Friday, August 17, 2018

Is God a Personal Being or is He a Substance in Three Persons?



Biblical scripture reveals that God is One Personal Being, whose name is Jehovah. The name Jehovah originates from a word that simply means "He is." And in scripture, God calls Himself "I AM." Outside of scripture, God is defined as one substance and three persons. This originated with the Nicene Creed of the fourth century A.D., and this has formed a false foundation in traditional Christian theology. They who follow this do not understand that Jesus is Jehovah in human form, and that while He was in His lowered human state He prayed to the Father as another person. In reality the Father and Son are one person just as the soul and body form one person in each human being.

THE NICENE CREED VS. THE SYNODS OF ANTIOCH

In discussions of the One God with those who divide Him into three persons, one invariably comes to the meaning of the word "substance" (Greek ousia) or "essence." The reason for this is that in the Nicene Creed of the fourth century the trinity was defined in a Greek speaking world and used a couple of words for "substance." Thus to this very day the Trinity is often defined as "one substance and three persons."

However the problem with this definition is that the word for "substance" and its proposed meaning(s) is borrowed from ancient Greek philosophy, not scripture. The use of the word substance was condemned earlier in the Synods of Antioch (264 and 269 A.D.) as it was used by Paul of Samosta:
"It must be regarded as certain that the council which condemned Paul rejected the term homoousios; but naturally only in a false sense used by Paul; not, it seems because he meant by it a unity of Hypostasis in the Trinity (so St. Hilary), but because he intended by it a common substance out of which both Father and Son proceeded, or which it divided between them, — so St. Basil and St. Athanasius; but the question is not clear. The objectors to the Nicene doctrine in the fourth century made copious use of this disapproval of the Nicene word by a famous council."
Instead of clearing the issue, the Nicene Creed confused it, and this is just one example of contradictions when one depends on the teachings of men instead of scripture. This leads to contradictory word definitions in terminology, for which see What is the difference between person and substance?  The reality is the foundation of traditional Christian theology in the post-Nicene era rests on a contradictory statement. It is based on Greek philosophy, and philosophy is not a reliable source of truth, as it is often based on opinion or what is derived from the senses. Philosophical opinions were also developed long before we had a correct understanding of physics.

THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE WORD SUBSTANCE

In the New Church, which is a new revelation for Christianity, it is permitted to understand spiritual mysteries of faith in a rational manner. This could only happen after the Age of Enlightenment, where truth must be according to reason, not tradition or authority (see Truth by Religious Tradition and Authority vs. Spiritual Truth.) Since much of traditional theology is based on tradition and authority, Christianity is in decline and is no longer a strong intellectual force in modern society. Science is looking for facts, and in the post Enlightenment era all truth must be rational, and useful.

In the revelations of the New Church, an interesting insight is given on what is the true spiritual meaning of substance and form, and its relationship to the nature of the One God. The ultimate substance and form is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom itself:
"the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom in themselves are Substance and Form; for they are very [Being] and [Existence]; and unless they were such [Being] and [Existence] as they are substance and form, they would be only an imaginary entity, which in itself is nothing"  (Swedenborg, Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 43)
Love and wisdom are not just abstract ideas, but are spiritual realities based on substances and forms not visible to our senses:
"the substances and forms which are love and wisdom are not visible to the eyes like the organs of the external senses" (Swedenborg, Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 42)
And from the Divine Love and Wisdom of God, this flows downward into lower substances and forms, until it reaches the material plane:
"But it is to be well known that the truth Divine, which flows into the third heaven nearest to the Lord, also at the same time and without successive formation flows in even to the lowests of order, and there from the First immediately also rules and provides all things; hence successives are held together in their order and connection. That this is so may also be somewhat evident from a maxim not unknown to the learned in the world, that there is only one substance which is substance, and that all other things are formations thence; and that in the formations that one only substance rules, not only as form, but also as not form, as in its origin. Unless this were so, the thing formed could not subsist and act. But these things are said for those who may understand them." (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 7270.4)
In other passages, Swedenborg states that it is a falsehood of the age to assume that the universe was created from nothing - the material world was created from the spiritual world, which existed before the material world was created. The spiritual world originated from the Divine Love and Wisdom. Moreoever, good and truth flows from the One God into every person being, in fact, God is Life itself and it is from God that every living thing has their life:
"Every one in the heavens knows and believes and even perceives that he wills and does nothing of good from himself, and thinks and believes nothing of truth from himself, but all from the Divine, thus from the Lord; and that the good and truth which are from himself are not good and truth, because there is no life in them from the Divine... Angels from their wisdom go still further, and say not only that all good and truth are from the Lord, but also the all of life. They confirm it by this, that nothing can exist from itself, but from what is prior to itself; thus that all things exist from the First—which they call the very Being [Esse] of the life of all... Further they say that from that Only Fountain of life, which is the Lord, there proceeds nothing but Divine good and Divine truth, and that these affect every one according to his reception; they who receive them in faith and life have heaven in them; but they who reject them, or stifle them, turn them into hell; for they turn good into evil and truth into falsity, thus life into death" (Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, n. 8, 9)
From various passages, the Divine Love is Being itself, which in Latin Swedenborg calls Esse, which is the Latin word "to be" - from which there is all substance.

