Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 13:4
AR 579. Verse 4. And they adored the dragon, which gave authority to the beast, signifies the acknowledgment of the doctrine of justification by faith, without the works of the law, by the leaders and teachers, who have caused it to prevail through reception by the common people. By "adoring" is signified to acknowledge it as holy in the church; by "the dragon" is signified the doctrine of justification and salvation by faith alone, without the works of the law (n. 537); by this "beast" is signified the common people because it is the laity (n. 567); by "giving power" is signified to cause it to prevail by its reception among the laity (n. 575).
AR 580. And they adored the beast, signifies the acknowledgment by the common people that it is holy truth, that no one can do good works from himself, nor fulfil the law. "To adore" signifies to acknowledge it as holy in the church, as in (n. 579), here, to acknowledge it as holy truth, that no one can do good works of himself, and fulfil the law; and these two being regarded as holy truths, it follows, that the works of the law are to be removed from faith, as not saving. But that these truths, and many others, are falsified, may be seen in (n. 566). By "the beast" is here signified the same as by "the dragon," on account of the reception and acknowledgment; therefore it is said that they "adored the dragon," and "adored the beast."
AR 581. Saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to fight with him? signifies the excellence of that doctrine above all others, because it cannot be contradicted by anyone "Who is like unto the beast," signifies the opinion of the excellence of that church above all others on account of its doctrine; by "the beast" is signified the common people, thus the church, and abstractly its doctrine. "Who is able to fight with him," signifies, who can contradict that man is not able to do any spiritual good from himself, besides other things, as in (n. 566); and as this cannot be contradicted, "are we not therefore saved by faith without the works of the law?" But that this conclusion is absurd, yea, insanity itself, may be seen by everyone who knows anything and is wise from the Word. "Who is able to fight with him," also signifies that this doctrine has been so ingeniously and subtilly confirmed, and so fortified by its leaders, and the teachers after them, that it cannot be impugned. REVELATION 13:4 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|