True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 121

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This follows from the statement in the previous section that without the Lord's redemption neither could the angels have continued to exist. To the reasons given above the following may be added.

(1) At the time of the Lord's first coming the hells had grown to such a height that they filled the whole world of spirits, which lies midway between heaven and hell. Thus the hells had not only thrown into confusion what is called the lowest heaven, but they had even attacked the middle heaven, which was being plagued in a thousand different ways, and but for the Lord's protection would have been destroyed. Such an assault by the hells is what is meant by the tower built in the land of Shinar, the top of which reached to heaven. This attempt was stopped by the confusion of tongues, and its builders were scattered; the city was called Babel (Gen. 11:1-9) The meaning of the tower there and the confusion of tongues has been explained in ARCANA CAELESTIA, published in London.*

[2] The reason why the hells had grown to such a height was that at the time when the Lord came into the world, the whole globe had utterly alienated itself from God by the worship of idols and the practice of magic; and the church established among the Children of Israel, and at a later period among the Jews, had been totally destroyed by falsifying and adulterating the Word. All of both these parties came after death into the world of spirits, where they ended by so growing and multiplying that they could not be dislodged from there except by God Himself coming down, and then using the strength of His Divine arm. A description of how this took place was given in the short book THE LAST JUDGMENT published in London in 1758. This event was accomplished by the Lord during His time on earth. A similar act has been performed by the Lord at the present time, since, as stated above, now is His second coming, foretold throughout Revelation, in Matthew (24:3, 30), in Mark (13:26), in Luke (21:27), in the Acts of the Apostles (1:11) and elsewhere. The difference is that at His first coming the growth of the hells was due to worshippers of idols, sorcerers and falsifiers of the Word, but at His second coming it was due to the so-called Christians, both those who had been tainted with nature-worship and those who had falsified the Word by convincing themselves of their fictitious faith in three Divine Persons from eternity, and the Lord's passion as being the real act of redemption. These are the people meant by 'the dragon and his two beasts' in Revelation (chapters 12 and 13).

[3] (2) The second reason why the Lord redeemed the angels too is that not only every man, but also every angel, is held back from evil by the Lord and kept in a state of good. For no one, whether angel or man, is of himself in a state of good, but all good is from the Lord. Thus when the angels' footstool, which they have in the world of spirits, was snatched away, they suffered the same as someone sitting on a chair when the platform it stands on is removed. The angels are not pure in the sight of God, as is shown by the prophetical parts of the Word, and also from job, as well as from the fact that there is no angel who was not previously a man. These statements confirm what was said in the statement of faith of the new heaven and the new church set out both in universal and particular terms placed at the beginning of this book:

The Lord came into the world to take hell away from men, and He did this by fighting against hell and winning victories over it. In this way He subdued it and made it subject to His command.

Also the following passage:

Jehovah God came down and took upon Himself human form so as to reduce to order everything in heaven, [in hell] and in the church. For at that time the power of the devil, that is, of hell, was stronger than the power of heaven, and on earth the power of evil was stronger than the power of good, so that utter damnation stood threateningly at the gates. This impending damnation was removed by Jehovah God by means of His Human, and thus He redeemed angels and men.

These passages show that without the Lord's coming no one could have been saved. The situation to-day is similar. So unless the Lord comes into the world again, no more can anyone be saved (see above 2, 3). * Volume 1 (1749), 1283-1328.

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