Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The False Belief of a Trinity of three beings: TRITHEISM

Once again, I am going to mention the false errors and beliefs that have crept into the Christian Church, specifically one: the idea that God exists in three persons. What triggered this is I heard a minister mention that we should give up traditions and always refer to scripture. Yet some traditions are "good traditions", and the Nicene Creed is an example of a "good tradition." No, it is not a good tradition, it is a very bad one that corrupted the Christian church. How so? They modified the Apostle's Creed, and introduced the idea of a "son born from eternity." This was UNKNOWN to the early Christian church. For that see The Nicene Creed: a distorted version of the Apostle's Creed. For the early church, the Son of God was NOT "born from eternity", the son was the son born to Mary in time. Thus the angel made this statement to Mary:

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:31-32)

This is WHY Jesus is called the son of God. He was BORN OF A VIRGIN, with no human father. That is why he calls God his Father! He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Before that, there was no Son of God. Did he pre-exist? Yes, because he is Jehovah, as Jesus is Jehovah in human form.

The misconception of dividing God into three persons can be seen in many churches. I will grab a statement of faith from a typical Christian church. They say this:

We believe in one eternal God existing equally in three eternal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

OK, this is nothing but TRITHEISM, pure and simple. It says one God. One WHAT? There is no one here, unless you reduce God to a substance or energy, who is not a personal being. Here is the correct doctrine, which can be seen in the New Church or New Christianity:

We believe in one eternal personal God, Jesus Christ, in whom exists the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as the soul, body and spirit exists in each and every person.

This is the main difference between old Christianity and the New Christianity described by Swedenborg: the New Christianity restores the monotheism of the original gospel. When God descended and became incarnate in a human being, he assumed a tripartite nature of soul, body and spirit. This is the Trinity. The tripartite nature of every living human is described in the following verse:

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen. 2:7).

Here we have the soul, the body (the dust of the ground), and the spirit (breath). The spirit of a person is not a separate person. The conclusion: before God became incarnate, the Trinity did not exist. And that is why you do not find it in the Old Testament: it is not there, because it did not exist yet.

But that is not enough, Christians reading this, will start to mention scripture as proof. The problem is, most people's view of scripture is seen through the lenses of doctrine: for is doctrine which determines how one reads it. Nevertheless, lets go through the scripture they will quote on this subject. I will quote from the church web site:
While the word “Trinity” is not found within Scripture, Scripture clearly teaches that: God eternally exists as three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), each person is fully God, and there is one God. The doctrine of the Trinity is hinted at in the Old Testament (e.g. Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Ps 45:6-7; 110:1; Isa 6:8; 61:1; 63:10).
Here is the problem: ignoring all the passages which teaches that Jehovah is a personal being and besides him there is no God, Christians will search out passages that prove their doctrine. The first three passages (Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7) is nothing more than God speaking with his angels. Psalms 45:6-7 is a bit better, which heralds the coming Messiah (anointed one), but that is nowhere close to a Trinity of three beings. In the New Church doctrine, the Messiah or anointed one is simply the human form in which Jehovah became incarnate, in which he dwells as the soul or spirit (thus is "anointed") and does not constitute a separate eternal being. Among the Jews, he Messiah is an earthly king who will establish a literal kingdom of God on earth centered at Jerusalem, which is why they are still looking. Psalms 110:1 is better, again a Messianic prophecy that Jesus himself quoted:

Jehovah says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."

So, being the literalists most people are when reading the Bible, this passage "proves" that besides Jehovah there sits at his right hand another personal being, the Messiah. Is this true? No. For one, the "right hand" is a symbol of the highest honor. Either you are going to believe here two personal beings (the old Church), or you can believe that when Jesus rose from the dead, HE MADE HIS HUMAN DIVINE. This Divine Human is an essential doctrine of the New Church, and explains the ritual of the Eucharist or communion. When he rose from the dead, no longer was his body human flesh, but Divine. When he was born, there essentially arose a conflict between Jehovah and all of hell as he could be tempted to do evil through the human flesh he inherited from the human vessel, Mary. He conquered all of hell by making his human Divine: that is the meaning of sitting at the right hand of God: his human form was elevated to Divinity, until nothing remained of what he inherited from Mary. The reason for this is that after death, the spiritual body is derived from the soul, which in the case of Jesus was Jehovah himself. How do we know this is correct? From this passage:

Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. (Isa. 44:6)

Jehovah - ONE PERSONAL BEING - is the King and Redeemer. In the New Testament, Jesus becomes King and Redeemer, and even assumes the title of the first and the last. And besides Jehovah, THERE IS NO OTHER PERSONAL BEING. And what about this passage:

I am Jehovah, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. (Isa. 45:5)

But wait, some may say, did he create another personal being later? NO:

"You are My witnesses," declares Jehovah, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me." (Isa. 43:10)

