Those Who Climb Up Some Other Way

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Spurious faith is all faith that departs from the true faith, which is the one only faith, and this is the faith that is held by those who climb up some other way, and regard the Lord not as God but as a mere man.

That spurious faith is all faith that departs from the true faith, which is the one only faith, is self evident; for if the one only faith is the truth, it follows that what departs from it is not truth.

Every good and truth of the church is propagated by the marriage of the Lord and the church; thus everything that is essentially charity and that is essentially faith is from that marriage; and on the other hand, whatever of charity and faith is not from that marriage, is not from a legitimate but an illegitimate bed, thus from a polygamic bed or marriage, or from adultery.

All faith that acknowledges the Lord but adopts the falsities of heresy is from a polygamic bed, and the faith that acknowledges three Lords of one church is from adultery. For this may be likened to a harlot or a woman married to one man and spending her nights with two others, calling each one her husband while sleeping with him. Therefore such faith is called spurious; and in many places the Lord calls those holding such a faith “adulterers,” and they are also meant by “thieves and robbers” in John:

Verily I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber; I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved  (10:1, 9).

Entering into the sheepfold is entering into the church, and also into heaven. It is entering also into heaven because heaven and the church make one, and nothing makes heaven except the church that is in it; consequently as the Lord is the bridegroom and husband of the church, so is He also the bridegroom and husband of heaven.

It may be inquired into and may be known whether faith is a legitimate or a spurious offspring by the three indications … namely –

    Acknowledgment of the Lord as the Son of God
    Acknowledgment of Him as the God of heaven and earth
    Acknowledgment that He is one with the Father.

Therefore, so far as any faith departs from these its essentials, it is spurious.

Faith is both spurious and adulterous with those who regard the Lord not as God but merely as a man. The truth of this is very evident from the two abominable heresies –  Arianism and Socinianism – which have been anathematized in and excommunicated from the Christian church, and this because they deny the Lord’s Divinity, and climb up some other way. But I fear that those abominations lie concealed at this day in the general spirit of the men of the church.

It is remarkable that the more anyone deems himself to be superior to others in learning and judgment, the more prone he is to seize upon and appropriate to himself the idea that the Lord is a man and not God, and that because He is a man He cannot be God; and whoever appropriates to himself these ideas, introduces himself into companionship with Arians and Socinians, who in the spiritual world are in hell.

Such is the general spirit of the men of the church at the present day, because with every man there is an associate spirit; for without this man would be unable to think analytically, rationally, and spiritually, and thus would not be a man but a brute. Moreover, every man attaches to himself a spirit in harmony with the affection of his own will and consequent perception of his understanding.

To the man who introduces himself into good affections by means of truths from the Word and a life according to them, an angel from heaven is adjoined; while he who introduces himself into evil affections by the confirmation of falsities and a wicked life adjoins himself to a spirit from hell, and when this is done the man enters more and more, as it were, into fraternity with satans, and confirms himself more and more in falsities contrary to the truths in the Word, and in Arian and Socinian abominations against the Lord.

This is because no satan can bear to hear any truth from the Word or to hear Jesus named; and if they hear these they become like furies, and run about and blaspheme; and then if light from heaven flows in they throw themselves headlong into caverns and into their own thick darkness, in which there is light to them, as there is to owls in the dark, or to cats in cellars watching for mice. Such do all those become after death, who in heart and faith deny the Divinity of the Lord and the holiness of the Word. Their internal man is of this nature, however much the external may play the mimic and feign to be Christian. That this is true I know, because I have seen and heard it.

Of all who honor the Lord as the Redeemer and Savior with the mouth and lips only, while in heart and spirit they regard Him as a mere man, it may be said, when they are speaking of these things and teaching them, that their cheeks are like a bag of honey, and their heart like a bag of gall; their words are like cakes of sugar, while their thoughts are like emulsions of aconite; they are also like rolls of pastry containing snakes. If such persons are priests, they are like pirates on the sea who hoist the flag of a peaceful nation, but when a ship sailing near hails them as friends, they raise a piratical flag in place of the other, seize the ship, and carry away those on board into captivity. They are also like serpents of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that approach like angels of light, carrying in their hands apples from that tree painted with golden colors, as if plucked from the tree of life; and they offer them, saying:

God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5).

And when these have eaten, they follow the serpent into the lower world, and there they dwell together. Round about that world are the satans who have eaten of the apples of Arius and Socinus. Such as these are meant also by the man,

Who came to the marriage without a wedding garment, and was cast into outer darkness (Matt. 22:11-13);

“the wedding garment” meaning faith in the Lord as the Son of God, the God of heaven and earth, and one with the Father. Those who honor the Lord with the mouth and lips only, but in heart and spirit regard Him as a mere man, if they declare their thoughts and persuade others, are spiritual murderers, and the worst of them are spiritual cannibals –

For a man’s life is from love to the Lord and faith in Him; and if this essential element of faith and love — that the Lord is God-Man and Man-God — is taken away, man’s life becomes death; thus in this way man is killed and devoured as a kid by a wolf.

(True Christian Religion  380)
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About mike

The Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race, an angelic heaven would be formed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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