Son will not see life; in fact, God’s anger remains upon them.'” (These words occur in John 3:15, 16, 36; 14:6-15.)
On hearing this, many in the four sets of spirits became so enraged that smoke and flame came out of their nostrils; so we went away. After the angels accompanied me to my home, they went back up to their heaven.

TCR (Rose) n. 160 160
The second memorable occurrence. Once I was out on a walk with some angels. We were walking in the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell, the place where all of us first go after we die. There we are prepared, if we are good, for heaven; if we are evil, for hell. I was speaking with them about many different things, among which was the following.
“In the world where I am currently living in my body, countless stars appear at night, large and small. They are all suns that transmit just their light to our solar system. When I noticed that there are also visible stars in your world, I reckoned that there are the same number here as in the world where I live.”
Delighted by this topic of conversation, the angels said, “There could well be the same number. Every community in heaven at times shines like a star to those who are below heaven. There are countless communities in heaven, all arranged according to different feelings of love for what is good. These feelings are infinite in God; therefore there are countless feelings from him. Since these heavenly communities were foreseen before creation, I suppose that the stars were provided in the same amount, meaning that an equal number of stars was created for the world where people with a physical earthly body were going to live.”
[2] While we were having that conversation, I noticed a paved road to the north. It was so crowded with spirits that there was scarcely a foot of space between each spirit.
I said to the angels, “I have seen that road before, with spirits on it like the rank and file of armies. I have heard that this is the road traveled by all who are leaving the physical world. The road is covered with that many spirits because tens of thousands of people die every week, and they all migrate to this world after death.”
The angels added, “The road comes to an end in the middle of the world of spirits, where we are now. It stops here because on the side toward the east there are communities that love God and their neighbor; to the left toward the west there are communities that are against those loves; and in front in the south there are communities of spirits who are more intelligent than others. This is why those who have recently left the physical world arrive here first. Once they are here, they are at first in their outer selves, the parts of themselves they had been closest to in their prior world. Later on, they come more and more into their inner selves. Then their true quality is investigated. Once this is discovered, the good are brought to their places in heaven, and the evil to their places in hell.”
[3] We stopped walking in the middle area where the road for arrivals came to an end. We said, “Let’s spend a little time here and talk to some of the new arrivals.” We chose twelve of them. Since they had just arrived from the physical world they did not realize they were not still in that world. We asked them what they believed about heaven and hell and life after death.
One of them replied, “Our Sacred Order impressed on me the belief that we are going to live after death, and that there is a heaven and a hell. As a result I came to believe that all who live morally go to heaven; and since everyone lives morally, no one goes to hell. Therefore hell is a myth made up by the clergy to prevent us from living evil lives. What difference does it make if I think about God this way or that way? Thought is only foam on the water that bursts and disappears.”
Another near the first said, “My belief is that heaven and hell exist. God rules heaven, and the Devil rules hell. Because they are enemies and are opposed to each other, one calls evil what the other calls good. Moral people are phonies who can make evil look good and good look evil. They stand on both sides. What is the difference then whether I am with one Lord or the other, provided he likes me? People enjoy good and evil equally.”
[4] A third person at the side of the second said, “What difference does it make to my situation if I believe that heaven and hell exist? Who has come from there and told us? If everyone lives after death, why hasn’t one person out of that great multitude come back to tell us about it?”
The fourth person, next to the third, said, “I’ll tell you why no one has come back to tell us about it. The reason is that when we breathe our souls out, we are in fact dead. Then we become a ghost and we are dissipated, or we are like the breath in someone’s mouth, which is only blowing air. How can something like that come back and talk to anyone?”
A fifth person went next and said, “Friends, wait for the day of the Last Judgment. Then all will return to their bodies, and you will see them and talk with them. Each one will tell his or her fate to the next.”
[5] The sixth, standing on the other side, started laughing and said, “How could a spirit, which is blown air, come back into a body that has been consumed by worms and into a skeleton that has been burnt in the sun and has crumbled to dust? How can an Egyptian who was turned into a mummy and who has since been mixed by an apothecary into extracts, powders, ointments, and pills come back and tell anyone anything? Wait for that last day, if you have the faith; but you are going to wait for ever and ever for nothing.”
After that the seventh one said, “If I believed in heaven and hell and life after death, I would also believe that birds and animals are going to live on as well, since some of them are just as moral and rational as we are. People say animals don’t live on, so I say people don’t either. It is a fair piece of reasoning – the one point follows from the other. What are we except animals?”
The eighth one, standing behind the seventh one’s back, came forward and said, “Believe in heaven if you want, but I don’t believe in hell. God is omnipotent. He can save everyone.”
[6] The ninth shook the eighth one’s hand and said, “God is not only omnipotent but also gracious. He couldn’t throw anyone into eternal fire. If any were already in the fire, he would set them free and take them away from there.”
The tenth rushed from the line into the middle and said, “I don’t believe in hell either. God sent us his Son, and the Son bore the sins of the whole world and purged them. What is the Devil capable of doing against that? Since he can’t do anything, what then is hell?”
The eleventh, who was a priest, became very angry when he heard that and said, “The people who are saved are those who have acquired the faith on which Christ’s merit has been inscribed. Those whom God has chosen acquire that faith. It is up to the Almighty and his judgment to choose who is worthy. Who could argue against that?”
The twelfth, who was in politics, remained silent. Asked to give the final response, he said, “I will not express from my heart anything about heaven, hell, or the life after death. No one knows anything about them. Nonetheless, provided the priests do not insult anyone, let them preach those things, because commoners are then held mentally bound to laws and to leaders by an invisible chain. Public safety depends on this, does it not?”
[7] We were stunned to hear their points of view. We said to each other, “Although these people are called Christians, they are neither human nor animal. They are human animals.”
Nevertheless, to rouse them from their sleep we said, “Heaven and hell do exist, as does the life after death. You’ll be convinced of this by the time we drive away your unawareness about the state of life you are now in. During the first days after they die, all people fail to realize they are not still alive in the same world they were in before. The intervening time is like a period of sleep. When they wake up from it they feel as though they are just where they used to be. The same goes for you today. That’s why you just said the same things you thought in your former world.”
Then the angels shook away the people’s unawareness. The people saw that they were in a different world with other people they did not recognize. They shouted, “Hey, where are we?”
“Not in the physical world anymore,” we said. “Now you are in the spiritual world, and we are angels.”
As they woke up they said, “If you are angels, then show us heaven.”
“Stay here for a little while,” we replied. “We’ll be back.”
When we returned half an hour later we found them waiting for us. “Follow us into heaven,” we said.
They came and we went up with them. Because we were with them, the guards opened the door and let them in. To the angels who received newcomers at the threshold, we said, “Examine them.”
The examiners turned the people around and noticed that the backs of their heads were badly hollowed out. The examiners said, “Go away from here. You enjoy doing evil, and therefore you have no connection to heaven. In your hearts you have denied the existence of God and have despised religion.”
We then told the people, “Don’t delay leaving, or you’ll be thrown out.” They hurried down and went away.
[8] On the way home we discussed why people who enjoy doing evil would have heads that in this world look hollowed out at the back. I gave a reason: We have two brains, one at the back of our head called the cerebellum, and the other in our forehead called the cerebrum. The love in our will resides in the cerebellum. The thought in our intellect resides in our cerebrum. When the thought in our intellect fails to guide the love in our will, the inmost structures of the cerebellum, which are actually heavenly, collapse, causing this hollowness.

TCR (Rose) n. 161 161
The third memorable occurrence. In the spiritual world I once heard the sound of a mill. It was in the northern area. At first I wondered what it was, but then I remembered that a mill and grinding grain mean research in the Word to support a particular doctrinal perspective.
I went to the place where I had heard the sound coming from. As I came near, the sound disappeared. Then I saw an arched roof just above the ground. To enter the place you had to go through a cave, so I went down and in. To my surprise, there was a room there where I saw an old man sitting among books, holding the Word in front of him. He was searching through it for anything that would serve his doctrinal perspective. Little slips of paper were lying all around him on which he had written applicable quotations. In the next room over there were copyists who were collecting the slips of paper and committing what was written on them to a full sheet of paper.
First I asked the man about the books around him. He said, “They all deal with the topic of the faith that justifies us. The works from Sweden and Denmark deal with it in depth; the work from Germany in greater depth; the works from Britain in even greater depth; but the profoundest of them all come from Holland.”
“They disagree in various other ways,” he added, “but on the point that we are justified and saved by faith alone they all agree.”
Then he said that he was at that time collecting passages from the Word on the crux of the faith that justifies us. “The crux,” he said, “is that God the Father lapsed from an attitude of grace toward the human race because of its wrongdoing. Therefore in order to save the human race there was a divine necessity for someone to provide satisfaction, reconciliation, appeasement, and mediation. This someone needed to bear the damnation that justice required; and no one could bear this except God’s only Son. After this was accomplished, access opened up to God the Father on account of the Son, for we say, ‘Father, have mercy on us on account of your Son.'”
He added, ‘I continue, as always, to perceive this point of view as in accord with reason and Scripture. How else could God the Father be approached except through our faith in the Son’s merit?”
[2] As I heard this, I felt astounded that he would say it accords with reason and Scripture when in reality it goes against reason and Scripture. In fact, I candidly told him so.
With sudden anger he countered, “How can you say that?”
So I opened my mind to him and said, “Surely it goes against reason to think that God the Father lapsed from an attitude of grace toward the human race, rejected us, and cut off communication with us. Isn’t divine grace an attribute of the divine essence? If so, then to lapse from an attitude of grace would be to lapse from the divine essence, and lapsing from the divine essence would mean that God wouldn’t be God anymore. Can God be alienated from himself? Believe me, as grace on God’s part is infinite, it is also eternal. (We are capable, of course, of losing God’s grace if we don’t accept it.) If grace were to leave God, that would be the end of all heaven and the whole human race. That is why grace on God’s part goes on forever, a grace not only toward angels and people but also toward devils in hell. Since what I have said accords with reason, how can you say our only access to God the Father is through faith in the merit of his Son, when there is perpetual access through grace?
[3] “And why do you speak of access to God the Father on account of the Son? Why not through the Son? Isn’t the Son the Mediator and Savior? Why wouldn’t you go to the Mediator and Savior himself? He is both God and human. Does anyone on earth go straight to some czar, monarch, or member of the royal family? You need a liaison to introduce you. The Lord came into the world to introduce us to the Father. There is no access except through the Lord. The access is perpetual when you go directly to the Lord himself, since he is in the Father and the Father is in him. Search in Scripture now and you’ll see that this accords with it, while your way to the Father goes against Scripture as it also goes against reason. I’ll also tell you that it is outrageous to climb up to God the Father instead of going through the One who is close to the Father’s heart and who alone is with him. Haven’t you read John 14:6?”
On hearing this the old man became so angry that he jumped out of his chair and shouted to his copyists to throw me out. When I walked out right away on my own, he picked up a book that happened to be at hand and threw it at me from the doorway. The book was the Word.

