932. And them that have victory over the beast, signifies who have lived a life of charity, and thus have not falsified the Word. This is evident from the signification of "having victory over the beast," as being to live a life of charity; for "the beast" signifies those who are in faith separated from charity, or what is the same, those who are in faith without good works, and who live according to that faith; consequently those who do not live that faith but the faith of charity "have victory over the beast," for they fight against that faith in their life; and as they come off victors they receive the reward of victory after their life in the world. As "the beast" signifies also the confirmation from the Word of faith separate, and thus falsification of the Word, so "to have the victory over the beast" signifies also not to have falsified the Word. (That "the two beasts" of the dragon treated of in chapter 13 signify faith separated from the goods of life, also falsification of the Word to confirm that faith, may be seen above, n. 773, 815.)
THE GOODS OF CHARITY
As faith separated from the goods of charity, which are good works, also the faith that is from charity, have been treated of in the explanations of two preceding chapters (the twelfth and thirteenth), the goods of charity shall be treated of in the explanations of this and the following chapter. What is meant by the goods of charity or good works is at this day unknown to most in the Christian world, because of the prevalence of the religion of faith alone, which is faith separated from the goods of charity. For if only faith contributes to salvation, and goods of charity contribute nothing, the idea that these goods may be left undone has place in the mind. But some who believe that good works should be done do not know what good works are, thinking that good works are merely giving to the poor and doing good to the needy and to widows and orphans, since such things are mentioned and seemingly commanded in the Word. Some think that if good works must be done for the sake of eternal life they must give to the poor all they possess, as was done in the primitive church, and as "the Lord commanded the rich man to sell all that he had and give to the poor, and take up the cross and follow Him" (Matthew 19:21). But what is meant in the Word by good works shall be told in order in what follows.