Monday, September 28, 2015

Was Emanuel Swedenborg a Spiritualist or Occultist?



Emanuel Swedenborg was a brilliant scientist of the 18th century, and for the latter part of his life had waking visions of heaven and hell for a period of 27 years to explain the spiritual sense of scripture.  However, it has come to my attention that certain people have claimed that Swedenborg was a spiritualist or "occultist," and received his information from an evil spirit.  I bring this up because someone claimed that Swedenborg was an "occultist" in the comments to Was Swedenborg a Cult Leader, and is the New Church a cult?  Moreover, I have seen some false information propagated on the internet concerning this question.  Anyone who looks at it closely can determine it is a "straw man" argument, which has perhaps been done from ignorance:


I gave an answer to this with a question: can an evil spirit or devil claim that Jesus Christ is Divine, had saved humanity, and should be worshiped alone?  No one can answer this because they will realize they have fallen into a paradox with their accusation.  They do not deny that Swedenborg had psychic or clairvoyant abilities - that is documented historically.  So how does one have spiritual discernment between a true vision and a spurious one?  Let's start with scripture first.

WHAT ARE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?


Within the Christian church there are those who have exhibited gifts of the Holy Spirit.  So how to distinguish these spiritual gifts from information retrieved from spiritualism, or deceiving spirits?  This was a problem in the early Christian Church, and one of the epistles of the apostle Paul discusses exactly this question:
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.  You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.  Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:1-3)
This is the basic rule: one can determine the origin of any revelation that is spiritual in nature by simply asking what is the spirit's opinion of Jesus Christ.  Even Swedenborg confirmed this from his waking visions:
"In the spiritual world it is not allowed any one to speak but as he thinks, otherwise he is openly heard as a hypocrite; and that therefore in hell no one can name Jesus, because Jesus signifies salvation." (Apocalypse Revealed, index V)
"In the spiritual world, where all are obliged to speak as they think, no one can even name Jesus but one who has lived in the world as a Christian; and this is from His Divine Providence, lest His Name should be profaned." (Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Providence, n. 262)
As I knew of this passage from Paul for discerning spiritual gifts, when I first heard about Swedenborg the first thing I wanted to examine was his statements on Jesus Christ.  I surmised that his work True Christian Religion was a good place to start, and I must say I expected to be disappointed.  As with many other writings I completely expected him to say that Jesus was just a teacher, prophet, or avatar of some sort.  Instead the revelations he received confirmed the gospel of Christianity - that Jesus is Jehovah in human form, who came to save humanity from its path of self destruction.  At this point I was shocked - how in the world could we not have heard of him?

Returning back to the epistle of Paul, he enumerates the different varieties of the gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.  For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ(1 Cor. 12:4-12)
Of these, prophecy and speaking in tongues (an actual foreign language, otherwise known as xenoglossy) are definitely spiritual in origin as they exhibit knowledge beyond our own senses.  Emanuel Swedenborg stated that he had waking visions of heaven, interacting directly with angels and spirits under the guidance of the Lord.  At times, the speech of the angels was just above his understanding.  The apostle Paul had the exact same experience:
...I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.  And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. (2 Cor. 12:1-4)
In his waking visions, Swedenborg also saw that the upper heavens were divided into three levels, and offers the reason why there are three heavens.  In Paul this statement is not explained and it is one of the mysteries of scripture.  So just because someone has visions and claims to speak with angels and spirits does not automatically mean it is "from a demon" or "spiritualism" or "occultism."  Paul states one should not suppress these gifts of the Holy Spirit, but they should all be examined and proven:
But earnestly desire the higher gifts.  (1 Cor. 12:31)
Do not quench the SpiritDo not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. (1 Thes. 5:19-21)
Even Jesus prophesied that the Holy Spirit would come and teach us all things:
These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:25-26)
Given this information, and Jesus's statement that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things, should the claims of Swedenborg be immediately dismissed?  Let's examine what was said in the writings of Swedenborg concerning Jesus Christ and the angels he encountered.