TCR (Rose) n. 162 sRef John@3 @27 S1′ sRef John@14 @6 S1′ 162
The fourth memorable occurrence. A dispute came up among spirits about whether any of us can see any theological or doctrinal truth in the Word unless we have help from the Lord. All agreed on one point: none of us can see truth in the Word unless we have help from God, because “we cannot receive anything unless it is given to us from heaven” (John 3:27). Therefore the topic of debate was whether any of us can see truth in the Word without going directly to the Lord. One side said that we have to go directly to the Lord because he is the Word. The other side said that we also see doctrinal truth when we go straight to God the Father.
A side topic came up for discussion: whether it is acceptable for any Christian to circumvent the Lord and go directly to God the Father. Someone asked, “Isn’t that an improper, dangerous, insolent, and outrageous thing to do, since the Lord says that no one comes to the Father except through him” (John 14:6)?
So the spirits left this point alone. Next they said that we can all see doctrinal truth from the Word in our own earthly light. That was rejected. They insisted nonetheless that we can see truth if we pray to God the Father.
Something from the Word was read to them. They prayed on their knees for God the Father to enlighten them. In reference to the things that had been read to them from the Word, they stated that this or that point there was true, although it was really false. The experiment was repeated several times to the point where it became tiresome. They finally admitted that they could not do it.
Spirits on the side that went directly to the Lord, however, saw things that were true and taught the others.
[2] After the debate had been settled that way, up came some spirits from the abyss. They looked at first like locusts, then like little people. They were spirits who while in the world had prayed to God the Father and had convinced themselves that people are justified by faith alone. They were the same as the spirits depicted by Revelation 9:1-11.
They maintained that in a clear light and also on the basis of the Word they could see that we are justified by faith alone without having to do the works of the Law. They were asked, “By which faith?”
“Faith in God the Father,” they answered.
After they were examined, however, they received word from heaven that they did not know even one doctrinal truth from the Word. They countered that they were in fact able to see their own truths in the light. They were told that the light they see them in is faint and deceptive.
“What is faint, deceptive light?” they asked.
They were informed, “Faint, deceptive light is a light that reinforces what is false. It corresponds to the light that owls and bats have – for them darkness is light and light darkness.”
This point was proven by the fact that when the spirits looked up to heaven, where true light exists, they saw darkness, and when they looked down to the abyss where they were from, they saw light.
[3] Irritated by this proof, they said that light and darkness do not really exist; they are just conditions of the eye. It is based only on conditions of the eye that we say light is light and darkness is darkness. It was demonstrated to them, however, that their light was faint and deceptive, a light that reinforced what is false. They were shown that their light was only an activity of their own mind that originated in the fire of their cravings, not unlike the light that cats have, whose eyes look like glowing candles when they are in pantries at night because of their burning appetite for mice.
Angry at hearing this, they said they were not cats and were not like cats, because they could [see] if they wanted to; but they left, because they were afraid of being asked why they did not want to. They made their way down into their abyss. (Those who are down there and others like them the angels call owls and bats, and also locusts.)
[4] When they arrived among their own kind in the abyss and told them, “Angels said we don’t know any doctrinal truths, not even one; they called us owls, bats, and locusts, then a riot broke out.”
The spirits there then said, “Let’s pray to God to be allowed to go up. We will clearly show we have many doctrinal truths that even the archangels themselves will acknowledge.”
Because they prayed to God, their request was granted. As many as three hundred came up. Once they appeared above the ground they said, “In the world we were famous, we were celebrities, because we knew and taught the secrets of justification by faith alone. On the basis of supporting evidence we saw not just light but a gleaming splendor. The same thing happens now in our little study areas. Yet we have heard from colleagues of ours who were with you that this light is not light but darkness, because according to you we don’t have any doctrinal truths from the Word. We know that every truth in the Word shines. It has been our belief that this was the source of the gleaming when we were deeply meditating on our mysteries. Therefore we will demonstrate that we have truths from the Word in great abundance.”
They said, “Don’t we have this truth, that there is a Trinity – God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – and that we should all believe in the Trinity? Don’t we have this truth, that Christ is our Redeemer and Savior? Don’t we have this truth, that Christ alone is justice, and he alone has merit; and we are unjust and ungodly if we try to attribute any of his merit and justice to ourselves? Don’t we have this truth, that no people alive can do anything spiritually good on their own, and everything that is truly good comes from God? Don’t we have this truth, that there is such a thing as goodness done for reward, and also goodness that is hypocritical, and these types of goodness are actually evil? Don’t we have this truth, that we nevertheless have to do good works? Don’t we have this truth, that there is such a thing as faith, that we have to believe in God, and as we believe we have life? And many other things from the Word like that. Can any of you deny a single one of those truths? Yet you have said that in our debates there are no truths, not even one. Surely then your harsh statements against us are unwarranted.”
[5] “All the things you listed are truths in themselves,” the angels answered, “but among you they have been falsified. They became false because of a false premise.
“We’ll give you visible proof of what were asserting. There is a place not far from here where light flows straight in from heaven. In the middle of the place there is a table. When someone puts on the table a piece of paper that has a truth from the Word written on it, because of the truth written on it the piece of paper shines like a star. So write your truths on a piece of paper, allow it to be placed on the table, and you’ll see.”
They did. They gave the piece of paper to a guard, who put it on the table. The guard then said to them, “Stand back and look at the table.”
They stood back and watched. Lo and behold, the piece of paper began to shine like a star.
Then the guard said, “You see that the statements you wrote on the piece of paper are true. Now come closer and stare at the piece of paper.”
They did. Suddenly the light vanished and the piece of paper became as black as if it had been coated with soot from a furnace.
Then the guard said, “Touch the piece of paper with your hands, but be careful not to touch the writing.”
When they did, the piece of paper burst into flames and burned up.
After they all saw that, they were told, “If you had touched the writing you would have heard roaring sounds and burned your fingers.”
Some who were standing at the back then said, “Now you see that the truths you have misused to support the mysteries of your justification are true in themselves, but for you they are falsified truths.”
The spirits glanced up at that point and heaven looked like blood to them, and then like thick darkness. To the eyes of angelic spirits some of the spirits from the abyss then looked like bats, some like night birds, some like horned owls. The spirits from the abyss ran off into their own darkness, which looked deceptively bright to their eyes.
[6] The angelic spirits who were there were amazed because they had not known anything about that place and the table there before. Then a voice came to them from the direction of the south saying, “Come here and you’ll see something even more amazing.”
So they went. They came into a room with walls that were shining as if made of gold. The angelic spirits saw another table there. On it, the Word lay closed, surrounded by precious stones arranged in a form like heaven.
“When the Word is opened up,” said the angel guard, “a light of inexpressible splendor shines out. At the same time, because of the precious stones, a kind of rainbow appears over and around the Word. When an angel from the third heaven comes here, the rainbow over and around the Word appears against a red background. When an angel from the second heaven comes here and looks, the rainbow appears against a sky blue background. When an angel from the lowest heaven comes here and looks, the rainbow appears against a shining white background. When a good spirit comes here and looks, a light appears that is varied like marble.”
The guard visibly demonstrated to them that this was the case.
The angel guard also said, “If any come along who have falsified the Word, first the brightness goes down. If they come close and stare at the Word, something like blood appears around the Word. They are then warned to leave because of danger.”
[7] Nevertheless, someone who had been a leading author in the world on the doctrine that we are justified by faith alone came boldly forward and said, “When I was in the world I didn’t falsify the Word. I exalted goodwill along with faith. I taught that the Holy Spirit renews, regenerates, and sanctifies people who are in an ongoing state of faith that leads them to perform acts of goodwill. I taught that faith does not exist by itself, meaning without good works, just as a tree is not good without fruit, the sun without light, or fire without heat. I brought accusations against people who said that good works were not necessary. In addition, I enlarged the role of the Ten Commandments and repentance as well. In an amazing way, then, I applied everything in the Word to the topic of faith. Nevertheless, I revealed and demonstrated that it is faith alone that brings salvation.”
In complete confidence in his own assertion that he had not falsified the Word, he came up to the table. Despite a warning from the angel, he touched the Word. Flame and smoke suddenly shot out of the Word and there was an explosion with a loud bang that threw him into the corner of the room. For quite a few minutes he lay there as if he were dead.
The angelic spirits were astonished by this. It was explained to them that beyond everyone else he had been the main promoter of acts of goodwill as extensions of faith. Nevertheless, by acts of goodwill he had merely meant political activity (also called civic and moral activity) because this needs doing for the sake of the world and our prosperity in it; in his view such activity was unnecessary for our salvation. He also speculated that there is invisible work done by the Holy Spirit – work of which we know nothing – that is instilled in [the activation] of faith in our state.
[8] After that the angelic spirits talked to each other about falsification of the Word. They agreed on the point that to falsify the Word is to take truths out of it and use them to reinforce falsities, which is dragging truths out of and away from the Word and killing them. An example would be taking all the truths listed before by the spirits from the abyss, applying them to the modern-day faith, and explaining them from that point of view. (I will show later [178] that that faith is pregnant with falsities.)
Another example would be to take this truth from the Word: we have to live with goodwill and do what is good to our neighbor. We could reason that everything good that comes from ourselves is not really good since we hope to be rewarded for it, and on that basis convince ourselves that we ought to do what is good, but not for the sake of our salvation. If we adamantly espouse this point of view, however, we are dragging this truth out of and away from the Word and slaughtering it. In his Word, the Lord requires that all who want to be saved must love their neighbors and lovingly do them good.
The same goes for the rest of their list.

TCR (Rose) n. 163 163
The Divine Trinity

We covered God the Creator and creation; then we covered the Lord the Redeemer and redemption; lastly we covered the Holy Spirit and the divine action. Because we have covered the triune God in this way, we need to cover the divine Trinity as well. The Trinity is well known to the Christian world, yet in other ways it is unknown. Only through understanding the Trinity can we gain a just idea of God; and in the church a just idea of God is like the sanctuary and the altar in a church building. It is like the crown on the head and the scepter in the hand of a monarch sitting on a throne. The entire body of theology depends on it the way a chain hangs from its hook. Believe it or not, we are even allotted our own place in heaven depending on our idea of God. It is like a touchstone for testing the quality of gold and silver, that is, the goodness and truth in us. There exists no goodness in us that brings salvation except the goodness we have from God; and there exists no truth in us whose quality does not come from that core of goodness.
For us to see the nature of the divine Trinity in full perspective, the explanation of the Trinity needs to be divided into points as follows:

1. There is a divine Trinity, which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

2. These three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are three essential components of one God. They are one the way our soul, our body, and the things we do are one.

3. This Trinity did not exist before the world was created. It developed after the world was created, when God became flesh. It came into existence in the Lord God the Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ.

4. At a conceptual level, the idea of a trinity of divine persons from eternity (meaning before the world was created) is a trinity of gods. This idea is impossible to wipe out just by orally confessing one God.

5. The apostolic church knew no trinity of persons. The idea was hatched by the Council of Nicaea. The council introduced the idea into the Roman Catholic church; and the Roman Catholic church introduced the idea into the churches that have since separated from it.

6. The Nicene and Athanasian views of the Trinity led to a faith that has perverted the whole Christian church.

7. The result is the abomination of desolation and the affliction such as has never existed before and will never exist again, which the Lord foretold in Daniel, the Gospels, and the Book of Revelation.

8. In fact, if the Lord were not building a new heaven and a new church, the human race would not be preserved.

9. Many absurd, alien, imaginary, and misshapen ideas of God have come into existence from the Athanasian Creed’s assertion of a trinity of persons, each of whom is individually God.
Now these points will be elaborated one by one.

TCR (Rose) n. 164 sRef Luke@1 @35 S0′ sRef Matt@3 @17 S0′ sRef Matt@3 @16 S0′ sRef Matt@28 @19 S0′ sRef 1Joh@5 @7 S0′ 164
1. There is a divine Trinity, which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is very obvious in the Word that there is a divine Trinity, which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Take the following passages for example:

The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will descend upon you and the power of the Highest will cover you; therefore the Holy One that is born from you will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

Here three are named: the Highest (who is God the Father), the Holy Spirit, and the Son of God.

When Jesus was baptized, behold the heavens opened and John saw the Holy Spirit coming down like a dove upon him; and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16, 17; Mark 1:10, 11; John 1:32)

The Trinity is even more obvious from the Lord’s words to his disciples:

Go out and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)

The Trinity is also obvious from these words in John:

There are three who testify in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. (1 John 5:7)

Further evidence besides these passages is that the Lord prayed to his Father and spoke about him and with him; and he said that he was going to send and had sent the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, in their letters the apostles frequently mention the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These sources clearly show that there is a divine Trinity, which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

TCR (Rose) n. 165 165
Nonetheless, left to itself reason is utterly unable to see this Trinity. How are we to understand its three parts? Are they three gods who are one God in essence and name? Are they three distinct qualities of one underlying material, meaning that they are just qualities or attributes of a single God that have names? Or is there some other alternative?
The only good advice tells us to turn to the Lord God our Savior and read the Word under his supervision (since he is the God of the Word). Then we will be enlightened and see truths that even reason will acknowledge.
If you do not turn to the Lord, even if you read the Word a thousand times and see a divine trinity and a divine unity there, the only understanding you will get will be that there are three divine persons, each of whom is individually God; and therefore there are three gods. The common sense of all in the whole world finds this conclusion repulsive, however. Therefore to avoid being abused, people have come up with a strange compromise: although there are in fact three gods, the faith insists that we not say three gods; instead we must say there is one God. Furthermore, if we do not wish to undergo a barrage of verbal hostility, our intellect has to be especially imprisoned in this regard and held in chains under obedience to faith – from now on, according to the Christian leadership in the Christian church, this has to be the holy way.
[2] Such is the paralyzed offspring that was born as a result of not reading the Word under the Lord’s supervision. Any of us who do not read the Word under the Lord’s supervision read it under the supervision of our own intelligence; but when it comes to objects in spiritual light, such as all the essential teachings of the church, our intelligence is [as blind] as an owl [in daylight]. In that case, when we read about the Trinity in the Word and we get the impression that although there are three, still they are one, it seems to us like a response from an oracle. Since we do not understand it, we chew on it, because if we put it straight in front of our eyes it would be a puzzle. The harder we worked to solve the puzzle, the more we would entangle ourselves in darkness, until we began to set our intellect aside as we thought about it, which is like setting our eyes aside in the act of seeing.
To put it briefly, when we read the Word under the supervision of our own intelligence (which we all do if we do not acknowledge that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and turn to him and worship him alone), we are like children playing a game of blindfolding their eyes and trying to walk in a straight line. They believe they are walking straight, although step by step they turn increasingly to one side, till they come around to the opposite direction, bump into a stone, and fall over.
[3] If we read the Word with our own intelligence, we are like sailors navigating without a compass, who steer their ship onto the rocks and perish. We are like someone out walking through a large field in a thick fog who sees a scorpion but thinks it is a bird; in trying to catch it and pick it up, the person is fatally stung. We are like a seagull or an osprey that sees a tiny part of the back of a huge fish under the water, so it flies down and attacks, but its beak becomes stuck and it is dragged underwater and drowns. We are like someone who goes into a labyrinth without a guide or a spool of thread; the deeper we go in, the more we forget the way out.
If we read the Word under the supervision of our own intelligence rather than under the Lord’s supervision, we think we are as keen-sighted as Lynceus and have more eyes than Argus, when nevertheless inwardly everything we see is false and nothing true. As we convince ourselves of this falsity, it looks to us like the North Star, and we point all the sails of our thought toward it. By then our eyesight for truths is no better than a moles: if we see truths at all, we bend them to favor things we ourselves made up – we distort and falsify the holy contents of the Word.

TCR (Rose) n. 166 166
2. These three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are three essential components of one God. They are one the way our soul, our body, and the things we do are one. In any given thing there are general essential components and there are also specific essential components. The general and specific components combine to make one essence.
In our case, our general essential components are our soul, our body, and the things we do. These three components combine to make one essence, as you can see from the fact that one component comes from and exists for the other in an unbroken chain. We begin from our soul. The soul is the essence of the semen that originates us. Our soul not only initiates but also sequentially produces the features of our body. Then there are the things we do, which come from both our soul and our body. Because one of these components produces another, and therefore the subsequent components are grafted onto and connected to those that came before them, it follows that these three components share one essence. This is why they are called the three essential components.

TCR (Rose) n. 167 167
The same three essential components – soul, body, and action – existed and still exist in the Lord God the Savior, as everyone acknowledges. The concept that the Lord’s soul came from Jehovah the Father is something only the Antichrist could deny, since the Word of both testaments calls him the Son of Jehovah, the Son of God the Highest, and the only begotten One. The Lord’s primary essential component, then, is the Father’s divinity, like the soul in us. It follows that the Son whom Mary bore is the body of that divine soul; for what develops in the mother’s womb is the body that was conceived by and derived from the soul. This, then, is the second essential component. Actions make a third essential component because they come from both the soul and the body; for things produced have the same essence as the things that produce them.
The three essential components that are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one in the Lord as our soul, our body, and our actions [are one in us]. This is clear and obvious from the Lord’s statement that the Father and he are one, and that the Father is in him and he is in the Father. The Lord is also one with the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is divinity radiating from the Lord on behalf of the Father, as I have fully shown from the Word in 153 and 154 above. To demonstrate this point again would therefore be an extra serving – it would be burdening the table with food after people are already full.

TCR (Rose) n. 168 168
When told that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the three essential components of the one God as our soul, our body, and our actions [are the essential components of a human being], the human mind may still think that three persons play the roles of these three essential components, when in fact there could not be three separate persons. When, however, we see the Father’s divinity as the soul, the Son’s divinity as the body, and the Holy Spirit’s divinity (or divinity emanating) as action, and we see them as three essential components of one single God, then they become understandable. For the Father has his own divinity; the Son derives his divinity from the Father; and the Holy Spirit derives its divinity from them both. Since they share the same soul and essence, they constitute one God.
If we called these three divine components persons, however, and assigned each one its own responsibility – if we saw the Father as assigning spiritual credit or blame, the Son as mediating, and the Holy Spirit as putting things into effect – then we would be splitting a divine essence that is actually unified and indivisible. We would have made none of the three fully God; we would have given each one only a third of the power – an arrangement that a sound intellect has no choice but to reject.

TCR (Rose) n. 169 169
We are all capable of using the trinity within each of us to picture the Trinity in the Lord. In every one of us there is a soul, a body, and our actions. It is the same in the Lord. According to Paul’s letter to the Colossians, “All the fullness of divinity dwells physically in the Lord” (Colossians 2:9). Therefore there is a divine trinity in the Lord and a human one in us. It is a mysterious concept that there are three divine persons and yet there is one God, and that although there is one God, he is not one person. Surely reason has nothing in common with this idea. It puts our reason to sleep and makes our mouths speak like a parrot. When our reason is asleep, everything our mouths utter is without life. When our mouths say things that our reason diverges from and disagrees with, our statements are bound to be foolish.
Nowadays human reason has been restricted in regard to the divine Trinity like someone chained hand and foot in a prison. Our reasoning power is like a Vestal virgin buried in the ground for extinguishing the sacred fire. Yet the divine Trinity ought to shine like a lighthouse in the minds of people in the church, since God with his trinity and with the unity in his trinity is essential to all that is holy in heaven and in the church. Making the soul one God, the body another, and the actions a third would be exactly like turning the three essential components in us into three separate entities. Does this not amount to mutilating and killing us?

