Light and Warmth in Heaven

PEOPLE who think solely on the basis of nature cannot grasp the fact that there is light in the heavens; yet in the heavens there is so much light that it is vastly greater than noonday light on earth. I have seen it often, even during our evenings and nights. At first I was amazed when I heard angels saying that our world’s light was nothing but shadow in comparison to heaven’s light, but now that I have seen it, I myself can bear witness. Its brightness and brilliance are beyond description. What I have seen in heaven I have seen in that light, and therefore more clearly and distinctly than what I have seen in this world.

Heaven’s light is not natural like the light of our world, but spiritual. It actually comes from the Lord as the sun, and that sun, as explained in the preceding chapter, is divine love. While what emanates from the Lord as the sun is called divine truth in the heavens, in essence it is divine good as one with divine truth. This is the source of light and warmth for angels: they get their light from the divine truth and their warmth from the divine good.

We can therefore conclude that heaven’s light, in view of the nature of its source, is spiritual and not natural, as is its warmth.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 126-127


Previously Cited: 11/22/2016

The Clothes Angels Appear In (Continued)

Because angels’ clothes correspond to their intelligence they also correspond to what is true, since all intelligence comes from divine truth. So it amounts to the same thing whether you say that angels are dressed according to their intelligence or according to divine truth. The reason the garments of some angels gleam as though aflame, while the garments of others shine as though alight, is that flame corresponds to what is good, and light to what is true because of that good.a  The reason some garments are pure white and soft white and do not shine, while others are of various colors, is that divine good and truth are less dazzling and are also differently accepted among less intelligent people.b Pure white and soft white correspond to what is true,c  and colors correspond to different shadings of truth.d  The reason angels in the inmost heaven are naked is that they are in innocence, and innocence corresponds to nudity.e

from Heaven and Hell, Section 179


Previously Cited: 12/30/2016

a. Garments in the Word mean truths by reason of correspondence; because truths clothe what is good: A veil means something of intellect, since discernment is the vessel of what is true: White garments of linen mean truths from the Divine: Flame means spiritual good, and the light from it means truth from that good.

b. Angels and spirits are seen wearing clothes that accord with their truths and therefore with their intelligence: Some garments of angels are radiant, and some are not.

c. Pure white and soft white in the Word mean what is true, because they come from light in heaven.

d. Colors in heaven are variegations of the light there: Colors mean various things that are matters of intelligence and wisdom: The precious stones in the Urim and Thummim, depending on their colors, meant all the truths in the heavens that stem from what is good: To the extent that colors are derived from red, they mean what is good; while to the extent that they are derived from white, they mean what is true.

e. All the people in the inmost heaven are innocent, and therefore seem to be naked: Innocence is manifested in heaven as nudity: For innocent and chaste people, nudity is not a matter of shame because there is no occasion for offense.

Everything Good and True Comes from the Lord

The Lord is goodness itself and truth itself. In both his divine and his human natures, the Lord is the divine goodness that results from divine love, and this goodness is the source of divine truth. Divine truth radiates from the Lord’s divine goodness much the way light radiates from the sun. The divine truth that comes from the Lord takes the form of light in the heavens and is the source of all of heaven’s light. Heaven’s light, which is divine truth acting as one with divine goodness, enlightens both the sight and the understanding of angels and spirits. Heaven is bathed in light and warmth because it is devoted to what is true and good, since divine truth there is light and divine goodness there is warmth. See also Heaven and Hell 126–140. The divine truth that comes from the Lord’s divine goodness gives the angelic heaven its form and design. In heaven, the divine goodness that is one with the divine truth is referred to as divine truth.

Divine truth coming from the Lord is the only thing that is real. Everything was made and created by means of divine truth. Divine truth has all power.

On our own we cannot do one bit of good or think one bit of truth. On its own, our rational ability cannot grasp divine truth. Any truths that do not come from the Lord come from our own selves and are not true even though they seem to be true.