SWEDENBORG'S STATEMENTS CONCERNING JESUS CHRIST AND ANGELS


The apostle Paul stated that no evil spirit can declare Jesus Christ is Lord.  So, before any judgment is given, let's examine what Swedenborg concerning what he had to say about his angelic encounters, and their relationship with Jesus Christ.  There are many passages to pick from - practically EVERYTHING is centered around Jesus Christ as Lord.  So, I focused on statements concerning the Lord often in context to his references to angels.  Below are a few selections from Swedenborg I picked at random.  The more one reads these direct quotes, the more one will realize just how ridiculous it is to say that Swedenborg was somehow influenced by a demon or evil spirit.


THE LORD IS AT THE CENTER OF HEAVEN LIKE A BRIGHT SUN

That the Lord is actually seen in heaven as the Sun, has not only been told me by angels, but has also been given me at times to see. (Heaven and Hell, n. 118)

The light in heaven is such as to surpass in a measure beyond belief even the midday light of the solar world; they have, however, no light from this world, because they are above or within the sphere of that light; but the light is from the Lord, Who is the Sun to them. ...I have so many times seen the light in which spirits and angels live, that at last I have ceased to wonder, because it has become familiar. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1521-22)

It is most perfectly known in heaven, but not so well in the world of spirits, whence the light comes that is so great, namely, from the Lord; and, what is wonderful, the Lord appears in the third heaven to the celestial angels as the Sun, and to the spiritual angels as the Moon. The very origin of light is from no other source. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1529)


JESUS CHRIST IS DIVINE AND CAME TO SAVE THE HUMAN RACE

The reason why it pleased the Lord to be born a man was that He might actually put on the Human, and make it Divine, in order to save the human race. Know, therefore, that the Lord is Jehovah Himself or the Father in human form, which also the Lord Himself teaches in John: I and the Father are one (x. 30). (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9315.3)

The Lord came into the world that He might save the human race, which otherwise would have perished in eternal death. And He saved the race by this, that He subdued the hells which were infesting every man that came into the world and that went out of the world, and at the same time by this, that He glorified His Human, for thereby He can hold the hells under subjection to eternity. The subjugation of the hells and the glorification of His Human at the same time were effected by temptations admitted into His Human and then by continual victories. His passion on the cross was the last temptation and the full victory.  (Heavenly Arcana, n. 10828)


THERE IS CONJUNCTION WITH THE LORD THROUGH SCRIPTURE AND COMMUNION

It has been told me from heaven that the human race would have perished on this earth, so that not one man would have existed at this day, if the Lord had not come into the world and assumed the Human on this earth, and made it Divine; and also unless the Lord had given here such a Word as would serve the angelic heaven for a basis and conjunction. (The Final Judgment, n. 10.4)

...it has been told me that the Holy Supper was instituted by the Lord in order that by it there might be a conjunction of all things of heaven, that is, of all things of the Lord, with the man of the church... (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9393.5)


CHILDREN WHO HAVE DIED ARE TAUGHT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE LORD ALONE

Especially are they all the time initiated into this — to know no other Father, and then to acknowledge none, but the Lord alone, and to know that they have life from Him; for that they are lives, that is, truly human and angelic lives, is from the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good, which they have solely from the Lord. Hence it is that they know no otherwise than that they were born in heaven. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2293)


THOSE WHO THOUGHT THE LORD WAS JUST A MAN ARE TAUGHT OTHERWISE IN HEAVEN

And besides, as there are angels who when they were men conceived an idea of the Lord's Human as of the human with another man, in order that these may be in company with the angels of heaven in the other life — for there ideas inspired by affection for good conjoin — such ideas are dispersed by means of the spiritual sense of the Word, and so they are perfected. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2574.3)

ANGELS SPEAK FROM THE LORD; THE LORD IS NOT AN ORDINARY ANGEL

An angel sometimes speaks, not from himself, but from the Lord, and he then does not know but that he is the Lord; but then his externals are at rest. It is otherwise when his externals are active. The reason is, that their internal man is the Lord's possession; and so far then as there are no obstructions of their own, it is the Lord's and is the Lord. But in the Lord, a plenary conjunction or an eternal union with Jehovah was wrought, so that His very Human Essence also is Jehovah. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1745.3)