TCR (Rose) n. 170 170
3. This Trinity did not exist before the world was created. It developed after the world was created, when God became flesh. It came into existence in the Lord God the Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ. Nowadays the Christian church asserts that the divine Trinity came into existence before the world was created: Before time, Jehovah God bore a Son. Then the Holy Spirit went out from them both. Each of the three is a God all by himself, in that each is a single self-sufficient person.
Because this concept does not square with any type of reasoning, it is called a mystery. The only way to grasp the concept is to think that the three share one divine essence – an essential eternity, immensity, and omnipotence and therefore equal divinity, glory, and majesty.
I will show in the sections to come, however, that such a concept becomes a trinity of gods and is therefore not a divine Trinity. On the other hand, from everything I have already said it is evident that a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that developed after God became flesh, and therefore after the world was created, is a real divine trinity because it is a trinity in one God. This divine trinity exists in the Lord God the Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ because the three essential components of the one God that go together to form one essence exist within him.
Paul’s point that all the fullness of divinity dwells in Christ is clearly paralleled in the Lord’s own statements that all things belonging to the Father are his and that the Holy Spirit speaks from him, not on its own. Furthermore, when the Lord rose from the tomb, he took along his entire human body, including its flesh and bones (Matthew 28:18; Mark 16:5, 6; Luke 24:1, 2, 3; John 20:11-15). He did this in a way that no other human being does. He himself gave experiential proof of this to the disciples when he said,

See my hands and my feet – that it is I myself. Touch me and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have. (Luke 24:39)

This statement has the power to convince any open-minded person that the Lord’s human manifestation is divine, and therefore that in him God is human and a human is God.

TCR (Rose) n. 171 sRef Ezek@34 @24 S0′ sRef Ezek@34 @25 S0′ sRef Ezek@34 @23 S0′ 171
The Trinity that the modern-day Christian church has embraced and integrated into its faith is that God the Father bore a Son from eternity, and the Holy Spirit came forth from them both. Each one is a god all by himself.
The only way the human mind can grasp this trinity is to view it as a “triarchy,” like a government of three monarchs in one country, three generals over one army, or three heads in one household, each of whom has equal power. What other outcome could such a situation have except destruction? Any of us who try to picture or sketch that triarchy in our mind’s eye, with its unity in mind as well, can view it only as a person with three heads on one body or three bodies with one head. This deformed image of the Trinity is bound to show up in those who believe in three divine persons, each of whom is God in his own right – those who connect them into one God while denying that “one God” means one person.
The concept of an eternally begotten Son of God who later comes down and takes on a human manifestation is like the ancient nonsense about human souls created at the beginning of the world that enter bodies and become people. It is also like the absurd notion that someone’s soul can cross over into someone else. Many in the Jewish church used to believe this. They thought that the soul of Elijah was in the body of John the Baptist and that David was going to return in his own body or someone else’s to reign over Israel and Judah, because it says in Ezekiel, “I will raise up one shepherd over them, who will feed them – my servant David. He will be their shepherd. And I, Jehovah, will be their God and David will be a prince in their midst” (Ezekiel 34:23, 24, 25; there are other such references as well). They did not realize that “David” there means the Lord.

TCR (Rose) n. 172 172
4. At a conceptual level, the idea of a trinity of divine persons from eternity (meaning before the world was created) is a trinity of gods. This idea is impossible to wipe out just by orally confessing one God. The following words in the Athanasian Creed make it very obvious that a trinity of divine persons from eternity is a trinity of gods: “The Father is one person, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit another. The Father is God and Lord, the Son is God and Lord, and the Holy Spirit is God and Lord. Nevertheless there are not three gods and lords; there is one God and Lord. Just as Christian truth compels us to confess each person individually as God and Lord, so the catholic religion forbids us to say three gods or three lords.”
This creed has been accepted by the entire Christian church as ecumenical or universal. Today everything known and acknowledged about God comes from it. Those who took part in the Council of Nicaea that gave birth to this posthumous child called the Athanasian Creed had no other concept of the Trinity except a trinity of gods, as any can see who merely keep their eyes open as they read it. Since then they have not been the only people thinking in terms of a trinity of gods; the Christian world thinks in terms of no other Trinity because its whole concept of God comes from that creed and everyone now lives in a faith based on those words.
[2] I submit it as a challenge to everyone – both laity and clergy, laureled professors and doctors as well as consecrated bishops and archbishops, even cardinals robed in scarlet and in fact the Roman pope himself – that the Christian world nowadays thinks of no other Trinity except a trinity of gods. You should all examine yourselves and then speak on the basis of the images in your mind.
The words of this creed – the universally accepted teaching about God – make it as clear and obvious as water in a crystal bowl. For example, the creed says that there are three persons, each of whom is God and Lord. It also says that because of Christian truth, people ought to confess or acknowledge that each person is individually God and Lord, but that the catholic or Christian religion or faith forbids us to say three gods or lords. This would mean that truth and religion, or truth and faith, are not the same thing; they are at odds with each other.
The writers of the creed added the point that there is one God and Lord, not three gods and lords, so that they would not be exposed to ridicule before the whole world. Who would not laugh at three gods? On the other hand, though, anyone can see the contradiction in the phrase they added.
[3] If instead they had said that the Father has a divine essence, the Son has a divine essence, and the Holy Spirit has a divine essence, but nevertheless there are not three divine essences, there is one indivisible essence, then that mystery would be explainable. That is, “the Father” means the divine nature as an origin, “the Son” means the divine-human nature that came from that origin, and “the Holy Spirit” means the divine influence that radiates out. These are three aspects of one God. Another way of putting it is that the Father’s divinity means something like the soul in us, the divine-human manifestation means something like our body, which comes from our soul, and the Holy Spirit means something like our actions, which come from both our body and our soul. Then we see three essences that belong to one and the same person. Together they form one indivisible essence.

TCR (Rose) n. 173 173
The idea of three gods is impossible to wipe out just by orally confessing one God, because it has been planted in our memory since childhood. We all think on the basis of what is in our memory.
The human memory is like the rumen that some birds and animals have. As these creatures go through the process of getting nourishment from their food, they first put their food in the rumen. They take it back out several times, and then put it in the main area of their stomach, where the food is digested and dispensed to serve all their body’s functions. The human intellect is like the main area of the stomach; the human memory is like the rumen.
Anyone can see that the idea of three divine persons who existed from eternity, which is the same as the idea of three gods, cannot be wiped out just by orally confessing one God. Just look at the following piece of evidence: it has not been wiped out yet. There are famous people who do not want it to be wiped out, who insist that the three divine persons are one God but stubbornly deny that because God is one, he is also one person. Surely all wise people, though, think to themselves that “person” here does not mean person at all. It means the attribution of some quality. Which quality exactly, we do not know. Because we do not know, the concept of three gods stays sown in our memory from childhood like the root of a tree in the ground. If the tree is cut down, a new shoot appears.
[2] My friend, do not just cut down that tree; dig out the root as well. Then plant your garden with trees that bear good fruit. Make sure the idea of three gods is not stuck in your mind as your mouth says “one God” without any accompanying mental picture. If the intellect above your memory is thinking three gods at the same time as the intellect below your memory is making your mouth say one God, your intellect is like some clown on a stage who can play two parts at once. He switches from one part to the other, saying something in one role and contradicting it in the other, and in the argument calling his one self wise and his other self demented. Eventually he will stand in the middle looking both ways and thinking neither of them is anything. Likewise, if there is not one God and there are not three, then there is no God. This is the sole source of the materialist philosophy predominant today.
In heaven no one can even mention a trinity of persons, each of whom is individually God. The heavenly atmosphere itself in which thoughts travel in waves, as sound travels through air, works against it. Only hypocrites there can get away with it, but in the atmosphere of heaven their speaking has a bad sound like grinding teeth, or it squawks like a crow trying to sing like a songbird.
In fact, I have heard from heaven that using oral confession of one God to wipe out a belief in a trinity of gods (when that belief has been planted in the mind with supporting evidence) is as impossible as it would be to pass a whole tree through its own seed or to pass a man’s whole chin through a single hair of his beard.

TCR (Rose) n. 174 sRef John@10 @1 S1′ sRef John@10 @9 S1′ 174
5. The apostolic church knew no trinity of persons. This idea was first developed by the Council of Nicaea. The council introduced the idea into the Roman Catholic church; and it in turn introduced the idea into the churches that have since separated from it. By “the apostolic church” I mean not only the church that existed in various places in the time of the apostles but also the church that existed over the two or three centuries after their time. Eventually, however, people started to tear the door to the house of worship off its hinges and break into the sanctuary like thieves. By the house of worship I mean Christianity; by the door I mean the Lord God the Redeemer; and by the sanctuary I mean his divinity. Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, those who do not enter through the door to the sheepfold but instead climb up some other way are thieves and robbers. I am the door. Anyone who enters through me will be saved” [John 10:1, 9].
The crime just mentioned was committed by Arius and his followers. [2] Therefore Constantine the Great called a council in Nicaea, a city in Bithynia. The people who had been called there to throw out Arius’s damaging heresy invented, defended, and gave sanction to the idea that three divine persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – had existed from eternity, each with a personality, a reality, and a continued existence of his own. They also concluded that the second person, the Son, came down, took on a human manifestation, and brought about redemption; and that his human nature was divine because of a hypostatic union. Through this union he had a close relationship with God the Father.
From that time on, balls of atrocious heresies relating to God and the person of Christ began to roll out across the globe, raising the head of the Antichrist, dividing God into three and the Lord the Savior into two, and destroying the temple that the Lord had erected through his apostles to the point where not one stone was left attached to another, as the Lord said (Matthew 24:2, where “the temple” means not only the Temple in Jerusalem but also the church, on whose close or end that whole chapter focuses).
[3] What else could be expected from the Council of Nicaea? What else could be expected from subsequent councils that likewise split divinity into three parts and placed the incarnate God beneath all three, on their footstool? These councils removed the church’s head from its body by “climbing up some other way,” that is, bypassing the Lord and going up to God the Father as some other god. They kept just the phrase “the merit of Christ” in their mouths, wishing for God the Father to have mercy on its account and hoping that justification would thereby flow in directly with its whole entourage: the forgiving of sins, renewal, sanctification, regeneration, and salvation – all without any participation from the individual.

TCR (Rose) n. 175 175
It is very obvious from the creed of what is known as the apostolic church that it had no awareness at all of any trinity of persons or of three persons from eternity. There the following words occur: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. And I believe in the Holy Spirit.”
There is no mention here of any “Son from eternity.” The Son mentioned here was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. From the writings of the apostles the people of that church knew that Jesus Christ was the true God (1 John 5:20); that all the fullness of divinity dwelt physically in him (Colossians 2:9); that the apostles preached faith in him (Acts 20:21); and that all power in heaven and on earth had been given to him (Matthew 28:18).

TCR (Rose) n. 176 176
How much trust should we put in councils when they do not go directly to the God of the church? The church is the body of the Lord. He is its head. What good is a body without a head? What kind of a body has three heads, under whose direction the people constituting that body develop plans and make decisions? Enlightenment is spiritual when it comes from the Lord alone, who is the God of heaven and the church, and who is also the God of the Word. When councils do not go directly to God, enlightenment becomes more and more earthly and even mindlessly physical. Then if we catch a whiff of any genuine theological truth in its inner form we immediately reject it from the thinking of our rational mind like chaff tossed into the air from a winnowing basket. In that case, false perspectives come in to replace the truth, and darkness comes in instead of rays of light. Then we are standing in a cave with glasses on our nose, candle in hand, closing our eyes to spiritual truths that are in the light of heaven and opening them to input from the faint, deceptive light of our physical senses. Later a similar thing happens when we read the Word: our mind falls asleep to what is true and wakes up to what is false. We become like the description of the beast from the sea: we develop the mouth of a lion, the body of a leopard, and the feet of a bear (Revelation 13:2).
There is a saying in heaven that when the Council of Nicaea finished, the followings things happened that the Lord had predicted to his disciples:

The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Matthew 24:29)

In fact, the apostolic church had been like a new star appearing in the sky. The church after the two Nicene councils was like the same star dimming and disappearing (a phenomenon that has in fact happened several times in the physical world, according to astronomers’ observations).
We read in the Word that Jehovah God dwells in inaccessible light [1 Timothy 6:16]. Who then could turn to him unless he dwelt in accessible light, that is, unless he came down, took on a human manifestation, and in it became the Light of the world (John 1:9; 12:46)? Surely anyone can see that turning to Jehovah the Father in his own light is as impossible as taking Dawn’s wings from her and using them to fly to the sun, or feeding off the sun’s rays instead of proper food. It would be like a bird flying in the ether or a deer running through the air.

TCR (Rose) n. 177 177
6. The Nicene and Athanasian views of the Trinity led to a faith that has perverted the whole Christian church. On the Nicene and Athanasian Trinity being a trinity of gods, see the evidence from those creeds given above at 172. Those creeds gave rise to the faith in the modern-day church, which is a faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The faith in God the Father is that he assigns and ascribes to us the justice of his Son the Savior. The faith in God the Son is that he intercedes and bargains for us. The faith in the Holy Spirit is that he actually instills the justice of the Son that has been assigned to us and seals it as an established fact by justifying us, sanctifying us, and regenerating us. This is the modern faith, which is enough evidence all by itself to prove that the church acknowledges and worships a trinity of gods.
[2] In any church, not only all its worship but also all its dogma ultimately go back to that church’s faith. You could say, then, that the nature of a church’s faith determines the nature of its teachings. It follows that the faith in question, because it is a faith in three gods, has perverted every aspect of the church. Faith is an origin; teachings are derived from it. What is derived receives its essence from its origin.
If you carefully examine the church’s individual teachings – for example, on God, the person of Christ, goodwill, repentance, regeneration, free choice, the selection of the chosen people, the purpose of the sacraments of baptism and the Holy Supper – you will clearly see that there is a trinity of gods in each one of them. If some teaching does not make the Trinity completely apparent, it still flows from the Trinity the way water flows from a spring.
I cannot present an examination of this kind here, but it would be worth presenting at some point, to open people’s eyes to the relationship between teachings and faith. Therefore I will show this relationship in an appendix to this work.
[3] The church’s faith in God is like a body’s soul. The church’s teachings are like the body’s limbs.
Faith in God is also like a queen, and dogmatic teachings are like her court officials. Just as the officials hang on the queen’s every word, so dogmatic teachings depend on the stated faith.
One can judge solely from its faith how a given church understands the Word. A faith adapts the Word to itself. As if the faith had ropes, it pulls whatever it can get from the Word in its own direction.
If a faith is false, it commits prostitution with every truth in the Word, dragging that truth into perversion and falsifying it. A false faith drives us spiritually insane. If a faith is true, it agrees with the whole Word. The God of the Word, who is the Lord God the Savior, then pours light into that faith, blesses it with his divine assent, and makes us wise.
[4] The modern-day faith (which in its inner form is a faith in three gods, although in its outer form it is a faith in one God) has extinguished the light in the Word and has removed the Lord from the church. It has quickly turned the church’s morning into night. (This point too will be seen in the appendix.) The changes in the faith were made by heretics before the Council of Nicaea as well as heretics at the council and after it.
How much trust should we put in councils when they do not use the door to enter the sheepfold? Instead they “climb up some other way,” as the Lord says in John 10:1, 9. The debating at those councils was like the walking of a blind person by day or a sighted person by night, each of whom fails to see a great pit before falling into it.
For example, how much trust should we put in councils when they have established the notions of viewing the pope as Christ’s representative, deifying dead people, calling on them as supernatural powers, venerating their images, authorizing indulgences, splitting the Eucharist, and more? How much trust should we put in the council that established the horrendous idea of predestination and erected it as a religious icon in front of all church buildings?
Instead, my friend, as you approach the Word, go to the God of the Word and enter the sheepfold of the church through the Door. Then you will be enlightened. Then, as if you were on a mountain top, you will see the earlier tracks and mistaken turns in the dark forest at the foot of the mountain – not only those of many other people, but also your own.