GOD IS BEING, GOD IS LIFE, GOD IS LOVE

So where in scripture does it say, God is a substance in three persons? Nowhere. Because this definition was invented by men.

From scripture, God calls Himself I AM, and from that we know that God is Being Itself:
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Ex. 3:14-15)
From scripture, God is life:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6)
From scripture, God is love:
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8)
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16)
To say that God is life and that God is love is an equivalent statement, for one's love is one's life. You take away someone's love, and they will cease to want to live.

GOD IS LIFE WHICH FLOWS INTO ALL LIVING THINGS

Science cannot explain life, nor what it is, because life is not material which flows into non-material things, causing them to live. The revelations given to Swedenborg extend the concept of God is life:
"From very much experience I have been instructed that there is but one single life, which is that of the Lord, which flows in and causes man to live, yea, causes both the good and the evil to live. To this life correspond forms which are substances, and which by continual Divine influx are so vivified that they appear to themselves to live from themselves" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 3484)
Living creatures are recipients of the one life from God:
"That forms or substances are recipient of life, may be evident from the particulars seen in living creatures; also that recipient forms or substances are arranged in the way most suitable for inflow of life. Without the reception of life in substances, which are forms, there would be no living thing in the natural world, nor in the spiritual world" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 7408.2)
As God is life, and is the source of life for all living things, substance typically refers to a lower material form that is a recipient of life. Moreover angels and spirits are but purer substances but not visible to human sight:
"Spirits themselves are forms, that is, consist of continuous forms, equally with men, but of a purer nature, and not visible to the bodily sight. And because these forms or substances are not visible to the corporeal eye, man at this day apprehends no otherwise than that knowledges and thoughts are abstract things; hence also comes the folly of our age, that men do not believe that they have a spirit within them which is to live after the death of the body, when yet this spirit is a substance much more real than the material substance of its body" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 3726.4)
"All the angels there are forms, or substances formed according to the reception of the Divine things which are from the Lord" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 3741)
Even thoughts themselves exist as a form of a pure substance, and are not simply electrical impulses of the brain:
"They who have no other idea of knowledges, and also of truths, than that they are abstract things — such an idea as most people have also concerning thoughts — can in no wise apprehend what is meant by good being implanted in knowledges, and by truth being the recipient of good. But it is to be known that knowledges and truths are things no more abstracted from the most pure substances of the interior of man, or his spirit, than sight is abstracted from its organ the eye, or than hearing is abstracted from its organ the ear. There are purer substances, and those real, from which knowledges and thoughts have existence" (Swedenborg, Heavenly Arcana, n. 3726.3)
Thus God is love, God is life, and this flows into substances causing them to live; but the one true substance is the Divine love itself from which all things are. And this one Divine love is One Divine Being, and is Being itself. This Divine Being lowered itself into a human form, from which the Divine spirit flows into men. From this we know, when we love others, we are in true communion with the One God.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Is the Doxology of the Lord's Prayer Original?



