Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 233

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233. (v. 16) So then, because thou art lukewarm. That this signifies those who live from the doctrine of faith alone and justification thereby is evident from the signification of the lukewarm, as being those who are between heaven and hell, and thus serve two masters. That those who think, believe and live from the doctrine of faith alone and justification thereby, are in such a state, is not as yet known; therefore it shall be made clear. There are two states of faith and consequently ,of life, or of life and consequently of faith, of those who form the church; the one state is from doctrine, the other from the Word, or from preachings from the Word. Scarcely any one knows of the existence of these states; nevertheless, that they do exist, and that with some they act as one, and that with many they do not act as one, has been granted me to see and know by living experience with spirits recently departed out of the world; for spirits carry with them all the states of their life. But this cannot be seen and known by men while they live in the world, because what the spirit of man thinks within itself, believes, and loves, in spiritual matters, cannot be openly manifested in any other way than by speech and outward deeds; and these proceed, as to what pertains to faith, either from the doctrine received in the church, or from the precepts of the Lord in the Word without thought from doctrine. The former is mostly the case with the learned, the latter with the simple. The quality, therefore, of the state of thought, of faith, ,and life, from doctrine, shall be first explained.

[2] The doctrine of the churches in the Christian world at this day insists that faith alone saves, and that the life of love is of no account; also that when a man receives faith he is justified,, and that when he is thus justified, no evil can be afterwards imputed to him; consequently, that every man is saved, even a wicked one, if only he has faith, although it may be in the last hour of his life; those therefore who think and live from such doctrine omit good works, because they do not believe that good works affect man, or are efficacious to salvation. They also have no concern about the evils of their thought and will, whether those evils consist in contempt of others in comparison with themselves, or whether they consist in enmity, hatred, revenge, craft, deceit and other similar evils, because they believe that such things are not imputed to those who are justified by faith. They say in their hearts that they are not under the yoke of the law, because the Lord has fulfilled the law for them, nor under the curse, because the Lord took it upon Himself. This then is why those who think, live and believe from the doctrine of faith alone and justification thereby, have no regard to God in their lives, but only to self and the world; and they who look only to self and the world in the course of their life conjoin themselves to the hells; for all those who are in the hells make no account either of good or of evil. In a word, for men to live from that doctrine is to confirm themselves in the life that it is of no consequence to think, to will or to do good, because salvation is not from that source, and also that it is of no consequence if they think, and will, and, as far as the fear of the law does not restrain, do evil, because damnation is not from that source, provided they only have confidence and trust, which is called saving faith (see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem n. 115).

That such persons are lukewarm is clear from this, that when they think, speak and preach from that doctrine, they do this concerning God, the Lord, life eternal, and the Word; but care nothing at all for them when they think and speak apart from doctrine. By such thought, therefore, they look to heaven, but by their life they conjoin themselves to hell; therefore they are between heaven and hell, and those who are in such a state are lukewarm. [3] These things are said concerning the state of faith, and thence of life, of men within the church, when their faith and life are from the doctrine of the church. Something shall now be said concerning the state of faith and thence of life, of the men of the church, when their faith and life are from the Word. The greater part of those who are born within the churches where the doctrine of faith alone and justification thereby is received, do not know what faith alone is, nor what is meant by justification; therefore, when they hear those things from their teachers, they think that a life according to the precepts of God in the Word is thereby meant, for they believe this to be faith and also justification; they do not enter more deeply into the mysteries of doctrine. Such persons also, when they are instructed concerning faith alone and justification thereby, believe merely that faith alone is to think concerning God and salvation, and how they ought to live; and that justification is to live before God. All those within the church who are saved are kept by the Lord in this state of thought and faith, and, after their departure out of the world are instructed in truths, because they possess a capacity for receiving instruction; but those who have framed their lives from the doctrine of faith alone and justification thereby, as above spoken of, are blinded, for faith alone is not faith, and hence justification by faith alone is nothing. (That faith alone is not faith, may be seen in the small work, The Last Judgment, n. 33-39.) [4] From these considerations it is evident that by the lukewarm, are meant those who say in their heart, "To what, purpose is it if I think, will and do good; for there is no salvation by such means 9 It is sufficient that I have faith. And what does it matter also if I think, will and do evil, since there is no damnation in consequence?" Thus they give rein to all their thoughts and intentions, and so to their own spirit; for it is the spirit which thinks and intends; and they become altogether according thereto. It must be known that there are very few who thus live from doctrine, although it is believed by the preachers that all who hear their preachings are under their influence; for it is from the Divine providence of the Lord that there are but very few such. The reason of this is that the lot of the lukewarm is not unlike that of profaners, and the lot of profaners is, that, after their life in the world, all that they have known from the Word is taken away from them, and they are afterwards left to the thought and love of their own spirit. And when the thought which they had from the Word is taken away, they become of all others the most stupid; they appear also in the light of heaven like burnt skeletons covered over with some skin. (Concerning profanation, and the lot of those who profane, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 172.)

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