First: That "Christ" is the same as "Messiah," "Anointed," and "King," is evident from the following passages in the Word. In John:
Andrew findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is being interpreted the Christ (John 1:41).
In the same:
Many of the multitude when they heard the word said, This is of a truth the Prophet; others said, This is the Christ; but others said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Doth not the Scripture say that the Christ cometh of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the town where David was? (John 7:40-42);
"the Christ" here plainly means the Messiah whom they expected. In the same:
Have the rulers then indeed known that this is truly the Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is; but when the Christ cometh no one knoweth whence He is (John 7:26-27);
"the Christ" denotes the Messiah; that no one would know whence He is, was because He would not be acknowledged. In the same:
The Jews came round about Jesus, and said unto Him, How long dost thou hold our soul in suspense? If thou art the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, but ye believe not (John 10:24-25).
Here also "the Christ" denotes the Messiah whom they expected. In the same:
The multitude answered, We have heard out of the Law that the Christ abideth forever (John 12:34);
"the Christ" meaning the Messiah. In the same:
Martha said, I have believed that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world (John 11:27);
that is, that He was the Messiah.
There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon and to him was the answer made by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ (Luke 2:25-26);
meaning that he should see the Messiah, or the Anointed of Jehovah. In the same:
Jesus said to the disciples, But who say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God (9:20; Mark 8:29. See also other passages; as Matt. 26:63-64; John 6:68-69; Mark 14:61-62).
 Now as "Christ" and "Messiah" are the same, and as "Christ" in the Greek and "Messiah" in the Hebrew signify the "Anointed," it is evident that "Christ" is the same as the "Anointed;" and likewise the same as "King," for kings in general were called the "anointed," as is evident from the historic and prophetic parts of the Word in many passages. As in David:
The kings of the earth set themselves, and [the rulers] took counsel together, against Jehovah and against His Anointed (Ps. 2:2).
Now know I that Jehovah saveth His Anointed; He will answer Him from the heavens of His holiness, in the powers of the salvation of His right hand (Ps. 20:6).
Jehovah is their strength, and a stronghold of salvations to His Anointed (Ps. 28:8).
Jehovah will give strength unto His King, and exalt the horn of His Anointed (1 Sam. 2:10).
In these and many other passages the "Anointed" denotes the "King." In the original language the reading is "Messiah." In these prophetic utterances the Lord is treated of in the internal sense; and that He is the "King" is also plain from passages in the New Testament. As in Matthew:
The governor asked Jesus, Art Thou the King of the Jews? Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest (Matt. 27:11).
And in Luke:
Pilate asked Jesus, saying, Art Thou the King of the Jews? And He answering him said, Thou sayest (Luke 23:3; Mark 15:2).
And in John:
They cried out, Hosanna, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel (John 12:13).
Nathaniel said, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel (John 1:49). [AC 3008]
Second: That "Messiah," "Anointed," and "King," are the same as the Divine truth, is evident from very many passages in the Word, and has been shown several times in the explications (as in n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069); and the Lord Himself so teaches in John:
Pilate said unto Jesus, Art Thou not a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a King; for this was I born, and for this am come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth; everyone who is of the truth heareth My voice (John 18:37).
It is evident from this that it is the Divine truth itself from which the Lord was called "King." That kings were anointed, and were therefore called the anointed, was because the oil with which they were anointed signified good (n. 886, 2832), denoting that the truth signified by a "king" was from good, consequently was the truth of good; and thus that the royal office with kings might represent the Lord as to the Divine truth which is from Divine good, and thus the Divine marriage of good in truth; while the priestly office represented the Divine marriage of truth in good. The latter is signified by "Jesus;" the former by "Christ." [AC 3009]
Hence it is evident what is signified by the "Christs" in Matthew:
See that no man seduce you; for many shall come in My name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall seduce many. Then if anyone shall say unto you, Lo here is the Christ, or there, believe it not; for there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets (Matt. 24:4-5, 23-24; Mark 13:21-22).