There are two forms of the Lord's prayer: a shorter form in Luke, followed by a longer one in Matthew. There is a phrase at the end of Matthew known as a doxology, which is excluded in many modern Bible translations. Here are the two versions of the Lord's prayer:
And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:2-4)
And the longer version from Matthew:
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. (Matt. 6:9-13)
The last phrase is excluded since in modern Biblical criticism, greater weight is given to the early Alexandrian texts over the Byzantine Majority Text. The majority of texts include it, but these earlier manuscripts do not. They ignore the fact that the Alexandrian text tradition has errors of its own. The modern Bibles that exclude the text are as follows:

  • American Standard Version
  • Contemporary English Version
  • English Standard Version
  • GOD'S WORD Translation
  • Good News Translation
  • New International Reader's Version
  • New International Version
  • New Living Translation
  • Today's New International Version.

Others enclose it square brackets. This was quite surprising when I saw the removal. So is it original or not? The scholars who exclude it have to ignore some evidence in its favor. For example there is an early Christian document from the first or second century A.D. known as the Didache which is based on the gospel of Matthew, and it includes it:
Neither pray as the hypocrites; but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, thus pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours is the power and the glory forever (Didache, ch. 8).
Beyond the Alexandrian and Byzantine text traditions, there are other ancient translations which include it: the Syriac translations, the Diatessaron, and the Sahidic Coptic translation (see The Lord's Prayer.)

However there is one additional piece of evidence that all scholars have ignored, or have failed to notice: a form of the Lord's prayer is hidden within the book of Revelation. This can be seen with a detailed comparison between Matt. 6:9-13 and Rev. 1:4-6. See the table below:

LORD’S PRAYER
BOOK OF REVELATION
Our Father who art in heaven
Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come
Hallowed
and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne
be thy name
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
and the prince of the kings of the earth
Give us this day our daily bread
Unto him that loved us
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
and washed us from our sins in his own blood
For thine is the kingdom,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father
and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

The similarity is remarkable: a different form of the doxology is found in the book of Revelation. It is different enough where it is unlikely that the gospel of Matthew borrowed from Revelation, and the dates of authorship are prohibitive: most scholars agree that Revelation was written later than the four gospels. It is shameful that modern scholars ignore the fact that there are numerous corruptions in the Alexandrian texts which forms a small minority of the manuscript evidence: see The Unreliablitity of the Alexandrian Manuscripts - Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are among the worst manuscripts known.

In the Orthodox Church, the doxology is integral to their liturgy and is still preserved intact. The congregation typically chants the Lord's prayer, but the doxology is reserved for the priest. The Didache is evidence of an early form of communal worship, and the gospel of Matthew is directed for the Jews who formed the first Christian communities.

Some comparisons between Matthew and the Apocalypse deserve more comment:

The opening of the Lord's prayer: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name - is in fact a hidden address to the Trinity in the person of Jesus Christ.  The Father is the Divine itself, His name is Jesus Christ, and "Hallowed" which means "Holy" is a hidden reference to the Holy Spirit which is the spirit of God that proceeds from the Divine through the body of Jesus Christ. This is why in the Apocalypse mention is made of the "seven Spirits" - where seven signifies all or what is holy. The Catholic falsely add an attribution to the Trinity of three persons at the beginning and end of the prayer in their liturgy, not realizing it is already there in the Lord's Prayer itself.

In the New Church it is revealed that the Lord's Prayer is fulfilled when we pray directly to Jesus Christ. But the false doctrine of a trinity of three persons leads to confusion: Christians keep asking: who do I pray to?  The former website I linked to exposes this problem with a question: When we pray, we do we address? Because traditional Christian theology is a false form of tritheism, and in the Lord's Prayer they bypass Jesus in their thoughts. The New Church theology is monotheistic: prayers are directed to One God only who is Jesus Christ. One can see in the comparison: the Father's name is Jesus Christ. In the OT He is known as Jehovah, and in the NT Jesus is called "Lord" which is also a Jewish title for Jehovah. The Lord, in his human form, does pray to the Father, but this is done when He was in a state of humiliation, where the Divine had been lowered into human form that could be tempted from the body that had been inherited from Mary.

