The Bible

 

Luke 19:29-44 : Jesus' Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem (Gospel of Luke)

Study the Inner Meaning

        

29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,

30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.

31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.

33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?

34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him.

35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.

36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.

37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Luke 19      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verses 1-10. That the Gentiles, who are out of the Church, are accepted of the Lord, and have conjunction with Him in charity and the good of life.

Verses 3-4. Because, notwithstanding their deficiency in the knowledges of truth from the Word, they are desirous to know the truth, and by that desire are elevated into the truths and goods of the external Church.

Verses 5-6. And are thus acknowledged by the Lord, and declared to be the members of His Church and kingdom, which declaration they receive with joy.

Verse 7. Still it appears contrary to order, that the Divine Truth should be imparted to those who are in disorder of life.

Verses 8-9. Until it is seen, that the Gentiles, who are out of the Church, are principled in charity, and that by charity they are capable of being saved, and thus of being received within the Church.

Verse 10. Since the Lord operates charity, faith, freewill, repentance and regeneration with every one, inasmuch as He wills the salvation of all.

Verses 11-13. For the Lord is willing to communicate to all the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, with the faculty of perceiving them.

Verse 14. And this, notwithstanding the force of hereditary and actual evil on the part of man, which is opposed to the Divine Love and Wisdom.

Verse 15. Every one therefore, sooner or later, must give an account of his application of those knowledges.

Verses 16-21. On which occasion it becomes manifest, that some procure, to themselves much intelligence and wisdom, and others procure some, and others none.

Verses 20-27. And that they who procure none are deprived of the truths which they possessed in the memory only, and not in the life.

Verse 21. Since they think harshly of the Divine mercy, and accuse it of expecting more from man than he has the ability to perform.

Verses 22-23. Whereas this their idea of the Divine mercy ought to have led them to exert themselves the more in procuring charity and the good of life.

Verses 24-26. And inasmuch as they have not made the use of the knowledges which they possessed, therefore those knowledges are taken away from them, since it is an eternal law, that they who are in the good of charity shall sooner or later be enriched with truths, whereas they who are in falsities derived from evil in the other life are deprived of all truths.

Verse 27. At the same time they are deprived of all spiritual life.

Verses 28-30. That the Lord from His Divine love, and by His Divine truth, explores the principles of the natural man as to truth, requiring them to be separated from all that is evil and false, and to receive influx of life from Himself.

Verse 31. And if the persuasions of the natural man oppose, they are to be overcome by teaching the necessity of such an influx to restore order.

Verses 32-34. Which necessity is accordingly taught, and is acknowledged by the natural man.

Verses 35-36. So that truths in every complex are submitted to the Lord.

Verses 37-38. And all, who are principled in what is good and true, exalt the Divine Human principle of the Lord, and His Divine operation, as the source of every blessing.

Verses 39-40. Which doctrine is taught, not only in the spiritual and internal sense of the Word, but also in its natural and literal sense.

Verses 41-42. The rejection therefore of this doctrine by the Jewish nation excites the tenderness of the Lord's love, that, if possible, they might receive it, but reception is now become impossible.

Verses 43-44. Inasmuch as through rejection of the Lord at his advent, they were immersed in evils and falsities of every kind, so that the representatives of a Church no longer existed amongst them.

Verses 45-46. For they made gain of holy things, and thus defiled all worship by perversion of what is holy.

Verses 47-48. And when the Lord would have instructed them in the things concerning himself and his kingdom, they opposed all his love and wisdom, yet not without caution, since there were still some remains of the affection of truth in the lower principles.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2242, 2701, 2781, 5291, 5323, 5480, 6588, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 81, 166, 336, 493, 618, 809, 839, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 100

Doctrine of the Lord 64

True Christian Religion 782


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 31, 102, 195, 340, 365, 405, 638, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 13

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Deuteronomy 28:52, 32:29

2 Samuel 15:30

2 Kings 8:11, 9:13

Psalms 148:1

Isaiah 6:9, 11, 29:3, 59:8, 65:12

Jeremiah 6:6, 13:17, 14:17

Lamentations 3:48, 49

Ezekiel 4:2

Daniel 9:26

Micah 3:12

Habakkuk 2:11

Zechariah 9:9

Bible Word Meanings

came to pass
The phrase “it came to pass,” often also translated as “it happened,” generally indicates the end of one spiritual state and the beginning of a...

bethany
Bethany was a village on the Mount of Olives about two miles from Jerusalem, near its sister village Bethphage. It plays a small but significant...

olives
'Olives' signify good.

disciples
When we read the Gospels and see Jesus addressing the disciples, we assume His words are meant for us as well. And indeed they are!...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

over
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

way
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

garments
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

upon
'Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

rejoice
Feelings of joy and rejoicing flow from our affections, not from our thoughts. Some people might argue that that's not true, that you can rejoice...