There were angels who were sent to men and who spoke through the prophets; yet what they spoke was not from the angels, but through them, for their state was then such that they knew not but that they were Jehovah, that is, the Lord; but as soon as they had done speaking, they returned into their former state and spoke as from themselves. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1925)


THE HIGHER ANGELS ARE CLOSER TO THE LORD

With the interior angels there is more of the internal than with the more external angels, and therefore they are nearer to the Lord, and are more fully heirs. The internal is love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor; in proportion, therefore, to the love and the charity which they have, they are sons and heirs; for so much do they have from the Lord's life.  But from the first or external heaven one cannot be taken up into the second or interior heaven before he is instructed in the good things of love and the truths of faith. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1802.2-3)


ANGELS ACKNOWLEDGE ALL LIFE IS FROM THE LORD ALONE

No one, whoever he be, whether man, or spirit, or angel, can will and think from himself, but from others; nor can these others will and think from themselves, but all again from others, and so on; and thus each one from the First of life, which is the Lord. What is unconnected does not exist. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2886)

It has been shown by much experience that not only a man, but a spirit, and also an angel, thinks, speaks, and does nothing from himself, but from others; nor these others from themselves, but again from others, and so on; and thus all and each from the First of life, that is, from the Lord, however it may appear altogether as from themselves. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4319)

It has been also given me to perceive by influx the sweet enjoyment of angels, perceived by them from this, that they do not think and will from themselves, but from the Lord; hence they have tranquillity, peace, and happiness. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 6469)

ANGELS ARE WISE AND INTELLIGENT FROM THE LORD ALONE

But the truth with regard to it is this: the angels are indeed in the highest wisdom and intelligence, but they have all their wisdom and intelligence from the Divine of the Lord. From themselves, or from their proprium, they have nothing of wisdom and intelligence. As far, therefore, as they are in truths and goods from the Divine of the Lord, so far are they wise and intelligent. That they have nothing of wisdom and intelligence of themselves, the angels openly confess. They are even indignant if any one ascribes to them anything of wisdom and intelligence, for they know and perceive that it would be derogating from the Divine what is Divine, and claiming to themselves what is not theirs, and thus incurring the crime of spiritual theft. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4295.2)


ANGELS HAVE THEIR BEAUTY FROM DIVINE INFLUX FROM THE LORD

The truth itself of faith presents beauty in the external form, but the good of the will imparts and forms it. From this it is that the angels of heaven are of ineffable beauty, being as it were loves and charities in form; and so when they appear in their beauty, they affect the inmosts. With them the good of love from the Lord shines forth through the truth of faith, and as it penetrates it affects. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4985)


ANGELS HAVE ENJOYMENT AND DISCOURSE ON HOW JESUS MADE HIS HUMAN BODY DIVINE

These are the things which the celestial angels think of when this history is read by man, and thinking of them gives them the greatest enjoyment; for they are in the Divine sphere of the Lord, thus as it were in the Lord, and in the perception of inmost joy when thinking of the Lord, and of the salvation of the human race by the Lord's making the Human in Him Divine; and that the angels might be kept in that most heavenly joy, and at the same time in wisdom, that Divine process is fully described in the internal sense of the Word, and in it also the process of man's regeneration; since the regeneration of man is an image of the Lord's glorification (n. 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490, 4402). Some persons may perhaps wonder what the angels converse about with one another, and consequently what the men who become angels converse about after death; but let them know that it is about such subjects as are contained in the internal sense of the Word — about the glorification of the Lord, His kingdom, the church, the regeneration of man through the good of love and the truth of faith; but on these subjects their speech is by arcana which for the most part are inexpressible. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5249.2)

It is the very happiness of angels, too, that every part of the Word has reference to the Lord; for they are in the Lord. And furthermore, the glorifying of the Lord's Human is the exemplar of man's regeneration, and hence man's regeneration is also presented in the internal sense of the Word at the same time with the glorification of the Lord. Man's regeneration also, with its innumerable mysteries, enters also into the angels' wisdom, and affords them happiness according as they apply it to its uses, which are for man's reformation. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5688.3)