TCR (Rose) n. 178 178
The faith of any church is like a seed from which all its dogmas grow. It is like the seed of a tree that generates all the tree’s features including its fruit. It is like human seed that generates descendants and families one after the other.
If you know a church’s primary faith – the one they say is so crucial that it will bring you salvation – then you comprehend the nature of that church.
The following example may illustrate this point: Imagine a faith or belief that says nature created the universe. From that belief come many other beliefs: what we call God is really the universe; nature is its essence; the ether is the highest god the ancients called Jupiter; the air is the goddess the ancients called Juno, the one they made into a spouse for Jupiter; the ocean is a god below the others whom we, like the ancients, could call Neptune; and because nature’s divinity extends even to the center of the earth, there is a god there whom we, like the ancients, could call Pluto; the sun is a royal hall for all the gods to meet in when Jupiter calls a council; fire is life from God; birds fly in God, animals walk on God, fish swim in God; thoughts are only modifications in the ether, just as speaking those thoughts involves modulations in the air; and different types of love are just incidental changes in our mental condition caused by the rays of the sun flowing into them. Among these beliefs there is also the view that life after death, heaven, and hell are myths made up by the clergy to win honor and wealth; but although they are myths, they are nevertheless useful and should not be openly ridiculed, because they serve the public by putting simple minds on a leash so that they obey their civic leaders. Still, those who are captivated by religion are unrealistic people, their thoughts are delusions, their actions are amusing, and they are subservient to the clergy in that they believe in things they do not see and see things that lie outside their mental range.
These derivative beliefs and many others like them are contained in the original belief that nature created the universe. They come out when the full implications of that belief are explored.
I have listed all this so you may know that the modern-day church’s faith (which in its inner form is a faith in three gods, but in its outer form is a faith in one God) has squadrons of falsities inside it. There are as many falsities to be brought out as there are baby spiders in the egg case produced by a mother spider.
Anyone with a mind made truly rational by light from the Lord sees this. No others are going to see it, though, when the door to that faith and its offspring has been bolted shut by the principle that it is wrong for reason to examine its mysteries.

TCR (Rose) n. 179 sRef Rev@14 @20 S0′ sRef Matt@24 @11 S0′ sRef Matt@24 @15 S0′ sRef Rev@14 @19 S0′ sRef Rev@6 @7 S0′ sRef Rev@11 @7 S0′ sRef Rev@6 @8 S0′ sRef Rev@6 @5 S0′ sRef Rev@16 @18 S0′ sRef Rev@6 @6 S0′ sRef Matt@24 @21 S0′ sRef Dan@9 @27 S0′ sRef Rev@16 @13 S0′ sRef Rev@16 @17 S0′ 179
7. The result is the abomination of desolation and the affliction such as has never existed before and will never exist again, which the Lord foretold in Daniel, the Gospels, and the Book of Revelation. In Daniel we read the following words:

In the end desolation [will fly in] on a bird of abominations; even to the close and the cutting down, it will drip steadily upon the devastation. (Daniel 9:27)

In the Gospel of Matthew the Lord says these words:

Then many false prophets will rise up and lead many astray. Therefore when you see that the abomination of desolation foretold by the prophet Daniel is standing in the holy place, let those who read note it well. (Matthew 24:11, 15)

Later in the same chapter we read,

Then there will be a great affliction such as has never existed since the world began until now and will never exist again. (Matthew 24:21)

This affliction and abomination are dealt with in seven chapters in the Book of Revelation. They are meant by the black horse and the pale horse that came out of the book whose seal the Lamb had opened (Revelation 6:5-8). They are meant by the beast that came up from the abyss and made war on the two witnesses and killed them (Revelation 11:7-10). They are meant by the dragon that stood by the woman who was about to give birth, that intended to devour her child, and that pursued her into the desert and cast water like a river out of its mouth to swallow her up (Revelation 12). Also by the beasts of the dragon, one from the sea and the other from the land (Revelation 13); and by the three spirits like frogs that came out of the mouth of the dragon, the mouth of the beast, and the mouth of the false prophet (Revelation 16:13).
In addition, the affliction and abomination are meant by these events: the seven angels poured out the bowls of God’s anger that contained the seven last plagues, pouring them onto the earth, into the sea, into springs and rivers, onto the sun, onto the throne of the beast, into the river Euphrates, and finally into the air, and then a tremendous earthquake occurred unlike any that had happened since the creation of humankind (Revelation 16). An earthquake means the act of turning the church upside-down, which was caused by falsities and by falsified truths – this meaning parallels the meaning of the great affliction such as has never existed since the world began (Matthew 24:21).
The following words have a similar meaning:

The angel sent a sickle to harvest the vineyard of the earth and throw it into the great winepress of God’s anger. The winepress was trampled and blood went out; sixteen hundred stadia away it was as high as a horses bridle. (Revelation 14:19, 20)

Blood means falsified truth. There are many other examples in those seven chapters.

TCR (Rose) n. 180 180
The Gospel writers described the stages of decline and corruption that the Christian church would undergo (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). Their reference to “a great affliction such as has never existed since the world began and will never exist again” [Matthew 24:21] means an attack by falsities against the truth until there is no truth left that has not been falsified and finished off. (“Affliction” has the same meaning in other passages in the Word as well.)
Their reference to “the abomination of desolation” means the same thing, as does “the desolation [flying] on a bird of abominations” and “the close and the cutting down in Daniel” [9:27]. The events in the Book of Revelation listed in the previous section [179] also describe the same attack.
This attack came because the church saw God’s unity in the Trinity and his Trinity in the unity in three persons instead of one. The church has been mentally based on picturing three gods and vocally based on confessing one God. People in the church have separated themselves from the Lord, even to the point where they no longer have any concept of divinity in relation to his human nature. Yet he is in fact God the Father in human form, which is why he is called “Father of Eternity” (Isaiah 9:6) and why he says to Philip, “Those who have seen me have seen the Father” (John 14:7, 9).

TCR (Rose) n. 181 sRef Matt@24 @21 S0′ 181
You may well ask what the source is that yields the abomination of desolation that Daniel describes (Daniel 9:27) and the affliction such as has never existed before and will never exist again (Matthew 24:21). The answer you will find is the faith itself that is universal to the Christian world, together with the now traditional concepts of how that faith flows into us, acts on us, and is assigned to us. Astoundingly, the position that that faith is the only thing that justifies us (although that belief is really a fairy tale, not a faith) occupies every square inch of the Christian churches. In the Sacred Order, it rules as virtually the only theology. This position is what all candidates for the ministry eagerly learn, consume, and absorb in college. Then, as if they were people inspired with heavenly wisdom, they teach that position in churches and publish it in books. Through it they pursue and achieve the name, reputation, and glory of having superior erudition. Because of it they are given diplomas, fellowships, and awards.
All this goes on despite the fact that nowadays this faith alone has darkened the sun, deprived the moon of its light, caused the stars of heaven to fall, and shaken the powers of the heavens, as the Lord foretold in Matthew 24:29. I have been given absolute proof that this faith has so blinded human minds today that they do not want, and therefore are virtually unable, to see any divine truth inwardly [as if it were] in the light of either the sun or the moon. They can see it only [as if it were] reflected superficially off some rough surface in firelight at night. I can therefore make this assertion: If divine truths about the true partnership between goodwill and faith, about heaven and hell, about the Lord, about life after death, and about eternal happiness were to be written in silver letters and sent down from heaven, people who believe that we are sanctified and justified by faith alone would not even consider them worth reading. At the other extreme, though, if a paper asserting that faith alone makes us just were to be sent up from the hells, the same people would seize it, kiss it, and hold it close to their heart as they carried it home.

TCR (Rose) n. 182 sRef Matt@24 @22 S1′ sRef Matt@24 @21 S1′ 182
8. In fact, if the Lord were not building a new heaven and a new church, the human race would not be preserved. We read in Matthew,

Then there will be a great affliction such as has never existed since the world began until now and will never exist again. In fact, unless those days were cut short no flesh would be preserved. (Matthew 24:21, 22)

This chapter in Matthew concerns “the close of the age,” which means the end of the modern-day church. “Cutting those days short” means ending that church and starting a new one.
Surely everyone knows that unless the Lord had come into the world and redeemed us, we could not have been saved. “Redeeming us” means constructing a new heaven and a new church.
In the Gospels the Lord predicted that he was going to come into the world again (Matthew 24:30, 31; Mark 13:26; Luke 12:40; 21:27; see also the Book of Revelation, especially in the last chapter). As I have shown above in the second part of the last chapter, on redemption [114-137], today the Lord is again redeeming us, constructing a new heaven, and building a new church for the purpose of saving humankind.
sRef Rev@12 @12 S2′ sRef Rev@12 @9 S2′ sRef Rev@12 @13 S2′ [2] Here is the great secret as to why the human race could not be preserved if the Lord were not building a new church. As long as the dragon and its crew stay down in the world of spirits where they were thrown, no divine truth united to divine good can get across to people on earth without being perverted and falsified or ceasing to exist. This is what the Book of Revelation means when it says,

The dragon was thrown down onto the earth and its angels were thrown with it. Woe to those who live on the earth and in the sea, because the Devil has come down to them in a giant rage. (Revelation 12:9, 12, 13)

It was after the dragon was thrown down into hell (Revelation 20:10) that John saw a new heaven and a new earth and saw the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (Revelation 21:1, 2). The “dragon” means those who share the belief of the church today.
[3] In the spiritual world I have talked several times with people who say faith alone makes us just. I said that their teaching is wrong and also absurd; it brings on spiritual complacency, blindness, sleep, and night; and it is eventually lethal to the soul. I urged them to give it up.
I received the response, “Why stop? This is the sole reason that the clergy can claim to be better educated than lay people.”
I replied that in that case they must view a superior reputation as their goal, not the saving of souls. Since they have applied the truths in the Word to their own false principles, which means they have contaminated them, they are the angels of the abyss called Abaddons and Apollyons (Revelation 9:11; those names mean people who have destroyed the church by completely falsifying the Word).
They replied, “What? Since we know the mysteries of that faith, we are oracles. We give answers from that faith as if it were a sacred shrine. We are not Apollyons; we are Apollos.”
Irritated at that, I said, “If you are Apollos you are also leviathans. The leaders among you are coiled leviathans, and the followers among you are uncoiled leviathans. God will visit you with his sword, great and strong” (Isaiah 27:1).
They just laughed at that.

TCR (Rose) n. 183 183
9. Many absurd, alien, imaginary, and misshapen ideas of God have come into existence from the Athanasian Creed’s assertion of a trinity of persons, each of whom is individually God. The teaching that there have been three divine persons from eternity – the chief of all teachings in Christian churches – has produced many unseemly ideas about God that are unsuitable for the Christian world, especially since that world could be and ought to be a light revealing God and his unity to all the peoples and nations in the four quarters of the earth.
All who live outside the Christian church, both Muslims and Jews, as well as other non-Christians with whatever kind of worship, have rejected Christianity solely because of its belief in three gods. Christian missionaries know this. They are extremely careful not to publicize the trinity of persons taught in the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, because people would go away laughing.
[2] The teaching that there have been three divine persons from eternity has produced absurd, ludicrous, and silly mental images. In fact, these mental images keep coming up in any of us who continue to believe the words of this teaching. They rise up through our ears and eyes into the visualization in our thoughts.
The images are that God the Father sits high above our heads. The Son sits by his right hand. The Holy Spirit sits in front of them both, listening to them and then immediately running around the planet dispensing the gifts of justification according to their decision. The Holy Spirit instills those gifts, turning children of anger into children of grace and the damned into the chosen.
I challenge learned clergy and educated laity to check and see whether they harbor any other picture besides this one in their minds. This picture, you see, flows in spontaneously from this teaching (see the memorable occurrence above at 16).
[3] This teaching also leads people to conjecture what the three talked about before the world was created. Did they talk about creating the world? Did they talk about predestining people and justifying them, as the Supralapsarians would have us believe? Did they talk about redemption? For that matter, what have they been saying to each other since the world was created? What is the Father saying, with his power and authority of assigning spiritual credit and blame? What is the Son saying, with his power of mediating? This teaching also leads some to conjecture that it belongs to the Son’s mercy to assign people spiritual credit or blame, which is the same as choosing them for hell or heaven, since the Son generally intercedes for all people and specifically intercedes for some individuals. Toward these individuals the Father has an attitude of grace because he is moved with love for the Son, having seen the Son’s anguish on the wood of the cross.
Anyone can see that these conjectures are a form of irrationality about God. Yet in the Christian churches they are sacred objects that we have to kiss with our lips. Nevertheless, we must not give them close mental attention, because they transcend rationality and will make us insane if they are raised from our memory into our intellect. This precaution, though, does not do away with our mental picture of three gods – it just gives us a stupid belief. Thoughts about God that are based on this faith resemble the footsteps of someone sleepwalking and dreaming in the dead of night, or the footsteps of someone born blind who is walking in the light of day.

TCR (Rose) n. 184 184
You can clearly tell that a trinity of gods dwells in the minds of Christians – although out of shame they would never say so – by the way many of them ingeniously demonstrate that three are one and one is three. They use various phenomena in plane geometry, solid geometry, arithmetic, and physics, as well as folding pieces of clothing and pieces of paper. Like a bunch of clowns, they horse around with the divine Trinity.
Their clowning is like people’s eyesight when they have a fever: they see one object, be it a person, a table, or a candle, as three objects, or three objects as one. It is like the trick people play by softening wax in their fingers and pressing it into different shapes. First they make a three-sided shape to show the trinity; then they make a ball to show the unity, and they say, “Isn’t the substance one and the same?”
Truly, though, the divine Trinity is like the pearl of great price [Matthew 13:46]. Dividing the Trinity into persons is like cutting a pearl into three parts: it completely destroys the pearl.