Everything that is good and true comes from the Lord, and none of it from us. Things that are good and true are good and true to the extent that they have the Lord in them. On divine truth that comes directly from the Lord and on divine truth that comes indirectly, through angels, and on how they flow in for us. The Lord flows into what is good in us, and through what is good into what is true. He flows through what is good into truths of all kinds, but especially into genuine truths. The Lord does not flow, though, into truths that are cut off from goodness, and such truths do not bring us into a parallel relationship with the Lord the way goodness does.

Doing what is good and true for the sake of what is good and true is loving the Lord and loving our neighbor. When we are devoted to the deeper aspects of the Word, the church, and worship, we love to do what is good and true for the sake of what is good and true; but if our involvement is only on a superficial level, with no depth, then we love to do what is good and true only for our own sakes or for worldly reasons.

from New Jerusalem, Section 25


Sections 126-140 from Heaven and Hell: Published: 11/22/2016-12/2/2016

5. When “spirit” is used in speaking of the Lord, it means specifically the life his wisdom gives us, which is divine truth. (Continued)

Because the Spirit of Truth or the Holy Spirit is the same as the Lord, who is the truth itself, it also says “There was not the Holy Spirit yet because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39). This is because after his glorification or full union with the Father, which was accomplished by his suffering on the cross, the Lord was then divine wisdom itself and divine truth—therefore the Holy Spirit.

The reason the Lord breathed on the disciples and said “Receive the Holy Spirit” was that all of heaven’s breathing originates with the Lord. Angels breathe just as we do, and their hearts beat. Their breathing depends on their acceptance of divine wisdom from the Lord and their heartbeat or pulse depends on their acceptance of divine love from the Lord. This will be explained in its proper place.

From the following passages we can clearly see that the Holy Spirit is divine truth that comes from the Lord:

When they hand you over to the synagogues, do not worry about what you are going to say. The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you should say. (Luke 12:11, 12; 21:14; Mark 13:11)

Jehovah said, “My spirit, which is upon you, and my words, which I have placed in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth.” (Isaiah 59:21)

A shoot will go forth from the trunk of Jesse. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the spirit of his lips he will slay the ungodly. Truth will be a belt around his hips. (Isaiah 11:1, 4, 5)

Now he has commanded with his mouth and his spirit has gathered them. (Isaiah 34:16)

Those who worship God must worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

It is the spirit that gives life—the flesh is of no benefit. The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)

John said, “I am baptizing you with water into repentance, but the one who is to come after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16)

To baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire is to regenerate by means of the divine truth that produces faith and the divine goodness that produces love [within us].

When Jesus was being baptized, the heavens were opened and he saw the Holy Spirit coming down like a dove. (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:21; John 1:32, 33)

A dove represents purification and regeneration by means of divine

When “the Holy Spirit” is used in speaking of the Lord it means his divine life and therefore himself, and specifically it means the life his wisdom gives us, which is called divine truth; therefore the spirit of the prophets, which is also called the Holy Spirit, means divine truth that comes from the Lord. This is the case in the following passages:

. . . what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2:7, 11, 29; 3:1, 6, 13, 22)

The seven lamps of fire burning before the throne are the seven spirits of God. (Revelation 4:5)

In the midst of the elders stood a Lamb, having seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Revelation 5:6)

The lamps of fire and the eyes of the Lord mean divine truths, and seven means what is holy.

. . . says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors.” (Revelation 14:13)

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” (Revelation 22:17)

They made their hearts diamond-hard so that they would not hear the law or the words that Jehovah sent by his spirit through the hand of the prophets. (Zechariah 7:12)

The spirit of Elijah came upon Elisha. (2 Kings 2:15)

John went before [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah. (Luke 1:17)

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. (Luke 1:41)

Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. (Luke 1:67)

David said by the Holy Spirit, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand.’” (Mark 12:36)

The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)

Since, then, the Holy Spirit means specifically the Lord’s divine wisdom and therefore his divine truth, we can see why it is that people say of the Holy Spirit that it enlightens, teaches, and inspires.

from The Lord, Section 51

The Entire Sacred Scripture Is about the Lord, and the Lord Is the Word

We read in John,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and nothing that was made came about without him. In him there was life, and that life was the light for humankind. And the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness did not grasp it. And the Word became flesh and lived among us; and we saw his glory, glory like that of the only-begotten child of the Father. He was full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 14)

In the same Gospel,

Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

And elsewhere in the same Gospel,

While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light. I have come into the world as a light so that anyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness. (John 12:36, 46)

We can see from this that the Lord is God from eternity and that he himself is that Lord who was born into the world. It actually says that the Word was with God and that the Word was God, as well as that nothing that was made came about without him, and then that the Word became flesh and that they saw him.