ANGELS TRY TO BRING OUT THE GOOD IN MAN FROM THE LORD

Especially do the angels call forth goods and truths which are in man, and oppose them to the evils and falsities which the evil spirits excite. Thus man is in the midst and does not apperceive the evil or the good; and inasmuch as he is in the midst, he is in freedom to turn himself either to the one or to the other. By such means angels from the Lord lead and protect man, and this every moment, and every moment of a moment. For if the angels should only intermit their care a single instant, man would be plunged into evil, from which he could never afterward be led forth. These things the angels do from the love which they have from the Lord, for they perceive nothing more delightful and more happy than to remove evils from man and to lead him to heaven. That this is joy to them may be seen in Luke (xv. 7). That the Lord has such care for man, and this continually from the first germ of his life to the last, and afterward to eternity, scarce any man believes. (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5992.3)

EMANUEL SWEDENBORG AND SPIRITUALISM


When there is light, darkness will attempt to oppose it.  So given the above, why is it that certain people claim that Swedenborg was a spiritualist or occultist?  After Swedenborg died, in the 19th century spiritualists perverted the revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg by claiming him as a "forerunner" and saw it as an excuse to contact spirits via seances, ignoring everything that Swedenborg said on this matter.  Moreover, Swedenborg's experience was different - he was fully awake, and could rationally examine what was said with spiritual guidance from the Lord.  I have seen some of them express their disappointment that he spent much of his time exploring the spiritual sense of scripture and the doctrines of Christianity, which was his primary mission.

Swedenborg had encounters with the entire spectrum of the spiritual world spanning a period of 27 years, and this was not only to reveal the internal spiritual sense of scripture but also to let people know that there is an afterlife.  Yet the revelations on spiritual doctrines was not from any angel or spirit, but was from the Lord alone, while reading scripture:
That the Lord manifested Himself before me His servant, and sent me to this office, and that He afterward opened the sight of my spirit, and so has admitted me into the spiritual world, and has granted to me to see the heavens and the hells, also to converse with angels and spirits, and this now continuously for many years, I testify in truth; likewise, that from the first day of that call I have not received any thing which pertains to the doctrines of that church from any angel, but from the Lord alone while I read the Word. (True Christian Religion, n. 779)
Every one can see that the Apocalypse can by no means be explained but by the Lord alone; for each word therein contains arcana, which would never be known without special enlightenment, and thus revelation: therefore, it has pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit, and to teach me. Do not believe, therefore, that I have taken any thing here from myself, nor from any angel, but from the Lord alone. (Apocalypse Revealed, preface)
This happened to Swedenborg at a late age, and before his inner sight was opened he had to go through an inner personal transformation, rejecting the things of the older self.  One has to prepare and subdue the lower selfish egotism first - for each person stands in this world between heaven and hell.  When one's spiritual insight is opened, one communes with the side one has accepted in one's life.  But most people do not want to hear about sin and repentance, they want spiritual enlightenment without going through any personal transformation.

There is a constant battle in our will and mind between good and evil, light and darkness.  Whereas angels attempt to lead man towards good, the lower order spirits attempt to lead man towards selfish loves. If one should contact them directly, they have this propensity for lying and inventing completely fictitious stories:
When spirits begin to speak with man, he must beware lest he believe them in anything; for they say almost anything; things are fabricated by them, and they lie; for if they were permitted to relate what heaven is, and how things are in the heavens, they would tell so many lies, and indeed with solemn affirmation, that man would be astonished; wherefore, when spirits were speaking, I was not permitted to have faith in the things which they related. ...For they are extremely fond of fabricating: and whenever any subject of discourse is proposed, they think that they know it, and give their opinions one after another, one in one way, and another in another, altogether as if they knew; and if man then listens and believes, they press on, and deceive, and seduce in divers ways: for example, if they were permitted to tell about things to come, about things unknown in the universal heaven, about all things whatsoever that man desires, yet [they would tell] all the things falsely from themselves; wherefore let men beware lest they believe them. On this account the state of speaking with spirits on this earth is most perilous, unless one is in true faith. They induce so strong a persuasion that it is the Lord Himself who speaks and who commands, that man cannot but believe and obey. (Spiritual Diary, n. 1622)
At the time, this sounded so fantastic Swedenborg never published it.  So, discernment must be applied when hearing anything received through any altered state.  How to know the difference?  One simply looks at their opinion of Jesus Christ.  This is exactly what I did with the works of Swedenborg, using the statement from the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 12:1-3) as a rule of thumb (pun not intended with the diagram below):

