The Holy Spirit Is the Divine Nature That Emanates from the Lord and Is the Lord Himself

Jesus said in Matthew,

All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go forth, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all the days, even to the close of the age. (Matthew 28:18, 19, 20)

Up to this point I have shown that the Divine Being called the Father and the Divine Being called the Son are one in the Lord. I therefore need now to show that the Holy Spirit is the same as the Lord.

The reason the Lord said that they were to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is that there is a threeness or trinity in the Lord. There is the divine nature that is called the Father, the divine human nature that is called the Son, and the emanating divine nature that is called the Holy Spirit. The divine nature that is the Father and the divine nature that is the Son is the divine nature as the source, while the emanating divine nature that is the Holy Spirit is the divine nature as means.

In the booklets Divine Providence and Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and Omniscience, you will see more on the point that the only divine nature that emanates from the Lord is the divine nature that is he himself—it is a matter that takes more than a few words to explain.

We can illustrate this threeness in the Lord by comparison with angels. They have souls and bodies and also emanations that radiate from them, emanations that are their own selves extending beyond themselves. I have been granted an abundance of knowledge about this emanation, but this is not the place to present it.

After death, everyone who turns to God is first taught by angels that the Holy Spirit is none other than the Lord and that “going forth” and “emanating” is nothing but enlightening and teaching by means of presence, a presence that depends on our acceptance of the Lord. So after death, many people leave behind the concept of the Holy Spirit that they had formed in the world and accept the idea that it is the Lord’s presence with us through angels and spirits, a presence from and by means of which people are enlightened and taught.

Then too, it is common practice in the Word to name two divine beings, sometimes three, who are nevertheless one, such as Jehovah and God, Jehovah and the Holy One of Israel, Jehovah and the Mighty One of Jacob, as well as God and the Lamb; and because they are one it says elsewhere that Jehovah alone is God, Jehovah alone is the Holy One and is the Holy One of Israel, and there is no God other than him. Sometimes God is called the Lamb and sometimes the Lamb is called God, the latter in the Book of Revelation and the former in the prophets.

We can see that it is the Lord alone who is meant by “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” in Matthew 28:19 from what precedes and follows that verse. In the preceding verse the Lord says, “All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth,” and in the next verse the Lord says, “Behold, I am with you all the days, even to the close of the age.” So he is talking about himself alone, saying this so that they would know that the trinity was in him.

To make it known that the Holy Spirit is no divine thing other than the Lord himself, I need to show what “spirit” means in the Word.

1. “Spirit,” in a broad sense, refers to an individual’s life.

2. Since our life varies depending on our state, “spirit” means the variable attitude we take toward life.

3. It also means the life of those who have been regenerated, which is called spiritual life.

4. Where “spirit” is used in speaking of the Lord, though, it means his divine life and therefore the Lord himself.

5. Specifically, it means the life his wisdom gives us, which is called divine truth.

6. Jehovah himself—that is, the Lord—spoke the Word through prophets.

from The Lord, Section 46


Genesis 1:31 and Its Inner Meaning

And God saw all that he had done and, yes, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. — Genesis 1:31

This time it says very good but previously it said simply good, because now the components of faith combine with those of love to make one entity. A marriage between spiritual and heavenly things has taken place.

“Spiritual” is the adjective for anything having to do with religious knowledge. “Heavenly” applies to everything having to do with love for the Lord and for our neighbor. Spiritual things fall in the province of our intellect; heavenly things, in that of our will.

The periods and stages of our regeneration—both the whole process and individual cycles within it—divide into six, and these six are called our days of creation. Step by step we advance from being nonhuman to being somewhat human, though only a little, then more and more so up to the sixth day, when we become [God’s] image.

All the while the Lord is constantly fighting on our behalf against evil and falsity and through these battles strengthens us in truth and goodness. The time of conflict is when the Lord is at work (for which reason the prophets call a regenerate person the work of God’s fingers [Psalms 8:3, 6; Isaiah 19:25; 29:23; 45:11; 60:21; 64:8; Lamentations 4:2]), and he does not rest until love takes the lead. Then the conflict ends.

When the work progresses so far that faith is united with love, it is called very good, since the Lord now makes us likenesses of himself. At the end of the sixth day, evil spirits retreat and good ones take their place. We are led into heaven, or the Paradise of heaven.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 60-63

Genesis 1:30 and Its Inner Meaning

“And every wild animal of the earth and every bird in the heavens and every animal creeping on the earth, in which there is a living soul—every green plant will serve them for nourishment”; and so it was done. — Genesis 1:30

This verse depicts the spiritual person’s earthly food. The wild animal of the earth symbolizes such a person’s earthly plane of existence, as does the bird in the heavens, both of which received for nourishment the green plant or grass. Concerning this person’s two kinds of food—both earthly and spiritual—David has the following to say:

Jehovah causes grain to sprout for the beast and plants for the service of humankind, to bring bread from the earth. (Psalms 104:14)

“The beast” stands for the wild animal of the earth and at the same time for the bird in the heavens, both of which David mentions in verses 11 and 12 of the same Psalm.

