8. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it. (1:3) This symbolizes their communion with angels in heaven who live according to the doctrine of the New Jerusalem.
"Blessed is he" here means someone who in respect to his spirit is in heaven, thus someone who, while living in the world, is in communion with angels in heaven, inasmuch as he is in heaven in respect to his spirit.
"The words of this prophecy" mean nothing else than the doctrine of the New Jerusalem, for in an abstract sense a prophet symbolizes the doctrine of the church drawn from the Word, thus here the doctrine of the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. The same is meant by prophecy. To read, hear and keep those things which are written in it means, symbolically, to wish to know it, to pay attention to the things written in it, and to do the things that are found in it - in sum, to live according to it. It is apparent that people are not blessed if they simply read, hear and keep or preserve in memory the things seen by John (see below, no. 944).
 A prophet symbolizes the doctrine of the church drawn from the Word, and the same is meant by a prophecy, because the Word was written by prophets, and in heaven a person is regarded in relation to something pertaining to his occupation or function. So, too, every person, spirit and angel mentioned in the Word. Because it was a prophet's function to write and teach the Word, therefore when a prophet is mentioned, the Word in relation to doctrine is meant, or doctrine drawn from the Word.
It is for this reason that the Lord, being the embodiment of the Word, was called a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15-20, 1
Matthew 13:57, 2
Luke 13:33 4
To show that a prophet means the doctrine of the church drawn from the Word, we will cite several passages from which this may be concluded. In Matthew:
(At the end of the age) many false prophets will rise up and lead many astray... ...false christs and false prophets will rise... and lead astray, if possible, ...the elect. (Matthew 24:11, 24)
The end of the age is the final period of the church, which is the one that exists now, when there are not false prophets but doctrinal falsities.
 In the same gospel:
Whoever receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And whoever receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. (Matthew 10:41)
To receive a prophet in the name of a prophet is to accept doctrinal truth because it is true; to receive a righteous man in the name of a righteous man is to accept goodness because of its goodness; and to receive a reward is to be saved in accordance with that acceptance. Obviously no one receives a reward or is saved because he received a prophet or righteous man in the name of such.
Without a concept of what a prophet and righteous man mean, no one could understand these words, or those that follow:
Whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple..., shall by no means lose his reward. (Matthew 10:42)
A disciple means charity and at the same time faith from the Lord.
 In Joel:
...I will pour out My spirit on all flesh, so that your sons and your daughters prophesy... (Joel 2:28)
This is said of the church about to be established by the Lord, in which they did not prophesy but received doctrine, which is "to prophesy."
(Jesus said,) "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name...?' But then I will confess to them, 'I have not known you; depart from Me, you workers of iniquity!'" (Matthew 7:22-23)
Who does not see that they are not going to say they have prophesied, but that they have known the doctrine of the church and taught it?
...the time has come to judge the dead and give the reward to... the prophets... (Revelation 11:18)
In another place:
Rejoice..., O heaven, ...you holy apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you... (Revelation 18:20)
It is plain that a reward is not to be given solely to prophets when the Last Judgment is about to take place, or that only apostles and prophets are going to rejoice, but that all will be rewarded and rejoice who have accepted doctrinal truths and lived according to them. These, therefore, are meant by apostles and prophets.
 In Exodus:
Jehovah said to Moses: ."..I have made you a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet." (Exodus 7:1)
"A god" means Divine truth in its reception from the Lord, and in this sense angels, too, are called gods; and a prophet means one who teaches and gives voice to that truth. It is because of this that Aaron is there termed a prophet.
A prophet has the same symbolic meaning elsewhere, as in the following:
...the law shall not perish from the priest..., nor the Word from the prophet. (Jeremiah 18:18)
...from the prophets of Jerusalem hypocrisy has gone out into all the land. (Jeremiah 23:15-16)
...the prophets will become wind, and the Word will not be in them. (Jeremiah 5:13)
The priest and the prophet err through intoxicating drink, they are swallowed up by wine..., they stumble in judgment. (Isaiah 28:7)
The sun is going down on the prophets, and the day is becoming dark upon them. (Micah 3:6)
From the prophet even to the priest, everyone works a falsehood. (Jeremiah 8:10)
 In these passages prophets and priests mean, in the spiritual sense, not prophets and priests but the entire church - prophets the church in respect to doctrinal truth, and priests the church in respect to goodness of life, both of which had been lost. These statements are so understood by angels in heaven when people read them in the world according to their literal sense.
To be shown that prophets represented the state of the church in respect to doctrine, and that the Lord represented it in respect to the Word itself, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Lord, nos. 15-17.
1. The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, "Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die." And the LORD said to me: "What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die."
2. So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house."
3. So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee."
4. Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
Matthew 10:41-42, Matthew 21:46; Teachings about the Lord 15-17)