7710. Stretch out thy hand toward heaven. That this signifies the rule of the power of truth Divine in heaven, is evident from the signification of "stretching out the hand," as being the rule of power (of which above, n. 7673); from the representation of Moses, who was to stretch out his hand, as being truth Divine (see n. 6723, 6752, 7010, 7014, 7382); and from the signification of "heaven," as being the angelic heaven. How it is that the rule of the power of truth Divine in heaven should produce a new state among the infesters, which is signified by the "thick darkness," is evident from what was shown above (n. 7643, 7679), namely, that the Lord is continually setting heaven in order, and endowing those who are there, and those who newly arrive, with celestial and spiritual good. The effect of this setting in order is that the evil are gradually devastated; for this good flows in with a nearer presence to the evil who are in the opposite (for the Divine influx continues on even into the opposites, and in this way holds the hells together in connection and in bonds), and because the evil turn all good into evil, and therefore turn into greater evil the good which flows in more presently; and insofar as they do this, so far they resist the truth and good more strongly, that is, they infest more grievously. Hence it is that there are degrees of devastation, until finally they are cast down into hell, which is the last of the degrees of vastation. From all this it is evident that nothing but good proceeds from the Lord, and that He does not vastate the evil, still less cast them into hell, but that they themselves do this.