(AR) - The Book of the Apocalypse Revealed, Uncovering the Secrets That Were Foretold There and Have Lain Hidden until Now

AR 634

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634. If anyone hath adored the beast, and his image, and hath received his mark upon his forehead, or upon his hand, signifies he who acknowledges and receives the doctrine of justification and salvation by faith alone, confirms himself in it, and lives according to it. "To adore the beast" signifies to acknowledge that faith (n. 580). "To adore his image" signifies to acknowledge and receive that doctrine (n. 603). "To receive his mark upon the forehead and upon the hand," signifies to receive it in love and faith, and to confirm himself in it (n. 605-606); and since they who confirm themselves in that love and faith, also live according to it, this likewise is meant.
[2] There are three degrees of the reception of that doctrine, which are described by these words. The first degree is to acknowledge that doctrine; the second degree is to confirm it in oneself; and the third degree is to live according to it; to acknowledge it is effected in the thought, to confirm it in oneself is effected in the understanding, and to live according to it is effected in the will. There are those who are in the first degree, and yet are not in the second and third; and there are those who are in the first and second, and yet are not in the third; but they who are in the third degree, which is that of living according to it, are those concerning whom the following verses (10, 11), are spoken. To live according to it, is to make nothing of evil, by thinking that evil does not condemn, because the works of the law do not save, but faith only. Also to make nothing of good, by thinking within oneself that no one can do good from himself, except it be meritorious. Thus they are such as only shun evils on account of the civil and moral laws, and not on account of the Divine laws; these are they who do goods only for the sake of themselves and the world, consequently from self-love, and not for the Lord's sake, consequently not from love towards the neighbor.
[3] The reason why what now follows (in verses 10, 11), is said of these, is because all that which enters only into the thought and into the understanding does not condemn, but that which enters into the will condemns; for this enters into the life, and remains. For nothing can enter into the will but what is also of the love, and the love is the life of man. These also are they who do not examine themselves, know their sins, and do the work of repentance, and therefore they are condemned; for they say in their hearts, "What need is there of examination, or of a knowledge and acknowledgment of sins, and of repentance, when all these are included in faith alone?" I have seen many such in the spiritual world, who have shunned evils and have done goods on account of civil and moral laws only, and not at the same time on account of spiritual laws, and they were cast into hell.


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