To the Extent That We Turn Our Backs on All Kinds of Theft Because They Are Sins, We Love Honesty (Continued)

I noted in Section 81 above that the evil of theft infects us more deeply than some other evils because it is united with guile and trickery, and guile and trickery work their way into our spiritual mind where our thinking with understanding takes place; so now I need to say something about human mind. On the human mind being our understanding together with our will, see Section 43 above.

from Life/Faith, Section 85


Section 43: Published 10/18/2021

Section 81: Published 4/26/2022

To the Extent That We Turn Our Backs on All Kinds of Theft Because They Are Sins, We Love Honesty (Continued)

There are many passages in the Word that say this, the following being a few of them:

Those who walk in righteousness and say what is upright, who loathe oppression for the sake of profit, who shake bribes from their hands in order not to accept them, who block their ears so as not to hear bloodshed, who close their eyes so as not to see evil–they will dwell on high. (Isaiah 33:15-16)

Jehovah, who will dwell in your tabernacle? Who will live on your holy mountain? Those who walk uprightly and do what is fair, who do not disparage others with their tongues, and who do no evil to their companions. (Psalms 15:1-3, and following)

My eyes are toward the faithful of the earth so that they may sit down with me. Anyone who walks the path of integrity will serve me. No one who practices deceit will sit in the midst of my house; no one who speaks lie will stand in my presence. At dawn I will cut off all the ungodly of the earth, to cut off from the city all those who work iniquity. (Psalms 101:6-8)

In the following words, the Lord tells us that we are not truly honest, fair, faithful, or upright until we are inwardly honest, fair, faithful, and upright.

Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of the heavens. (Matthew 5:20)

Righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees means the more inward righteousness that is ours when we are in the Lord. As for our being “in the Lord,” he also teaches this in John:

The glory that you gave me I have given them, so that they may be one just as we are one–I in them and you in me–so that they may be made perfect in one, and so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I may be in them. (John 17:22-23, 26)

This show that people become complete when the Lord is in them. These are the people who are called “pure in heart,” the ones who will see God,” and the ones who are “perfect, like their Father in the heavens” (Matthew 5:8, 48).

from Life/Faith, Section 84

To the Extent That We Turn Our Backs on All Kinds of Theft Because They Are Sins, We Love Honesty (Continued)

“Honesty” also means integrity, fairness, faithfulness, and morality. On our own, we cannot be devoted to these so as to love them for what they are, for their own sakes, but if we turn our backs on deception, guile, and trickery as sins, we have a devotion to these virtues that comes not from ourselves but from the Lord, as explained in Sections 18-31 above. This applies to priests, administrators, judges, merchants, and laborers–to all of us then, in our various roles and tasks.

from Life/Faith, Section 83


Sections 18-30: Published 3/30/2019-4/3/2019

To the Extent That We Turn Our Backs on All Kinds of Theft Because They Are Sins, We Love Honesty

In earthly terms, “theft” means not only theft and robbery but also cheating and taking other people’s assets by some pretext. Spiritually understood, though, “theft” means depriving others of the truths of their faith and good actions motivated by their caring, while in the highest sense it means taking from the Lord what is properly his and claiming it for ourselves–that is, claiming righteousness and worth for ourselves. These are “all kinds of theft,” and like “all kinds of adultery” and “all kinds of killing,” as just described [Sections 74-79 and 67-73], they too are united. They are united because one is within the other.

from Life/Faith, Section 80

Sections 67-73: Published 2/14/2022-2/20/2022

Sections 74-79: Published 4/19/2022-4/24/2022

To the Extent That We Turn Our Backs on All Kinds of Adultery Because They Are Sins, We Love Chastity (Continued)

The following passages show that spiritually understood, “adultery” means polluting what is good in the Word and distorting what is true in it:

Babylon has made all nations drink of the wine for her fornication. (Revelation 14:8)

An angel said, “I will show you the judgment of the great whore who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication.” (Revelation 17:1-2)

Babylon has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. (Revelation 18:3)

God has judged the great whore who corrupted the earth with her fornication. (Revelation 19:2)

Fornication is associated with Babylon because Babylon means people who claim the Lord’s divine power for themselves and profane the Word by polluting and distorting it.  That is why Babylon is called “the Mother of Fornications and the Abominations of the Earth” in Revelation 17:5.