Loud
In Revelation 5:2, 'a loud' or 'great voice' signifies divine truth from the Lord, in its power or virtue.

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

glory
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving (Rev. 7.) signify divine spiritual things of the Lord.

highest
'Highest' denotes the 'inmost,' because interior things, with person who is in space, appear as higher things, and exterior things as lower. But when the...

pharisees
The Pharisees were a sect of the Jewish church at the time of the New Testament. The name comes from a root that means "separate",...

multitude
A company, congregation, and a multitude, in the Word, are predicated of truths.

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jeremiah 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

visitation
The end time of the church and each individual, is called 'the visitation,' and precedes judgment. 'Visitation' is nothing but an exploration of the quality...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Christ the King
As you celebrate Easter this year, you can remember the Lord’s suffering, but more importantly, we can rejoice in the success of the Lord’s mission while He lived on earth. He brought the heavens into order and conquered the hells. He provided for people’s freedom to choose a life of heaven, and He showed how He is indeed our Heavenly King. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 5, for ages 10-11.
Religion Lesson | Ages 10 - 11

 Compare Joshua with Jesus
Complete a chart comparing Joshua and Jesus. Who were theys fighting? Where did they go? How did they show courage?
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

 Even the Stones Testify
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Lord As King
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Palm Sunday
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Palm Sunday
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Palm Sunday: Luke
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Peace and Glory
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Quotes: King of Kings
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Lord Does Not Remember
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord Wept
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Responsibility of the Lord's Servants
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Welcoming the King
An illustrated story of Palm Sunday.
Story | Ages 3 - 7

 Welcoming the Lord as King
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey because kings rode on donkeys. People knew that this meant He was coming as a king. People gathered in the streets and welcomed Him with joyous shouts. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 2, for ages 7-8.
Religion Lesson | Ages 7 - 8

Commentary

 

Weeping at Easter

     

By Rev. Peter M. Buss Sr.

Before entering Jerusalem for the last time, Jesus wept over its future. This painting by Enrique Simonet, is called "Flevit super Illam", the Latin for "He Wept Over It". It is in the Museum of Malaga.

"And as they drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, 'If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that belong to your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.'" (Luke 19:41,42 ).

"'Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.... For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?" ( Luke 23:28,31).

Jesus wept over Jerusalem. The women wept over Him, and He told them to weep for themselves and for their children. Grief at a moment of triumph, grief at a moment of desolation.

There is irony in the Palm Sunday story, for over its rejoicing hangs the shadow of the betrayal, trial and crucifixion. Was the angry crowd that called for His crucifixion the same multitude that hailed Him as King five days earlier? Why did the Lord ride in triumph, knowing the things that would surely come to pass? He did so to announce that He, the Divine truth from the Divine good, would rule all things; to give us a picture which will stand for all time of His majesty. And then the events of Gethsemane and Calvary let us know the nature of that majesty - that indeed His kingdom is not of this world.

Can we picture the scene on Palm Sunday? The multitudes were rejoicing and shouting, and then they saw their King weeping. This was not a brief moment, but a sustained weeping, which caused the writer of the gospel to hear of it. Did their shouting die down as they watched His grief, did they wonder when He pronounced doom upon the city they lived in? "Your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children with you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another because you did not know the time of your visitation." Then, perhaps, as He rode on, the cheering resumed, and the strange words were forgotten.

There is yet another irony; for the people shouted that peace had come. "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Yet when Jesus wept, He said to the city, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes."