Here by "false Christs" are signified truths not Divine, or falsities; and by "false prophets," those who teach them (n. 2534). And again:
Be not ye called masters, for one is your Master, even Christ (Matt. 23:10);
"Christ" denotes truth Divine. Hence it is evident what a Christian is, namely, one who is in truth from good. [AC 3010]
(2) These three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are the three essentials of the one God, and they make one as soul, body, and operation make one in man. In anyone thing there are both general and particular essentials, and these together make one essence. The general essentials of the one man are his soul, body, and operation. That these constitute one essence can be seen from this-that one is from the other and for the sake of the other in an unbroken series; for man gets his beginning from the soul, which is the very essence of the semen; and the soul not only initiates, but also produces in their order all things that pertain to the body, and afterward all things that proceed from the soul and body together, which are called operations. From this production, therefore, of one from the other, and the consequent ingrafting and conjunction, it can be seen that these three are of one essence, and therefore they are called three essentials. [TCR 166]
Everyone acknowledges that these three essentials, namely, soul, body, and operation, both were and are in the Lord God the Savior. That His soul was from Jehovah the Father cannot be denied except by Antichrist; for in the Word of both Testaments He is called the Son of Jehovah, the Son of the Most High God, the Only-begotten; consequently the Divine of the Father, like the soul in man, is His first essential. From this it follows that the Son whom Mary brought forth is the body to that Divine soul; for in the mother's womb nothing is furnished except the body that has been conceived and derived from the soul; this, therefore, is His second essential. Operations constitute the third essential, since these proceed from soul and body together, and what proceeds is of the same essence as that which produces it. That the three essentials, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the Lord are one, like soul, body, and operation in man, is clearly evident from the Lord's words, that the Father and He are one; that the Father is in Him and He in the Father; and in like manner He and the Holy Spirit, since the Holy Spirit is the Divine that goes forth out of the Lord from the Father, as fully shown above from the Word (n. 153, 154); therefore to show it again would be superfluous, and like loading a table with food after the appetite has been satisfied. [TCR 167]
When it is said that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the three essentials of the one God, like soul, body, and operation in man, it seems to the human mind as if these three essentials are three persons, which is impossible. But when it is understood that the Divine of the Father, which constitutes the soul, and the Divine of the Son, which constitutes the body, and the Divine of the Holy Spirit or the proceeding Divine, which constitutes the operation, are the three essentials of the one God, the statement is comprehensible. For God the Father is His Divine, the Son from the Father is His Divine, and the Holy Spirit from both is His Divine; and as these are one in essence and one in mind they constitute one God. But if these three Divine essentials are called persons, and if to each person is attributed his own property, to the Father imputation, to the Son mediation, and to the Holy Spirit operation, the Divine Essence, which in fact is one and not divisible, becomes divided: and thus none of the three is God in fullness, but each has a sub-triple power; and this a sound understanding must needs reject. [TCR 168]
From the trinity in every man, then, who can fail to perceive the trinity in the Lord? In every man there is soul, body, and operation; so also in the Lord, "for in the Lord dwells all the fullness of Divinity bodily," according to Paul (Col. 2:9); therefore in the Lord the trinity is Divine, but in man it is human. In this mystical notion that there are three Divine persons and yet one God, and that this God, although one, is nevertheless not one person, everyone can see that reason has no part, but has been lulled to sleep, and still it compels the mouth to speak like a parrot. And when reason is put to sleep what is speech from the mouth but dead speech? When the mouth utters that which reason turns away from and dissents from, is not speech foolish? At this day human reason, in respect to the Divine trinity, is bound like a man in prison, manacled and fettered; and it may be compared to a vestal virgin buried alive for permitting the sacred fire to die out; and yet in the minds of men of the church the Divine trinity ought to shine like a lamp, since God in His trinity and in the unity thereof is the All in all the sanctities of heaven and the church. But if the soul is made one God, and the body another, and the operation a third, how does this differ from making three parts, each distinct from the other, out of these three essentials of one man? And what is that but cutting him in pieces and slaying him? [TCR 169]
