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 [Sections 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 printer’s in London. Everyone who reads it can clearly see that the Last Judgment was the work of Almighty God.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 123
Sections 115-122: Published 1/12/2019-1/19/2019