The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Kingdom
And being questioned by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation. Neither shall they say, Behold here! or, Behold there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:20, 21
AE 48. “In the kingdom,” signifies in the church where truths are.... It is said, the church in respect to truth, by which is meant the church in respect to truths from good, and for the reason that there are no truths without good, for truths have their life from good. Truths with a man who is not in good are indeed truths in themselves, but they are not truths in him.... From this it is plain what is meant by “kingdom” in the Lord’s Prayer:
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so also upon the earth. ... Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory (Matt. 6:10, 13).
“Thy kingdom come” is a prayer that truth may be received; “Thy will be done,” that it may be received by those who do God’s will.... From all this it can be seen what “the kingdom of God” signifies in very many passages in the Word, namely, the church in respect to truths, and also heaven, and in the highest sense the Lord in respect to the Divine Human.
AC 1285:3. All men, however many they may be, even myriads of myriads, if they are in charity or mutual love, have one end, namely, the common good, the Lord’s kingdom, and the Lord Himself. Varieties in matters of doctrine and of worship are like the varieties of the senses and of the viscera in man, as has been said, which contribute to the perfection of the whole. For then, through charity, the Lord inflows and works in diverse ways, in accordance with the genius of each one; and thus, both in general and in particular, disposes all into order, on earth as in heaven. And then the will of the Lord is done, as He Himself teaches, as in the heavens, so also upon the earth.
AC 2853:2. The Lord’s kingdom on earth consists of all those who are in good, who, though scattered over the whole earth, are still one, and as members constitute one body. Such is the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens, where the whole heaven represents one man, which is therefore also called the Grand Man; and what is wonderful and hitherto unknown, all parts of the human body correspond to societies in heaven.
AE 988:6. When procreations of the human race are effected by marriages in which the holy love of good and truth from the Lord reigns, then it is on earth as it is in the heavens, and the Lord’s kingdom on earth corresponds to the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens. For the heavens consist of societies arranged according to all the varieties of celestial and spiritual affections, from which arrangement the form of heaven springs, and this preeminently surpasses all other forms in the universe. There would be a like form on the earth if the procreations there were effected by marriages in which love truly conjugial reigned....
AC 2899. The Word... was written by representatives and significatives, so that it might have within it an internal sense understood in heaven, and that thus by the Word there might be communication, and the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens be united to the Lord’s kingdom on earth.... For by means of this style, and not possibly by any other, human things and human words correspond to heavenly things and heavenly ideas, even to the least jot. From this it is that if the Word is read even by a little child, the Divine things in it are perceived by the angels.
SS 104-105. It is sufficient that there be a church where the Word is, even if it consists of comparatively few, for even in that case the Lord is present by its means in the whole world, for by its means heaven is conjoined with the human race.... For the Word in the church, although existing with comparatively few, is life to all the rest, from the Lord through heaven, just as there is life for the members and viscera of the whole body from the heart and lungs, and there is a similar communication.
Questions and Comments
- Where is the Lord’s kingdom on earth? The readings give us many answers to this question.
- What is essential for the Lord’s kingdom to be on earth?
- What does the teaching in AE 988:6 about conjugial love tell us about how the Lord’s kingdom can be established on earth? Why is this so important?
- Can gentiles be a part of the Lord’s kingdom even though they don’t have the Word? How?
- What are the similarities between the Lord’s kingdom on earth and an earthly kingdom?
- What are the differences?
- When we pray for the Lord’s kingdom to come, what are we truly praying for?