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 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.


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.


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?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

What is the Little Book of Seven Thunders?

The book of Revelation speaks of an angel descending from heaven, holding a little book open in his hand, who then cries out and seven thunders utter their voice. The apostle John was about to write what the seven thunders uttered, but is commanded not to reveal them, and they would only be revealed in the days of the seventh trumpet. He is then commanded to eat the little book, after which he is commanded to prophesy (Rev. 10).

The identity of the little book, and the revelation of the seven thunders, has puzzled many. As explained in The Mystery of the Book of Seven Thunders Explained, it was revealed to Swedenborg that the the content of the little book was concerning a teaching in scripture that few have observed: Jesus Christ is Jehovah in human form, and that His human form is Divine, a Divine Human.

The book was kept sealed, as at this day the majority of Christians understand the Son of God as a second person of a trinity, a form of tritheism. This teaching, plus one is saved by belief alone without regard to works (how one lives one's life according to the commandments) is described as the dragon, the beast and the false prophet: see The Prophecy of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet.

In regards to the little book of the seven thunders, Swedenborg gets more specific: the content of the little book was actually the same as the contents of The Doctrine of the Lord, which focuses on a study of scripture that shows that Jesus is Jehovah in human form, and that His human form is actually the Son of God. The Divine exists within Him as the soul exists in the body. As He was born of a virgin, He calls God "Father." But the idea of three persons is a false one invented by men. Thus following the revelation of the little book, the book of Revelation describes a religious conflict between those who follow the revelation (the 2 witnesses and the 144,000) and those who follow the dragon, the beast and the false prophet.

When one reads Swedenborg's explanation of the little book of Revelation 10, he offers little support for the conclusion. In most cases he will reference scripture, and in other cases he will reference a dialogue with angels in a heavenly vision. But here he does neither. Is there any evidence of support?


I have been working on a work of the Psalms that explains the numeric significance of its poetic structure, paying attention to the number of the Psalms, the number of verses, words and even letters. The Jews knew this but the knowledge has been generally lost in Biblical studies. I have restored the number of verses according to the Hebrew poetic parallelism, and to my surprise discovered that verse, word and letter counts of scripture are actually significant, and can help explain or reinforce the actual text. I have been using a computer program to find counts that are significant, and came across this find, among many others:
  • In Psalms 29-70 there are exactly 700 poetic verses. The number 70 corresponds to 700.
  • In Psalms 73-150 there are exactly 1400 poetic verses, which is 2 x 700.
This pattern is hidden until one restores the proper verse counts. The 700 verses in Psalms 29-70 caught my attention. I at first ignored it, as Psalm 70 is not in any way related to the content of Psalm 29. However I then realized that the numbers were reinforcing one unnoticed fact about Psalm 29: Psalm 29 mentions a word for thunder exactly seven times:
  1. The thunder of Jehovah is upon the waters (v. 3)
  2. The thunder of Jehovah is with power (v. 4)
  3. The thunder of Jehovah is with grandeur (v. 4)
  4. The thunder of Jehovah breaks the cedars (v. 5)
  5. The thunder of Jehovah hews the flames of fire (v. 7)
  6. The thunder of Jehovah makes the wilderness to travail (v. 8)
  7. The thunder of Jehovah makes the hinds to calve (v. 9)
The word for "thunder" (Heb. qowl or qol) is unnoticed in all Bible translations as it is translated as "voice" - both translations are allowable, depending on context. One reason it is translated as "voice" is that there is another word for "thunder" in verse 3. But it is unmistakable: Psalm 29 is the little book of seven thunders.

Even with this insight, most who read Psalm 29 will not know what it means, except understood in its spiritual sense. It is an unusual Psalm, and some scholars simply presume it was borrowed from an earlier hymn dedicated to a Canaanite god of thunder. However here we will explain it in the spiritual sense, as published in my other work, The Symbolism of the Psalms.


Psalm 29 begins as follows: Give unto Jehovah, ye sons of gods (Ps. 29:1).