This grand panorama speaks of the world inside each human being. It is in our minds, in the spiritual sense of the Word, that Jesus rides in triumph. When we see the wonder of His truth, sense its power over all things, we crown Him. All the events of Palm Sunday tell of those times when we acknowledge that the Lord, the visible God, rules our minds through the Word which is within us. It is a time of great rejoicing. Like the multitudes of Palm Sunday, we feel that this vision will sweep all that is evil away, and the Lord will easily reign within us as our King and our God.

Such happy times do come to us, and we can rejoice in them, and hail our Lord and King with jubilation. "Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!" Peace comes through conjunction with the Lord whom we have seen (Apocalypse Explained 369:9, 11). Yet the Lord Himself knows that there are battles to come from those who know no peace. This too He warns us of in His Word. In the natural Jerusalem of the Lord's day the rulers had used falsity to destroy the truth, and they brought much grief upon the Christians. In the spiritual Jerusalem in our minds there are false values which would destroy peace. Before we get to heaven there is going to be a battle between our vision of the Lord and our self love which will abuse the truth to make that happen.

So the Lord wept, out there on the mount of Olives, as He looked down upon the city. His weeping was a sign of mercy, for He grieves over the states in us which will hurt us and which are opposed to our peace. (Arcana Coelestia 5480; Apocalypse Explained 365 [9]; cf. 365:11, 340). Yet His grief is an active force, it is mercy, working to eliminate those states. Jesus promised that Jerusalem would be utterly destroyed - not a single stone left standing. It is true that the natural Jerusalem was razed to the ground, but this is not what He meant. He promises us - even as He warns us of the battles to come - that He will triumph, and that our Jerusalem - our excuses for doing evil - will not stand. They will be decimated by His Word. (Cf. Arcana Coelestia 6588 [5]; Apocalypse Explained 365 [9]).

He wept from mercy, and He promised an end to weeping, for "His tender mercies are over all His works."

On Good Friday there was surely cause for weeping. Picture this scene: The women were following the cross, lamenting. Jesus must have been bleeding from the whipping, and scarred by the crown of thorns. He was surrounded by people who enjoyed seeing someone die. Those who called Him their enemy were satisfied that they had won.

His followers were desolate. Never had they imagined that the dream He had fostered would end this way, or the Leader they loved would be treated so terribly. They felt for Him in what they were sure was His suffering. They wept for Him.

Then perhaps the crowds that insulted Him were stilled as He turned to the mourners. Out of His infinite love He spoke. "'Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.'" He did not think of His approaching agony, He grieved for those He loved. He would triumph. It was upon them that suffering would come. What clearer picture can we have of the goal which brought our God to earth than that sentence? He came because evil people and evil feelings bring misery to His children. He came to give them joy after their weeping, to give them consolation and hope, and finally to give them the certainty that there should be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying.

The women of that time did indeed face physical sorrow. It is heartbreaking to learn of the persecutions of the Christians, to think of people killed because they worship their God; of children being taken from them, of good people subject to the mercy of those who know no mercy. Indeed it must have seemed that the Lord was right in saying that it would have been better had they never borne children who would suffer so for their faith. "For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!'"

But the real reason the Lord came down to earth was that within physical cruelty there is a far greater hurt. There are plenty of people walking this earth who wouldn't think of murdering someone else, but who regularly enjoy taking away something far more precious - his ability to follow his Lord.

That was why the Lord spoke those words, "Weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children." The daughters of Jerusalem represent the gentle love of truth with sincere people all over the world. Their children are the charity and faith which comes from the love of truth. These are the casualties of evil, especially when it infests a church. These are the things that cause internal weeping, a sorrow of the spirit that is the more devastating because it is silent.

"Daughters of Jerusalem," He called them. Our innocent love of the truth grows up together with our justification for being selfish. In fact, it is ruled by self justification, as the daughters of Jerusalem were ruled by a corrupt church. When those women tried to break loose from the Jewish Church they were persecuted. When our innocent love of the truth seeks to lead us to follow the Lord we suffer temptations in our spirits. The hells rise up and tempt us with all the selfish and evil delights we have ever had, and we indeed weep for ourselves.

You see, it is not the truth itself that suffers! "Weep not for Me," Jesus said. The truth is all powerful. It is our love for that truth which is tempted. It is our charity and our faith - the children of that love - which suffer.