WHEN ARE SPIRITUAL VISIONS AND SPIRITUAL CONTACT PERMITTED?


Inner spiritual visions and contact is given and permitted to those who have subdued their lower selfish desires, and are in love towards others from a love of God.  Without first going through conversions and repentance, a life according to the commandments, without love, this is not permitted.  It is an ignorant mistake to classify all spiritual psychic phenomenon as originating from deceiving spirits.  This is the means by which scripture was given - to prophets and apostles who had prepared themselves beforehand.  Thus Peter, James and John saw Jesus glorified with Moses and Elijah in a vision, two angels were seen at the ascension of the mount of Olives, Peter was released from prison by an angel, and so on.

The summary position of the New Church on this matter is as follows:
1.  Before the fall of Adam, the human race was in complete contact with angels and spirits of the heavenly realm.  This state of direct communion is described as the Garden of Eden.
2.  When this ancient human race turned away from heaven towards the self and outer senses, this contact was broken.  Contact was given to selected prophets.  As mankind degenerated into sin, the spiritual world closest to mankind began filling with deceptive and evil spirits.
3.  The Jews were given laws that forbade them from seeking spiritual contact so that they would not be misled by deceptive spirits into idolatry.
4.  When Jesus came he reordered heaven and hell to save humanity.  The gift of the Holy Spirit was given to re-open the communion between heaven and mankind, after repentance.
Those who are in true love of service towards others, who have overcome the sins of their selfish ego, are at times permitted to have this spiritual communion with heaven in various modes of communication:
...no one can come into that ineffable wisdom of the angels, unless by conjunction with the Lord and according to it, for the Lord alone opens the spiritual degree and the heavenly [celestial] degree, and in those only who are wise from Him; and they are wise from the Lord who reject the devil, that is, evil, from themselves. (Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Providence, n. 34)
...The reason why heaven was closed is deeply hidden, and why it is so closed at this day that man does not even know that there are spirits, still less that there are angels with him, and supposes himself to be entirely alone when without companions in the world, and when he is thinking with himself. And yet he is continually in the company of spirits, who observe and perceive what the man is thinking, and what he intends and devises, as fully and plainly as if it were manifest before all in the world. This the man is ignorant of, heaven is so closed to him, and yet it is most true. The reason is that if heaven were not so closed to him while he is not in faith, and less in the real truth of faith, and still less in charity, it would be most perilous to him. This is also signified by the words — Jehovah God drove out the man, and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flame of a sword, that turned itself, to keep the way of the tree of lives (chap. iii. 24; see also what is said n. 301-303). (Heavenly Arcana, n. 784.2)
...it is granted to no one to speak as a spirit and angel with angels and spirits, unless he is such that he can be consociated with them as to faith and love; and he cannot be consociated unless he has faith in the Lord and love to the Lord, since a man is conjoined by faith in Him, and therefore by truths of doctrine and by love to Him, and when he is conjoined to Him he is secure against any assault of evil spirits who are from hell. With others the interiors cannot be opened at all, for they are not in the Lord.
This is the reason why there are few at this day to whom it is granted to speak and converse with angels. A manifest proof of this is, that it is scarcely believed at this day that there are spirits and angels, still less that they are with every man, and that through them man has connection with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord. And still less again is it believed that when a man dies as to his body, he lives a spirit and in a human form as before.  (Heavenly Arcana, n. 9438.2-3)
To speak with spirits, however, is at this day seldom given, since it is dangerous; for then the spirits know that they are with man, which otherwise they do not know; and evil spirits are such that they hold man in deadly hatred and desire nothing more than to destroy him, both soul and body. ...most spirits do not know that there is any other world than that in which they are, and so do not know that there are men elsewhere; accordingly it is not permitted man to speak in turn with them, for if he should they would know it. ...To speak with the angels of heaven is granted only to those who are in truths from good, especially to those who are in the acknowledgment of the Lord, and of the Divine in His Human, because this is the truth in which the heavens are. (Heaven and Hell, n. 249-250)
Some of the spiritual danger Swedenborg describes is discussed earlier in The Origin and Cause of Demoniac and Poltergeist Activity. The purpose of that post was to prepare for this one, so people would learn the difference between angelic and demoniac activity.  At birth, two guardian angels and two evil spirits are assigned to each person - this is the origin of our free will to choose between good and evil.  Thus repentance, conversion, and removing evil from one's self is a necessary step of preparation.  This can be seen in many ancient rituals, where one must repent of one's evils first.  Thus the first step of Christianity, repentance, is represented by the ritual of baptism.  Only after that should one enter into the ritual of communion, which represents communion between the Lord, heaven, and mankind on earth.