(3) Before the world was created this Trinity was not; but after creation, when God became incarnate, it was provided and brought about, and then in the Lord God the Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ. In the Christian church at the present day a Divine trinity existing before the creation of the world is acknowledged; that is, that Jehovah God begat a Son from eternity, and that the Holy Spirit then went forth from both, and that each of these three is by Himself or singly God, because each is one person subsisting of Himself. But as this is incomprehensible to all reason it is called a mystery, which can be penetrated only in this way-that these three have one Divine essence, by which is meant eternity, immensity, omnipotence, and thus an equal Divinity, glory, and majesty. But that this trinity is a trinity of three Gods, and therefore in no sense a Divine trinity, will be shown in what follows: while from all that precedes it is evident that the trinity (which is also a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) which was provided and brought about when God became incarnate, thus after the world was created, is a Divine trinity, because it is a trinity in one God. This divine trinity is in the Lord God the Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ, because the three essentials of the one God, which constitute one essence, are in Him. That in Him (as Paul says) dwelleth all the fullness of Divinity is evident also from the words of the Lord Himself, that all things of the Father are His, and that the Holy Spirit speaks from Him, and not of itself; and finally, that when He arose He took from the sepulchre His whole human body, both the flesh and the bones (Matt. 28:1-8; Mark 16:5, 6; Luke 24:1-3; John 20:11-15), unlike any other man; of which He bore living witness to His disciples, saying:
Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself handle Me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have (Luke 24:39).
From this every man may be convinced, if he will, that the Lord's humanity is Divine; consequently, that in Him God is Man and Man is God. [TCR 170]
The trinity which the present Christian church has embraced and brought into its faith, is that God the Father begat a Son from eternity, and that the Holy Spirit then went forth from both, and that each one of Himself is a God. Human minds can conceive of this trinity only as a triarchy, like the government of three kings in one kingdom, or of three generals over one army, or of three masters in one household, all possessing an equal power. From this what but destruction could ensue? Or if one wishes to figure or shadow forth this triarchy before his mind's sight, and at the same time the unity of its members, he can present it to contemplation only as a man with three heads on one body, or as three bodies under one head. In such a monstrous image must the trinity appear to those who believe that there are three Divine persons each by Himself God, and who join these into one God, but deny that God, because He is one, is therefore one person. That a Son of God begotten from eternity descended and assumed a Human may be compared to the fables of the ancients, that human souls created at the beginning of the world enter into bodies and become men; also to the absurd notion that the soul of one person passes into another, as many in the Jewish church believed; for example, that the soul of Elijah would pass into the body of John the Baptist, and that David would return into his own or into some other man's body, and rule over Israel and Judah, because it is said in Ezekiel:
I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; and he shall be their shepherd and I Jehovah will be to them as God, and David a prince among them (34:23, 24);
besides other passages; not knowing that the Lord is there meant by "David." [TCR 171]
