The preceding point showed that redemption was something only the Divine could bring about—for anyone other than God Almighty it would have been impossible. Furthermore, God could not have brought about this redemption if he had not taken on flesh (that is, become human), because in his infinite essence Jehovah God could not come near hell, let alone enter it. He exists in what is first and most pure. If Jehovah God as he is in himself were only to breathe on those who are in hell he would instantly kill them all. When Moses wanted to see him he said, “You cannot see my faces, because no human being will see me and stay alive” (Exodus 33:20). If Moses could not do this, still less could those who are in hell, where everyone exists in what is lowest, densest, and farthest away [from God]. Those who are earthly are the lowest. Therefore if Jehovah God had not taken on a human manifestation, clothing himself with a body that is on the lowest level, his undertaking any act of redemption would have been a waste of time.
We could not attack an enemy without being armed for battle and coming within range. We could not destroy or drive away the dragons, hydras, and basilisks in some desert without putting a breastplate on our body, a helmet on our head, and a spear in our hand. We could not catch whales at sea without a ship and whaling equipment. These examples are not actual parallels, but they do illustrate the fact that God Almighty could not have even attempted to battle hell without first putting on a human manifestation.
It is important to know, however, that the Lord’s battle with the hells was not some verbal to and fro like a philosophical debate or a legal battle. That kind of battle has no effect whatever on hell. It was a spiritual battle using the divine truth connected with divine good—the very vitality of the Lord. When this truth visibly flows in, no one in the hells is able to oppose it. There is so much power in it that when demons from hell merely sense that it might be present they run away, throw themselves down into deep places, and squeeze into underground shelters to hide. This phenomenon is the same thing described by Isaiah: “They will go into caverns in the rocks and into crevices in the dust, dreading Jehovah, when he rises to terrify the earth” (Isaiah 2:19); and in the Book of Revelation: “They will all hide themselves in caves in the rocks and in the rocks on the mountains, and they will say to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One sitting on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb’” (Revelation 6:15, 16, 17).
How much power the Lord exercised from divine goodness when he carried out the Last Judgment in 1757 is clear from the descriptions in the little work Last Judgment. For example, in the world of spirits there were mountains and hills occupied by hellish spirits that the Lord ripped from their moorings and moved far away; some he flattened. He flooded their cities, villages, and fields, and turned their land upside down. He threw those mountains and hills and their inhabitants into quagmires, ponds, and swamps; and more. The Lord alone accomplished all this using the power of divine truth connected with divine goodness.
from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 124