As for the other proof texts this church mentions, Isa. 6:8 mentions the commission of Isaiah the prophet and is irrelevant. Isaiah 61:1 does mention the Messiah which we covered, and Isaiah 63:10 mentions God's spirit. So SORRY, TRINITY IS NOT THERE. A TRINITY OF THREE PERSONS IS FOREIGN TO JUDAISM, AND FOREIGN TO THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH. A better one for them to have mentioned is this one:

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isa. 9:7)

Why is it not mentioned? It shows an example of how erroneous the Trinity is. Hey, if I want to be extremely literal here, we have four (not three) personal beings: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. I am doing that to show how ridiculous the argument is. But the other reason I mention this: this particular prophecy of the Messiah calls the future child to be born as ETERNAL FATHER. So answer me this: why would the personal being of the Son be called Father??? The truth of the matter, the Father exists in the Son as the soul exists in the body:

Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
"Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (John 14:8-10).

See the error? Philip was thinking of the Father as another personal being. Jesus corrects Philip. So he would correct anyone who would think of the Father as another personal being. The Father is the invisible Divine, the Son is the visible form of that Divine. And that is why Jesus could do nothing apart from the Father: he resided in him as the soul does the body, and directed him to say and do whatever he said and did. How can Jesus be a separate being who has no separate will?  But lets proceed to other proof texts, I will again quote from a church website:
[The Trinity is] more fully developed in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel of John (1:33-34; cf. 14:16-17,26; 16:13-15; 20:21-22). The three persons are intimately inter-related (John 1:33-34; cf. 14:16-17, 26; 16:13-15; 20:21-22). The three distinct persons of the Godhead are seen, for example, in the baptism of Jesus (Matt 3:16-17), the Great Commission (Matt 28:19), and the Upper Room Discourse (John 20:21-22).
All throughout the above paragraph, scripture is being seen through the eyes of the Nicene Creed, not the other way around. Another issue is literalism. Since personal pronouns are used to reference the different aspects of God, they then assume its another person being:

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)

Does this prove that the Holy Spirit is a distinct person? Because personal pronouns are used to refer to it, in what is probably a Greek translation of Aramaic? NO. In fact, Jesus clarifies this in the very next passage:

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. (John 14:18-20)

See how scripture is distorted. The first passage (John 14:16-17) says of the Holy Spirit, HE will come to you. In the other passage, Jesus says, I WILL COME TO YOU. The conclusion? The Holy Spirit is another aspect of his personal being. And it clarifies something else: just as the Holy Spirit resides in us, so JEHOVAH (the Father) resided in Jesus (the Son). The Trinity is not three persons, it is the emanation of the one Divine from the eternal down to us. Lets move on to the other proof text:

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16:13-15)

What is this saying? The Holy Spirit has no will or initiative of its own. This proves its not a distinct separate being, it is simply God's spirit. Its an aspect of the Divine which communicates directly with us. It is NOT a distinct personal being. Is a spirit of a person a separate distinct person??? No. The Trinity is the emanation of the Divine through the soul, body and spirit of Jesus. Each is a lower state of being, in that the prior state of being must exist before it and in conjunction with it. How do we know that the Holy Spirit emanates from Jesus? Lets mention one of the church's own proof texts:

So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21-22)

How was Jesus sent? Does that mean there was this other being and God the Father told him to go? No. Jesus was sent by Jehovah becoming incarnate in a human being. As Jehovah resides in Jesus as the soul to the human body, so the Holy Spirit resides in us. That the Holy Spirit is an aspect of the personal being of Jesus is shown by Jesus breathing on them: it is a separate person? No. It is the spirit of Jesus, flowing from the Divine Itself (the Father) through the body (the Son) and out towards us (the Spirit).

So what does that leave us with? It leaves us with the baptism passages. In no other passage is the trinity made clear in the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:16-17) and the great commission (Matt. 28:19). Again, with the baptism of Jesus, there is NOTHING that shows these are distinct personal beings. You either believe in multiple beings, or have different aspects of God being shown in a REPRESENTATIVE VISION. To believe in multiple beings means you have to take the Bible extremely literal and out of context, AND, you don't elevate your mind above time and space. When it is understood that scripture is representative (especially visions), and that God is beyond all space, and that there is an emanation of the Divine through Jesus, one can understand the Trinity. That leaves us with one final passage to discuss, the great commission:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19)

In no other place do you have Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Many Christians understand from this three personal beings. But how did the original apostles understand it? If Jesus gave this commandment, then I ask one question: WHY DID THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES DISOBEY THE GREAT COMMISSION? How did they "disobey" it? Not once did they baptize using this formula. Instead, they always baptized in the name of Jesus or Jesus Christ:

Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. (Acts 8:12)

they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 8:16)

And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:48)

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:5)

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? (Rom. 6:3)

So answer me, anyone: if Jesus is a "second person" of a trinity of three beings, how is it the apostles only baptized in the name of Jesus Christ? Does that not mean the apostles baptized only in the name of the Son? Or, does it mean, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit reside in Jesus Christ? The latter is correct:

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9)

And that is why the apostles baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. So what is the "name" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Do they each have different names? NO. They have one name: Lord Jesus Christ. For in the Lord we have the Father, in Jesus he have the Son, and in Christ we have the Holy Spirit. We are dealing here with an emanation of the Divine, where different aspects of the Divine have different titles. What happened with Christianity happened with the ancient religion of the Middle East: it began as monotheistic, and degenerated into polytheism from priests who were in love with religious power. And that is where we are now, TODAY. And this was foreseen in Biblical prophecies:

Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand) (Matt. 24:15)

The above does not speak of a future desecration of a Jewish temple. It speaks of the desecration of the Christian church, when one God is removed from its worship. And you have this prophecy:

And another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Dan. 7:24-25)

Don't look for a political overthrow of three kings or kingdoms. Look for a SPIRITUAL CORRUPTION where a trinity of three beings are taught. As for the meaning of "time, times and half a time", that is recognized by many as a 1260 year period which came to an end around the time a spiritual revelation was given to Emanuel Swedenborg to correct the Christian Church. For that see the following blog posts:

Prophetic Time Periods of the Bible: Part 1
Prophetic Time Periods of the Bible: Part 2
The Prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation
The Prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation, part 2
The Spiritual Meaning of the Abomination of Desolation

Look in your own church, look in your own heart. For when you pray, who do you pray to? How do you read the Lord's prayer:

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name

Do you pray to a separate personal being other than Jesus? For what is the Father's name? The Father's name is none other than Jesus Christ. Pray to him, none other. Remove the idea of three personal beings, for in so doing, one crucifies Jesus. That is the hidden meaning behind the crucifixion: you have Jesus, and two robber thieves on each side of him. When one sees the error, that they did not see Jesus for who he is, the following prophecy becomes fulfilled in one's heart:

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Rev. 1:7)


I was curious, in the last 2000 years or so, was there any revelation of a Trinity of three beings?  The answer is no. The only time it is explicitly stated in that way is in a church council of the fourth century A.D. It led to further controversies, to the point where all the original Christians of the Middle East were declared heretics! That's because whatever the Pope and Emperor dictated was supposedly "Orthodox."  The only time we come close to any visionary revelation of the nature of God was in the visions of Hildegard of Bingen of the 11th century.  When contemplating the Trinity, what did she see? She saw this, which was drawn as an image in one of her books:

You have ONE PERSONAL BEING, from whom emanates the Divine in layers of concentric circles.  Unfortunately, governed by the Catholic doctrine, she then subverted her own vision and sought to explain it in terms of the Nicene Creed.  And that is where we are today: people trusting in tradition, rather than seeking God for revelation.

I will go back to translating the Psalms now, I got up to Psalm 22 which speaks of the crucifixion, and as I heard a minister making a public declaration promoting the Nicene Creed, I thought I would post a blog to counteract it. If you really have to have a traditional creed, stick with the Apostle's Creed. If you want additional logical explanations of the Trinity existing in one person, see True Christian Religion by Emanuel Swedenborg, which happened to originate from revelation unlike the church councils.


  1. Well this is odd. ALL the Google+ comments on this article have DISAPPEARED ENTIRELY. Much apologies to my blog readers. As punishment towards Google, I have switched back to the old commenting system so you no longer need a Google+ account. Plus I do miss those occasional odd comments from anonymous users.

    I checked some other posts, the Google+ comments were still there so not sure what happened. Anyway, I noticed that there is some question as to the original reading of Matthew 28:19 - it may have just said to baptize in "my name" - that is the name of Jesus - and did not include the triune formula. A similar tampering took place at a much later time in 1 John 5:7 (the Johannine Comma). For a discussion on the validity of the reading of Matt. 28:19, see http://www.godglorified.com/collection_of_evidence.htm. At this point, I am somewhat undecided. For there is a trinity, just there is no such thing as a trinity of three persons - only a trinity within one person, Jesus Christ.

  2. OK, I just realized how I can recover the comments here that had disappeared. I am going to add them manually. There were several comments here between Lee Woofenden, myself, and Ray Hall. From Lee:

    Hi Doug,

    Thanks for a good piece.

    It continues to amaze me (but probably shouldn't) that most of the Christian Church takes as fundamental Christian doctrine ideas that are not taught in the Bible, and are even specifically denied in the Bible.

    The word "Trinity" never appears in the Bible, and the word "person" is never applied to the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit in the Bible--still less "persons." Everywhere the Bible talks about God, the number attached to God is always one, never three.

    And yet, belief in a Trinity of Persons in God is almost universal in Christianity.

    How does something that is not taught in the Bible become the fundamental doctrine of most of Christianity?

    In the Protestant world, the doctrine of salvation by faith alone is still official doctrine in most of the sects, and is pushed heavily in the Evangelical and fundamentalist wings. And yet, it is specifically rejected by the Bible:

    "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone." (James 2:24)

    This is the only place in the entire Bible that "faith alone" appears . . . and it is rejected in that one place.