Another portion deserves more comment: the "bread" of the Lord's prayer is replaced by "love" in the Apocalypse. But it is to be known that the bread is the communal bread of the Eucharist which is a symbolic representation of Divine love. It is not a literal prayer for physical food, as literalists may presume. For further information on this symbolism, see The Symbolism of Communion and Salvation by Blood.

THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE DOXOLOGY

For most, the Lord's Prayer is chanted in meaningless repetition, with few heeding any attention to the particular meaning of the words.  Kingdom, in the spiritual sense, refers to Divine truth, as kings rule nations by laws formed from Divine truth. Power, in the spiritual sense, refers to omnipotent power that comes from Divine truth. Glory, in the spiritual sense, refers to the glorification of the Lord's body so that is was made Divine, that is, Jehovah had united His human form to the Divine love itself. In the end, it should be acknowledged that all good and truth originate from God alone, and we are but recipients of such gifts when we allow that in our lives through our thoughts and actions.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Prophecy of the Little Horn or the Antichrist



True Christianity is not just belief alone, but living one's life according to the commandments. This is made very clear throughout scripture. Here I will just quote two statements of Jesus:
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matt. 7:24-27
And again:
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15)
Thus the Protestant teaching that teaches one is justified by faith alone is a perversion, based on a distortion of Paul's letters.  For by "works" Paul was not talking about works of doing what is good, but instead he was talking about the works of Jewish ritual law. As Jewish ritual laws were representations intended to represent the internal spiritual truths of Christianity, they were no longer necessary to be observed.

In order to get around scriptural passages that are contrary to justification by faith alone, the next falsehood that is taught is that the will of man is "passive" and that works arise "spontaneously" as "fruits of the Spirit." That the will of man is not passive, that works are not spontaneous, is proven by scripture:
"And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-27)
The most important commandment is love of God, and second to that is love of the neighbor. This involves the heart, the soul, the mind and all of one's strength. The heart is one's will, the soul is one's life, the mind is one's thoughts, and all of one's strength is with all of one's effort. It is a covenant relationship - inasmuch as man does his part, God will do His part by dwelling within our heart.

THE PROPHECY OF THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL

The doctrine of justification by faith alone is not the foundation of True Christianity; such a doctrine destroys and perverts the foundation of Christianity. It was unknown until the 16th century. This was foretold in end time prophecies in the books of Daniel and Revelation which speak of the perversion and fall of the Christian church. The substitute false church that is setup in its place is the Antichrist, for the teachings are a falsehood that are opposed to the essence of True Christianity.

