Angels, devils, were once human


[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, beings in" (search under Beings/Other Beings)": source "Divine Providence": detail "Section 27"
Heaven does not consist of angels created such to begin with, nor does hell come from any devil created an angel of light and cast down from heaven. Both heaven and hell are from mankind, heaven consisting of those in the love of good and consequent understanding of truth, and hell of those in the love of evil and consequent understanding of falsity. This has been made known and sure to me by long-continued communication with angels and spirits.
 As heaven is from mankind and is an abiding with the Lord to eternity, it must have been the Lord's purpose in creation; being the purpose in creation, it is the purpose of his providence. The Lord created the world not for his own sake but for the sake of those with whom he would be in heaven. Spiritual love by nature desires to give its own to another, and so far as it can do so is in its esse, peace and blessedness. Spiritual love derives this from the Lord's divine love which is such infinitely. It follows that the divine love and hence divine providence has for its object a heaven consisting of human beings who have become or are becoming angels, on whom the Lord can bestow all the blessings and felicities of love and wisdom and do so from himself in men.

[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, beings in" (search under Beings/Other Beings)": source "Of the Last Judgment and the Babylon which has been Destroyed": detail "Section 14"
It is altogether unknown in the Christian world, that heaven and hell are from mankind; for it is believed that angels were created at the beginning, and that heaven was formed of them; and, that the devil or satan was an angel of light, who, becoming rebellious, was cast down with his crew, and that this was the origin of hell. The angels are greatly astonished at such a faith in the Christian world, and still more, that nothing at all is there known of heaven, when yet it is a primary subject of doctrine in the church; and since such ignorance prevails, they are rejoiced in heart that it has now pleased the Lord to reveal to men many things concerning heaven, and also concerning hell, and by this means, as far as possible, to dissipate the darkness which daily increases, because the church has come to its end: wherefore they wish me to declare from them, that there is no one in the universal heaven, who was created an angel from the first, nor any devil in hell who was created an angel of light, and then cast down, but that all both in heaven and in hell are from the human race: in heaven those who had lived in the world in heavenly love and faith, and in hell those who had lived in hellish love and faith; and that it is hell in the whole complex, which is called the devil and satan. The angels said, that the Christian world have conceived such a belief about those in heaven and hell, from certain passages in the Word [Bible] no otherwise understood than according to the sense of the letter, and not illustrated and explained by genuine doctrine from the Word; when yet the sense of the letter, if the genuine doctrine of the church does not shine before it, divides the mind into various opinions; whence come ignorance, heresies, and errors.