III. HEAVEN AND HELL ARE FROM THE HUMAN RACE.
No one in the Christian world is aware that heaven and hell are from the human race. It is believed that angels were created from the beginning, and so heaven was formed; and that the Devil or Satan was an angel of light, but becoming a rebel was cast down together with his crew, and so hell was formed. The angels are exceedingly surprised that such is the belief of the Christian world; and even more so by the fact that people know nothing at all about heaven, when this is a leading point in what the church teaches. Because such ignorance abounds the angels were delighted that it has now pleased the Lord to make further revelations to Christians about heaven, and also about hell; and so as far as possible to dispel the darkness that deepens day by day, because the church has reached its end. The angels therefore wish me to assert as their own statement that the whole of heaven does not contain one angel who was created from the beginning, nor does hell contain any devil who was created an angel of light and then cast down; but that all the inhabitants of both heaven and hell are from the human race. Heaven contains those who lived in the world in a state of heavenly love and faith, hell those who lived in a state of hellish love and faith. They said that it is the whole of hell taken together which is called the Devil and Satan; the rear hell, the home of those called wicked genii, is called Devil, the front hell, the home of those called wicked spirits, is called Satan. 2
On the nature of the two hells see the final part of my book HEAVEN AND HELL. The angels explained the reason for the Christian world's belief about the inhabitants of heaven and of hell as the result of a failure to understand certain passages in the Word as anything but literal accounts, instead of interpreting them and illustrating them in the light of the correct teaching from the Word. Yet the literal sense of the Word, unless previously illuminated by the church's correct teaching, causes people's minds to go astray in various directions; and this is the source of ignorance, heresy and error. 3
Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.