FALSE CHRISTIANITY, AND TRUE CHRISTIANITY
There are two kinds of Christianity, a false or anti- Christianity, and true Christianity. False Christianity states that God was wrathful with humankind, and for that demanded punishment. To satisfy this justice, He sent His son -- another being -- to take the punishment for our sins, and our sins are transferred away by mere belief or lip service. This is false Christianity, for it divides God into multiple beings, and encourages people to live as they will. Our evils are "covered up" automatically, with no change of heart, and no effort of repentance. Many are expecting a future Antichrist to come and take over the world. This is not true, for the Antichrist is in fact a system of religion. It is not an individual, it is a false theology, and it is present everywhere within the shells of church buildings.
In true Christianity, it was God Himself who descended to become incarnate in human form, and it is this human form which is the Son -- not a separate being from eternity. By taking on this human, and subduing its evil nature, inherited from its human mother, Jehovah (who could by no means commit a sin) was able to fight directly against all of Hell until the human was made Divine. And when He made His human Divine, the Holy Spirit flowed forth from His body, and there can now be direct union with God again. When we repent and fight against our internal sins, Jehovah fights for us in our will, as we try to resist evil. In this there is salvation: one where we take responsibility for our deeds, and responsibility for changing our ways. There is conjunction between us and God through the Holy Spirit. This God did out of love, for if He did not do this, the entire human race would have been lost due to increasing evil, as contact with heaven was broken off many ages ago. Free will and morality is dependent on maintaining the balance between heaven and hell in the spiritual world, and the resurrection of Jesus restored this balance.
True Christianity cannot take hold until the false Christianity is taken away, by exposing what is false. Are we to believe that animal sacrifices, or a human sacrifice, contributes anything to our spiritual salvation? True, animal sacrifices were instituted in the Mosaic law, from a previous older religion, but these rituals had symbolic meaning (see below). Are we to believe that God demands a human sacrifice, similar to how the ancient Aztecs were sacrificing humans to their gods, or how people in the Middle East sacrificed their children by burning them in the fire to the god Moloch? Let us rescue the church from this false view of religion.
SALVATION BY BLOOD, OR SALVATION BY TRUTH?
Lets take a look at some passages that mention the blood of Jesus, and then discuss the spiritual meaning behind the word "blood". For it is from these passages, falsely interpreted, that a false Christianity can be derived if not properly understood. First let us take a look at the Last Supper, at which time Jesus instituted the ritual of communion:
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matt. 26:26-28)
This is central to Christian worship, yet it is the hardest passage to understand if not understood spiritually. That there is a symbolic meaning to His body and His blood, is shown in the gospel of John:
Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
This is the bread which came down from heaven --- not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
...Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you?
What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:53-63)
So it is not flesh and blood which gives life, it is Spirit. Specifically, the Holy Spirit. Those who interpreted Jesus words literally when He said these things turned away and left Him. Yet many take body and blood literally. Does the blood itself sanctify? No it does not, it is the Divine truth which we receive spiritually which cleanses us from sin:
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. (John 17:17-19)
This is a very important passage. Note that Jesus says that one is sanctified (meaning, cleansed from sin) by TRUTH, not by blood. Also note, that Jesus says that He first had to sanctify Himself! What does that mean? It means, although internally He was Jehovah, the Divine who could not sin, from the human he inherited from His human mother He could be tempted to do evil. It is through this human form that Jehovah fought directly against Hell, until He subdued and conquered all evil, even to the point where He shed the human from the mother and made it Divine - a Divine Human, if you will. And this is why the body and blood are central in Christian worship, for one must believe that He made His very human Divine. Swedenborg took this further: His body represents Divine love, and His blood Divine truth. When we commit ourselves to love and truth, we appropriate that as part of our spiritual life. And that is what is meant by the body and the blood in communion.
That one is sanctified by the truth, which is by keeping God's commandments, is shown in this passage, where the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth:
If you love Me, keep My commandments.To keep the commandments is to first shun evils as sins before God, not for the sake of keeping appearances before others. On the outside, many people look the same. But on the inside, people's intentions are quite different. All our deeds will be judged by our intentions.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever ---
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:15-18)
There are numerous passages in the New Testament which declares that we are washed from our sins by the blood of Jesus. I have shown above, that blood is symbolic of the Divine truth. But many are most likely to take this literally still, because when Jesus was crucified, there are direct descriptions of the blood which flowed from His body in that horrific execution. But that is not what is meant. First, the historical manner in which Jesus was crucified was in itself symbolic - it represented how the Jews rejected the very Word itself. This is what is meant by "bearing sins" - for by bearing sins means for a prophet to represent how the sins of a people have distanced themselves from God. Secondly, the crucifixion was simply the last temptation of Jesus, which He overcame. Instead of hating the executioners, He simply forgave them. He chose not to hate, for His love was that great for humanity. And after that, He conquered hell, and rose from the dead, and the Holy Spirit was then available to all. The crucifixion was simply the last in the process of making His human body Divine, through which He could save humanity. The idea that Jesus absorbed all the sins of humanity on the cross is false. The idea that Jesus fought against all the evils and sins of hell throughout His life is true. These concepts of salvation are very different, so different, that they are opposed to each other. The first is a religion of belief alone, the second is a religion of repentance from sin.
THE SYMBOLISM OF BLOOD
In ancient times, blood was considered symbolic, and thus played a role in many rituals, including the rituals of the Jews as instituted by Moses. Many, who have a false understanding of Christianity, or who read things literally, will thus derive a false interpretation of these ancient rituals which were symbolic. So lets examine the spiritual significance of blood, which Swedenborg spelled out in detail. First, blood was symbolic of spiritual life, and one's physical body was symbolic of one's lower natural and selfish desires:
That the soul signifies life may be evident from the signification of soul in the Word, in many places. Soul in the Word signifies in general all life, as well internal, or that of the internal man, as external, or that of the external man. And because it signifies all life, it signifies such life as that of the man of whom the soul is predicated. Here it is predicated of the life of the regenerate man, which is separate from man's will; for, as already said, the new life which the regenerate spiritual man receives from the Lord, is entirely separate from the will or proprium of man, that is, from the life proper to man, which is not life, though so called, but is death, because it is infernal life. Here therefore flesh with the soul thereof, which they should not eat, signifies flesh together with its soul; that is, they should not mingle this new life, which is of the Lord, with evil or excrementitious life, which is of man — that is, not with his will or proprium.
That the blood signifies charity may be evident from many things. The new voluntary part which the regenerate spiritual man receives from the Lord, is the same as charity, for the new will is formed of charity. Charity or love is the very essential or life of the will, since no one can say that he wills anything unless from choosing or loving it. To say that one thinks a thing is not to will it, unless willing is in the thought. This new will which is of charity is here the blood, and this will is not of man, but of the Lord in man. And because it is of the Lord, it is never to be mingled with what is of the will of man which is so filthy, as has been shown. For this reason it was commanded in the representative church that they should not eat flesh with the soul thereof, the blood thereof — that is, should not mingle it. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1000-1001)
To this day, Jews and Muslims still eat kosher meat, where the blood must be drained from the animal before consuming it. Why? They do it simply from tradition. But now we know, it was to maintain a symbolic representative worship, where a spiritual life is not to be comingled with a lower selfish life of sin. One must remove evils and sins from one's self before one is allowed to become spiritual. And this is the symbolic meaning of the animal sacrifices, where the blood is separated and the flesh is burned, which had to be made before one entered the temple. Removal and purification from sin is the first step to take in any spiritual life. This representative type of worship was abolished with the coming of Jesus.