The two sacraments, baptism and the holy supper, are in the Christian church like two gems in the scepter of a king; but if their uses are unknown are merely like two figures of ebony on a staff. These two sacraments in the Christian church may also be likened to two rubies or carbuncles on the robe of an emperor, but if their uses are unknown they are like two carnelians or crystals on a cloak. Without a revelation by means of the spiritual sense of the uses of these two sacraments, there would be nothing but scattered conjectures about them, like the conjectures of those who practice divination by the stars, or even of those who in old times drew auguries from entrails or the flight of birds. The uses of these two sacraments may be likened to a temple, which by reason of its antiquity has sunk into the ground, and lies buried in the surrounding rubbish even to the roof, over which old and young walk and ride in carriages or on horses, not knowing that such a temple is hidden beneath their feet, in which are altars of gold, walls inlaid with silver, and decorations of precious stones. And these treasures can be dug up and brought to light only by means of the spiritual sense, which is now disclosed for the New Church, for its use in the worship of the Lord. Again, these sacraments may be likened to a double temple, one below, the other above. In the lower one the gospel of the Lord's new coming and of regeneration and consequent salvation by Him is preached; and from this temple, near the altar, there is a way of ascent to the higher temple, where the holy supper is celebrated; and from it is the passage into heaven, where those ascending are received by the Lord. Again, they may be likened to a tabernacle, in which after entering there are seen the table on which the bread of faces is arranged in its order, also the golden altar for incense, and between these the candlestick with its lighted lamps, by which all these things are made visible; and at length, for those who suffer themselves to be illuminated, the veil is opened to the holy of holies, where, instead of the ark, which formerly contained the Decalogue, the Word is placed, over which is the mercy seat with the golden cherubs. These things are representations of the two sacraments and their uses. [TCR 669]
BECAUSE CIRCUMCISION OF THE FORESKIN REPRESENTED CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART, IN THE PLACE OF CIRCUMCISION BAPTISM WAS INSTITUTED,
IN ORDER THAT AN INTERNAL CHURCH MIGHT SUCCEED THE EXTERNAL, WHICH IN EACH AND ALL THINGS PREFIGURED THE INTERNAL CHURCH.
It is well known in the Christian world that there is an internal and an external man, and that the external is the same as the natural man, and the internal the same as the spiritual man, because man's spirit is in it; also, since the church consists of men that there is an internal church and an external church. And when churches are viewed in the order of their succession from ancient times to the present, it will be seen that the former churches were external, that is, that their worship consisted of externals which represented the internals of the Christian church which was founded by the Lord when He was in the world, and which is now for the first time being built up by Him. That which primarily distinguished the Israelitish church from the other churches in Asia, and afterward from the Christian church, was circumcision. And because, as before said, all things of the Israelitish church, being external, prefigured all things in the Christian church, which are internal, so the especial sign of that church was interiorly like the sign of the Christian church; circumcision signifying the rejection of the lusts of the flesh, and thus purification from evils, and baptism having the same signification; from which it is clear that baptism was commanded in the place of circumcision, in order that the Christian church might not only be distinguished from the Jewish, but also might thus be more clearly recognized as an internal church; which is clearly seen from the uses of baptism, of which presently. [TCR 674]
THERE IS A TRUE FAITH, A SPURIOUS FAITH AND A HYPOCRITICAL FAITH.
From its cradle the Christian church began to be infested and divided by schisms and heresies, and in the course of time to be torn and mutilated almost like what is said,
Of the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and was surrounded by thieves, who stripped him and beat him and then left him half dead (Luke 10:30).
From this it has come to pass as it is written of that church in Daniel:
At last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation; and even to the consummation and decision shall it drop upon the devastation (9:27).
Also according to these words of the Lord:
Then shall the end come, when ye shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Matt. 24:14, 15).