"For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which never nursed.'" Doesn't it seem to us at times that the people who have no truths, who have no ideals, are the ones that are happy? In fact this is a prophecy that those who are outside of the Church and find it afresh will have an easier time than those who bring the falsities of life into the battle.

On Palm Sunday, when Jesus wept, He said that Jerusalem would be destroyed. As I have said, He was actually promising the destruction of evil in us. On Good Friday He gave the same assurance: "Then they will begin 'to say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!"' These apparently harsh words are ones of comfort, for they promise that as the Lord's truth triumphs in us, heaven will draw nearer. When that happens the hells who tempt us will be unable to bear the presence of heaven, and will cover themselves over and hide.

"For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?" The listeners knew what that meant: if when He was among them they rejected His truth, what will they do when the memory of His presence and His miracles have dried up? In the internal sense the green wood is truth that is still alive from a love for it. Even when we see the ideals of the Word, we are going to struggle with temptation. But when that wood dries out, when we can't sense the life and power of truth, the battle becomes very much harder.

In both these images - His weeping on Palm Sunday, His sad warning to the women to weep for themselves and for their children, the Lord is preparing us to fight for what we believe. How does He prepare us? By assuring us, not only of the trials to come, but of the certainty of victory now that He has revealed His might. There is such wonder, such hope for eternal happiness in the true Christian religion. Yet no worthwhile love will ever be ours to keep until it has faced its challenges. There must be a time of weeping: our merciful Lord weeping over our struggles and giving us strength from mercy; our dreams and hopes weeping when we fear they are lost. Through the trial we express our commitment to our dreams, and He delivers us.

Less than twenty four hours before His arrest the Lord spoke again about weeping. At the Last Supper He said, "Most truly I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice." But He did not stop there. "And you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you."

When He was crucified and rose again, they must have thought that now His words were fulfilled. Now they had found the joy which no one could take from them. Perhaps when they suffered at the hands of persecutors and found joy among fellow-Christians they thought the same. And finally, when they had fought their private battles, and from His power overcome the enemy within, they knew what He really meant.

"Jesus wept over the city." "Weep for yourselves and for your children." Our love of the truth will be threatened and with it our hope for true faith and true charity. It was to that end that He came into the world and rode in triumph and drank of the cup of rejection and apparent death - to be able to turn our sorrow into joy. Therefore He could also say, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Amen.

(References: Luke 19:29-44, 23:24-38)

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Revealed #839

Study this Passage

        
/ 962  
  

839. I looked out into the world of spirits and saw an army on fiery red and black horses. The riders looked like apes with their faces and chests facing backward toward the horses' haunches and tails, and the rear of their heads and their backs facing forward toward the horses' necks and heads; and the reins hung from the riders' necks. They kept crying, moreover, "Let us fight against riders on white horses!" But they kept pulling on the reins with both hands, so that they drew the horses back from battle. And this again and again.

Two angels then descended from heaven, and approaching me they said, "What do you see?"

So I told them that I was seeing the ludicrous display of the horsemen described, and I asked the angels what was going on and who the riders were.

(References: Matthew 6:9-13, Matthew 6:9-10)


[2] To that the angels replied, "They come from the place called in Revelation 16:16 Armageddon, where several thousand of them gathered to fight against people who belong to the Lord's New Church, which is called the New Jerusalem. They talked in that place about the church and religion, and yet they had nothing of the church among them, because they lacked any spiritual truth, neither did they have any element of religion, because they lacked any spiritual goodness. They spoke there with the mouth and lips about the church and religion, but only to gain mastery by means of them.

"They learned in their youth to affirm faith alone, a trinity in God, and a duality in Christ. But when they advanced to higher offices in the church, they retained what they had learned only for a time. Then, because they began to think no more about God and heaven, but about themselves and the world, thus not about eternal bliss and happiness, but about temporal status and wealth, they expelled the doctrines they had learned in their youth from their rational mind's interiors which communicate with heaven and so are in the light of heaven, and retained them only in their rational mind's exteriors which communicate with the world and so are only in the light of the world. And eventually they pushed them aside into the sensual level of their natural mind.

"As a consequence the church's doctrines with them have become ones of the mouth only, and no longer matters of thought in accord with reason, still less matters of their love's affection.