There is little understanding in the church of what it means to call the Lord “the Word.” He is called the Word because the Word means divine truth or divine wisdom and the Lord is divine truth itself or divine wisdom itself. That is why he is also called the light that is said to have come into the world.

Since divine wisdom and divine love are one with each other and have been one in the Lord from eternity, it also says “in him there was life, and that life was the light for humankind.” The life is divine love, and the light is divine wisdom.

This oneness is what is meant by saying both that “in the beginning the Word was with God” and that “the Word was God.” “With God” is in God, since wisdom is in love and love is in wisdom. This is like the statement elsewhere in John, “Glorify me, Father, together with yourself, with the glory I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:5). “With yourself” is “in yourself.” This is why it adds “and the Word was God.” It says elsewhere that the Lord is in the Father and the Father is in him [John 14:10], and that the Father and he are one [John 10:30].

Since the Word is the divine wisdom of the divine love, it follows that it is Jehovah himself and therefore the Lord, the one by whom all things were made that were made, since everything was created out of divine love by means of divine wisdom.

from The Lord, Section 1

Note: This Section was published 4/4/2016.

We Live Like Jesus in This World: 2. Jehovah God came down as the divine truth, which is the Word; but he did not separate the divine goodness from it.

Two things constitute the essence of God: divine love and divine wisdom; or, what is the same, divine goodness and divine truth. (Above at Sections 36–48 we showed that these two constitute the essence of God.) The expression “Jehovah God” in the Word means these two qualities. “Jehovah” means divine love or divine goodness; “God” means divine wisdom or divine truth. This is why these names occur in various ways in the Word. At times just Jehovah is named; at other times, just God. When the subject is divine goodness he is called Jehovah. When the subject is divine truth he is called God. When both are involved he is called Jehovah God.

It is clear from John that Jehovah God came down as divine truth, which is the Word:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by it, and nothing that was made came about without it. And the Word became flesh and lived among us. (John 1:1, 3, 14)

“The Word” in this passage means divine truth because the Word that exists in the church is divine truth itself. The Word was dictated by Jehovah himself, and what Jehovah dictates is pure divine truth—it cannot be anything else. Nevertheless, because it passed all the way through the heavens into the world, it became adapted to angels in heaven and also to people in the world. As a result, in the Word there is a spiritual meaning in which divine truth is in the light and there is an earthly meaning in which divine truth is in shadow. The divine truth in this Word is what was meant in John.

This is clearer still from the fact that the Lord came into the world to fulfill all the things in the Word. This is why it says many times that this or that happened to him in order to fulfill Scripture [see Section 262]. Divine truth is precisely what “the Messiah” and “Christ” mean, what “the Son of Humankind” means, and what “the Comforter, the Holy Spirit” that the Lord sent after his death means. During his transfiguration on the mountain before his three disciples (Matthew 17[:1–13]; Mark 9[:2–13]; Luke 9[:28–36]) and also during his transfiguration before John in Revelation 1:12–16, the Lord represented himself as the Word, as we will see in the chapter below on Sacred Scripture [Section 222].