    How does something specifically rejected by the Bible become the distinguishing doctrine and cornerstone of an entire branch of Christianity?

    I have been told that I am not a Christian because I don't believe in these two non-Biblical doctrines, even though I believe that Jesus Christ is the one God of heaven and earth.


    (I also believe that salvation is available to people of all religions, whether or not they believe that Jesus Christ is God.)

    For my own plain English explanation of the Trinity that does exist in the one Person of God, see:
    "Who is God? Who is Jesus Christ? What about that Holy Spirit?"


      Hello Lee,
      I would say there are several reasons why the doctrine of the Trinity persists in Christianity:

      1. People do not question their own religion, and check whether or not it is true. It is very hard for someone to admit their own religion is wrong. Rarely do people investigate what they are taught. Before I knew about Emanuel Swedenborg, I had to take the first step and question my own religion. Not knowing what is true, and what is false, can be a bit distressing. The way I made that step is everyone assumes the religion they grew up must be the "one true religion", which of course is not true.

      2. People do not understand that when God became incarnate he lowered himself to a lower state of being, and had to progress towards the Divine like any other human (Phil 2). So the argument I hear the most is "Did he pray to Himself"? The immediate assumption, from such literalism, is that there are two beings, rather than two STATES of being. The other argument I have heard is that the Greek text "clearly has personal pronouns."

      3. We all have a bias. Doctrine determines how we look at scripture. People learn about doctrine before they read scripture. So you have to look for enlightenment or revelation. It is very hard to go beyond one's bias.

      4. The apostle Paul, unfortunately, is not exact and precise when he talks about "works." Sometimes he is talking about the works of the Jewish rituals, other times good works. You have to look at context, and Catholic theologians do a better job at this on this point. And thus when scripture talks about doing good deeds, the Protestants will pacify the human will and state that it would be God acting for us to do something, thus scripture gets ignored through the filter of their own doctrine. But I remember, back then when I hit those passages I remember, hey something is not quite right here. So for 1500 years God tells people to obey the 10 commandments, and then suddenly says, "Oh, sorry, forget about it" I dont think so.

      So, I am speaking from a viewpoint of someone who changed their own views on Christianity long time ago, and it was not easy, it took a long period of searching. I would say, I wish, someone back then just told and taught me earlier. So the way I first approach it at times, when I am a guest visiting other churches, is I throw out a question that is impossible for them to answer, and wait for the light bulb or questioning to turn on. Most Protestants will go their merrily way, as most, and do not question their religion.

      Jehovah's Witnesses are different. Despite some of the false doctrines they have, in my discussions with them I can see the light bulb turn on because we always immediately agree a trinity of three persons is false. However, they are quite expert in their own proof texts for their own doctrine, I have never seen such intricate arguments laid out using scripture. So with them, you will see either immediate acceptance, or - in the case of their leaders - a bit of frustrated hostility. It is always wiser to argue from scripture first, and only as a last resort show any revelation. Scripture first, Swedenborg last.


      I was born into a Swedenborgian (New Church) family, going back several generations on both sides. Even so, in my late teenage years I did radically question the beliefs I grew up with, and considered the possibility that they might be false. I probably paid closer attention than most of my classmates in a philosophy and comparative religions class in my senior year of high school. I was most interested to determine whether there was some other belief out there--or non-belief--that might be better than what I'd grown up with.

      What ultimately kept me with the basic beliefs I'd grown up with was not only that they made more sense than anything else I came across, but also that they seemed to encompass more love and goodness both in the nature of God and in their acceptance of people of all faiths and religions as being equally God's children, with access to heaven and eternal life. In a sense, it was the fact that my birth religion did NOT claim exclusivity, but extended God's love to all people on earth, that kept me with it.

      Though my beliefs have softened quite a bit since my teenage and young adult years, when I tended to think I knew everything, I still have not found anything else that even comes close to being as satisfying as what I grew up with. Having said that, I've come to appreciate other religions, and even other non-religions, far more than I did as a youth.

      The farther I go along in life, the more I enjoy having a belief that is both detailed and specific on the one hand, and broad and inclusive on the other. It is a rare combination.


      About Jesus talking to the Father, there is a critical piece missing in traditional Christian theology: Jesus actually DID have a dual nature when he was born: the finite human from Mary and the infinite divine from God ("the Father"). But by the time his life on earth was finished, he was fully one with the Father.

      During the course of his life on earth, Jesus' consciousness sometimes dwelt more in the human nature from Mary. In those times, he prayed to the Father as if to a separate being. Other times his consciousness dwelt more in the divine nature from within. In those times, he spoke of being one with the Father.

      During the course of his life, he gradually shed all of the finite humanity that had come from Mary, and replaced it with an infinite Divine Humanity that was from and one with "the Father," or his own inner divine self. Once he rose from death and "ascended to the Father," there was no longer a dual finite/infinite nature, but he was fully, infinitely divine and human at the same time, in a single divine being and consciousness.