In this verse the nourishment of the earthly self is restricted to green plants for the following reason.

While we are being reborn and learning to concern ourselves with the spirit, we are in constant battle (which is why the Lord’s church is described as militant). Up to this point our cravings have controlled us, because our whole being is cobbled together out of nothing but those cravings and the distorted ideas they spawn. We cannot rid ourselves of those longings and distortions instantaneously during regeneration; to do so would destroy us completely, since we have not yet acquired another way of life. Consequently, evil spirits are left with us for a long time to trigger our appetites, which then break down in countless different ways, and break down so thoroughly that the Lord can turn them into something good. This is the way we reform.

In the time of battle, evil spirits leave us no other nourishment than the equivalent of green plants. (Those spirits hold an absolute hatred for everything good and true—for anything having to do with love for the Lord and faith in him, these being the only good and true things that exist—because such things hold eternal life within them.) But from time to time the Lord gives us additional food that can be compared to seed-bearing plants and fruit trees: calm and peace, with their accompanying joy and happiness.

If the Lord were not protecting us every moment, every split second, we would be wiped out instantly. Hatred against any aspect of love for the Lord or faith in him dominates the world of spirits, and the hatred is so deadly that it defies description.

I can testify to the truth of this absolutely. For several years now I have visited the next world and the spirits there, though remaining in my body, and the evil ones (the worst, in fact) have crowded around me, sometimes numbering in the thousands. They have been allowed to spew out their venom and harass me in every possible way, but still they were unable to hurt a single hair on my head, so closely did the Lord guard me.

All these years of experience have taught me a great deal about the nature of the world of spirits and about the conflict that those who are being reborn inevitably suffer if they are to win the happiness of eternal life. No one, however, can learn enough from a general description to develop an unshakable belief in this information, so the details, with the Lord’s divine mercy, must come in what follows.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volune 1, Sections 58-59

Genesis 1:28 and Its Inner Meaning

And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Reproduce and multiply, and fill the earth and harness it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the bird in the heavens and over every living animal creeping on the earth.” — Genesis 1:28

The earliest people called the interconnection of intellect and will or of faith and love a marriage, so the generation of any good from that marriage they termed reproduction, and the generation of any truth they termed multiplication. Because they did so, the prophets did so too; in Ezekiel, for instance:

I will multiply human and animal upon you, [mountains of Israel,] and they will multiply and reproduce; and I will cause you to live as in your ancient times. And I will do good to you beyond that at your beginnings, and you will know that I am Jehovah. And I will cause humankind—my people Israel—to walk upon you. (Ezekiel 36:8, 9, 10, 11, 12)

Humankind here means the spiritual being, which is also called Israel; the ancient times mean the very earliest church; and the beginnings mean the ancient church, which followed the Flood. The multiplying (of truth) comes before the reproducing (of good) because these verses describe the person who is being reborn, not the one who has been reborn already.

When the intellect couples with the will in us, or faith with love, the Lord through Isaiah calls us a married land:

No longer will your land be named Devastated; but you will be called I Am Well Pleased with Her, and your land, Married, since Jehovah will take pleasure in you. And your land will be married. (Isaiah 62:4)

The fruits of truth produced by this marriage are called sons, while the fruits of goodness are called daughters, as occurs quite often in the Word.

The earth is filled when truth and goodness proliferate, because when the Lord blesses and says things (that is, operates), goodness and truth grow beyond measure. As he states:

The kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard seed that you have taken and sown in your field, which to be sure is the smallest of all the seeds; but when it has grown, it is bigger than all the plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches. (Matthew 13:31, 32)

The mustard seed is the good we have before developing a spiritual orientation; it is the smallest of all the seeds, because we suppose that we do good on our own. Anything we do on our own is evil through and through, but since we are engaged in the process of being reborn, we have a trace—the smallest possible trace—of goodness.