"Moreover, because they have made themselves such, they do not accept any of the church's genuine truths, nor any of religion's genuine goods. The interiors of their minds have become comparatively like jars filled with iron filings mixed with powdered sulfur, a mixture which becomes first hot if water is introduced into it, and then bursts into flame, breaking the jar. So it is with these people. When they hear something regarding living water, namely, the Word's genuine truth, and it enters their ears, they become exceedingly heated and inflamed, and reject it as something that will cause their heads to burst.

[3] "These are the people who looked to you like apes riding backward on fiery red and black horses with the reins around their necks, since people who do not like the church's truth and goodness from the Word also do not wish to look at a horse's foreparts, but at its hindparts. For a horse symbolizes an understanding of the Word - a fiery red horse an understanding of the Word extinguished as to goodness, and a black horse an understanding of the Word extinguished as to truth.

"They cried out for battle against riders on white horses because a white horse symbolizes an understanding of the Word as to its truth and goodness. They appeared to draw back their horses with their necks because they were afraid to fight, lest the Word's truth spread to many and so come to light.

"This is the explanation."

[4] The angels went on to say, "We come from a society in heaven called Michael, and have been commanded by the Lord to go down to the place called Armageddon, from which the company of horsemen you saw broke out.

"Armageddon to us in heaven symbolizes a state and disposition to fight on behalf of falsified truths, arising from a love of mastery and great status. And because we perceive in you a desire to know about the combat there, we will tell you something about it.

"After we descended from heaven, we went to the place called Armageddon and saw some several thousand people gathered there. However, we did not join their company, but there were two buildings on the place's southern side in which there were some boys with their teachers. We entered the buildings, and the boys and teachers received us kindly. We were delighted with their company. All were fair of face because of the life in their eyes and the zeal in their speech. The life in their eyes was due to their perception of truth, and the zeal in their speech to their affection for truth. Therefore they were also given caps from heaven, and they decorated the edges of them with gold braid interwoven with pearls. They were given garments, too, with varying patterns of white and blue.

"We asked them whether they had looked over at the place nearby called Armageddon. They said that they had seen it through a window up under the building's roof. They saw a gathering there, they said, but one of figures under various forms that appeared now and then as dignified men, and now and then as not human, but as statues and carved idols, surrounded by a crowd of people on bended knee. These people also appeared to us under various forms, sometimes as human, sometimes as leopards and sometimes as goats. As goats they appeared with their horns pointed downward, using them to dig up the ground.

"We interpreted these changes in appearance for them, saying what they represented and what they symbolized.

[5] "But in response to your question, when the people who were gathered there heard that we had gone into those buildings, they said to each other, 'What do they have to do with those boys? Let's send some of our company to throw them out.'

"So they sent some of them, and when they arrived they said to us, 'Why did you go into those buildings? Where are you from? By the authority invested in us we order you to go!'

"But we replied, 'You have no power or authority to tell us to go. In your own eyes, indeed, you are like Anakim, 1 and the people here like dwarfs, but still you have no power or right here, beyond that perhaps of the cunning arts emanating from the three lodging places you have here, arts which nevertheless will be of no avail. Report to your companions, therefore, that we have been sent here from heaven to find out whether you have among you any religion or not, and if not, you will be expelled from this place.

"'Put to your companions, then, this question, in which lies the most essential element of the church and so of religion: How do they understand these words in the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father, who are in heaven. Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, as in heaven, so upon the earth."'

"On hearing this, the people first said, 'What do you mean?' But then that they would put the question.

"So they went away and put it to their companions. And their companions replied, 'What kind of question is this?'

"However, they understood the hidden purpose, that the angels wanted to know whether the words support the path of their faith to God the Father. So they said, 'The words clearly say that we are to pray to God the Father, and because Christ is our Savior, that we are to pray to God the Father for the sake of the Son.'

"And presently, with some irritation, they decided they would come to us and tell us this with their own mouths, saying as well that they would tweak our ears.

"So they came from that place, and entered a grove near the two buildings where the boys were with their teachers. There was a raised level area there, a kind of arena. And holding each other by the hand, they entered that arena, where we were waiting for them.

"There were mounds of turf there, forming hillocks. They seated themselves on them, for they said to each other, 'Let us not stand in their presence, but sit.'