The lot of that church may be compared to that of a vessel laden with precious merchandise, which immediately on leaving port is driven about by storms, and a little after is wrecked and sunk in the sea, with its precious cargo partly destroyed by the waters, and partly torn by fishes.  That the Christian church from its infancy has been so vexed and torn is evident from ecclesiastical history, as for example, even in the time of the apostles, by Simon, who was by birth a Samaritan and by profession a magician (see Acts 8:9-20); also by Hymeneus and Philetus (mentioned by Paul in his Second Epistle to Timothy); again by Nicholas, from whom the so-called Nicolaitans took their name (mentioned in Apoc. 2:6, and Acts 6:5); and also by Cerinthus. After the time of the apostles several other sects arose, as the Marcionites, the Noetians, the Valentinians, the Encratites, the Cataphrygians, the Quarto-Decimans, the Alogians, the Catharians, the Origenists or Adamites, the Sabellians, the Samosatenes, the Manichseans, the Meletians, and finally the Arians. After them, whole battalions of heresiarchs invaded the church, as the Donatists, the Photinians, the Acaians or Semiarians, the Eunomians, the Macedonians, the Nestorians, the Predestinarians, the Papists, the Zwinglians, the Anabaptists, the Schwenckfeldians, the Synergists, the Soeinians, the Anti-Trinitarians, the Quakers, the Moravians, and many more. Finally Luther, Melancthon, and Calvin prevailed over all these, and their dogmas have predominated to this day.  The causes of so many divisions and separations in the church are chiefly three: First, The Divine trinity has not been understood; Second, There has been no right knowledge of the Lord; Third, The passion of the cross has been taken for redemption itself. So long as these three things, which are the very essentials of faith, and from which the church exists and is called the church, are not understood, it must needs be that all things pertaining to the church will be turned aside out of their true course, and finally into the opposite course, and the church will still believe that it holds to a true faith in God and faith in all the truths relating to God; and in this state they are like persons who cover their eyes with their skirts, and fancy themselves to be walking in a straight line, and yet are departing from it step by step, and at length go in the opposite direction where there is a cavern into which they fall. But the man of the church can be brought back from his wandering into the way of truth, only by learning what true faith is, what spurious faith is, and what hypocritical faith is. Therefore it shall be shown:
(1) That true faith is the one only faith, which is a faith in the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ, and this is held by those who believe Him to be the Son of God, the God of heaven and earth, and one with the Father.
(2) Spurious faith is all faith that departs from the true faith, which is the one only faith, and this is the faith that is held by those who climb up some other way, and regard the Lord not as God, but as a mere man.
(3) Hypocritical faith is no faith. [TCR 378]
That the last time of the Christian church was the very night in which the former churches came to an end, can be seen from the Lord's prediction respecting it in the Gospels and in Daniel; in the Gospels from the following:
That they would see the abomination of desolation, and there would be great tribulation, such as had not been from the beginning of the world until then, nor ever would be; and except those days should be shortened no flesh would be saved; and finally the sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven (Matt. 24:15, 21, 22, 29).
That time is also called night elsewhere in the Gospels, as in Luke:
In that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken and the other left (17:34).
And in John:
I must work the works of Him that sent Me, the night cometh when no man can work (9:4).
 As at midnight all light departs, and the Lord is the true light (John 1:4-9; 8:12; 12:35, 36, 46), so when the Lord ascended to heaven He said to His disciples:
Lo, I am with you always, even unto the consummation of the age (Matt. 27:20);
and then it is that He departs from them to a new church. That this last time of the church is the very night in which the former churches have come to an end can be seen also from the following passages in Daniel:
At last upon the bird of abomination shall be desolation and even to the consummation and decision shall it drop upon the devastation (9:27).
That this is a prediction respecting the end of the Christian church is clearly evident from the Lord's words in Matthew (24:15); as also from what is said in Daniel respecting the fourth kingdom, or the fourth church, represented by Nebuchadnezzar's statue:
Whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of man; but they shall not cohere one with the other even as iron doth not mingle with clay (Dan. 2:43),
"the seed of man" meaning the truth of the Word.  And again, from what is said respecting the fourth church represented by the fourth beast coming up out of the sea:
I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible; it shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces (Dan. 7:7, 23).
This means that all the truth of the church will be consummated, and then it will be night, because the truth of the church is light. Respecting this church there are many other like predictions in the Apocalypse, especially in the sixteenth chapter which treats of the vials full of the wrath of God poured out upon the earth, these vials signifying the falsities that would then inundate and destroy the church. So likewise in many places in the Prophets, as in the following:
Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness and not light? even thick darkness and no brightness? (Amos 5:18, 20; Zeph. 1:15).
In that day Jehovah shall look down upon the land, and behold darkness, and the light is darkened in the ruins thereof (Isa. 5:30; 8:22),
"the day of Jehovah" meaning the day of the Lord's coming. [TCR 761]
Author: EMANUEL. SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)