There are two particular prophecies of Daniel which speaks of a "little horn" that arises at the end times, which are set forth in Daniel chapters 7 and 8. The popular interpretation of the "little horn" is one of a future Antichrist that arises in Europe, since in the literal interpretation of the prophecy it speaks of kingdoms that arise after the fall of the Roman Empire. But the spiritual interpretation is this: the little horn is the false teachings of Protestant doctrine that arise after the fall in power of not the Roman Empire, but that of the Roman Catholic Church. This is clearly set forth in the revelations given to Swedenborg for the doctrines of the New Church. Here is Swedenborg's explanation of Daniel chapter 7:
"Here in the internal sense the perverted state of the church is treated of. The things which were here seen by Daniel, as the beast, the teeth of iron, the horn in which were eyes, and the horns that spoke, and those which made war with the saints, and that which spoke against the Most High, signify the state of falsity and of heresies within the church. That horns signify falsity powerful and prevailing, may be evident only from this, that eyes are attributed to them, that is, understanding (n. 2701); and that they spoke, and even against the Most High. By the kingdoms and kings are not signified kingdoms and kings, but the teachings of falsity; as may be evident from their signification in the Word, as the teachings of truth, and in the opposite sense the teachings of falsity (see n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 2547)." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2832.13)
The "little horn" is explained further in this passage from Apocalypse Explained - it is called a horn from power, and it is "little" because so few are able to see its falsehood:
"Here evidently "horns" means the falsities that destroy the truths of the church, or the power of falsities against truths; "the beast coming up out of the sea" signifies the love of self out of which spring all evils; here the love of ruling over heaven and earth, to which things holy serve as means; it is such a love that is meant by "Babylon" in the Apocalypse. This beast was seen "coming up out of the sea," because the "sea" signifies the natural man separated from the spiritual; for the natural man is then of such a character that he desires nothing so much as to have dominion over all, and to confirm that dominion by the sense of the letter of the Word. "The ten horns" signify falsities of every kind, for "ten" means all; therefore it is further said, that "the ten horns are ten kings," for "kings" signify truths, and in a contrary sense, as here, falsities. "The little horn that came up among them, before which three of the former horns were plucked up by the roots," signifies the complete perversion of the Word by the application of the sense of its letter to confirm the love of dominion. This horn is called "little," because it does not appear that the Word is perverted; and what does not appear before the sight of man's spirit, or before his understanding, is regarded either as nothing, or as little. In the spiritual world such is the appearance of things that are apprehended by a few only. "The three horns that were plucked up by the roots before it," signify the truths of the Word there that have been thus destroyed by falsifications; these truths are also signified by the "three kings" that were humbled by the horn, "three" not meaning three, but what is full, thus that truths were completely destroyed. As that "horn" signifies the perversion of the Word in respect to the sense of its letter, and as this sense appears before the eyes of men as if it were to be understood thus and not otherwise, and therefore not to be gainsaid by any one, it is said of this horn, "that in it there were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things," "eyes" signify understanding, and "eyes like the eyes of a man" an understanding as if of truth, and "mouth" signifies thought and speech from that understanding. From this it can now be seen what is meant by all and by each of the particulars here mentioned; as by "the beast coming up out of the sea, who had ten horns and teeth of iron, and devoured and brake in pieces;" by "the little horn that came up among them, before which three of the horns were plucked up by the roots, in which were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things;" also by "it made war with the saints and prevailed against them," and "it spake words against the Most High;" and "the horns were so many kings."" (Apocalypse Explained, n. 316.15)
For Daniel chapter 8, Swedenborg gets more specific: the little horn refers to those who separate faith from charity:
""out of one of them came forth a little horn" signifies justification by faith, for this is born of the principle of faith alone; it is said to be "little" because it does not appear as a falsity. That this horn "grew exceedingly towards the south, and towards the east, and towards beauty, and grew even to the host of the heavens, and cast down some of the host to the earth, and trampled upon them," signifies that it destroyed all the truths and goods of the church; "the south" meaning where truth is in the light, "the east" and "beauty" where good is in clearness through truth, "the host of the heavens" all truths and goods of heavens and the church; "to cast down the host to the earth, and to trample upon them," signifies to destroy utterly; that "even to the prince of the host it magnified itself," and that "the dwelling place of his sanctuary was cast down," signifies the denial of the Lord's Divine Human, and the consequent vastation of the church; "the prince of the host" is the Lord in respect to the Divine Human, because from that proceed all the truths and goods that constitute the church; "the dwelling place of the sanctuary" is the church where these are; this plainly means the truths destroyed by falsities, for it is said, "it cast down truth to the earth."" (Apocalypse Explained, n. 316.16)
This is repeated again in more detail in the work Doctrine of Faith (found in Doctrines of the New Jerusalem as well as The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem) in which it is explain that following the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, a new revelation of Christianity would be given, described as the "morning" after a period where the sanctuary (the church) is trampled down:
"The ram which had the two high horns, of which the higher came up last, signifies those who are in faith coming from charity. His pushing with the horn westward, and northward, and southward, signifies the dispersion of evil and falsity. That he made himself great, signifies increase. The he-goat which came from the west, on the face of the whole earth, signifies those who are in faith separate from charity, and the invasion of the church by them; the west denotes the evil of the natural man. Which had a horn between his eyes, signifies his own intelligence: his running at the ram in the fury of his power, signifies that he fought vehemently against charity and its faith: his breaking his two horns, throwing him to the ground, and stamping upon him, signifies that he wholly dispersed both charity and faith; for he who disperses the one disperses the other also, since they that the great horn of the he-goat was broken, signifies the non-appearance of his own intelligence: the coming-up of four horns in its place, signifies applications of the sense of the letter of the Word in confirmation: the coming forth of a little horn from one of them, signifies reasoning that no one can fulfil the Law, and do good of himself: the growth of that horn toward the south, toward the east, and toward what was pleasant, signifies its rising-up against all things of the church: and even to the host of the heavens, and it cast down unto the earth [some] from the host and from the stars, and it trampled them, signifies that so were destroyed all the cognitions of good and of truth, which belonged to charity and to faith. That he raised himself up even to the prince of the host, and from him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the dwelling-place of his sanctuary was cast down, signifies that thus he laid desolate all things belonging to the worship of the Lord and to His church: that he cast the truth to the ground, signifies that he falsified the truths of the Word. By the evening, the morning, when the holy place will be justified, is signified the end of that church, and the beginning of a new one." (Doctrine of Faith, n. 67)
For a further assessment of the prophecies in Revelation related to the book of Daniel, see The Prophecy of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet and The Spiritual Meaning of the Woman of the Apocalypse.