* * * * *

TCR (Rose) n. 185 185
To these points I will add the following memorable occurrences.
The first memorable occurrence. The spiritual world has climatic zones just like the physical world – there is nothing in this world that is not also in that one. Yet the zones in each have different origins. In the physical world, climatic zones are determined by the distance of the sun from the equator. In the spiritual world, climatic zones are determined by how far the feelings in our will and the consequent thoughts in our intellect are from true love and true faith. All things in the spiritual world relate to love and faith.
In the frigid zones in the spiritual world you see the same type of conditions you see in the frigid zones in the physical world. In that part of the spiritual world you see ground that is frozen solid and bodies of water frozen solid, with snowdrifts on them. The people who move to that area are people who had put their intellect to sleep in this world by giving it no energy for spiritual thinking; as a result they had no energy for doing anything useful either. They are called the spirits of the north.
[2] On one occasion a longing came over me to see a region in the frigid zone where the spirits of the north live. Therefore I was led in the spirit to the north all the way to an area where the ground was completely covered in snow and all forms of water were frozen solid.
It was a Sunday. I noticed that the people (meaning spirits) were about as tall as people in the world. Because of the cold, they wore a lions skin on their head with the lions mouth over their mouth. They wore leopard skins over their bodies, front and back, down to their thighs. They wore a bearskin on their feet and lower legs.
I saw many of them riding in carriages. Some were riding in carriages carved in the form of a dragon with horns sticking out in front. The carriages were being drawn by small horses whose tails were cut off. The horses were charging around like terrifying wild animals. The driver, holding the reins in his hands, was constantly goading and forcing the horses on their way.
After a while I saw that the crowds were flocking to a church that I had not noticed because it was buried in snow. The church caretakers were heaving the snow aside, digging out access for the arriving worshipers. The worshipers got out of their carriages and entered the church.
[3] I too was allowed to go in and see the church building from the inside. It was lit with a great many lamps and lanterns. The altar was made out of a hewn stone. Behind it hung a plaque with an inscription: The divine Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are essentially one God but personally three.
A priest was standing next to the altar. After kneeling three times before the plaque above it, he eventually ascended the stairs into the pulpit with a book in his hand.
The first topic of his sermon was the divine Trinity. He cried out, “What a great mystery! God most high bore a Son from eternity and through him brought forth the Holy Spirit. The three of them are connected by their essence but separate in their tasks: assigning, redeeming, and putting into effect. But if we let our reason examine these points, our sight will be blinded. We will develop a blind spot like people who stare straight at the naked sun. Therefore, my listeners, on these points we should hold our intellect under obedience to faith.”
[4] Then he cried out again and said, “What a great mystery our holy faith is! We believe that God the Father assigns the Son’s justice and sends the Holy Spirit, who then uses the assigned justice to work the benefits of justification, which are, briefly, forgiving sins, renewing, regenerating, and saving. Yet of the Holy Spirit’s inflowing or action we have no more awareness than did Lots wife after she turned into a statue of salt. About its indwelling or condition we have no more awareness than a fish in the sea. My friends, a treasure lies in our faith, yet it is so well hidden that not a particle of it shows. Therefore in this respect also we should hold our intellect under obedience to faith.”
[5] After sighing a few times, he cried out once more and said, “What a great mystery is the process of becoming chosen people! We become chosen when God assigns the faith to us. He assigns that faith with free choice and pure grace to whomever he wants whenever he wants to. We are like a log of wood as he pours it in, but we become like a tree afterward. Pieces of fruit, which are good works, do indeed hang from that tree (which is a symbol for our faith), but they are not integral to it. The value of the tree is not based on its fruit. My brothers and sisters, because this sounds like it contradicts our religion yet is a mystical truth, here again we should hold our intellect under obedience to faith.”
[6] Then after quite a delay while he stood as if he were drawing some further point out of his memory, he went on to say, “From a mountain of mysteries I will choose just one more. Spiritually speaking we don’t have a speck of free choice. As the top hierarchy and leaders of our order state in their handbooks of theological principles, we are unable to will, think, or understand anything in the arenas of faith and salvation, which are specifically labeled as spiritual. We are even incapable of adapting and applying ourselves to learning about faith and salvation. Therefore I myself would say that on our own were incapable of drawing on reason to think about faith and salvation, and of drawing on thought to babble about it, except like a parrot, a magpie, or a raven. Spiritually speaking we are actually donkeys. Only physically are we human. But, my colleagues, before your reasoning faculty becomes uncomfortable, let’s hold the intellect under obedience to faith as we’ve done in relation to other issues.
“Our theology, you see, is a bottomless pit. If you let your intellect look into it, you’ll be shipwrecked and swallowed up, and you’ll perish. Now hear me well – we are still nonetheless in the very light of the Gospel that shines high above our heads. Watch out for the pain, though, [that the light can cause]! Thankfully, the hairs on our head and the bones in our skull block and prevent that light from penetrating the private space of our intellect.”
[7] After he finished his remarks, he came down from the pulpit and offered votive prayers at the altar, and the worship service came to an end.
Afterward I went over to a group of people who were talking together. The priest was there also. The people standing there said to the priest, “We wish to express our undying gratitude to you for a sermon that was both magnificent and rich in wisdom.
I asked them, “Did you understand anything?”
“We took it all in with open ears,” they answered. “But why do you ask whether we understood it? Isn’t the intellect too stupid to understand these topics?”
To what they had said the priest added, “Because you heard and did not understand, you are blessed, since you have salvation as a result.”
[8] Later on I talked to the priest. I asked whether he had a post-graduate degree. He answered, “I have a masters degree.”
Then I said, “Sir, I heard you preaching mysteries. If you know of those mysteries but you don’t know what they contain, you don’t know anything. The mysteries are then just like a treasure chest bolted shut with three locks. Unless you open it up and look inside, which would require your intellect, you don’t know whether the things inside are precious, worthless, or toxic. They could be the eggs of a poisonous snake and the webs of spiders, as Isaiah describes in chapter 59, verse 5.”
At that, the priest glared at me severely.
The worshipers went out and climbed aboard their carriages, drunk on paradoxes, knocked senseless by meaningless expressions, and wrapped in darkness regarding all aspects of faith and the means of being saved.

TCR (Rose) n. 186 186
The second memorable occurrence. On one occasion I was turning over in my thinking [the question of] what level of our mind theological issues occupy. Because they are spiritual and heavenly I started out thinking they must occupy the highest level in us. (The human mind is differentiated into three levels, like a three-story house. Similarly, the homelands of the angels are differentiated into three heavens.)
Then an angel appeared standing next to me and said, “In those who love the truth because it is true, theological issues rise even to the highest level. The heaven of such people is on that level, and they have the light that angels have. Moral issues that have been examined and seen in a theoretical way are located on the second level under theological issues, because moral issues communicate with spiritual issues. Political issues dwell on the first level, below moral issues. Academic subjects, which come in many different forms and can be broken into genera and species, form a doorway to all the higher issues.
“People who have spirituality, morality, politics, and academics prioritized like this think what they think and do what they do on the basis of justice and judgment. The reason for this is that the light of truth, which is also the light of heaven, radiates through their highest level and lights up what is lower down, just as the light from the sun passes through the upper atmospheres and eventually through the air to provide light for the eyesight of people, animals, and fish.
“Theological issues do not, however, occupy the same place in people who love the truth only for the sake of their own glorious reputations and not because it is true. In these people theological issues occupy the lowest level where academic subjects are considered. In some people, theology and scholarly study become intertwined, but in others they cannot become intertwined. Political issues occur on the same level beneath theological issues, and moral issues fall beneath them. In people like this, the two higher levels are not open on the right-hand side, so these people have no inner reason that judges and they have no love for justice. Instead they have cleverness that enables them to talk about any subject as if they were intelligent and to support whatever comes to their mind as if they were rational. The topics that they love to reason about the most, though, are false because those topics are connected to lies told by their five senses.
“This is why there are so many people in the world who cannot see teachings that are true in the Word any more than someone born blind could. When they hear teachings that are true, they hold their noses so the smell will not upset or nauseate them. In the presence of falsities, they open all their senses and drink those falsities in the way a whale swallows water.”

TCR (Rose) n. 187 187
The third memorable occurrence. Once as I was meditating on the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet mentioned in the Book of Revelation, an angelic spirit appeared to me and asked what I was meditating on. I said, “The false prophet.”
The angelic spirit said, “I will take you to the place where the spirits meant by the false prophet are.” He added, “They are the same spirits portrayed in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation as the beast from the earth who had two horns like a lamb, but who spoke like a dragon.”
I followed the angelic spirit. To my surprise I saw a crowd with church leaders in the center of it. The leaders were teaching that nothing saves us except faith in Christ’s merit and that works are good things to do, but not for our salvation. They were also proclaiming that works need to be taught from the Word so as to put lay people, especially simple ones, on a leash so that they obey their civic leaders and feel compelled from within by religion to practice moral goodwill.
[2] Then one of them saw me and said, “Do you want to see our shrine? It has a sculpture in it that portrays our faith.”
I went and saw it. It was magnificent! In the center of the shrine there was a statue of a woman dressed in scarlet clothes. She had a gold coin in her right hand and a chain of pearls in her left.
Both the statue and the shrine, however, were projected images. Hellish spirits have the ability to portray magnificent things using projected images. They do it by closing off the inner levels of our mind and opening only its outer levels.
When I realized that the statue and the shrine were conjured up through sorcery I prayed to the Lord. Suddenly the inner levels of my mind were opened. Then instead of a magnificent shrine, I saw a house that was full of cracks from the roof all the way to the foundation. Nothing in it was solidly connected. Instead of the woman, I saw a dummy hanging in the house that had the head of a dragon, the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. It was exactly like the beast from the sea described in Revelation 13:2. Instead of the floor, there was a swamp that contained thousands of frogs. I was told that under the swamp there was a great hewn stone; and beneath it the Word lay deeply hidden.
Seeing this I said to the sorcerer, “Is this your shrine?”
“It is,” the sorcerer said.
Just then, though, the sorcerers inner sight opened up as well. The sorcerer saw the same things I was seeing and loudly shouted, “What is this? Where did this come from?”
“It came from the light of heaven,” I said, “which has disclosed the true quality of each form here, including the quality of your faith, which has been separated from spiritual goodwill.”
[3] Immediately the east wind came up and blew away the shrine with the sculpture. It dried up the swamp and exposed the stone that had the Word lying underneath it.
Then a warm, springlike breeze blew in from heaven. To my surprise I then saw a tent in that same place, a very simple one in its outer form.
Angels who were with me said, “Look, it is Abrahams tent just as it was when the three angels came to him to announce that Isaac was going to be born [Genesis 18:1, 2, and following]. The tent looks simple to the eye, but as the light of heaven flows in, it becomes more and more magnificent.”
The angels were then granted the ability to open the heaven where spiritual angels live – the angels who have wisdom. In the light that flowed in from that heaven, the tent looked like the Temple in Jerusalem. When I looked inside, I saw that the foundation stone under which the Word had been hidden was now covered in precious stones. From the precious stones a kind of lightning was flashing across to walls that had relief’s of angel guardians on them, giving the angel guardians beautifully different colors.
sRef Rev@21 @3 S4′ sRef Rev@21 @22 S4′ [4] As I was feeling awestruck by these sights, the angels said, “You are about to see things that are even more miraculous.” They were then granted the ability to open the third heaven where heavenly angels live – the angels who have love. As a result of the blazing light that flowed in from that heaven, the entire temple disappeared. In its place I saw the Lord alone, standing on the foundation stone, which was the Word. He looked much the way he had when seen by John in Revelation chapter 1.
Yet because holiness then filled the inner realms of the angels’ minds so that they felt an overwhelming urge to fall forward on their faces, suddenly the channel of light from the third heaven was closed by the Lord and the channel of light from the second heaven was reopened. As a result, the earlier appearance of a temple, and also a tent, returned. The tent was in the middle of the temple.
These experiences illustrated what Revelation 21 means when it says, “Behold, the tent of God is with people, and he will dwell with them” (Revelation 21:3); and when it says, “I saw no temple in the New Jerusalem, because the Lord God Almighty is its Temple, and the Lamb” (Revelation 21:22).

TCR (Rose) n. 188 188
The fourth memorable occurrence. Since the Lord has allowed me to see amazing things in the heavens and below them, I have been commanded and am obligated to pass on what I have seen.
I saw a magnificent palace that had a chapel in its center. In the middle of the chapel there was a golden table that had the Word on it. Two angels were standing next to the table. Around the table there were three rows of chairs. The chairs in the first row were covered in pure silk of a purple color, the chairs in the second row in pure silk of a sky blue color, and the chairs in the third row in white cloth. High above the table a canopy was suspended beneath the ceiling. It gleamed so brightly with precious stones that it created an effect like a glowing rainbow [that appears] when the sky begins to clear after a rain shower.
Suddenly members of the clergy appeared, occupying all the chairs. They were all wearing the robes of their priestly ministry.
To one side there was a cabinet with an angel guard standing nearby. Inside the cabinet there were shining pieces of clothing laid out in a beautiful array.
sRef Matt@1 @25 S2′ sRef Isa@25 @9 S2′ sRef Matt@1 @20 S2′ sRef Luke@1 @34 S2′ sRef Luke@1 @31 S2′ sRef Luke@1 @35 S2′ sRef Luke@1 @32 S2′ [2] It was a council that had been called by the Lord. I heard a voice from heaven that said, “Discuss.”
The participants said, “About what?”
“About the Lord the Savior and about the Holy Spirit,” the voice said.
When they began thinking about these topics they had no enlightenment, so they prayed. Then a light flowed down from heaven that first lit up the backs of their heads, then their temples, and finally their faces.
Then they began. They started where they had been told to, with the first topic, the Lord the Savior. The first issue to be discussed was, “Who took on a human manifestation in the Virgin Mary?”
An angel standing next to the table that had the Word on it read to them the following words in Luke:

The angel said to Mary, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and will bear a Son, and you will call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this take place, since I have not had intercourse?” The angel replied and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will descend upon you, and the power of the Highest will cover you; therefore the Holy One that is born from you will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:31, 32, 34, 35)

Then the angel read these words in Matthew:

In a dream an angel told Joseph, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your bride, for the Child that has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” And Joseph did not have intercourse with her until she gave birth to her firstborn Son and called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:20, 25)

In addition to these passages, the angel read many things from the Gospels, such as Matthew 3:17; 17:5; John 1:18; 3:16; 20:31; and many other passages where the Lord in his human manifestation is referred to as the Son of God, and where from his human manifestation he calls Jehovah his Father. The angel also read from the Prophets where it is foretold that Jehovah himself is going to come into the world. Two of the latter passages were the following from Isaiah:

It will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God. We have waited for him to free us. This is Jehovah whom we have waited for. Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)

The voice of one crying in the desert, “Prepare a way for Jehovah; make a level pathway in the solitude for our God. For the glory of Jehovah will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together. Behold, the Lord Jehovih is coming with strength; like a shepherd he will feed his flock.” (Isaiah 40:3, 5, 10, 11)

sRef Jer@23 @5 S3′ sRef Jer@23 @6 S3′ sRef Isa@54 @5 S3′ sRef Isa@63 @16 S3′ sRef Isa@40 @5 S3′ sRef Isa@40 @3 S3′ sRef Hos@13 @4 S3′ sRef Isa@40 @11 S3′ sRef Isa@40 @10 S3′ sRef Zech@14 @9 S3′ sRef Isa@48 @17 S3′ sRef Jer@50 @34 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @14 S3′ sRef Isa@47 @4 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @21 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @22 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @15 S3′ sRef Isa@44 @24 S3′ sRef Isa@43 @11 S3′ sRef Isa@44 @6 S3′ sRef Ps@19 @14 S3′ sRef Isa@49 @26 S3′ [3] The angel said, “Since Jehovah himself came into the world and took on a human manifestation, therefore in the Prophets Jehovah is called the Savior and the Redeemer.”
Then the angel read them the following passages:

“The only God is among you; there is no other God.” Surely you are the God who was hidden, O God the Savior of Israel. (Isaiah 45:14, 15)

Am not I Jehovah? There is no other God except me. I am a just God, and there is no Savior except me. (Isaiah 45:21, 22)

I am Jehovah, and there is no Savior except me. (Isaiah 43:11)

I am Jehovah your God, and you are not to acknowledge a God except me. There is no Savior except me. (Hosea 13:4)

So that all flesh may know that I, Jehovah, am your Savior and your Redeemer. (Isaiah 49:26; 60:16)

As for our Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth is his name. (Isaiah 47:4)

Their Redeemer is strong; Jehovah Sabaoth is his name. (Jeremiah 50:34)

Jehovah, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)

Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am Jehovah, your God.” (Isaiah 48:17; 43:14; 49:7; 54:8)

You, Jehovah, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is your name. (Isaiah 63:16)

Thus said Jehovah, your Redeemer: “I, Jehovah, am the maker of all things. I alone [stretch out the heavens. I extend the earth] by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24)

Thus said Jehovah, the King of Israel and its Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth: “I am the First and the Last, and there is no God except me.” (Isaiah 44:6)

Jehovah Sabaoth is his name, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. He will be called God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5)

Behold, the days are coming when I will raise up for David a righteous offshoot who will reign as king. And this is his name: Jehovah is our Justice. (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-16)

