"Let no man deceive you by any means." (2Thes. 2:3)
The spurious claims of Eugene Swedenborg
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“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of CHRIST. And no marvel, for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2Cor.11:13-15)
Among the many examples of demonic deception that work to distort and to “change the glory of the incorruptible GOD...”(Rm.1:23) is one Eugene Swedenborg. Born in born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1688 to a noted Lutheran minister, he was a man gifted with a strong intellect, and whose various professions included that of being court chaplain, a mining expert, engineer, mathematician, inventor, and professor; as well as being interested in art, philosophy, and the metaphysical realm. The latter of which was most likely conducive to his occultic delusions beginning in 1744, resulting in him announcing that he had received a divine summons from Christ to become “both a seer and a revelator of the things of the spiritual world...” and restore Christianity. He claimed that the Lord had opened his spiritual eyes, so that from then on he could freely visit heaven and hell, and talk with angels, demons and other spirits. One result of which that he stated that an angel is merely a human being after death, and can marry, while in Scripture the former came before the Fall, (Ezek. 28:13-15) and are distinct from humans (Gn. 1:26, 27; 1Thes. 5:23; Lk. 24:36; Heb. 1:7) and never marry. (Mt. 22:30)
Though Swedenborg professed that Sacred Scripture was inspired, he considered his own understanding to be also inspired, and upon which faulty foundation (contra. 1Cor.3:11; 4:6), he choose only 33 out of the 66 books of the proven Word of GOD, the Bible, to be inspired; eliminating significant portions of the Old Testament, and everything past the 4 gospels of the New Testament except for Revelation. Perhaps most notable was his disdain for the writings of the apostle most used of GOD in declaring the transforming Gospel of CHRIST, the apostle Paul, which writings the apostle Peter also authenticated as Scripture (2Pt.3:16). And whose true apostleship itself was clearly manifest through doctrinal integrity and CHRIST-like life in the light of the previously proven & established Word of GOD, with signs following (according to the grace given him: 2Cor. 6:1-10; 11,12; Mk.16:20; Rm.15:18,19) And Swedenborg also eliminated Peter as an inspired writer of Sacred Scripture, supposing after 1600 years to have superseded the Lord's apostles.
Swedenborg's arrogant censoring allowed him to more easily propagate his own visions of spiritual encounters, in which he professed to have supposedly conversed with with such men as Luther, Calvin, Augustine, and St. Paul, debating issues of divine Truth (especially with the last named) and basically imagined that he triumphed over these men, claiming to have put them to silence! Of course, he also claimed to converse with spirits from Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus, and the moon (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were excepted, no doubt because they were not yet discovered). His deceived followers consider his writings to be Divinely inspired.
In this Swedenborg is also like other cults such as the Mormons, whose founder Joseph Smith also claimed a heavenly visitation in which all churches were pronounced to be false, with Smith being the restorer. And who also claimed to write Divinely inspired texts, principally the Book of Mormon which heavily plagiarizes the King James Bible but in which he writes imaginative fantasies and false teachings. And who teaches that Mormons can become gods who are married and propagating Spirit children in the next life. And also like Swedenborg, Smith claims to have had encounters with more notable persons in the Bible than anyone in it, even to the point of claiming encounters with both Elijah and Elias, which are the same person(!), the latter being the Greek rendering of the Elijah of the Old Testament.
In working to supplant “the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3, as it is Biblically manifest), with his own revelations, Swedenborg also systematically relegated what he had left of the Bible to be largely (but without warrant) spiritual allegory, so that,
● The fall of Adam is said by him to be the apostasy of the church.
● The New Jerusalem of Rv. 22 is said to speak of a new church that was to be established on earth, which “church of the new Jerusalem” was later established (circa 1788) upon Swedenborg's writings, not those of God.
● The statement by Christ, ”he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be dammed’(Mk.16;16) is rendered to mean that “unless a man is regenerated by the truths of faith (i.e. Swedenborg’s “truths”), and lives a life according to them, he cannot be saved."
● The Final Judgment is made to be an event that has already happened in 1757, not visible to others but was seen by Swedenborg, with the Second Coming of Christ not being by Christ in person but by revelation to Swedenborg, who received his manifestly demonic “key to the interpretation of Scripture.”
Swedenborg's additional primary (and progressive) doctrinal delusions were that,
1. He misconstrued the Scripturally evident doctrine of the Trinity to be polytheism.
2. Flatly denied the heart of CHRIST’s mission for man and His sacrificial atonement for our sins (by His own blood as being necessary to reconcile sinful man to a completely pure, holy, and perfectly just and true GOD).
3. Denied the eternal punishment in the Lake of fire, concerning which the LORD JESUS explicitly taught and died to save men from.
4. Denied the bodily resurrection of the Redeemed which CHRIST’s resurrection previewed and prepared us for. (All this and more, not included here.)