      Without an understanding of this process during his life on earth, which Swedenborg calls "glorification," the Gospels can be quite confusing on the nature of Jesus (the Son) in relation to God (the Father). But once we grasp the doctrine of the glorification, it all falls beautifully into place, and the confusion is gone.

      I touch upon this briefly in the article I linked in my original comment.


      And yes, it is easy to mis-read Paul when one approaches him from a faith alone perspective. Paul did heavily emphasize faith, in contrast to James and John, who were stronger on love and works. So it's not surprising that those who veer toward faith alone are strongly drawn to Paul, and tend to marginalize James and John.

      However, Paul does not actually teach faith alone, and you are quite right about the differing uses of the word "works" in Paul. In the places where he supposedly is saying that faith alone saves, he is actually saying that for those who believe in Jesus Christ, it is not necessary to follow the (ancient) Jewish Law of ritual and cultural behavior. This was a heavily debated point in the early Christian Church, which was initially formed of former Jews, but was quickly spreading into pagan areas during Paul's ministry. Because that issue has long since been resolved in Christianity, it's easy to read Paul out of context and not realize what he was talking about.

      Paul did NOT mean that it was no longer necessary to follow the Ten Commendments and the other laws of moral and ethical behavior. Jesus himself affirmed these multiple times as laws of life still fully in force (though not always in the literal interpretation that had been put on them).

      Paul also points out that if we take pride in our works and "boast" about them, they won't do us much good spiritually. This is the classic issue of "merit," which belongs to Christ alone. Many traditional Christians get tripped up on the idea that we cannot "merit" heaven by our works--which is just as true in genuine Christian theology as it is in Protestant theology. If we do good works, it should not be to buy our way into heaven, but out of obedience to God, understanding of what is right, and love for our fellow human beings. None of these has anything to do with deserving, or "meriting," heaven.

      Growing up, I didn't learn the Acts or the Epistles--which is, unfortunately, common among Swedenborgians. I just assumed that if I read them, I would find the passages that support the traditional Christian doctrines of the Trinity and of salvation by faith alone. I was quite surprised when I finally did read them, and they simply did not teach those things any more than the rest of the Bible did.

      One of the best resources in this regard is the classic Brighton Lectures by the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Bayley, originally delivered in England in the 1850s. If you (or anyone reading in) have not yet read them, I highly recommend them. Bayley was both brilliant and gracious in his exposition of New Church doctrine based on the entire Protestant Bible, including the Acts and the Epistles. The lectures were published in many editions under title, "Great Truths on Great Subjects." They are available from the usual online sources in facsimile reprint editions. I also made them available online at my old website at this link:


      The Q&A sessions at the end are priceless in themselves. Under heavy challenge by traditional Christians in his audience, he was, as I said, both brilliant and gracious in his responses and his exposition of New Church doctrine in comparison to traditional Christian doctrines often drawn from the passages quoted by his opponents.


      Just one more thing (for now):

      About my belief that people of all religions can be saved, one of the top posts on my blog (3rd highest hits all time) is this piece:

      "If there’s One God, Why All the Different Religions?"

      Traditional Christians who stop by are often troubled by it. But for many open souls who come across it in their spiritual searches, it is a ray of light that makes their day!

      For me, it is a beautiful thing to be a Christian who believes that people of all religions can be saved. I can relax about the eternal fate of the billions of people in this world, while still putting my lamp on a lampstand, and building my city on a hill for all to see.


      Yes, I see that question come up a lot. Christians assume they are saved and others are not, which is very narrow minded. Those who do good by the truth that they know will go to heaven. But, before I read Swedenborg, it was easy to reach that conclusion from these passages:

      1. Servants who did not know of their master were punished less than those who did know (Luke 12:48). So with more knowledge comes more responsibility.
      2. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were already in heaven before Christ (Matt. 22:32, Luke 16:19-31)
      3. Jesus had no problem with those who did not follow him and yet were able to cast out demons (Mark 9:38-41)

      The last passage is quite revealing. I think Jesus' own apostles had a problem with that - it is only present in Mark, and you do not see it in any of the other gospels. However on the flip side, the New Church is not doing a good job getting the word out - or the information is just simply suppressed at this time in seminaries. Truth makes a difference. Jesus said you shall know the truth and it will set you free. The other way I say it, is truth is universal, but Jesus is that truth in human form.

      I will check out your blogs when I have more time, I am in the middle of translating the Psalms. Our English translations are very inconsistent.


