6765. And he said to the wicked one, Wherefore smitest thou thy companion? That this signifies rebuke because one desired to destroy the faith of another, is evident from the signification of "the wicked one," as being those who are not in the truth of faith, but are nevertheless within the church, for there are within the church those who are in the truth of faith, and there are those who are not in truth, as can be seen from various heresies, and those who are in heresy, or not in the truth of faith, are here meant by "the wicked one;" from the signification of "smiting," as being to destroy (see n. 6758); and from the signification of "companion," as being one who is in the truth of faith.
For when by "the wicked one" is signified one who is not in the truth of faith, by "companion" is signified one who is in the truth of faith. He is called "companion," not "brother," although both were Hebrews, because they were foes. That rebuke is meant is evident. The case herein is this. When a man is being regenerated, he is let into combats against falsities, and is then kept by the Lord in truth, but in that truth which he had persuaded himself to be truth, and from this truth he fights against falsity. He can fight also from truth not genuine, provided the truth is such that in some way it can be conjoined with good; and it is conjoined with good by means of innocence, for innocence is the means of conjunction. Hence it is that men can be regenerated within the church from any doctrine, but those preeminently who are in genuine truths.