The Power of Heaven’s Angels (Continued)

It does need to be known, though, that angels have absolutely no power on their own, but that all the power they have comes from the Lord. Further, they are powers to the extent that they recognize this fact. Any of them who believe that their power comes from themselves immediately become so weak that they cannot resist even a single evil spirit. This is why angels take absolutely no credit to themselves and turn down any praise or admiration for anything they have done, but attribute it all to the Lord.

It is the divine truth emanating from the Lord that possesses all power in the heavens, because the Lord in heaven is divine truth united to divine good (see Sections 126–140). To the extent that angels are open to this truth, they are powers.

Further, each individual angel is her or his own truth and own good, because the nature of each one is determined by her or his discernment and intent, discernment being a matter of what is true because all its functions originate in truths, and intent being a matter of what is good because all its functions originate in aspects of the good. You see, whatever we understand we call true and whatever we intend we call good. This is why each one of us is his or her own truth and own good. Therefore, to the extent to which an angel is truth from the Divine and good from the Divine, that angel is a power because the Lord is with her to that extent. Further, since no one enjoys exactly the same good and truth as anyone else (for in heaven and in this world there is constant variety, Section 20), one angel does not enjoy the same power as another.

The angels who constitute the arm in the universal human or heaven have the most power because they are the ones who more than any others are focused on things true, and good flows into their truths from the entire heaven. So too, all our strength is concentrated in our arms, and the whole body expresses its powers through them. This is why “arms” and “hands” in the Word mean power.

Sometimes a bare arm appears in heaven that has so much power that it could crush any obstacle, even if it were a boulder on earth. Once it moved toward me, and I saw that it could crush my bones to powder.

It may be seen in Section 137 above that all power belongs to the divine truth that emanates from the Lord and that angels are powers to the extent that they accept divine truth from the Lord. However, angels are open to divine truth to the extent that they are open to divine good, since all the power that truths have comes from good. Truths apart from good have none. Further, all the power good has is by means of truth; good has no power apart from truths. Power arises from the union of the two. The same holds true for faith and love, since it is all the same whether you say truth or faith, since everything that makes up faith is true, and whether you say good or love, since everything that makes up love is good.

I have been able to see how much power angels have through truths from good from the fact that when angels simply look at them, evil spirits fall down in a faint and no longer look human, and that this lasts until the angel looks away. The reason this sort of thing results from the gaze of angels is that their sight comes from the light of heaven, and heaven’s light is divine truth (see above, Sections 126–132). Eyes correspond to truths from good.

Since all power belongs to truths from good, deliberate distortions have none. All the people in hell are preoccupied with deliberate distortions, so they have no power against what is true and good. However, I will be describing later the kind of power they have among each other and the kind of power evil spirits have before they are thrown into hell.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 230-233

Notes:

Sections 126-140: Published 11/22/2016-12/2/2016
Section 20: Published 4/22/2016 and 6/27/2017
Section 137: Published 12/1/2016

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