Later, as faith becomes more closely connected with love, it grows larger—a plant. When the connection is completed, it turns into a tree, and then the birds of the heavens (which here as before [Sections 11, 40, 48] are true ideas, or the contents of the intellect) nest in its branches (the facts we know). When we are spiritual people or are becoming spiritual, we are subject to conflict; and this is why it says harness the earth, and rule.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section


Section 11: Published 10/21/2018 (The Fifth Stage)
Section 40: Published 11/24/2018
Section 48: Published 11/29/2018

Genesis 1:27 and Its Inner Meaning

And God created the human in his image; in God’s image he created them. Male and female he created them. — Genesis 1:27

Image comes up twice in this verse because faith, which belongs to the intellect, is called his image, but love, which belongs to the will, is called God’s image. Love comes second in the spiritual person but first in the heavenly person.

Male and female he created them. The inner meaning of male and female was very familiar to the earliest church, although their successors lost touch with this secret when they lost sight of any deeper import to the Word.

These earliest people found their greatest happiness and pleasure in marriage. Whenever they could possibly draw a comparison between something else and marriage, they did so, in order to perceive the happiness of marriage in that other entity. Being people of depth, they enjoyed only the deeper aspects of things. External objects were just for looking at; their thoughts were occupied instead with the things those objects represented. External objects, then, were nothing to them, serving only as a springboard for reflection on inner realities, and these for contemplation of heavenly realities and so of the Lord, who was everything to them. The same process caused them to reflect on the heavenly marriage, which they could tell was the source of the happiness in their own marriages.

As a result, they called the intellect in the spiritual being male and the will there female; and when the two worked together, they called it a marriage.

That religion initiated the practice, which became quite common, of calling the church Daughter or Virgin (as in “the Virgin Zion,” “the Virgin Jerusalem”) and also Wife, on account of its desire for good. For more on this, see the treatment of Genesis 2:24 and 3:15.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 53-54

Genesis 1:26 anf Its Inner Meaning (Continued)

And God said, “Let us make a human in our image, after our likeness; and these will rule over the fish of the sea and over the bird in the heavens, and over the beast, and over all the earth, and over every creeping animal that creeps on the earth.” — Genesis 1:26

As long as we are spiritual, we rule the outer self first and from this the inner, as illustrated here in Genesis 1:26.

When we become heavenly, though, and do good because we love to, we rule the inner self first and from it the outer. The Lord describes this as being true of himself; and as it is true of him, it is also true of the heavenly type of person, who is a likeness of him. The words appear in David:

You have made him rule over the works of your hands; all things you have put under his feet: the flock and all the herds, and also the animals of the fields, the bird in the heavens, and the fish of the sea—that which travels the paths of the seas. (Psalms 8:6–8)

In this passage, animals receive the first mention, next the bird, then the fish of the sea, because the heavenly person proceeds from love, which belongs to the will. Things are different with the spiritual person, for whom the fish and birds come first and the animals follow; fish and birds are associated with the intellect, which concerns itself with faith.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 52

Genesis 1:26 and Its Inner Meaaning (Continued)

And God said, “Let us make a human in our image, after our likeness; and these will rule over the fish of the sea and over the bird in the heavens, and over the beast, and over all the earth, and over every creeping animal that creeps on the earth.” — Genesis 1:26

As far as an image is concerned, it is not the likeness of another thing but is after a likeness of it, which explains the wording “Let us make a human in our image, after our likeness.” A person with a spiritual character is an image, but a person with a heavenly character is a likeness or exact copy.

Genesis 1 deals with the spiritual person, Genesis 2 with the heavenly person.

The Lord calls the person of spiritual character (or an “image”) a child of light, as he does in John:

Those who walk in the dark do not know where they are heading. As long as you have the light, believe in the light, in order to be children of light. (John 12:35, 36)

He also calls such a person a friend:

You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:14, 15)

But the person of heavenly character (or a “likeness”) he calls God’s child in John:

As many as did accept him, to them he gave the power to be God’s children, to those believing in his name, who had their birth not from blood or from the flesh’s will or from a man’s will but from God. (John 1:12, 13)

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 51

Genesis 1:26 and Its Inner Meaning (Continued)

And God said, “Let us make a human in our image, after our likeness; and these will rule over the fish of the sea and over the bird in the heavens, and over the beast, and over all the earth, and over every creeping animal that creeps on the earth.” — Genesis 1:26

What the people of the earliest church meant when they spoke of the Lord’s image involves more than can be put into words.

People have no idea whatever that the Lord governs them through angels and spirits, or that at least two spirits and two angels accompany each of them. The spirits create a link with the world of spirits, and the angels create one with heaven. We cannot possibly live without a channel of communication open to the world of spirits through spirits and to heaven through angels (and in this way to the Lord through heaven). Our life depends totally on such a connection. If the spirits and angels withdrew from us, we would be destroyed in a second.