In the spiritual sense, "sons of God" are those who are in the the truths of the Word, are who follow spiritual truths. But in the highest sense it is telling all who are in spiritual truths to acknowledge the one Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah as to the Divine truth in human form. In the revelations of the New Church, the title "Son of God" is used for Jesus to refer to His Divine Human. The human is that which was born to the virgin Mary in time, not a Son of God "born from eternity" which is a falsehood invented by the Nicene Creed.

But what about the rest of Psalm 29? Most will pass it off as "figures of speech" not worthy of attention. But in the New Church, every word of scripture is significant and has a spiritual meaning. In a general sense, the subject of Psalm 29 is as follows, which Swedenborg recorded in his summary of the spiritual meaning of this Psalm:
"The power of the Divine truth from the Word dissipates falsities and reforms the natural (v. 3-9) which is from the Lord alone (v. 10-11)."
This is what it means in the spiritual sense. The cedars of Lebanon are the thoughts of the human rational mind, the hinds that calve are the affections of the natural man.  But in the highest celestial sense, it refers to how Jesus Christ made His human form Divine. This took place in gradual stages, as his human form had inherited a sinful nature from his mother Mary by which Jesus could be tempted (despite what the Roman Catholic Church say on this matter, they are incorrect and have distorted the truth of Christianity). This is summarized in seven principles in The Doctrine of the Lord by Swedenborg:

I. The Lord from eternity is Jehovah.

II. The Lord from eternity, or Jehovah, took on the Human to save men.

III. He made the Human Divine from the Divine in Himself.

IV. He made the Human Divine by temptations admitted into Himself.

V. The full union of the Divine and the Human was effected in Him by the passion of the cross, which was the last of the temptations.

VI. He successively put off the human taken on from the mother, and put on the Human from the Divine in Him; and this is the Divine Human and the Son of God.

VII. Thus God became Man, as in first principles so also in ultimates. (Doctrine of the Lord, n. 29)

Also, the union of the Divine with the human took place in gradual stages, until Jesus Christ became the Divine Human, Jehovah Himself in natural visible form:

"That the Lord made His Human Divine from the Divine in Himself may be evident from many passages in the Word, of which those will now be adduced which prove,

1. That this was done successively; which are these: Jesus grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him (Luke ii. 40). Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (verse 52).

2. That the Divine operated by the Human, as the soul by the body. This is evident from these: The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He seeth the Father do (John v. 19). Of Myself I do nothing; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. He that sent Me is with Me: He hath not left Me alone (viii. 28, 29; v. 30). I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father Who sent Me, He gave Me commandment what I should say and what I should speak (xii. 49, 50). The words which I speak to you, I speak not of Myself: the Father Who abideth in Me, He doeth the works (xiv. 10). I am not alone, because the Father is with Me (xvi. 32).

3. That the Divine and the Human operated with unanimity appears from these: What things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise (John v. 19)" (Doctrine of the Lord, n. 32)


As further evidence that Psalm 29 is the little book of seven thunders, confirming Swedenborg's statements concerning the little book of seven thunders in the book of Revelation (see Apocalypse Revealed), we have this statement in Psalm 29:

And in His temple every one says, the glory of Jehovah (Ps. 29:9)

This particular verse, however, is slightly mistranslated, although it is allowable, with the shifting of the name of Jehovah to the following verse:

And in His temple every one says, glory (Ps. 29:9)

That the name Jehovah should be shifted to the previous verse I had previously discovered by analyzing the numerical poetry of Psalm 29, which I will explain in an upcoming work. That the phrase "glory of Jehovah" is correct, can be seen in parallel passages where the phrase "glory of the LORD (or Jehovah)" is mentioned in scripture:
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (Ex. 40:34-35)
In the spiritual sense, "the glory of the LORD" is the Divine itself, and the tabernacle or temple is human form of Jesus Christ. That this is so, can be seen from the following passage:
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple,  and will you raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body
. (John 2:18-21)
So in the hidden spiritual sense, Psalm 29 speaks how Jehovah made His human Divine, and commands all who follow the truth to acknowledge this. After Swedenborg had written The Doctrine of the Lord, he was probably told this by angels who recognized it described the same spiritual truths that is described in Psalm 29. Swedenborg also stated that the little book of seven thunders also concerns how Jesus made His human Divine by admitting and conquering temptations due to assault between the Divine and all of hell, which is the general subject of the Psalms in general.