There are serious consequences for the false apostle and minister, (Dt.13:1ff; 18:9-22; Is.8:20; Gal.1:6-9ff; Rv.2:14,-15,20-24), which stand in contrast to the true instrument of GOD and His Truth in Scripture. (2Sam.23:1-3; Lk.1:70; 2Tim. 3:16; 2Pt.1:21; 3:16; 1Cor.4:1,2,9-21; 2Cor.6:1-2; 12:11-15: 13:1-4: Rm.15:15-19: Lk.9:23-26; 14:31-35; 1Tim.1:3; 4;13-16: 2Tim.1-8) And by which proven revelation of GOD we must examine the claims and doctrine of Mr. Swedenborg, even as Scripture exhorts us to do. (Jn.5:39; Mt.4:4; Acts 17:11; 1Thes.5:21)
In contrast to Swedenborg, Jesus Christ invoked as Scripture the Old Testament Scriptures and its means of attesting to Truth, with its basically literal hermeneutic, (Lk.24:44; Mt.22; Jn.5:36,39; 14:11), as did the apostles, Scripture being evidenced to be the standard for obedience and testing truth claims, But those who seek to elevate themselves as objects of implicit faith (which only the Triune GOD is completely worthy of: Ps.62:118:8,9), and or who supersede the proven Word of GOD, typical reject or misconstrue (as they “wrest” the scriptures, “unto their own destruction:” 2Pt.3:16) Biblically evident critical doctrines such as,
● The Trinity, that of 3 persons sharing the same eternal nature, though exercising different functions, with the eternal Divine Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, (Jn.1:18) coming forth, from the Father (Jn.8:42; 16:27) in expressing the invisible God in word and in the flesh, (Jn.1:1-3,14; Heb.1:3) and with the Holy Spirit being sent forth to testify of Christ (Jn.15:26; 16:13-15) and making those who truly receive Him to be spiritually alive in becoming “born again.” (Jn.3:3-7; Acts 10:43-47; 15:8,9; Eph.1:13)
● The Divine CHRIST’s blood atonement for all our sins and His bodily resurrection to Heaven, by which man may be forgiven of all his sins upon conversion, and be born again and be given the gift of eternal life, and obtain forgiveness through his Christian life and walk in fellowship with almighty God.
● The means by which the lost sinner is justified as righteous before GOD through His Gospel; that is not earned based upon the moral merit of a man, doing good works, church affiliation, etc, but is gift based upon the righteousness of Christ and His death and resurrection, which is received by believing, and which can happen anywhere, including before baptism. Which gospel will be expanded upon below.
● The eternal condition of the lost; who, “received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved”, and who thus essentially declared; “we will not have this Man to reign over us.” Being those “that know not GOD, and that obey not the Gospel of our LORD JESUS Christ.” (Lk.19:14; 2Ths.1:8-10). As well as the everlasting torment of which the LORD JESUS expressly warned of: Lk.16:19-31:Mt.8:12; 13:41-46; 25:41,46; Mk. 9:43-48, etc, but which Swedenborg vigorously denied — to his own eternal horror. Such deceivers and those who choose to be so (by resisting the SPRIT of GOD), can never know true and eternal “fellowship with the Father, and with His SON JESUS CHRIST”, with the liberty of the HOLY SPIRIT, as Scripturally experienced.
● That are Scripture are alone as being the transcendent, material authority on faith and morals which are wholly established to be wholly inspired of God, (2Tim. 3:16) and are the supreme authority on earth for obedience and testing truth claims.
It is that these positive realities that Swedenborg spurned in favor of his own delusions, and the salvation that can only come through effectual faith in the true Gospel of GOD (1Jn.1:3; 2Cor.3:17); Rm.1:1,16). The Biblical Gospel being that which works to convict lost souls of their desperate need for salvation before a completely pure and just GOD, against Whom we have all sinned, (breaking Almighty GOD’s good laws by commission or omission, in heart and in deed; and are entirely unable to either merit God and His Heaven nor escape the just and eternal punishment of our sins in Hell by the moral merit our own works of righteous, or that of any lesser deity than the CHRIST, the SON of GOD. Whom the Father sets forth as the Direct Object of faith for the immediate forgiveness of sins and the Life-giving reception & regeneration of the HOLY GHOST; the Gift of Eternal Life; and translation into His Eternal Kingdom, and baptism into His Body, the Church. (Gn.1:31; 2:17; 3; Is.59:1,2; Lv.16:7-9,20-22: Is.531ff; Heb.9-10,24; Rm.3:10 -5;1; 10:9-13; Jn.3:3-7; 5:24,39; 6:40,47; 10:27-42; 11:25-27; Eph.1:7,13; 2:1-10; Col.1:13,14,29; 1Cor.12:13; Titus 3:5; Acts 2:14-38; 10:34-47; 13:39; 17:16-33; 24:23-25; Lk.16:19-31; Mt.8:12; 13:36-43; Rv.20:10-15; 14:11; 21:8; 22:15; 2Ths.1:8,9)
And which faith-decision is shown by baptism by immersion in the Name of JESUS, that being a symbolic act which both expresses as well as requires effectual faith in the Biblical CHRIST if done in truth, being a “sinners prayer” in body language). For being a faith that, having trusted in the the True and Living GOD (both His omnipotent,etc. Nature and holy, just, yet merciful Character), it will respond to the same, overall manifesting a SPIRIT- led life response to the will of the Object of their faith, according to the light and ability received. (Acts 2:14-47; 4:23-37; 8:12;37-40; 9:31: Rm.6:17: 8:1-28ff; Eph.5:9; Heb.5:7-9; 6:10; 2Cor.8:5,12, etc.)
