500. The beast that cometh up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and shall overcome them, and kill them, signifies that they who are in the internals of the doctrine of faith alone will oppose them, and assault these two essentials of the New Church, and will reject them, and, as far as lies in their power, will cause others to reject them. By "the beast that cometh up out of the abyss," are meant they who came up out of the abyss, and appeared like locusts (chap. 9:1-12). That these are they who are in the internals of the doctrine of faith alone, may be seen in the explanation there given; by "making war" is signified to oppose and assault these two essentials of the church, as will be seen presently; by "overcoming and killing" them is signified to reject and extirpate them in themselves, and, as far as lies in their power, to cause others to do the same.
 The reason why they who are principled in the internals of the doctrine of faith alone will impugn and reject these two essentials, is, because they have confirmed themselves in two things diametrically opposite to them, First, that it is not the Lord, but God the Father, who is to be approached; and Secondly, that a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue is not a spiritual life, but only a moral and civil life, and this they confirm, lest anyone believe that he can be saved by works, but only by their faith. All they who have had these dogmas impressed deeply on their minds in schools and academies, do not recede from them afterwards. There are three reasons for this which hitherto have not been known: First, because they have entered, as to their spirit, into association with their like in the spiritual world, where there are many satans, who are delighted with nothing but falsities, from which they cannot at all be separated but by rejecting those falsities; nor can this be done but by immediately approaching God the Savior, and beginning a Christian life according to the precepts of the Decalogue.
 The second reason is because they believe that remission of sins, and thus salvation, is given in a moment in the act of faith, and afterwards in the state or in the progression by the same act continued, preserved, and retained, from the Holy Spirit, separate from the exercises of charity; and they who have once imbibed these doctrines afterwards make no account of sins before God, and so live in their uncleanness. And because they know how to confirm such things subtly before the unlearned by falsifications of the Word, and before the learned by sophistry, it is here said that "the beast which came up from the abyss overcame and killed the two witnesses." But this takes place only with those who love to follow their own inclinations, being borne along by the delights of their lusts. When these think about salvation, they cherish those lusts in their hearts and embrace their faith with both hands, thinking that they may be saved by uttering certain words with a tone of confidence, and that they need not attend to anything of their life for the sake of God, but only for the sake of the world.
 The Third reason is that they who, in youth, had imbibed the internals of that faith which are called the mysteries of justification, on being afterwards promoted to an honored ministry, do not think in themselves concerning God and heaven, but concerning themselves and the world, retaining only the mysteries of their faith for the sake of reputation, that they may be honored as wise, and by reason of their wisdom, be thought worthy of being rewarded with wealth. The reason why this is an effect of that faith is because there is nothing of religion in it. That this is so may be seen in the third relation above (n. 484).
 That by "wars" in the Word, are signified spiritual wars, which are fightings against truth, and are effected by reasonings from falsities, is evident from these passages:
Spirits of demons go forth to gather them to war in the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14).
The dragon was angry against the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17).
It was given to the beast of the dragon to make war with the saints (Rev. 13:7).
Consecrate war against the daughter of Zion, and let us go up at noon (Jer. 6:4).
Ye have not gone up into the breaches to stand in war in the day of Jehovah (Ezek. 13:5).
In Salem is the habitation of God and a dwelling in Zion, where He broke the fiery darts of the bow, and the battle (Ps. 76:2, 3).
Jehovah shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up zeal like a man of war (Isa. 42:13; Ps. 24:8).
In that day Jehovah shall be for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, who repels war from the gate (Isa. 28:5, 6).
Deliver me from the evil man, and preserve me from the man of violence; all the day they gather together for war; they have sharpened their tongue like serpents (Ps. 140:1-3).
Many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and shall mislead many, and ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that ye be not troubled (Matt. 24:5, 6; Mark 13:6, 7; Luke 21:8, 9).
The wars of the kings of the north, and of the south, and others, in Daniel (chapters 10, 11, 12) signify no other than spiritual wars; besides "the wars" mentioned in other places (as in Isaiah 2:3-5; 13:4; 21:14, 15; 31:4; Jeremiah 49:25, 26; Hosea 2:18; Zechariah 10:5; 14:3; Psalms 27:3; 46:8, 9).
 Since by "wars" in the Word, are signified spiritual wars, therefore the ministry of the Levites was called "military service," as appears from these things:
It was commanded that the Levites should be numbered, to perform military service, to do work in the tent of the congregation (Num. 4:23, 35, 39, 43, 47).
This is the office of the Levites: to perform military service in the ministry of the tent of the congregation; but from a son of fifty years he shall withdraw from the military service of the ministry, nor shall he minister any more (Num. 8:24-25).
See also above (n. 447), where it is confirmed from the Word, that "armies" signify the goods and truths of the church, and, in the opposite sense, its evils and falsities.