      Just saw your other comments. If you grow up in the Swedenborgian church, you do not realize how lucky you are. Imagine seeking things and not finding any answer for many years. Then in college, I found True Christian Religion in the library, and I thought for sure Swedenborg was going to say something incorrect on the true nature of Jesus. But when I opened and read it, I was stunned. Hey, wait, he just solved the Trinity. Oh look, he explains how Jesus saved humanity, even those who did not know him (which happens to be very similar to the Orthodox view). Hey wait, everything is rational and logical now! I was totally surprised, and my thought was, this book is worth more to me than its weight in gold. My other surprise was: how in the world is this guy so ignored and unknown??? I am still puzzled by that.


      Yes, I consider myself very lucky to have grown up with these teachings. With the mind I have, if I had not had teachings that made rational sense, I would very likely have ended out a skeptical agnostic or atheist.

      I therefore have great sympathy for those who do end out agnostic and atheist due to the irrational beliefs about God and spirit that are common in our culture and throughout the world. This is one of the reasons I am intent on spending the rest of my time here on earth doing my best to make Swedenborg a household name in the English-speaking world. Whether or not people accept Swedenborg's teachings, they should at least know of his existence and of the basics of what he taught. Without even a knowledge of rational and loving teachings about God, people do not even have a choice to embrace those beliefs.

      I, too, am puzzled by how little Swedenborg is still known. Yet the spiritual meaning of Revelation 12, and Swedenborg's commentary on it, does give some understanding of what is going on. There is great resistance from the previous church, which still continues in external form, and this makes it very difficult for many to either hear about or embrace the teachings of Swedenborg.


      Thanks for your comments on my blog. I'm glad those two articles gave you food for thought. Here's another one you might want to read:

      "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit"

      This one deals more directly with the historical development of the idea of the Trinity of Persons, including glances at the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. Nothing in-depth, but enough to give people the general idea of what happened, and where the Christian Church went wrong doctrinally.

      One thing I have only scant knowledge of is where Orthodox Christianity stands on many of these doctrinal points. They seem not to have veered quite as far away from the Biblical truth as Catholicism and Protestantism.


      Yes, I was very lucky to grow up in the Swedenborgian Church--even if I now believe that the institutional New Church will not be the torch that carries genuine Christianity to the masses--as will eventually happen under God's providence.

      However, one thing I will never experience--as you did, and as did others who discovered Swedenborg in adulthood--is having that tremendous beam of light shine out into the former darkness. I have heard the stories of many people who spent years searching for truth, and of the tremendous sense of discovery and blessing that came to them when they finally discovered Swedenborg.

      Have you read the story of the Rev. John Clowes's discovery of Swedenborg? It's powerful and inspiring.

      I'll never have that experience, because Swedenborg's teachings were always my guide and companion in life. I received them "with my mother's milk." (My mother was an ardent "cradle Swedenborgian" herself. She spent many years teaching Sunday School, creating a set of arts and crafts activities to go with the Sunday School notes written by her mother, Anita S. Dole, now published by the Swedenborg Foundation as the six volume "Bible Study Notes," and publishing a monthly Sunday School newsletter, "Five Smooth Stones," that was distributed to Swedenborgian Sunday Schools and children across the U.S. and Canada. Her father and grandfather were Swedenborgian ministers. And my father was a Swedenborgian minister. His father was a Swedenborgian Sunday School Superintendent in Detroit. Can you say "dyed in the wool"?)

      I would still choose to grow up with Swedenborg's teachings rather than having to spend years seeking it in the darkness. But sometimes I have just a tinge of jealousy for those who made that brilliant discovery and had their lives transformed from darkness to light.

      You do therefore have at least one amazing experience that I will never have!


      I was just looking through these comments to find this link on the apostle Paul - thanks, I will browse through it. I may have to again talk about the Protestant error in theology, they ever maintain that as their central doctrine. Paul should not be ignored: although Swedenborg said his writings were not Divinely inspired, he did say in his private diary that they were "Divinely influenced" - just not with a word for word correspondence. It was necessary to have those doctrines spelled out in a simple manner. A certain minister is constantly preaching about about "grace" how it is "given freely". In other words, it does not matter what you do.

      Very few ever question their religion, luckily at a young age I did. Did not realize you came from such a long tradition of Swedenborgians. I have not read about John Clowe's discovery of Swedenborg. For me, it was a long road in darkness before the light of truth dissipated it. Once I started to read Swedenborg, I realized that he wrote in Neo-Latin, and at that point I recalled a dream I had when I was a child. It was so significant I wrote it down the next day, and still have it somewhere. I was walking along, and then I saw this full length mirror. I looked at the mirror, and I was dressed like a monk in medieval times. Then this booming voice out of nowhere said, "WELCOME MY CHILD, TO THE MIRROR OF TRUTH." The mirror began to shimmer, and became like liquid. I then walked right through the mirror, like a doorway or portal (sort of like the movie StarGate). On the other side of the mirror, was this huge enclosed labyrinth, hidden behind it in another dimension I guess. There were several passageways, turning this way and that, and it was endless. And on the walls of the labyrinth there was writing - I looked at the writing, and I saw endless passages written on the wall in Latin. I realized I had uncovered some sort of secret. I began to try and read the Latin, and then I awoke. Very frustrating dream! I was wondering what was written in there. Years later, after I discovered Swedenborg, and was looking up his books, I said to myself, did this guy ever stop writing in Latin? It was then, to my shock, that I remembered the dream, and said to myself, this must be it. 


