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.
from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 26