So, the work that has been done on the numerical poetry of the Psalms is bearing fruit, which is confirming the internal revelation of scripture as revealed to Emanuel Swedenborg. This one took me by surprise, so I thought I would share this in this blog while I continue editing this work on the Psalms for publication. I could not cover the entire spiritual meaning of Psalm 29; for the details of every single word mentioned therein see the work The Symbolism of the Psalms.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The True Spiritual Meaning of Atonement

Atonement is the removal of sins, and there are two systems of thought as to how atonement is effected:
  1. Atonement, the removal of sins, is effected by repentance and turning away from evil, and/or
  2. Atonement is the removal of sins and reconciliation of God and man through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Most understand the need for repentance, but few understand how that is related to the coming of Jesus Christ. Many who practice true spirituality by living one's life according to God's commandments fail to understand who Jesus Christ is and how He is involved in one's spiritual life. On the other side of the coin, many religious people just believe and rarely practice a life of repentance.

So how is a life a repentance and self examination related to the coming of Jesus Christ, and why was His coming necessary? Here, a rational and comprehensive answer is provided in the theology of the New Church which is explained in detail in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.


The Christian life as explained in the theology of the New Church is simple: turning away from evil because they are sins against God, and doing that which is good. Before good can be done, before the Holy Spirit can enter into one's life, evils must be removed. The removal of one's evils is atonement. This can only happen through internal struggles known as temptations, and repentance. It must be preceded with an acknowledgment of truth, and self examination. It begins with an acknowledgment that the source of one's evils is one's self, and that any good originates from God alone. One must identify specific sins, and turn away from them. This is how sins are removed, and how one begins a spiritual life.


In the original Hebrew, the word "atonement" means "cover." It first appears in scripture in the instructions to Noah on how to build the ark:

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.  Make rooms in the ark, and pitched it inside and out with pitch (Gen. 6:14)

The word "pitch" is from the word that is also translated as atonement. And from this many have invented false teachings to explain the meaning, such as, when one converts God "covers up" one's sins so that He does not see them. This is a false perverted teaching that has destroyed the essential teaching of Christianity: it is used as an excuse for a life of evil and it goes against a life of repentance. In the work Heavenly Arcana Swedenborg offers a rather interesting spiritual insight into the meaning of this word when commenting on the story of Noah's ark:
"In the original text it is not indeed said that it was to be pitched with pitch, but a word is used which denotes protection, derived from expiate or propitiate, and therefore it involves the same. The expiation or propitiation of the Lord is protection from inundation of evil" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 645)
The words "expiation" and "propitiation" are synonyms for the word "atonement." This is one of the first surprises for me when I encountered the theology of the New Church, as this is not what is taught by most churches. When one withdraws from evil, one withdraws from the influence of evil spirits, whose temptations are represented by the flood of waters that attempt to flood the ark. The ark with its different compartments represents one's will and mind. When one withdraws from evil, then one opens the door to heaven, and the Lord then withholds and protects the one who has followed Him from the influence of evil.


It is well known that animal sacrifices in the Jewish religion represented the rite of atonement. These animal sacrifices were symbolic, where the blood was withdrawn from the animal before its body was burned on the altar. The body or flesh represent one's lower desires, and the blood that was offered represented what was holy:
"In the rituals of the Jewish Church blood had no other signification than the holy proceeding from the Lord's Divine Human, wherefore when they were sanctified, it was done by blood — as when Aaron and his sons were sanctified, blood was sprinkled upon the horns of the altar, the remainder at the base of the altar, also upon the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot, and upon his garments (Exod. xxix. 12, 16, 20; Lev. viii. 15, 19, 23, 30). And when Aaron entered within the veil to the mercy-seat, blood was also to be sprinkled with the finger upon the mercy-seat eastward seven times (Lev. xvi. 12-15)." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4735.11)
When one repents from evil, one turns away from the desires of the ego and the lower self, represented by the flesh of the animal. Only after that could the priest enter the Holy of holies, which signifies that communion with the Divine of heaven is only possible once sins or evils are removed by repentance. It is affected by knowledge of the truth, thus in many Jewish rituals one is cleansed by the washing of water, and in the Christian Church it is the ritual of baptism, since water signifies the truth by which one reforms one's way of life.


