In a previous post, I featured a discussion between Emanuel Swedenborg and Pope Sextus Quintus. This conversation took place in the spiritual world. Quintus underwent a conversion several months before his death when he realized that the Lord alone was to be adored and worshipped and that Sacred Scripture was more holy than the edicts of popes.
He stated further that the vicarship was an invention stemming from the love of dominion by gaining authority over the holy things of the church, of heaven, even the Divine things of the Lord. The apostle Peter exercised no such authority to remit sins, or personally be able to regenerate and save anyone.
Quintus is now among the blessed in heaven. Other pontiffs, cardinals, including some saints, were not so fortunate.
Swedenborg, in his book, The True Christian Religion, records having a similar discussion with Martin Luther in the other world. Luther had heard that Swedenborg was conversing with those in the spiritual world while still living in the physical world of time and space. He sought Swedenborg out and a conversation ensued concerning the dogma of salvation by faith alone, which he promoted and defended while on earth.
Swedenborg informed Luther that the Lord was in the process of consummating the former Christian Church and establishing a New Church, called the New Jerusalem on earth, and forming a new Christian heaven as well. Luther became indignant after hearing this, but over time he perceived that fewer individuals were seeking out his council and instead, were forming spiritual communities based on new Christian doctrines.
It became apparent to Luther that his chief dogma of justification by faith alone was something that was not derived from the Sacred Word, but an invention of his own intelligence. Swedenborg pointed out that even Pauline doctrine clearly set charity above faith:
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest is of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Swedenborg later learned that before Luther had begun the Reformation on earth he had actually given sermons and wrote excellent teachings on the topic of charity. Inwardly, Luther had always believed in the importance of charity. But he was so anxious to separate himself from the Roman Catholic Church that the dogma of salvation by faith alone offered him a doctrinal way to disengage.
Luther is among the blessed.