50. The Most Ancient Church understood by the "image of the Lord" more than can be expressed. Man is altogether ignorant that he is governed of the Lord through angels and spirits, and that with everyone there are at least two spirits, and two angels. By spirits man has communication with the world of spirits, and by angels with heaven. Without communication by means of spirits with the world of spirits, and by means of angels with heaven, and thus through heaven with the Lord, man could not live at all; his life entirely depends on this conjunction, so that if the spirits and angels were to withdraw, he would instantly perish.
 While man is unregenerate he is governed quite otherwise than when regenerated. While unregenerate there are evil spirits with him, who so domineer over him that the angels, though present, are scarcely able to do anything more than merely guide him so that he may not plunge into the lowest evil, and bend him to some good-in fact bend him to good by means of his own cupidities, and to truth by means of the fallacies of the senses. He then has communication with the world of spirits through the spirits who are with him, but not so much with heaven, because evil spirits rule, and the angels only avert their rule.  But when the man is regenerate, the angels rule, and inspire him with all goods and truths, and with fear and horror of evils and falsities. The angels indeed lead, but only as ministers, for it is the Lord alone who governs man through angels and spirits. And as this is done through the ministry of angels, it is here first said, in the plural number, "Let us make man in our image;" and yet because the Lord alone governs and disposes, it is said in the following verse, in the singular number, "God created him in His own image." This the Lord also plainly declares in Isaiah:
Thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I Jehovah make all things, stretching forth the heavens alone, spreading abroad the earth by Myself (Isa. 44:24).
The angels moreover themselves confess that there is no power in them, but that they act from the Lord alone.