The aforementioned Truths of Scripture and related doctrines which Swedenborg sought to supplant with his own are clearly evident in the Bible as a whole and context, the portions of scripture which he sought to discard not withstanding. Nor was Swedenborg ignorant of such, at least not intellectually. Yet we see Swedenborg ignoring clear warnings against the occultic practices he was involved in, (Lv.219:31; 20:27; Is.18:19; Rv.21:8) as well as presuming to interpret Scripture before being born-again thru faith in the Gospel of Grace (which must first be received as GOD “grants repentance unto the acknowledging of the truth,” (Jn.8:31,32; Acts 2:12,37,38; 8:26-39; 9:1-31; 10:36-43; 16:14,15; 17:11; 2Tim.2:15-26) and, as already noted, denying that proven “Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation.” (Eph.1:13) Thus he manifestly resisted the SPIRIT of Truth by Whom all of the Scripture is inspired (2Tim.3:15; Acts 7:51) and worked to corrupt the revelation of the Biblically-manifest One, True and Living GOD, both His Eternal Nature and perfectly Holy Character: Who is the proven Source of saving faith, and the only One Who is worthy to be the constant and primary Object of faith & dependance, and of our utmost love and spiritual affection. And Whose Divine attributes are most supremely revealed in that Gospel, motivating and enabling believers in CHRIST to respond positively to their LORD and only SAVIOR (see Ps.22:1ff; 53:1ff; Jer.9:24; 10:10-12; Zech.12:10; the gospels; Rm.1:16; 2:16ff; 2Tim.1:10; Titus 1:1-3;..., principally, though all of the 66 books of the Bible are necessary in knowing and following the Savior).
In the final analysis of Swedenborg is that we have in the professions of a combination of the work of “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils," and a man “vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head (CHRIST)”, “having not the SPIRIT”, and, “which receiveth not the things of the SPIRIT of GOD.” (1Tim. 4:1; Jude V.29; Col.2:18,19; 1Cor.2:14).
Such is characteristic of every aberrant sect, as “the devil that deceived them” (Rv.20:10) works to distort, change and degrade the image of the incorruptible GOD, into one that is more the product of “seducing spirits” and mans own carnal and finite mind. All of which results in their respective bondage and ultimate everlasting destruction: Both of the Enemy of their souls, and of those that follow his deceptions (Rm.1:18-32: Mt.25:41; Rv.20:1-10; 2Thes.1:8,9).
Therefore they which reject the apostolic “Gospel of the Grace of God”, and refuse CHRIST’s word, “come unto Me” (Mt.11:28), and thus corrupt the image of the Living and true GOD, will hear CHRIST’s dreadful word’s; “I never knew you: depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity”, even as GOD “shall despise their image” (Mt.7:23; cf.Ps.73:20). For they, “being ignorant of GOD’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteous (on the basis of their own works and “revelation”), have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of GOD," “the righteousness of GOD which is by faith of CHRIST JESUS unto all and upon all them that believe”(Rm.10:3; 3;22). And which faith works to brings souls to follow the LORD JESUS out of love personally for Him in the practical realm: Resulting in the true believer being made progressively more CHRIST-like in His communicable attributes by and thru the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD: Even as he looks foward to being ultimately “conformed to the image His SON” (Lk. 7:35-50; Jn. 5:24; 7:37; Rm. 8:28-30; 1Cor. 15:50-57; 2Cor. 5:11,14-21; Heb.10:1ff, 1Jn.3:2,3, etc.)
We pray therefore that the reader will take heed to the Word’s of CHRIST; Who warned: “take heed that no man deceive you”; And that you harden not your heart in this age of deception (Mt.24;4,12): But instead realize that, "it is time to seek the LORD, till He come and rain righteous on you.”(Hos.10;13) For “the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost”(JESUS in Lk.19:10)
See here for a brief message on making this most important decision.