The Laws of the Divine Providence
Introduction: The First Three Chapters
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and have supper with him, and he with Me.
John 14 21, 23 (Quoted in DP 33)
He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him… and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make an abode with him.
From Divine Providence
DP 28. I. Heaven is conjunction with the Lord. Heaven is not heaven from the angels but from the Lord; for the love and wisdom in which the angels are and which make up heaven, are not from the angels but from the Lord, and are, in fact, the Lord in them…. The angels themselves confess that they live from the Lord; hence it may be evident that heaven is conjunction with the Lord. Since, however, conjunction with the Lord varies in degree, and heaven accordingly is not the same to one as to another, it also follows that heaven is according to the conjunction with the Lord.
DP 30. The Lord’s heaven in the natural world is called the Church; and an angel of this heaven is a man of the Church who is conjoined to the Lord; and after he leaves this world he becomes an angel of the spiritual heaven. From this it is clear that what has been said of the angelic heaven must also be understood of the human heaven that is called the Church.
DP 33. How a man is more and more nearly conjoined to the Lord: This is accomplished not by knowledge alone, nor by intelligence alone, nor even by wisdom alone, but by a life conjoined to these. Man’s life is his love, and love is manifold. In general, there is the love of evil and the love of good. The love of evil is the love of committing adultery, taking revenge, defrauding, blaspheming, and depriving others of their goods. The love of evil has a sense of pleasure and delight in thinking about these things and in doing them….
DP 33:2. Now because the Lord flows into the life’s love of everyone, and through its affections into his perceptions and thoughts, and not the reverse… it follows that the Lord can conjoin Himself more nearly only so far as the love of evil with its affections, which are lusts, has been removed.
As these lusts reside in the natural man, and as whatever a man does from the natural man he feels as if he does from himself, therefore he ought, as if from himself, to remove the evils of that love; and as far as he does this the Lord draws nearer, and conjoins Himself to him. Anyone can see from reason that lusts with their delights obstruct and close the door before the Lord, and that these cannot be cast out by the Lord so long as man himself holds the door closed and, pressing from the outside, prevents it from being opened. That man himself ought to open the door is clear from the Lord’s words in Revelation [quoted above].
DP 39:2. [Heavenly] joys enter as man, as if from himself but still from the Lord, puts away the lusts of the love of evil and falsity…. The joys of the affections of the love of good and truth begin from the Lord, thus from the inmost; and from there they pour themselves forth into lower things, even to the lowest, and thus fill the angel, making him become as it were wholly a delight….
Questions and Comments
- A key aspect of going to heaven and enjoying eternal life is acknowledging that we are not loving and wise, or good and true, from ourselves, but that all the real life in us is the Lord’s. Do you remember an experience that brought home this truth to you?
- How does it feel to think of being conjoined with the Lord? Is that scary?
- Sometimes it seems it would be easier if we just had to learn a lot of things to go to heaven, rather than change our lives. What is one reason why this does not work?
- It is a wonderful thing that the Lord gives us responsibility for our lives, even though we often mess up. What are some key steps to putting away the love of evil with its lusts?