In that day, Jehovah will be king over the whole earth; in that day there will be one Jehovah, and his name will be one. (Zechariah 14:9)

[4] With the support of all these passages, the clergy sitting in the chairs unanimously stated that it was Jehovah himself who took on the human manifestation, and that he did so in order to redeem and save humankind.
At that point, though, we heard a voice from Roman Catholics who had hidden behind the altar. The voice said, “How could Jehovah God become human? He is the Creator of the universe!”
One of the clergy sitting in the second row of chairs said, “Who then was the human manifestation?”
The man who had been behind the altar before, but was now standing beside it, said, The Son from eternity.
He received this reply: “In your confession the eternally begotten Son is the same as the Creator of the universe. What is a Son and an eternally begotten God? How could the divine essence, which is one indivisible thing, be separated? How could one part of it come down and not the whole essence at once?”
sRef John@10 @30 S5′ sRef John@14 @6 S5′ sRef John@14 @9 S5′ sRef Isa@9 @6 S5′ sRef Isa@63 @16 S5′ sRef John@14 @11 S5′ sRef John@14 @8 S5′ sRef John@12 @44 S5′ sRef John@12 @45 S5′ sRef John@17 @10 S5′ sRef John@14 @10 S5′ [5] The second issue for discussion related to the Lord: “Surely then the Father and he are one as the soul and the body are one.”
They said that this would follow, because his soul was from the Father.
Then one of the clergy sitting in the third row of chairs read the following words from the statement of faith known as the Athanasian Creed: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and a human being. Yet still he is one Christ, not two. In fact, he is completely one; he is one person. As a soul and a body make one human being, so God and a human being is one Christ.”
The reader said, “The creed that contains these words has been accepted by the entire Christian world including the Roman Catholics.”
The participants said, “What more do we need? God the Father and he are one as the soul and the body are one.”
They added, “Because this is so, we see that the Lord’s human manifestation is divine because it is the human manifestation of Jehovah. We also see that we must seek help from the Lord’s divine-human manifestation. Only in this way, not in any other, can we have access to the divine nature that is called the Father.”
The angel supported their conclusion with more passages from the Word, among which were the following: “A Child is born to us; a Son is given to us. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). “Abraham did not know us and Israel did not acknowledge us. You, Jehovah, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is your name” (Isaiah 63:16). And in John, “Jesus said, Those who believe in me believe in the One who sent me. Those who see me see the One who sent me” (John 12:44, 45). “Philip said to Jesus, ‘Show us the Father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Those who see me see the Father. Why then are you saying, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me'” (John 14:8, 9, 10, 11). “Jesus said, ‘I and my Father are one'” (John 10:30). Also, “Everything the Father has is mine and everything I have is my Father’s” (John 16:15; 17:10). And finally, “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6).
[6] The angel reading these quotations added that the same things the Lord says here about himself and his Father we could also say about ourselves and our soul.
When the participants had heard this they all said with one voice and one heart, “The Lord’s human manifestation is divine. For us to gain access to the Father we have to go to his human manifestation, since this is how Jehovah God put himself in the world and made himself visible to human eyes. Through this he became accessible. Jehovah God also made himself visible and therefore accessible in a human form to the ancients; but back then he used an angel. Because that human form was symbolic of the Lord who was to come, everything related to the church among the ancients was symbolic.”
[7] The next discussion focused on the Holy Spirit. First there was a disclosure of the way many people picture God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They picture God the Father sitting on high with the Son at his right hand. Both of them send out the Holy Spirit to enlighten people, teach them, justify them, and sanctify them.
Then a voice was heard out of heaven saying, “We do not support these mental images. Jehovah God is omnipresent. If we know and acknowledge this, we also acknowledge that Jehovah God is the one who enlightens us, teaches us, justifies us, and sanctifies us. There is no mediating God who is distinct from him like two separate people, let alone a God who is distinct from two other gods. That earlier meaningless picture needs to be removed and this proper picture needs to be accepted. Then you will see this point clearly.”
[8] Then we heard a voice from the Roman Catholics. They were standing next to the altar in the chapel. The voice said, “What then is the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Word by the Gospel writers and Paul, by which so many learned clergy say they are led, especially in our denomination? Surely no one in the Christian world nowadays denies the existence of the Holy Spirit and its actions.”
One of the clergy in the second row of chairs turned and said, “You are saying that the Holy Spirit is a person on its own and a God on its own; but what is a ‘person’ going out and emanating from a person if not an influence going out and emanating? A person cannot go out and emanate from another person, but an influence can. To put it another way, a god going out and emanating from a god is actually a divine influence going out and emanating. One god cannot go out and emanate from another through yet another, but a divine influence can go out and emanate from the one God.”
[9] After hearing that, the clergy sitting in the chairs unanimously concluded that the Holy Spirit is not a person on its own or a god on its own; it is the holy divine influence that goes out and emanates from the unique and omnipresent God, who is the Lord.
The angels who were standing by the golden table that held the Word responded to that by saying, “Good! Nowhere in the Old Covenant does it say that the prophets spoke the Word of the Holy Spirit. They spoke the Word of Jehovah. When the New Covenant speaks of the Holy Spirit, it means the divine influence that goes forth enlightening people, teaching them, bringing them to life, reforming them, and regenerating them.”
sRef John@3 @34 S10′ sRef John@3 @35 S10′ sRef Isa@42 @1 S10′ sRef John@16 @14 S10′ sRef John@14 @26 S10′ sRef John@16 @7 S10′ sRef John@7 @39 S10′ sRef John@20 @22 S10′ sRef John@16 @15 S10′ sRef John@15 @26 S10′ sRef Rev@15 @4 S10′ sRef Isa@11 @2 S10′ sRef Isa@11 @1 S10′ [10] After that another issue related to the Holy Spirit came up: “From whom does the divine influence meant by the Holy Spirit emanate? From the Father or from the Lord?”
While they were discussing this a light shone down on them from heaven. In that light they saw that the holy divine influence meant by the Holy Spirit does not emanate from the Father through the Lord; it emanates from the Lord on behalf of the Father. It is comparable to the situation with human beings. Our actions do not emanate from our souls through our bodies; they emanate from our bodies on behalf of our souls.
An angel who was standing by the table supported this point with the following passages from the Word: “The One whom the Father sent speaks the words of God. Not in a measured way has he given him the spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand” (John 3:34, 35). “A branch will come out of the trunk of Jesse. The spirit of Jehovah will rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and intelligence, the spirit of counsel and strength” (Isaiah 11:1, 2). “The spirit of Jehovah has been granted to him and it is in him” (Isaiah 42:1; 59:19, 20; 61:1; Luke 4:18). “When the Holy Spirit comes whom I am going to send you from the Father” (John 15:26). “He will glorify me because he will take from what is mine and will make it known to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I said that he will take from what is mine and will make it known to you” (John 16:14, 15). “If I go away, I will send the Comforter to you” (John 16:7). “The Comforter is the Holy Spirit” (John 14:26). “The Holy Spirit was not yet in existence, because Jesus was not glorified yet’ (John 7:39). After he was glorified, Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). And in the Book of Revelation, “Who will not glorify your name, O Lord? For you alone are holy” (Revelation 15:4).
sRef John@14 @28 S11′ sRef John@14 @18 S11′ sRef Matt@28 @20 S11′ sRef John@14 @20 S11′ [11] The angel continued, “Since the Holy Spirit means the Lord’s divine influence that results from his divine omnipresence, when he told his disciples about the Holy Spirit that he was going to send to them from the Father he also said, ‘I will not leave you orphans. I am going away and coming [back] to you; and in that day you will recognize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you’ (John 14:18, 20, 28). And just before he left the world he said, ‘Behold I am with you every day, even to the close of the age’ (Matthew 28:20).”
After reading these passages the angel said, “It is clear from these passages and many others in the Word that the divine influence called the Holy Spirit emanates from the Lord on behalf of the Father.”
In response the clergy sitting in the chairs said, “This is divine truth!”
sRef Colo@2 @9 S12′ [12] At the end the participants produced the following declaration: “From the discussions in this council, we have come to see clearly and to acknowledge as the sacred truth that the divine Trinity exists in the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ. The Trinity is made up of the divine nature as an origin called ‘the Father,’ the divine-human manifestation called ‘the Son,’ and the emanating divine influence called ‘the Holy Spirit.’ We proclaim then that ‘all the fullness of divinity dwells physically in Christ’ (Colossians 2:9). Therefore there is one God in the church.”
[13] After the events of this magnificent council came to an end, the participants stood up. The angel guarding the cabinet came over and brought shining clothing to each one of those who had been sitting in the chairs. The clothing was interwoven here and there with golden threads. The angel said, “Please accept these wedding garments.”
The participants were led in glory to the new Christian heaven, which is going to be connected to the church of the Lord on earth, which is the New Jerusalem.

TCR (Rose) n. 189 189
Chapter 4
Sacred Scripture, the Word of the Lord

1
Sacred Scripture, the Word, Is Divine Truth Itself

IT is on everyone’s lips that the Word comes from God, is divinely inspired, and is therefore holy. Nonetheless, until now we have not known where the divinity is in the Word. At the literal level the Word seems like poor writing in a strange style, lacking the sublime and lucid quality that modern works seem to have.
There are people who can easily fall into the wrong perspective on the Word and into contempt for it – people who respect nature more than God or as God and who therefore think under the influence of themselves and their own identity rather than the influence of heaven from the Lord. When people like this read the Word they are prone to say to themselves, “What is this? What is that? Is this divine? Would a God who had infinite wisdom be capable of talking this way? Where is its holiness? Where else could the holiness come from except [the reader’s] religious attitudes and convictions?”

TCR (Rose) n. 190 sRef John@1 @4 S0′ sRef John@6 @63 S0′ sRef John@14 @6 S0′ sRef John@6 @68 S0′ sRef John@1 @1 S0′ sRef Rev@7 @17 S0′ sRef John@7 @37 S0′ sRef John@4 @14 S0′ sRef John@4 @6 S0′ sRef John@4 @10 S0′ sRef Mark@13 @31 S0′ sRef John@7 @38 S0′ 190
People who think this way are not keeping in mind that it was the Lord Jehovah, the God of heaven and earth, who spoke the Word through Moses and the prophets. The Word could not be anything but divine truth, for what the Lord Jehovah himself says is divine truth. They are also not keeping in mind that the Lord the Savior, who is the same as Jehovah, spoke the Word to the Gospel writers. Much of it came from his own mouth, and the rest came from the Spirit of his mouth (which is the Holy Spirit) through his twelve apostles.
This is why the Lord says that there is spirit and life in his words, that he is the light that enlightens, and that he is the truth, as the following passages clearly show:

Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63)

Jesus said to the woman by Jacob’s well, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who is saying to you, Give me something to drink, you would ask him and he would give you living water. Those who drink some of the water that I will give will not become thirsty to eternity. The water that I will give will become in them a well of water gushing for eternal life.” (John 4:6, 10, 14)

Here as in Deuteronomy 33:28, Jacob’s well means the Word. The Lord sat at that location and spoke with the woman because he is the Word. The living water means the truth in the Word.

Jesus said, “If any are thirsty, they must come to me and drink. If any believe in me, as Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow out of their bellies.” (John 7:37, 38)

Peter said to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away; my words will not pass away.” (Mark 13:31)

The Lord’s words are truth and life because he himself is truth and life, as he teaches in John: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Also in John, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In it there was life, and that life was the light for humankind” (John 1:1, 4). “The Word” means the Lord in his role as divine truth. He alone has life and light. This is why the Word, which is from the Lord and is the Lord, is called the fountain of living waters (Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13; 31:9); the fountain of salvation (Isaiah 12:3); the fountain (Zechariah 13:1); and a river of water of life (Revelation 22:1). This is why it says that the Lamb who is in the middle of the throne will shepherd people and lead them to living fountains of waters (Revelation 7:17). There are other passages where the Word is also called the sanctuary and the tent where the Lord dwells with humankind [Ezekiel 37:26-28; Revelation 21:3].

TCR (Rose) n. 191 191
Our earthly self, however, is incapable of being convinced by these quotations that the Word is divine truth itself in which there is divine wisdom and divine life. Our earthly self evaluates the Word on the basis of style and does not see those qualities in its style. Nevertheless, the style of the Word is the divine style itself. There is no comparison between it and all other styles, no matter how sublime and excellent they may seem. The nature of the Word’s style is that it has holiness in every meaning and every word; in fact, in some passages there is holiness in the very letters. As a result, the Word connects us to the Lord and opens heaven.
There are two things that emanate from the Lord: divine love and divine wisdom (or what amounts to the same thing, divine goodness and divine truth). In its essence the Word is each of these. Because the Word connects us to the Lord and opens heaven, as I just said, therefore the Word fills us with love for what is good and wisdom about what is true. It fills our will with love for what is good and our intellect with wisdom about what is true. This is how we receive life through the Word.
It is very important to realize, however, that the only people who receive life from the Word are those who read it for two purposes: to draw divine truths from it because it is the fountain of truth; and to apply to their life the divine truths they have drawn. The opposite happens to people who read the Word only with the purpose of increasing their status and gaining the world [see Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25].

TCR (Rose) n. 192 192
Any of us who are unaware that the Word has a spiritual meaning, like a soul within its body, have nothing else to judge the Word by except its literal meaning. Yet the literal meaning is like a case that contains the precious objects of the spiritual meaning. When we are unaware of the spiritual meaning, we cannot judge the divine holiness of the Word any more than we could judge a precious stone on the basis of the ore that envelops it, which sometimes looks very ordinary. Or imagine a case made out of jasper, lapis lazuli, amianthus (also called mica), or agate that contains rows of diamonds, rubies, sardonyxes, oriental topazes, and so on. If we do not realize it contains gems, it is no wonder we do not value the case any more than the worth of the material it is visibly made of. It is the same with the Word’s literal meaning.
Therefore to prevent people from doubting that the Word is divine and most holy, the Lord has revealed to me its inner meaning, a meaning that is essentially spiritual and exists within its outer, earthly meaning like a soul in a body. The inner meaning is the spirit that brings the letter to life. The inner meaning has the power to prove even to our earthly self that the Word is divine and holy – provided we are willing to be convinced.