From the Lord’s own words it is clear that he was present in the world as divine truth: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). This is also clear from these words:

“We know that the Son of God came and gave us understanding so that we would know the truth. And we are in the truth in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

This becomes still clearer from the fact that he is called the light, as in these passages:

He was the true light that enlightens everyone who comes into the world. (John 1:9)

Jesus said, “For a brief time the light is still with you. Walk while you have the light so the darkness will not overtake you. While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become children of the light.” (John 12:35, 36)

I am the light of the world. (John 9:5)

Simeon said, “My eyes have seen your salvation, a light of revelation to the nations.” (Luke 2:30, 32)

This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world. Those who do the truth come toward the light. (John 3:19, 21)

There are other such passages as well. “The light” means divine truth.

from True Christianity, Section 85

The Lord’s Divine Nature in Heaven Is Love for Him and Thoughtfulness toward One’s Neighbor (Continued)

The reason the Lord’s divine nature in heaven is love is that love is what is receptive of every heavenly quality—that is, of peace, intelligence, wisdom, and happiness. Love is receptive of everything that is in harmony with it. It longs for such things, it seeks them out, it absorbs them spontaneously because it has the constant purpose of uniting itself with them and being enriched by them. People actually recognize this fact, since the love within them surveys memory, so to speak, and draws out from it the items that agree with it. It gathers these together and arranges them within and beneath itself—within itself so that it may possess them and beneath itself so that they may serve it. It discards and eradicates, though, the items that do not agree with it.

I have been able to see very clearly that love has a full, intrinsic ability to accept elements of truth that suit it and has also a desire of uniting them to itself. This has become clear from observing people who have been transported into heaven. Even people who were simple folk in this world have arrived at angelic wisdom and heavenly happiness in the company of angels. This was because they loved what is good and true for the sake of what is good and true. They had grafted these qualities into their lives and had thereby become capable of accepting heaven and all its indescribable riches.

People caught up in love for themselves and for the world, however, have no such receptive ability. They turn away from such things, discard them, and at their first touch or inflow try to escape them. They ally themselves with people in hell who are caught up in loves like their own.

There were some spirits who doubted that love was so full and wanted to know whether this was really true. In order that they might find out, they were let into a state of heavenly love with all obstacles removed and were brought forward a considerable distance to an angelic heaven. They talked with me from there and told me that they felt deeper happiness than words could express, sorrowing that they would have to return to their former state. Other people as well have been raised into heaven, and the deeper or higher they have been taken, the deeper and higher they have penetrated into intelligence and wisdom, becoming able to grasp things that were incomprehensible to them before. We can see from this that the love that emanates from the Lord is open to heaven and all its riches.

We can conclude that love for the Lord and love for our neighbor embrace within themselves everything that is true from the Divine because this follows from what the Lord himself said about these two loves: “You shall love your God with all your heart and with all your soul: this is the greatest and first commandment. The second, which is like it, is that you should love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37–40). The Law and the Prophets are the whole Word, which means all divine truth.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 18, 19

The Lord’s Divine Nature in Heaven Is Love for Him and Thoughtfulness toward One’s Neighbor

IN heaven, the divine nature that emanates from the Lord is called divine truth, for reasons that will be given below. This divine truth flows into heaven from the Lord, out of his divine love. Divine love and the divine truth that derives from it are like the sun’s fire and the light that comes from it in our world. The love is like the sun’s fire, and the derivative truth is like the light from the sun. By reason of correspondence, fire means love and light means the truth that flows from it.

This enables us to determine the character of the divine truth that emanates from divine love: in its essence, it is divine good united to divine truth, and because it is united, it gives life to everything in heaven the way the warmth of the sun, united to its light, makes everything fruitful on earth in spring and summer. It is different when the warmth is not united to light, when the light is therefore cold. Then everything slows down and lies there, snuffed out.

The divine good we have compared to warmth is the good of love within and among angels, and the divine truth we have compared to light is the means and the source of this good of love.

The reason the Divine in heaven (which in fact makes heaven) is love is that love is spiritual union. It unites angels to the Lord and unites them with each other. It does this so thoroughly that in the Lord’s sight they are like a single being. Further, love is the essential reality of every individual life. It is therefore the source of the life of angels and the life of people here. Anyone who weighs the matter will discover that love is our vital core. We grow warm because of its presence and cold because of its absence, and when it is completely gone, we die. We do need to realize, though, that it is the quality of our love that determines the quality of this life.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 13, 14