864. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, signifies those who have been joined to the Lord by the acknowledgment of His Divine Human, and by a life according to His commandments. This is evident from the signification of "the Lamb," as being the Lord as to the Divine Human (see above, n. 314; also from the signification of "following Him whithersoever He goeth," as being to acknowledge His Divine and to do His commandments. "To follow the Lord" has a similar signification as "to go or to walk after Him." That "to go or walk after the Lord," signifies to acknowledge, to obey, and to act and live from Him and with Him, may be seen above n. 787. This is the signification of "following the Lord," because no one can follow the Lord from self, but only from the Lord Himself. For the Lord draws after Him the man who from freedom wills to follow; but He can draw no one who does not will to follow Him. For the Lord so operates with man that man may follow Him as if of himself; thus does the Lord flow into man's freedom; and this He does for the sake of the reception and implantation of truth and good with man and consequent reformation and regeneration. For unless it appeared to man that he followed the Lord as if of himself, that is, acknowledged His Divine and did His commandments as if of himself, there would be no appropriation and conjunction, and thus no reformation and regeneration. For everything enters into the man and becomes as if it were his own that man receives in freedom, that is, as if of himself, whether it be what he thinks and speaks or what he wills and does as if of himself. And yet man ought to believe, as the matter really is in itself, that he does these things not from himself but from the Lord; and this is why it is said that he must act not of himself but as if of himself. Another reason for this is that man has no perception of the Lord's operation into his will and into his thought therefrom; for man knows nothing about his conjunction with angels; consequently he supposes that whatever he wills and thinks he wills and thinks from himself; therefore he cannot know otherwise than that this is done by himself; and yet all good flows in, that which he thinks, that which he wills, and that which he consequently does. And as he knows this from the doctrine of the church, namely, that all good is from God, he ought to believe that he does not do good of himself, although he does it as if of himself. This is meant by what the Lord taught in Mark:
So is the kingdom of God as if a man should cast seed upon the earth, and should then sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up he knoweth not how (Mark 4:26, 27).
And in John:
A man can receive nothing unless it be given him from heaven (John 3:27).
And in the same:
He that abideth In Me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
Mark 4:26-27; Revelation 14:4)
 To acknowledge the Lord's Divine Human and to do His commandments is to follow Him, because only those who do this can be conjoined to the Lord. That everyone is conjoined to the Lord according to the acknowledgment and confession of Him from the heart and according to the life, can be seen from this, that all the angels of heaven acknowledge no other Divine than the Divine of the Lord, and all angels of the heavens live according to the laws of order, which are His commandments, that is, they live in the Divine that proceeds from the Lord, which is called the Divine truth. Because they so live they live in a heavenly aura, or in a heavenly ether, into which none can be admitted except those who are in life from the Lord. If any others were to enter into that ether it would be like letting mice into a pipe out of which the air has been exhausted.
 All this makes clear what is signified in the spiritual sense by "following the Lord whithersoever He goeth." "To follow Him" has the same signification in the following passages. As in John:
Jesus said, I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).
"I am the light of the world" signifies that He is the Divine truth itself; "he that followeth Me" signifies he that acknowledges His Divine and does His commandments; "shall not walk in darkness" signifies that he shall not be in falsities; "but shall have the light of life" signifies that he shall be in Divine truths, which teach man eternal life and lead to heaven. Here evidently "to follow the Lord" does not mean to follow Him, but to acknowledge His Divine and obey Him.
 In the same:
When the Shepherd of the sheep hath led forth His own sheep He goeth before them and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice; but a stranger they do not follow, but flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me (John 10:4, 5, 27).
Here, "to follow the Lord" means to acknowledge His Divine and to obey Him; for it is said, He goeth before His own sheep and the sheep follow Him and know and hear His voice; "to know and hear the Lord's voice" signifies to do His commandments.
 In the Gospels:
Whosoever wills to come after Me let him deny himself and follow Me (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23).
Evidently "to go after the Lord and to follow Him" is to deny self; and to deny self is to be led not by self but by the Lord; and he denies self who shuns and turns away from evils because they are sins; and when man turns away from evils he is led by the Lord; for he does the Lord's commandments, not from self but from the Lord. "To follow the Lord" has the same signification elsewhere (as in Matthew 19:21, 28; Mark 2:14, 15; 3:7, 8; 10:21, 28, 29; Luke 18:22, 28; John 12:26; 13:36, 37; 21:19-22).
John 13:36-37; Mark 2:14-15, 3:7-8, Mark 10:28-29; Matthew 16:21, 16:28)
 All this makes clear that to "follow the Lord" is to be led by Him and not by self; and only those who are not led by self can be led by the Lord; and everyone is led by self who does not shun evils because they are contrary to the Word and thus contrary to God; consequently because they are sins and are from hell. Everyone who does not thus shun and turn away from evils is led by self; and for the reason that the evil that is in man by heredity constitutes his life, because that is his own [proprium]; and until such evils have been removed man does all things from them, thus from self. But it is otherwise when evils have been removed, which is done when he shuns them because they are infernal; then the Lord enters with truths and goods from heaven, and leads him. The chief reason is that every man is his own love; and man, as to his spirit, which lives after death, is nothing else than the affection which is of his love, and all evil is from his love, and thus belongs to his love; from which it follows that a man's love or affection is reformed only by a spiritual shunning of evils and turning away from them, which is shunning them and turning away from them because they are infernal. From all this it can now be seen what it is "to follow the Lord whithersoever He goeth."