TCR (Rose) n. 193 193
2
The Word Has a Spiritual Meaning
That Has Not Been Known until Now

Because the Word is divine, it has a spiritual core. When we are told this, surely we all acknowledge it and agree. Up until now, though, has anyone known what that spiritual core is and where it is hidden in the Word? What the spiritual core is, I will show in a memorable occurrence at the end of this chapter. Where it lies hidden in the Word, I will explain now.
The Word has a spiritual core because it came down from the Lord Jehovah and passed through the angelic heavens. As the Word came down, the divinity itself, which was originally inexpressible and imperceptible, became adapted to the awareness of angels and, further on, to the awareness of human beings. As a result, the Word has a spiritual meaning that is present within its earthly meaning much the way our soul is present in us, the thoughts of our intellect are present in what we say, and the feelings of our will are present in what we do.
If I may make comparisons with things that appear before our eyes in the physical world, the spiritual meaning is contained in the earthly meaning the way the whole brain is wrapped in its meninges or membranes; or the way the branch of a tree is wrapped in its inner and outer bark; or the way everything necessary for a chick’s development is contained within the shell of its egg; and so on.
Until now no one has divined that this type of relationship exists between the Word’s spiritual meaning and its earthly meaning. Therefore this secret needs to be made clear to the intellect, because it takes fundamental precedence over all the other secrets I have disclosed until now. It will become clear if it is laid out in the following order:

1. What the spiritual meaning is.

2. There is a spiritual meaning throughout the Word and in every part of it.

3. It is the spiritual meaning that makes the Word divinely inspired and holy in every word.

4. The spiritual meaning has been unknown until now.

5. From this point on, the spiritual meaning will be given only to people who have genuine truths from the Lord.

6. The Word has amazing qualities because of its spiritual meaning.
These points will now be unfolded one by one.

TCR (Rose) n. 194 194
1. What the spiritual meaning is. The spiritual meaning is not the meaning that comes to light from the Word’s literal meaning when someone examines and explains the Word in order to support some dogma of the church. That meaning could be called “the literal and ecclesiastical” meaning of the Word. The spiritual meaning is not apparent in the literal meaning. It lies inside it the way our soul is in our body, or our intellects thoughts are in our eyes, or our feelings of love are in our face.
The spiritual meaning is the primary thing that makes the Word spiritual, not only for people but also for angels. The Word communicates with the heavens through that meaning. Because the Word is inwardly spiritual, it was written entirely in correspondences. Anything that is written in correspondences has an outermost meaning that is written in a style like the one used by the prophets, by the Gospel writers, and in the Book of Revelation. Although that style appears poor, nevertheless it conceals within itself divine wisdom and all angelic wisdom.
For an explanation of correspondence, go to the work Heaven and Hell, published in London in 1758, and look at the treatment of the correspondence of everything in heaven with everything in the human being (87-102) and the correspondence of heaven with everything earthly (103-115). You will also be able to look more extensively at correspondences in the examples from the Word I am going to present below [196-199].

TCR (Rose) n. 195 195
There is a heavenly divine influence, a spiritual divine influence, and an earthly divine influence that emanate from the Lord, one after the other. Whatever emanates from the Lord’s divine love is called heavenly divine influence; all of it is good. Whatever emanates from his divine wisdom is called spiritual divine influence; all of it is true. His earthly divine influence comes from the other two influences; it is a combination of them on the lowest level.
The angels of the [Lord’s] heavenly kingdom, who constitute the third or highest heaven, are bathed in the divine influence emanating from the Lord that is called heavenly, for they have a love for what is good from the Lord. The angels of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, who constitute the second or middle heaven, are in the divine influence emanating from the Lord that is called spiritual, for they have divine wisdom from the Lord. The angels of the Lord’s earthly kingdom, who constitute the first or lowest heaven, are in the divine influence emanating from the Lord that is called the divine earthly influence. They have a faith from the Lord that is connected to goodwill. People in the church, however, are in any one of the three kingdoms depending on the people’s love, wisdom, or faith. Depending on which of these the people have, they come into that heaven after death.
The Lord’s Word is like heaven. In its outermost meaning it is earthly; in its inner meaning it is spiritual; in its inmost meaning it is heavenly. All three are divine. It has been adapted, then, to the angels of the three heavens and to people as well.

TCR (Rose) n. 196 sRef Rev@19 @11 S1′ sRef Rev@19 @16 S1′ sRef Rev@19 @17 S1′ sRef Rev@19 @18 S1′ sRef Rev@19 @15 S1′ sRef Rev@19 @14 S1′ sRef Rev@19 @13 S1′ sRef Rev@19 @12 S1′ 196
2. There is a spiritual meaning throughout the Word and in every part of it. The best way to see this is through examples as follows:
In the Book of Revelation John says,

I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. The One sitting on it was called faithful and true, who judges with justice and does battle. His eyes were like a flame of fire. On his head were many gems. He had a name written that no one knew except him. He was dressed in blood-stained clothing. His name was the Word of God. His armies in heaven followed him on white horses; they were dressed in linen that was white and clean. On his clothing and on his thigh he had a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun who was crying with a great voice, “Come and gather yourselves for the great feast, that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders, the flesh of the mighty, the flesh of horses and those who ride on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slaves, small and great.” (Revelation 19:11-18)

No one can see what these words mean except from the Word’s spiritual meaning. We cannot see the spiritual meaning unless we work with the study of correspondences. All these words are correspondences; not a word is pointless. The study of correspondences teaches the meaning of the white horse, the One sitting on it, the eyes like a flame of fire, the gems on his head, the blood-stained clothing, the white linen worn by the members of his army from heaven, the angel standing in the sun, the great feast to which people should come and gather themselves, and the flesh of kings and commanders and of many other people and things that they were supposed to eat.
sRef Rev@17 @14 S2′ [2] For what each detail means spiritually, see the explanations in Revelation Unveiled 820-838. See also the small work White Horse. Because of those treatments, I will forgo a detailed explanation here. There I have shown that this passage describes the Lord in his role as the Word. His eyes that were like a flame of fire mean the divine wisdom that comes from his divine love. The gems on his head and the name that no one knows except him mean the divine truths of the Word that come from him and the fact that no one sees the nature of the Word in its spiritual meaning except the Lord and anyone to whom he reveals it. The blood-stained clothing means the Word’s earthly meaning, its literal meaning, that has had violence inflicted upon it.
It is obvious that the Word is being described, because it says, “His name is the Word of God.” It is also obvious that the passage refers to the Lord, because it says that the name of the One sitting on the white horse was King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s. This is like Revelation 17:14, where it says, “The Lamb will conquer them because he is Lord of Lord’s and King of Kings.”
[3] The necessity for the Word’s spiritual aspect to be revealed when the church comes to an end – this is the inner meaning of what is said of the white horse and the One sitting on it. It is also the meaning of an angel standing in the sun, extending an invitation to all to come and eat the flesh of kings and commanders and so on. Eating these things means our incorporation into ourselves of everything that is good from the Lord.
All the expressions in this passage would be pointless words, words without life or spirit, if there were no spiritual meaning inside them like the soul in a body.

TCR (Rose) n. 197 197
Revelation 21 gives the following description of the New Jerusalem: In it there was a light like a highly precious stone, such as a jasper stone, that looked like a dazzling crystal. The New Jerusalem had a wall that was great and high and had twelve gates and twelve angels by the gates, and the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel were written there. The wall was 144 cubits high, which is the measure of a human being, that is, of an angel. The construction of the wall was of jasper, and its foundation was made of every precious stone: jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sard, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst. The gates were twelve pearls. The city itself was pure gold, like clear glass. It was square. Its length, width, and height were equal: twelve thousand stadia. And so on.
All these details need to be understood spiritually, as we can see from the fact that the New Jerusalem means a new church that is going to be established by the Lord, as I showed in Revelation Unveiled 880.
Since “Jerusalem” here means a church, it follows that all the things that are said about it as a city – about its gates, wall, foundations under the wall, and their measurements – contain a spiritual meaning, since the attributes of a church are spiritual.
In Revelation Unveiled 896-925 I have shown what these things mean. It is unnecessary, therefore, to demonstrate their meaning once more. It is enough for us to know that there is a spiritual meaning within all the details of this description like a soul within a body. Without that meaning we would understand nothing about the church from the details written here: for example, the city being made of pure gold; its gates, of pearls; its wall, of jasper; the foundations of its wall, of precious stones; the wall being 144 cubits high, which is the measure of a human being, that is, of an angel; and the city being twelve thousand stadia in length, width, and height; and so on.
People who know correspondences and who therefore recognize the spiritual meaning understand these details. For example, the wall and its foundations mean the teachings of that church that are based on the literal meaning of the Word; and the numbers 12, 144, and 12,000 mean everything about that church, that is, all that is good and true in it combined.

TCR (Rose) n. 198 sRef Isa@13 @9 S0′ sRef Isa@13 @11 S0′ sRef Isa@13 @10 S0′ sRef Matt@24 @30 S0′ sRef Matt@24 @31 S0′ sRef Joel@2 @2 S0′ sRef Joel@2 @10 S0′ sRef Ezek@32 @8 S0′ sRef Matt@24 @29 S0′ sRef Ezek@32 @7 S0′ sRef Joel@2 @1 S0′ 198
The Lord spoke to his disciples about the close of the age (or the last time of the church); at the end of his predictions about the stages and changes it would go through he said the following:

Immediately after the affliction of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Humankind will appear in heaven and all the tribes of the earth will wail. They will see the Son of Humankind coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send out angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:29, 30, 31)

In the spiritual meaning, these statements do not indicate that the sun and the moon will be darkened, the stars will fall from heaven, the sign of the Lord will appear in heaven, and people will see him in the clouds and see angels with trumpets. Instead, the individual words there have spiritual meanings that relate to the church. The details that are mentioned relate to the church’s state at its end.
In the spiritual meaning, the sun that will be darkened means love for the Lord. The moon that will not give its light means faith in him. The stars that will fall from heaven mean concepts of goodness and truth. The sign of the Son of Humankind in heaven means the divine truth from him in the Word that will become apparent. The tribes of the earth that will wail mean the loss of all true belief and all good love. The Son of Humankind coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory means the Lord’s presence in the Word and his ability to give revelations through it. The clouds of heaven mean the Word’s literal meaning; the glory means the Word’s spiritual meaning. The angels sent out with a great sound of a trumpet mean heaven as a source of divine truth. Gathering the chosen people from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other means building a new heaven and a new church that consists of people who have faith in the Lord and who live by his commandments.
It does not mean a darkening of the sun and moon and a falling of stars to earth. This is obvious from the prophets, who have similar things to say about the state of the church when the Lord would come into the world. For example in Isaiah,

Behold the savage day of Jehovah will come, a day of the rage of his anger. The stars of the heavens and their constellations will not shed their light. The sun will be darkened in its rising, and the moon will not let its light shine. I will visit malice upon the globe. (Isaiah 13:9-11)

In Joel,

The day of Jehovah is coming, a day of darkness and blackness. The sun and the moon will be blackened, and the stars will withdraw their splendor. (Joel 2:1, 2, 10; 3:15)

In Ezekiel,

I will cover the heavens and blacken the stars. I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not make its light shine. All sources of light I will cover, and I will bring darkness on the earth. (Ezekiel 32:7, 8)

“The day of Jehovah” means the Lord’s coming that was going to take place when there was no longer any good love or any true belief left in the church, or any knowledge of the Lord, which is why it is called a day of darkness and blackness.

TCR (Rose) n. 199 sRef Matt@25 @4 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @3 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @12 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @6 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @5 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @9 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @10 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @2 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @1 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @11 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @7 S0′ sRef Matt@25 @8 S0′ 199
The Lord spoke in correspondences when he was in the world. While he was talking in an earthly way, he was also talking in a spiritual way. This is clear from his parables. Every word of them has a spiritual meaning inside.
Take, for example, the parable of the ten young women. He said,

The kingdom of the heavens is like ten young women who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were prudent and five were foolish. When the foolish women took their lamps, they did not take any oil. The prudent women took oil in their lamps. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. In the middle of the night there was a shout: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming! Go out to meet him.” At that, all the women woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish women said to the prudent ones, “Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.” The prudent women replied, “There might not be enough for us all. Go instead to the sellers and buy yourselves some.” But as they were going away to buy some, the bridegroom arrived and the women who were prepared walked in with him to the wedding and the door was closed. Later the other women came along and said, “Lord, Lord, open up for us.” But he answered and said, “I tell you truly, I do not know you.” (Matthew 25:1-12)

The only people who see that in each of these details there is a spiritual meaning and therefore something holy and divine are those who have a general awareness of the existence and nature of spiritual meaning.
In the spiritual meaning, the kingdom of the heavens means heaven and the church. The bridegroom means the Lord. The wedding means the Lord’s marriage to heaven and the church through the good that love does and the truth that faith perceives. The young women mean people who are in the church. Ten means all. Five means a part. Lamps mean beliefs. Oil means loving what is good. Sleeping and awakening mean our life in the world, which is an earthly life, and our life after death, which is a spiritual life. Buying means acquiring for ourselves. Going to the sellers and buying oil means trying after we have died to acquire from others a love for what is good. Since we can no longer acquire a love for what is good after we die, therefore although they brought their lamps and the oil they had purchased to the door where the wedding was taking place, the bridegroom told them, “I do not know you.” The reason is that after our life in the world, the way we have lived in the world remains.
This makes it clear that the Lord spoke entirely in correspondences because he spoke from the divine nature that was in him and was his.
Young women mean people who are in the church. This is why the prophetic Word says the virgin or daughter of Zion, of Jerusalem, of Judah, of Israel so many times. Oil means love for what is good. This is why all the church’s sacred objects were anointed with oil.
This correspondent nature applies to all the other parables and all the other words that the Lord spoke. This is why the Lord says that his words are spirit and are life (John 6:63).

TCR (Rose) n. 200 200
3. It is the spiritual meaning that makes the Word divinely inspired and holy in every word. People in the church say that the Word is holy because the Lord Jehovah spoke it. In the literal meaning by itself, however, the Word’s holiness is not apparent. Therefore once people come to doubt its holiness, afterward when they read the Word they find many things in it that convince them to doubt further. They say to themselves, “Is this holy? Is this divine?” Thoughts like this, flowing into many people and growing stronger, create the risk that the Word may be rejected as a worthless document and that the Lord’s connection to these people may come to an end. The Lord has chosen to reveal the Word’s spiritual meaning now so as to prevent this, and so that people will know where in the Word the divine holiness lies.
Examples will illustrate: In one verse the Word will mention Egypt; in another, Assyria; in others, Edom, Moab, the children of Ammon, the Philistines, Tyre and Sidon, and Gog. If people do not realize that the names of these places and people mean aspects of heaven and the church, they could be misled to think that the Word has much to say about peoples and nations and only a little to say about heaven and the church; that it has much to say on worldly topics and little to say on heavenly topics. When people know what those places and their names mean, however, they can be brought back from their error to the truth.
[2] Likewise people see that the Word frequently mentions gardens, groves, and forests, as well as trees such as olives, grapevines, cedars, poplars, and oaks. It often mentions lambs, sheep, goats, calves, and oxen; and also mountains, hills, and valleys; and springs, rivers, bodies of water, and other such things. Those who know nothing about the Word’s spiritual meaning cannot help believing that those actual things are what is meant. They do not know that a garden, a grove, and a forest mean wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge; an olive, a grapevine, a cedar, a poplar, and an oak mean the heavenly, the spiritual, the rational, the earthly, and the sensory forms of good and truth in the church. A lamb, a sheep, a goat, a calf, and an ox mean innocence, goodwill, and earthly feelings. Mountains, hills, and valleys mean the higher, the lower, and the lowest aspects of the church. [3] Egypt means scholarly study; Assyria, our rational faculty; Edom, our earthly aspect. Moab means the contamination of what is good; the children of Ammon mean the contamination of what is true. The Philistines mean faith without goodwill; Tyre and Sidon mean our concepts of goodness and truth; and Gog means external worship that lacks anything deeper. Generally speaking, Jacob in the Word means the earthly aspect of the church, Israel means the spiritual aspect of the church, and Judah means the heavenly aspect of the church.
When we know all this, we are able to think that the Word deals only with heavenly topics, and the worldly details in it are only outer things that have heavenly things inside them.
sRef Isa@19 @25 S4′ sRef Isa@19 @23 S4′ sRef Isa@19 @24 S4′ [4] Let us take an example from the Word as an illustration: We read in Isaiah,

On that day there will be a pathway from Egypt into Assyria so that Assyria can go into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria. The Egyptians will serve with Assyria. On that day Israel will be part of a group of three with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the middle of the land. Jehovah Sabaoth will bless that group of three, saying, “Blessed be my people Egypt, and Assyria, the work of my hands, and Israel, my blessing.” (Isaiah 19:23, 24, 25)

Spiritually these words mean that when the Lord’s coming occurs, scholarly study, rationality, and spirituality are going to become one. Scholarly study will then serve rationality, and both of them will serve spirituality. (As I have said, Egypt means scholarly study, Assyria means rationality, and Israel means spirituality.) The “day” being named twice means the Lord’s First Coming and his Second Coming.