Fornication means much the same in the prophets—in Jeremiah, for example:

In the prophets of Jerusalem, I have seen appalling obstinacy; they commit adultery and walk in a lie. (Jeremiah 23:14)

In Ezekiel:

Two women, daughters of one mother, played the whore in Egypt; in their youth they behaved wantonly.  The first was unfaithful to me and took delight in lovers from neighboring Assyria.  Upon them, too, she bestowed her acts of whoredom, but without giving up her wantonness in Egypt.  The second became more corrupt in her love than the first, and her acts of whoredom were worse than her sister’s.  She increased her whoredom and made love to Chaldeans; sons of Babel came to her, into the bed of love, and defiled her with their debauchery. (Ezekiel 23:2-17)

This is about the church of Israel and Judah, who are the “daughters of one mother” in this passage.  Their acts of whoredom mean their pollutions and distortions of the Word, and since in the Word Egypt means factual knowledge, Assyria reasoning, Chaldea the profanation of what is true, and Babel the profanation of what is good, it says that they committed acts of whoredom with those countries.

Much the same is said in Ezekiel of Jerusalem, meaning the church in respect to its teachings:

Jerusalem, you trusted in your own beauty, and played the whole because of your fame, even to the point that you poured out your whoredom on everyone who passed by.  You played the whore with the Egyptians, your very fleshly neighbors, and increased your acts of whoredom.  You played the whore with Assyrians, because you were insatiable; indeed played whore with them.  You multiplied your acts of whoredom as far as the land of the trader, Chaldea.  An adulterous wife takes strangers instead of her husband.  All make payment to their whores, but you made payments to all your lovers to come to you from all around for your whoredom.  Now then, O whore, hear the Word of Jehovah. (Ezekiel 16:15, 26, 28-29, 32-33, 35, and following)

On Jerusalem meaning the church, see Teaching on the Lord 62, 63.  Fornication means much the same in Isaiah 23:17-18; 57:3; Jeremiah 3:2, 6, 8-9, 5:7; 29:23; Micah 1:7; Nahum 3:4; Hosea 4:7, 10-11; also Leviticus 20:5; Numbers14:33; 15:39; and elsewhere.

That is why the Lord called the Jewish nation “an adulterous generation” (Matthew 12:39; 16:4; Mark 8:38).

from Life/Faith, Section 79

To the Extent That We Turn Our Backs on All Kinds of Adultery Because They Are Sins, We Love Chastity (Continued)

We can tell from what the Lord says in Matthew that adultery also means lecherous behavior, lewd conversation, and filthy thoughts:

You have heard that it was said by the ancients, “You are not to commit adultery”; but I tell you that anyone who has looked at some else’s wife in order to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

from Life/Faith, Section 78

To the Extent That We Turn Our Backs on All Kinds of Adultery Because They Are Sins, We Love Chastity (Continued)

This enables us to conclude and see beyond doubt whether someone is a Christian or not, in fact whether or not someone has any religion at all.  People who do not regard adultery as a sin in their faith and their way of life are not Christians and have no religion.  On the other hand, people who turn their backs on adultery as a sin, and more so people who steer clear of it altogether for that reason, and even more so people who detest it for that reason, do have a religion, and if they are in the Christian church, they are Christians.

There will be more on this in the booklet on marriage, though; and in the meanwhile those interested may consult what it says on this subject in Heaven and Hell, Sections 366-386.

from Life/Faith, Section 77


Heaven and Hell:

Section 366-386: Published 12/15/2017-12/22/2017

To the Extent That We Turn Our Backs on All Kinds of Adultery Because They Are Sins, We Love Chastity (Continued)

We cannot know the true nature of the chastity of marriage if we do not turn our backs on the lechery of adultery as a sin.  We can know something we have experienced, but not something that we have not experienced.  If we know about something we have not experienced, know it on the basis of a description or by thinking about it, we know it only in the shadows, and doubt clings to it.  So we see it in the light and without doubt only when we have experienced it.  This is knowing, then; the other is knowing and yet not knowing.

The true of the matter is that the lechery of adultery and the chastity of marriage are as different from each other as hell and heaven are from each other, and that the lechery of adultery makes hell for us and the chastity of marriage makes heaven for us.

However, there is no chastity of marriage for anyone but those who turn their backs on adultery as a sin—see Section 111 below.

from Life/Faith, Section 76