Atonement, which is the removal of sins and the liberation from the bondage of evil, is effected by Divine truth, and this is represented by blood in the Jewish rituals, as well as by water. Blood in itself effects nothing, it is a symbolic representation of the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord:
"blood in the Word is signified Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of the Lord, and by this truth all purification is effected; for truth teaches man what is good and how he should live, and when man knows this, then first can affection or love of good be implanted, and thus he be regenerated. For knowledge must precede before man can have faith and live the life of faith, which is the life of good" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 10026)
Those who have no knowledge of the truth live in darkness, and the way they live will be influenced by their lack of knowledge and tend towards favoring the selfish ego and desires.


And here is where we get to the point how Jesus Christ is related to purification from evil through atonement: Jesus is the Divine truth in human form, thus He is called the Word in the flesh. There is a false teaching that states that such animal sacrifices represented a "substitutionary" or "vicarious" atonement where someone else suffers for the punishment of one's sin. This is again a false teaching, a late development in Christianity that began in the 11th century and is now popular in Catholic and Protestant thinking. So why was the coming of the Divine in human form necessary? The human race had become separated from heaven, and it is from heaven that Divine truth flows into the minds of the human race. Thus it became necessary for the Divine to descend in human form to subjugate the power of hell over the human race:
"They who have no knowledge of the internal sense of the Word, thus who do not know that by blood is signified Divine truth, and that by this from the Lord is effected purification, believe that man is purified by the blood of the Lord, by which they understand His passion of the cross. But let them know that by the Lord's passion of the cross, thus by His blood, no one is purified, but by a life according to His precepts, as He Himself teaches in many places. The passion of the cross was the last of the Lord's temptation, by which He fully glorified His Human, as He Himself also says in Luke: Ought not Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory? (xxiv. 26.) For the Lord came into the world that He might subjugate the hells and bring back all things into order, even in the heavens, which was effected by temptations admitted to Himself; and the passion of the cross was the last of His temptations, by which He fully conquered the hells, and set the heavens in order, and at the same time glorified His Human, and unless He had done this, no man could have been saved" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 10026.2)
This is described further in another passage:
"It is a common belief at this day that the burnt offerings and sacrifices signified the Lord's passion, and that by this the Lord made expiation for the iniquities of all, indeed, that He drew them away upon Himself, and thus bore them; and that those who believe are in this manner justified and saved, provided they think, though but in the last hour before death, that the Lord suffered for them, however they may have lived during the whole course of their life. But the case is not really so: the passion of the cross was the extremity of the Lord's temptation, by which He fully united His Human to His Divine and His Divine to His Human, and thus glorified Himself. That union is itself the means by which those who have the faith in Him which is the faith of charity, can be saved. For the Supreme Divine Itself could no longer reach to the human race, which had removed itself so far from the celestial things of love and the spiritual things of faith, that they no longer even acknowledged them, and still less perceived them. In order therefore that the Supreme Divine might be able to come down to man who was such, the Lord came into the world and united His Human to the Divine in Himself; which union could not be effected otherwise than by the most grievous combats of temptations and by victories, and at length by the last, which was that of the cross" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2776)
With the union of the Divine with the Human in the Lord, communion is thus now available where one may receive the truth through the Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the Lord. In such a manner the coming of Jesus Christ was necessary for mankind to continue to be liberated from the dominion of hell through a life of repentance. Belief alone does not save, nor does faith alone save -- only by following the truth and turning against one's evils is one liberated to live a life according to the Divine will, which is a life of eternity that continues in heaven.

If any teaches otherwise, then Quit the Old Church, and Join the New.