In conversation with some good spirits I said that many statements in the Word (more than anyone could believe) are phrased to suit appearances and the illusions of the senses. For instance, the Word says that Jehovah feels anger, wrath, and fury against the ungodly, that he enjoys destroying and annihilating them, and even that he kills them. But these things are said in order to avoid shattering people’s self-delusions and cravings, so as to bend them instead. To fail to speak in terms people grasp—in terms of appearances, fallacies, delusions—would be to sow seed on the water; it would be to say something that would immediately be rejected.
Still, those statements can serve as general containers for spiritual and heavenly ideas, because it is possible to inject certain notions into them. The first is that everything comes from the Lord; the next, that he allows things to happen but all evil comes from devilish spirits; then that the Lord provides and arranges for evil to be turned into good; and finally that nothing but good comes from the Lord. So the literal meaning disappears as it rises and turns spiritual and then heavenly and at last divine.
I was given the opportunity to perceive angels’ ideas on the following words in the Lord’s Prayer: “Do not lead us into crisis but free us from evil” [Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4]. The good spirits nearest me discarded crisis and evil by a certain way of thinking perceptible to me. They rejected those ideas so thoroughly that what remained was purely angelic; specifically, what was left was goodness, without a hint of crisis or evil. In this way, the literal meaning died away completely. The first step of the process was to form countless ideas of this goodness—how something beneficial comes of our affliction, and yet the affliction rises out of us and our evil, which contains its own penalty.
Attached to these ideas was a kind of indignation that anyone should think that crises and their evils come from anywhere else, and that anyone should think about evil when thinking about the Lord. These ideas were purified as they rose higher and higher. Their journey upward was represented by the discarding of certain elements, as also described in Section 1393. These elements were discarded in a manner and with a speed that are impossible to express, until the ideas finally passed into an area of thought that was shadowy to me. Then they were in heaven, where the angels think only of the Lord’s goodness, in thoughts that are ineffable.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 1874, 1875
Section 1393: Published 12/9/2016