TCR (Rose) n. 201 201
4. The spiritual meaning of the Word has been unknown until now. All things that exist in the material world correspond to something spiritual; likewise all things that exist in the human body, as I have shown in the work Heaven and Hell, 87-115. No one has known until now, however, what correspondence is. In the earliest times, correspondence was very well known. To the people who lived at that time the study of correspondences was the supreme field of study. It was so universal that the writing in all their books and codices displayed the use of correspondences. The Book of Job, a book of the early church, is full of correspondences. The Egyptian hieroglyphics and the earliest myths were no different. All the early churches were churches that represented spiritual things in symbolic ways. Their worship was established with rituals and rules that consisted entirely of correspondences.
The same was true for all aspects of the church among the children of Israel: their burnt offerings, sacrifices, food offerings, and drink offerings were correspondences down to the last detail. So was the tabernacle and everything in it. So were their feast days – the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Feast of First Fruits. So was the priestly role performed by Aaron and the Levites, as well as the clothing of their sacred office. (The specific spiritual things to which all the above correspond are shown in Secrets of Heaven, published in London.) In addition, all the statutes and judgments that shaped their worship and their lives were correspondences.
Divine attributes present themselves in the world in the form of correspondences; therefore the Word was written entirely in correspondences. For the same reason, the Lord spoke in correspondences, since he spoke from what is divine.
Divinity is present in nature in the form of things that correspond to divine attributes and that have divine attributes known as heavenly and spiritual qualities hidden deep within them.

TCR (Rose) n. 202 202
I have been taught that the people in the earliest church, which existed before the flood, had a nature so heavenly that they spoke with angels of heaven. The use of correspondences by these people enabled them to communicate with angels. As a result, the quality of their wisdom grew to the point where anything they saw on earth they thought about not only in an earthly way but also in a spiritual way; they and angels in heaven thought about it together.
I have also been taught that Enoch (who is mentioned in Genesis 5:21-24), along with friends of his, collected correspondences from the oral tradition of the earliest people and spread the study of correspondences to his descendants. As a result, the study of correspondences was not only known in many countries in the Middle East but was also further developed, especially in the land of Canaan, Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, and Arabia; and in Tyre, Sidon, and Nineveh. From there it crossed into Greece, but turned into myths there, as you can see from the earliest Greek writings.

TCR (Rose) n. 203 203
I wish to bring out an example from 1 Samuel chapters 5 and 6 so you can see that the study of correspondences was long preserved among the nations in the Middle East, particularly among those who were called the diviners and the wise ones, referred to by some as the magi.
This passage mentions that the ark containing the two tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them was captured by the Philistines. It was placed in the shrine of Dagon in Ashdod. On the first day, Dagon fell before it to the ground. On the next day, Dagons head as well as the palms of its hands lay severed from its body across the threshold of the shrine. Because of the ark, as many as several thousand inhabitants of Ashdod and Ekron were afflicted with hemorrhoids and their land was devastated by rats. The Philistines therefore called together their provincial governors and diviners. To stave off impending death, they decided that they should make five hemorrhoids and five rats out of gold, and make a new cart and put the ark on it. They would send the ark back to the children of Israel on this cart, pulled by two cows that would bellow all the way, and the children of Israel would sacrifice the cows and the cart. If the Philistines accomplished this, the God of Israel would be appeased.
The meaning of these details clearly shows that everything the Philistine diviners thought of was a correspondence. The Philistines themselves meant people who have faith but lack goodwill. Dagon was a portrayal of their religion. The hemorrhoids that afflicted them meant earthly loves that become unclean when separated from spiritual love. The rats meant the devastation of the church by people falsifying the truth. The new cart meant the earthly teaching of the church. (A chariot or carriage in the Word means teachings that are based on spiritual truths.) The cows meant earthly feelings that are good. The hemorrhoids made of gold meant earthly loves that have been purified and have become good. The golden rats meant goodness remedying the devastation of the church, since gold in the Word means goodness. The bellowing of the cows along the way meant the difficulty of turning the lower self’s cravings for evil into desires for goodness. The offering of the cows and the cart as a burnt offering meant that by these spiritual actions the God of Israel would be appeased.
All these actions that the Philistines undertook on the recommendation of their diviners were correspondences. This clearly shows that the study of correspondences was preserved for a long time among people outside the church.

TCR (Rose) n. 204 204
Over the course of time, the early church’s symbolic rituals, which were correspondences, began to turn into idolatry and even magic. Therefore in the Lord’s divine providence the study of correspondences was gradually lost.
For the Israelite and Jewish nation, the study of correspondences was completely wiped out. Their worship did indeed consist entirely of correspondences and therefore it portrayed heavenly things, but they had no idea what anything in their worship meant. They were completely earthly people who did not want to know and could not know anything about what is spiritual and heavenly, or anything about correspondences for that matter, since correspondences are earthly symbols of spiritual and heavenly things.

TCR (Rose) n. 205 205
Among people outside the church in early times, the study of correspondences led to forms of idolatry because all things that are visible on earth have a correspondence – not only trees but also animals and birds of every kind, as well as fish, and everything else. Early people involved in the study of correspondences made images that corresponded to things in heaven. They enjoyed these images because the images stood for things related to heaven and the church. They placed these images not only in their temples but also in their homes, not in order to worship them but to be reminded of the heavenly things they meant. In Egypt and elsewhere there were images of calves, oxen, and snakes, as well as children, old people, and young women, because calves and oxen meant the emotions and forces in the earthly self; snakes meant prudence but also the deceitfulness of the senses; children meant innocence and goodwill; old people meant wisdom; and young women meant types of love for the truth; and so on.
When the study of correspondences was wiped out, later generations began worshiping the images and statues erected by the early people. They worshiped them first as sacred objects and then as deities, since they found them in and around temples.
Because of the study of correspondences, the early people had also worshiped in gardens and groves, depending on which species of trees were there. They also worshiped on mountains and hills. Gardens and groves meant wisdom and intelligence; and every tree meant some aspect of wisdom and intelligence. For example, an olive tree meant good actions that come from love, while a grapevine meant the true insights that come from those good actions. A cedar tree meant rational goodness and truth. A mountain meant the highest heaven, and a hill, a heaven below it.
The study of correspondences continued among many in the Middle East even to the time of the Lord’s coming, as you can see from the wise ones from the Middle East who came to the Lord when he was born. Therefore a star went before them and they brought gifts with them: gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1, 2, 9, 10, 11). The star that went before them meant knowledge from heaven. Gold meant the heavenly goodness; frankincense, the spiritual goodness; and myrrh, the earthly goodness that together form the source of all worship.
There was absolutely no study of correspondences among the Israelite and Jewish nation, although all the aspects of their worship, all the statutes and judgments given to them through Moses, and all the details throughout their Word were correspondences. The reason for this lack was that at heart the people were idolatrous. They had no desire at all to know that any aspect of their worship meant something heavenly or spiritual. They believed that all their rituals were intrinsically holy. If the heavenly and spiritual underpinnings had been revealed to them, they would have not only rejected those underpinnings but also desecrated them. As a result, heaven was so tightly closed to them that they were scarcely aware that eternal life existed.
The truth of this is very clear from the fact that the people did not acknowledge the Lord even though their entire Sacred Scripture had prophesied about him and foretold his coming. They rejected him for one single reason: he taught them about a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly one. They wanted a Messiah who would lift them above all the nations in the whole world, not some Messiah who was concerned with their eternal salvation.

TCR (Rose) n. 206 206
In the period of history that came next, the study of correspondences that yields the Word’s spiritual meaning was not revealed, because at the time the Christian church began, Christians were so extremely simple that it was not possible to reveal this study to them. If it had been disclosed, it would have been of no use to them and they would not have understood it.
After that time, darkness came over the whole Christian world, first because of scattered heresies on many people’s part, and soon afterward because of the Nicene Council’s decisions and decrees about three divine persons from eternity and the person of Christ being the Son of Mary rather than the Son of Jehovah God. This led [in turn] to the modern-day faith that by going to three gods, one after the other, we are justified. All aspects of the modern-day church depend on this faith the way our body parts depend on our head. Since people applied everything in the Word to this mistaken faith, its spiritual meaning could not be revealed. If it had been, they would have applied its meaning to their faith, and thereby desecrated the true holiness of the Word. By doing that they would have completely closed heaven to themselves and would have removed the Lord from the church.

TCR (Rose) n. 207 207
The study of correspondences that yields the Word’s spiritual meaning has been revealed today because now the divine truths of the church are coming forward into the light. These truths are what the Word’s spiritual meaning consists of. When these truths are in us, the Word’s literal meaning cannot be perverted. The Word’s literal meaning is capable of being bent this way and that, but if it is bent in the direction of falsity, its inner holiness is destroyed, and so is its outer holiness. If it is bent in the direction of truth, it stays holy. (More will be said about this in what is to come [260, 508].)
The opening of the spiritual meaning at this day is what is meant by John’s seeing heaven opened and seeing a white horse, and seeing and hearing an angel standing in the sun calling all people to a great feast (Revelation 19:11-18). The fact that the spiritual meaning would not be acknowledged for a long time, however, is what is meant by the beast and the kings of the earth who were going to make war against the One sitting on the white horse (Revelation 19:19) and by the dragon that first pursued the woman who had given birth to a son, then went out into the desert and cast water like a river out of its mouth to drown her (Revelation 12:13-17).

TCR (Rose) n. 208 208
5. From this point on, the spiritual meaning of the Word will be given only to people who have genuine truths from the Lord. The reason for this is that none of us can see the spiritual meaning except with the help of the Lord alone, provided we have divine truths from him. The Word’s spiritual meaning deals solely with the Lord and his kingdom. The spiritual meaning is the one with which his angels engage in heaven. It is his divine truth there.
It is possible for us to violate the Word’s spiritual meaning if we are involved in the study of correspondences and we try to explore that meaning with our own intelligence. With just a few correspondences we know, we could pervert the spiritual meaning and even divert it to support something false. This would be a violent attack on divine truth, and so on heaven, where divine truth dwells. For this reason if any of us try on our own, without the Lord, to open the spiritual meaning, heaven closes and we either see nothing true or we become spiritually insane.
Another reason [why the spiritual meaning will be given only to people who have genuine truths from the Lord] is that the Lord teaches us all through the Word, using the concepts that we already have. He does not pour new concepts directly into us. Therefore if we do not already have divine truths, or we have only a few truths along with some falsities, we are capable of falsifying truths, much the way any heretic does with the Word’s literal meaning. To prevent any of us from getting into the spiritual meaning and perverting the genuine truth that belongs to it, the Lord has placed safeguards on that meaning, which are referred to in the Word as angel guardians.

TCR (Rose) n. 209 209
6. The Word has amazing qualities because of its spiritual meaning. In the physical world, no amazing things happen because of the Word, since its spiritual meaning does not appear here and the true nature of that spiritual meaning is not being accepted at any deep level within us. In the spiritual world, however, amazing things do happen because of the Word, since all who are there are spiritual, and spiritual things affect spiritual people the way physical things affect physical people. There are many amazing things that happen in the spiritual world because of the Word; here I will mention just a few.
In the sanctuaries of church buildings in the spiritual world, the Word itself shines like a giant star before the eyes of the angels. Sometimes it shines like the sun. The glow around it causes exquisitely beautiful kinds of rainbows. This happens as soon as the sanctuary is opened.
aRef Ex@34 @29 S2′ [2] Each and every truth in the Word shines. This has been made clear to me by the fact that when anyone writes a verse from the Word on a piece of paper and throws it up in the air, the piece of paper generates a glowing form that takes the shape of the cut paper. As a result, spirits are able to use the Word to produce various light-emitting shapes such as birds and fish.
Something that is even more amazing is that when people rub the open Word – the writing itself – on their face or hands or the clothing they have on, their face, hands, or clothing shines as if they themselves were standing in a star and were surrounded by its light. I have very often seen this and I have been amazed. This made clear to me why Moses’ face was shining when he carried the tablets of the covenant down from Mount Sinai [Exodus 34:29-30].
[3] In addition, there are many other amazing things that happen in the spiritual world because of the Word. For example, if people who have false beliefs look at the Word as it lies in its holy place, thick darkness overwhelms their eyesight, making the Word look black to them, sometimes as if it were coated with soot. If those same people touch the Word, there is an explosion with a loud bang, and they are thrown to the corner of the room and lie there as if dead for quite a while.
If people who have false beliefs write something from the Word on a piece of paper and toss it up toward heaven, when it is in the air between their eye and heaven a similar explosion takes place. The piece of paper is blown to bits and disappears. The same thing happens if the piece of paper is thrown toward an angel who is standing nearby. I have often seen this.
[4] This has made it clear to me that people who have a body of false teaching have no communication with heaven by means of the Word. On the way to heaven, their reading of it blows apart and comes to an end like a firecracker lit and thrown in the air. The opposite happens to people who have a true perspective from the Lord through the Word. Their reading of the Word penetrates all the way into heaven and forms a connection with angels who are there.
When angels come down from heaven to carry out some task below, they look as if they are covered in little stars, especially around their heads. This is an indication that there are divine truths from the Word inside these angels.
[5] The same things that exist on earth exist in the spiritual world, except that there they have a spiritual origin. So gold and silver and all kinds of precious stones exist there. Their spiritual origin is the literal meaning of the Word. This is why the Book of Revelation describes the foundations of the New Jerusalem’s wall as being twelve precious stones. The foundations of its wall stand for the beliefs of the new church that are based on the Word’s literal meaning. This is also why there were twelve precious stones called the Urim and the Thummim on Aaron’s ephod. Answers from heaven came through these stones.
Many other amazing things happen with the Word in the spiritual world. They relate to the power of truth there, which is so immense that if I described it, it would exceed belief. The Word has so much power that it overturns mountains and hills there, moves them far away, throws them into the sea, and more. Briefly put, the power of the Lord that comes through the Word is infinite.

TCR (Rose) n. 210 210
3
The Word’s Literal Meaning Is the Foundation,
the Container, and the Structural Support
for Its Spiritual and Heavenly Meanings

In all that is divine there is a primary component, a middle component, and an outermost component. The primary component goes forth through the middle component to the outermost component; by doing so it takes on a form and a continued existence. As a result, the outermost component is a foundation. The primary component is also present in the middle component; and by means of the middle component it is present in the outermost component. Therefore the outermost component is also a container. Because the outermost component is both a container and a foundation, it is also a structural support.
The educated reader will understand that these three components could be called the purpose, the means, and the result; and also the being, the becoming, and the taking shape. The purpose is the being, the means is the becoming, and the result is the taking shape. Therefore in everything that is complete, there is a trine called the primary component, the middle component, and the outermost component, or the purpose, the means, and the result. People who understand this also understand that the outermost component of every divine work is complete and perfect; and everything is present in that outermost component because prior components are collectively present in it.

TCR (Rose) n. 211 sRef 1Sam@20 @41 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @39 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @22 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @23 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @38 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @40 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @35 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @31 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @29 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @30 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @34 S0′ sRef 1Sam@3 @6 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @32 S0′ sRef 1Sam@20 @33 S0′ sRef 1Sa