    Speaking in Tongues Medical Study proves Holy Spirit praying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbQBajYnEc


      Hello Ray. If you want to gain a better understanding of the ancient gift of speaking in tongues, see the following video, where people are able to speak in an actual foreign language. This from Dr. Brian L. Weiss, M.D:


      It is not so well known, but some researchers know about it. It is called Xenoglossy. It shows that yes, there is life after death, and yes, there is a constant interaction between our physical and spiritual world.


      I actually do speak in tongues although mostly in private and hardly for show, even though there may be some that could. In the church that i attend they teach that speaking in tongues is the VISIBLE EVIDENCE that one has been filled and continues to be filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. As everything spiritual and eternal eventually gains a material manifestation in time and space. Concerning the man you talked about i will look him up he sounds interesting, so thanks for the heads up. Here is a study on what the doctrine that says that "pentecostal tongues" or "Christian glossalilia" is the evidence of the Holy Spirit:

      Acts 8:18-19 - "And when Simon SAW that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, 'Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost'."

      What Simon "SAW" was what had become accepted as the physical proof and evidence that an individual had received the Holy Spirit.




      I agree in many respects. The Apostolic Pentecostal church is a restoration of core 1st century Christian beliefs. ONE omnipresent, omnipotent and eternal God named YESHUA or "JESUS" in english who became man by HIS power and omnipresent Spirit over 2,000 years ago. The ONE omnipresence of GOD not three. UPCI.ORG :)


      Hello Ray -
      Yes, the Pentecostal church is correct. What the Pentecostal church arrived at independently from scripture in the 20th century, was shown in detail in visions to Emanuel Swedenborg in the 18th century. And the funny thing is, the Pentecostal church is unaware of Swedenborg and the Swedenborgian church is unaware of the Pentecostals. Why that is, I have no idea. Pentecostal theologians sometimes struggle with some definitions, so for that, I would recommend Swedenborg's work, "True Christian Religion," and for a deeper dive of the inner psychology and spiritual development of how Jesus progressed from human to Divine, see "Heavenly Arcana" (or Arcana Coelestia). Both I published together in an e-book, "The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem." The revelations are deep, and you will not be able to absorb them in a lifetime of study.

      So, that said, the unfortunate thing is that the Pentecostal church is so deeply focused on speaking in tongues, it has really turned a lot of people off on their church. Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift, and does not show up that often. A minister I knew who did missionary work in Indonesia, once saw a young Christian woman praying in English. She did not know the English language - she was essentially speaking in a foreign language. Unfortunately, "speaking in tongues" for many in the Pentecostal church means jumping up and spouting out blabber in order to get attention. This is not correct - speaking in tongues is speaking in an actual known language, often as testimony in situations where people do not know the language. Swedenborg warns not to confuse the Holy Spirit with emotionalism, or what he called "enthusiasm." It is ephemeral and does not last. Doctrines that open the mind and changing one's life are more important than miracles. If you want to learn more about speaking in tongues, how it is possible, there are explanations by Swedenborg for this spiritual phenomenon. In most cases, however, angelic spirits will speak to man using the person's own language, as they can immediately know a person's language by drawing it out of their memory.

      So my hope is, the Pentecostal church will concentrate on more important things: the doctrine of One God in One Person, Jesus Christ, and not get focused on a gift in order to show others. It does happen, but it is important not to subvert it to gain attention. I saw one Pentecostal church get emptied out - with little or no attendance - from one person abusing it (it was no language whatsoever) and should have in fact been reprimanded. When one pretends like that one profanes what is holy. Doctrines that open the mind to better understanding, and reforming one's life, are the higher priority. So, hope you are not offended, this is my own opinion, but I am greatly happy that the Pentecostal church is growing.


      As I understand it, only one branch of the Pentecostal Church, commonly known as "Oneness Pentecostals," have rejected the Trinity of Persons and believe in God in One Person. I recall a figure of there being about 600,000 members of Oneness Pentecostal churches perhaps a decade ago--which dwarfs the organized Swedenborgian Church in numbers.

      I've read some of their doctrinal statements. They quote the same Bible passages Swedenborg did to show that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One God. However, they do veer away from Swedenborg on many other points of doctrine relating to salvation.

      A few of their ministers actually do read Swedenborg.

      Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was in touch with three Pentecostal ministers in the U.S. and Canada who were avid Swedenborg readers. They preached Swedenborg's ideas to their congregations--who ate it up! However, these ministers mostly did not mention their source in Swedenborg to their church leaders or to their congregations because it could have endangered their ministry. So they quietly preached Swedenborg to their spiritually thirsty congregations.

