Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 963

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963. On the men who had the mark of the beast, and worshipped his image. That this signifies, who acknowledge faith alone and the doctrine thereof, and live according to it, is evident from the signification of the beast, as denoting those who are in faith alone, or in faith separated from the goods of life, and who confirm it by reasonings from the natural man (concerning this see the thirteenth chapter preceding, from beginning to end); and from the signification of his mark, as denoting acknowledgment, reception, and testification thereof (concerning which see above, n. 838, 886); and from the signification of his image, as denoting the doctrine, and of worshipping him, as denoting to acknowledge in heart and life (concerning which see n. 827, 833). That such men are in evil works and falsifications of the Word was shown in the chapter concerning the dragon and the two beasts of the dragon; and is clearly evident from this, that they exclude good works from saving or justifying faith, teaching that faith justifies and saves without them. And because these are thus deemed unnecessary, they are omitted.

It is from an eternal statute or from the Divine order that where there are not good works there are evil works. These, therefore, are what are signified by the great and noxious sore in the earth, or in the church, in the case of those who are in faith alone both in doctrine and in life.

Continuation concerning the Second Precept:-

[2] He who abstains from profaning the name of God, that is, from profaning the sanctity of the Word by contempt, rejection, or any blasphemy, possesses religion. And according to the quality of his abstaining, such is his religion. For no one has religion, except from revelation, and revelation with us is the Word. Abstinence from profaning the sanctity of the Word must be from the heart, not from the mouth only. Those who abstain from the heart, live from religion; but those who abstain only from the mouth, do not live from religion; for the latter abstain either for the sake of self, or for the sake of the world, because the Word serves them as a means of acquiring honour and gain; or they abstain from some kind of fear. But the majority of these are hypocrites, and have no religion.

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