WHAT OF OTHER TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATIONS?

The traditional interpretation of the prophecies of Daniel is that they successively describe different kingdoms of the Middle East that ruled over Judea: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, the Roman Empire, and then a future kingdom of 10 kings. Prophecy has a dual nature, sometimes a short term literal fulfillment comes to pass to signify a larger spiritual event. For an example of this, see The Prophecy of Daniel 11-12 Explained. Historical events are thus used to symbolically represent the internal spiritual states of not only the Jewish church, but of the Christian church that followed it:
"The subject here is the state of the church in general, not only the state of the Jewish Church, but also that of the following, which is the Christian Church; for the Word of the Lord is universal. The he-goat of the goats, in respect to the Jewish Church, signifies those who made nothing of internal truths, but accepted external truths so far as they favored their loves, which were that they might be the greatest and the wealthiest. For this reason they recognized the Christ, or Messiah, Whom they were expecting, simply as a king, who would exalt them above all the nations and peoples in the whole world, and would make these subject to them as vilest slaves: this was the source of their love for Him. They did not at all know what love toward the neighbor was, except that it was conjunction through participation in such honor, and by gain.
"But the he-goat of the goats in respect to the Christian Church signifies those who are in external truths from enjoyments, that is, who are in faith separate; for these also care nothing for internal truths; and if they teach them, it is only that they may thereby win reputation, be exalted to honors, and acquire gain. These are the enjoyments which are in their hearts while truths are in their mouth. Moreover by sinister interpretations they force the truths which belong to genuine faith, to favor their loves. It is plain from this what is signified in the internal sense by the above words in Daniel — namely, that by a he-goat of the goats are signified those who are in faith separate." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4769.2-3)


In the work Heavenly Arcana, the symbolism of scripture is explained in more detail, proving that the horn that arises out of the he-goat are those who create falsehoods out of the external literal sense of the Word. However instead of trusting what is taught in many churches, read the scriptures for yourselves. For the Antichrist does not come from outside the Christian Church, it comes from within the church, and is worshiped as what is holy - this is the "abomination of desolation" which stands "within the holy place" (Matt. 24:15). That the end times are here, one can easily see in the decline of Christianity in society, as well as its loss in influence over the ideas that are accepted as true. This is because of the inherent falsehoods within some teachings that have destroyed the truths from within. But the good news here is there is a new revelation given, which is the doctrines of the New Church, and this revelation is the fulfillment of the Second Coming as it reveals the internal spiritual sense of the Word.

FOR FURTHER READING:

The Spiritual Meaning of Daniel's Prophecy of the Statue of Nebuchadnezzar

The Spiritual Meaning of the Abomination of Desolation

The Prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation (part 1)

The Prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation (part 2)

The Prophecy of the Last Judgment

The Prophecy of Babylon and the Writing on the Wall

The New Church Prophecy of the 2300 Days, or the Cleansing of the Sanctuary

Is the Second Coming a Physical Event or Spiritual Event?