      Unfortunately, for most people out there Swedenborg is still a hidden current affecting lives and changing society without the beneficiaries being aware of the source.


      I actually do speak in tongues although mostly in private and hardly for show, even though there may be some that could. In the church that i attend they teach that speaking in tongues is the VISIBLE EVIDENCE that one has been filled and continues to be filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. As everything spiritual and eternal eventually gains a material manifestation in time and space. Concerning the man you talked about i will look him up he sounds interesting, so thanks for the heads up. Here is a study on what the doctrine that says that "pentecostal tongues" or "Christian glossalilia" is the evidence of the Holy Spirit:

      Acts 8:18-19 - "And when Simon SAW that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, 'Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost'."

      What Simon "SAW" was what had become accepted as the physical proof and evidence that an individual had received the Holy Spirit.


      The intention is important. For outsiders, it does more harm than good. But one should not look for external visible evidence to something that is spiritual and unseen. If one confesses, and transforms their life, that is evidence enough for the Holy Spirit. "For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7). "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). The more important issue - for the New Church and Pentecostal church - should be two principles: that there is One God in one person, Jesus Christ, and that one should live according to the commandments.

      Xenoglossy - speaking in an actual foreign language - is rare but it does happen.


      Yes. The 1,050 New Testament commandments. Everything spiritual and invisible has an eventual manifestation in time. Like JESUS "the son" (for instance) is the manifestation of "the eternal Father" in time. JESUS as "the Father" has always been, but only in time was manifest to man a bit over 2,000 years ago. The Holy Spirit of JESUS also was manifest in time from eternity past to us (as mankind) for the first time on the day of Pentecost.....right? 


      Not sure what the 1050 commandments you refer to are, we can keep it simple and say one should follow the greatest commandment - Love the Lord, and the second, love your neighbor (Matt. 22:34-40) - which sums up all the commandments.

      But yes, everything spiritual does progress and ends up to have a physical manifestation. I think the way Jesus put it is that you shall know a man by the fruits that they bear. The way Swedenborg describes this is as "end, cause, and effect", or another way, "intention, thought, and outward action." We only see the outward effects or deeds, but can't always see the true inner intent.


      Hello Lee. That is a bit funny. I heard about something similar in California, how some ministers will secretly read Swedenborg and make use of the knowledge in their sermons. Carl Jung read Swedenborg and made use of him in his psychology. The general public, I guess, is just not ready to hear about visions, unless its in the Bible, otherwise there is little discernment in spiritual matters.


      Oh, the 1,050 commandments are the detailed descriptions of the two summaries that you just mentioned Mr. Webber for all in the Kingdom of GOD not merely just ancient Israel. The 1,050 New Testament commandments as opposed to the Old Testament commandments which have been amended (so to speak) into what is now found in the New Testament and has been sealed with the book of Revelation being the final canonical book of the set.


      The Bible still has great power in the mind of the public. I'm not shy about putting Swedenborg out there. But if I really want to put some oomph behind a theological argument, it's best to do it by appeal to the Bible rather than by appeal to Swedenborg. Swedenborg is not generally seen as a spiritual authority outside of the Swedenborgian Church and movement. The Bible has much wider reach. I think it's perfectly defensible to read Swedenborg and put his ideas out there without specific reference to Swedenborg. The problem with it is that then people do not know where it is coming from, and cannot themselves go to the source. Though even there, according to Swedenborg, the Bible, and the Lord who is its divine Author, is really the source.


      Hello Lee, I perfectly agree, actually I understand where those ministers are coming from. They are bound by their doctrines. Among others, I have to be careful what I say, as it can lead to an outright and immediate rejection. With this blog I decided to go public. Always I go to scripture first, and Swedenborg last. I am visiting another church as a "guest", and periodically I will throw something out there to see the reaction. The teacher, who has attended several seminaries and probably studied the Bible 40 years, is beginning to get puzzled as to what my background is. The revelations of Swedenborg are somewhat like the inner sanctuary of the temple, but for the public the literal sense of the Bible is like the outer court.

      So, before delving into Swedenborg, its best to lay some ground rules as to how to discern whether a vision is from God or whether it is demonic. No demon can confess Jesus as Lord, which Swedenborg confirms, and Catholic exorcists confirm that reality as well. That topic, as well as xenoglossy, I have been reserving for another blog post, but I have been holding back on it as exorcisms are quite a negative subject (and a bit strange).

      Besides visions, the other big reservation I see out of others is the topic of extraterrestrials. Unfortunately, the public has been conditioned against it in the media by the CIA. I think I have taken care of that issue with that article on Epsilon Eridani, but still there will be resistance due to psychological conditioning (even I had trouble believing what I was reading). One's former religion also acts like a barrier of psychological conditioning. Swedenborg made the ironic comment one time that it was safe to reveal everything at this time, since everyone now is of a scientific materialistic mindset and would not believe it, thus they are not able to profane what is holy.


Comments, questions, corrections and opinions welcome...