THE LORD, SCRIPTURE AND REASON COME FIRST


All doctrine and teaching should be drawn from scripture first, under the guidance of the Lord.  Even Swedenborg followed this method.  There are two stages of learning the truth - the first comes from being taught by authority, as a child, the second phase is when one is mature and rational enough to explore the teachings oneself to see if they are true or not.  Scripture has priority over what any religious authority or church council says.  Following a life according to scripture - turning away from evil first - one can become open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Turning away from evil involves a period of temptation and repentance - this is the process by which one is cleansed.

It should be stated that even here, all enlightenment is from the Lord alone through the Holy Spirit, but this is still conveyed to each person through angels and spirits:
Enlightenment which is attributed to the Holy Spirit is indeed in man from the Lord, but still it is brought about by means of spirits and angels. But the nature of that mediation cannot yet be described; only that angels and spirits can by no means enlighten a man from themselves, because they, in like manner as man, are enlightened by the Lord; and because they are enlightened in like manner, it follows that all enlightenment is from the Lord alone. It takes place by means of angels or spirits, because the man who is in enlightenment is then placed in the midst of such angels and spirits as receive from the Lord alone more enlightenment than others. (Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 150)
Thus one should not just read scripture as another book, but also first approach the Lord alone for enlightenment when reading it.  Angels are indeed involved, but their personal presence is to all intents and purposes absent from our direct awareness, influencing our intuitive affections.  This is completely opposite to spiritualism, where certain spirits speak from their own ego or assumed identity, and may try to lure people away from scripture towards their own ideas.  My advice - treat it like information one hears from the media (they tend to lie a lot too - see 35 things the media reported as FACTS that were later found to be total lies).

SUMMARY CONCLUSION: IGNORANCE VS. BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT

Most people are just ignorant and have not even read the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg in conjunction with scripture, and just depend on what other people tell them.  I was not seeing a sufficient answer to this accusation, so I thought I would cover this in detail from a Biblical perspective.  After reading this, one can no longer claim to be ignorant, and hopefully I have clarified this matter.


So, should anyone now jump to the conclusion that Swedenborg received information from an evil spirit?  Can an evil spirit tell us to do what is good, and follow Jesus Christ?  If not ignorant, one should question the motive behind such an accusation.  It is similar to the accusation of the Jewish Pharisees that Jesus was possessed by an evil spirit, because he disagreed with their religious teachings:
Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.  And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?”  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.”  Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.  And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.  But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.  Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matt. 12:22-32)
By what logic did the Pharisees state that Jesus cast out demons by the prince of the demons?  It is the same logic some people declare that the source of Swedenborg's waking visions was from an evil spirit: they do not question what they have been taught, and make the traditions and doctrines of men higher than the Word of God.



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