As long as we are unregenerate, we are governed in a completely different way than the regenerate. Before regeneration we have with us evil spirits whose grip on us is so strong that the angels, though present, can achieve hardly any results. All they can do is head us off from rushing into the worst kind of evil and divert us toward some form of good. They even use our own appetites to lead us toward good, and the illusions of our senses to lead us toward truth. Under these circumstances we communicate with the world of spirits by means of the spirits around us but not so much with heaven, since the evil spirits are in charge and the angels only deflect their influence.

When we are regenerate, on the other hand, the angels are in charge, inspiring us with all kinds of goodness and truth and instilling a horror and fear of evil and falsity.

Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role, the words of this verse appear in the plural—“Let us make a human in our image.” But since only the Lord rules and manages us, the next verse uses the singular—“God created the human in his image.” The Lord states his role clearly in Isaiah:

This is what Jehovah has said, your Redeemer and the one who formed you from the womb: “I, Jehovah, make all things, stretching the heavens out on my own, spreading the earth out by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24)

The angels themselves confess that they have no power but act only at the Lord’s behest.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume1, Section 50

Genesis 1:26 and Its Inner Meaning

And God said, “Let us make a human in our image, after our likeness; and these will rule over the fish of the sea and over the bird in the heavens, and over the beast, and over all the earth, and over every creeping animal that creeps on the earth.” — Genesis 1:26

To members of the earliest church, whom the Lord addressed face to face, he appeared as a human being. (Many things could be told about these people, but this is not the right time.) As a consequence, they used the term human for none but him, or for his qualities. They did not even call themselves human, excepting whatever they could tell he gave them, such as all the good embraced by love and all the truth espoused by faith. These traits they described as human, because they were the Lord’s.

As a consequence, the terms human being and son of humankind in the prophets have the Lord as their highest meaning. At a lower but still internal level, the meaning is wisdom and understanding and accordingly everyone who has been reborn. An example from Jeremiah:

I looked at the earth, and there—void and emptiness; and to the heavens, and there—no light in them! I looked, and there—not a human! And all the birds of the heavens had fled. (Jeremiah 4:23, 25)

At the inner level, the following passage in Isaiah uses a human being to mean one reborn, and on the highest level the Lord himself, as an exemplar:

This is what Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel and its fashioner, has said: “I made the earth, and the human being on it I created. My hands stretched out the heavens, and to their whole army I gave commands.” (Isaiah 45:11, 12, 13)

For this reason, the prophets saw the Lord as a human being. Ezekiel was one who did:

Above the expanse was a seeming appearance of sapphire stone, like a throne, and on the likeness of a throne was what looked like the appearance of a person on it, high above. (Ezekiel 1:26)

When Daniel saw the Lord, he called him “Son of Humankind,” or human being, which is the same thing:

I looked, and there! In the clouds of the sky, it was as if the Son of Humankind was coming. And he came to the Ancient One, and they brought him before [the Ancient One]. And he was given power to rule, and glory, and kingship; and all peoples, nations, and tongues will serve him. His ruling power is eternal, a power that will not pass away, and his kingship one that will not perish. (Daniel 7:13, 14)

In fact, the Lord often calls himself Son of Humankind, or human; echoing the prophecy in Daniel that he will come in glory, he says:

They will see the Son of Humankind coming in the clouds of the sky with strength and glory. (Matthew 24:27, 30)

“The clouds of the heavens” (or sky) is what the literal meaning of the Word is called. “Strength and glory” are terms for the Word’s inner meaning, which at each and every point focuses exclusively on the Lord and his kingdom. This focus is what gives the inner meaning strength and glory.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 49

Genesis 1:24-25 and Its Inner Meaning (Continued)

More evidence that these words enfold the mysteries of regeneration can be seen in differences between the present verse and the last. The last says that the earth produced the living soul, the beast, and the wild animal of the earth. The present one employs a different order, saying that God made the wild animal of the earth and then the beast. At first we produce results as if on our own, as we do later, too, before developing a heavenly nature. Regeneration, then, starts with the outer self and moves to the inner, which is why a change in the order occurs, and outermost things come first.

All this verifies the premise: In the fifth stage we speak with conviction (an attribute of the intellect) and in the process strengthen ourselves in truth and goodness. The things we then produce have life in them and are called the fish of the sea and the birds in the heavens. And in the sixth stage we act with conviction (an attribute of the intellect) and therefore with love (an attribute of the will) in speaking truth and doing good. What we then produce is called a living soul, an animal. Because this is the point at which we begin to act as much with love as with conviction, we become spiritual people, who are called [God’s] image—the very next subject.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 47-48