"And then one of them, who had the ability to disguise himself as an angel of light, 2 and who was told by the rest to speak with us, said, 'You have put to us that we disclose our thinking regarding the first words in the Lord's Prayer, as to how we interpret them. I accordingly say to you that we interpret them to mean that we are to pray to God the Father, and because Christ is our Savior and we are saved by His merit, that we are to pray to God the Father with faith in Christ's merit.'

[6] "But then we said to them, 'We come from a society in heaven called Michael, and we have been sent to look and see whether those of you gathered in this place have any religion or not. This we could not discover except by asking you about God. For the idea of God enters into every aspect of religion and makes possible a conjunction, and through conjunction salvation. In heaven we recite the Prayer daily, as people do on earth, and we think then not of God the Father, because He is invisible, but of God in His Divine humanity, because in this He can be seen. Moreover, you call Him in that humanity Christ, but we call Him the Lord, and thus for us the Lord is our Father in heaven.

"'The Lord also taught us that He and the Father are one; 3 that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father; 4 that whoever sees Him, sees the Father; 5 and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. 6 Moreover, He also said that it is the will of the Father that people believe in the Son, 7 and that whoever does not believe in the Son does not see life, 8 indeed that the wrath of God abides on him. 9 It is apparent from this that one goes to the Father through the Son and in Him. And because this is the case, He also taught that He had been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 10

"'It says in the Prayer, "Hallowed be Your name," and "Your kingdom come." And we showed from the Word that the Lord's Divine humanity is the name of the Father, and that the Father's kingdom exists when people go directly to the Lord, and not at all when they go directly to God the Father. Therefore the Lord also told His disciples to preach the kingdom of God. 11 This, then, is the kingdom of God.

(References: Luke 11:2)


[7] "We further instructed them from the Word," the angels said, "that the Lord came into the world to glorify His humanity, in order that angels in heaven and people in the church might by united to God the Father through Him and in Him. For He taught that people who believe in Him are in Him and He in them, meaning that, as the church teaches, they are in the body of Christ.

"Finally we informed them that the Lord is at this day establishing a new church, one meant by the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation, that the worship in it will be worship of the Lord alone, as is the case in heaven, and that everything contained in the Lord's Prayer from beginning to end will be thus fulfilled.

"Everything we have just said we confirmed from the Word in the Gospels and from the Word in the Prophets, so extensively that they tired of listening.

[8] "First, we confirmed that 'our Father in heaven' is the Lord Jesus Christ from the following passages:

...unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given... And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, ...God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

...You (Jehovah) are our Father...; our Redeemer from everlasting is Your name. (Isaiah 63:16)

(Jesus said,) "He who sees Me sees Him who sent Me." (John 12:45)

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him. (John 14:7)

Philip said..., "Lord, show us the Father...." Jesus said to him, ."..He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how then can you say, 'Show us the Father'..." (John 14:8-9)

I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)

All things that the Father has are Mine. (John 16:15, cf. 17:10)

...the Father is in Me, and I in (the Father). (John 10:38, cf. 14:10-11, 14:20)

"And that no one has seen the Father but the Son alone, who is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18, cf. 5:37; 6:46).

"Consequently the Lord also says that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6), and that one comes to the Father through Him, from Him, and in Him (John 6:56; 14:20; 15:4-6; 17:19, 23)."

(But for more on the unity of God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - see the account in no. Arcana Coelestia 962.)

(References: Apocalypse Revealed 962; John 6:57)


[9] "Second, that 'hallowed be Your name' means to go to the Lord and worship Him - this we confirmed from the following:

Who does not... glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. (Revelation 15:4)

"This in reference to the Lord.

(Jesus said,) "Father, glorify Your name." And a voice came from heaven, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it." (John 12:28)

"The Father's name that was glorified is His Divine humanity.

(Jesus said,) "I come in My Father's name...." (John 5:43)

(Jesus said,) "Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me." (Luke 9:48)

These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)

As many as received Him, to them He gave the power to be children of God, to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)

Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13-14)

...he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:15-16, 18)

...where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:19-20)

"Jesus also told His disciples to preach in His name (Luke 24:47). And so on elsewhere, in places that mention the Lord's name, meaning Himself in respect to His humanity, as in Matthew 7:22; 10:22; 18:5; 19:29; 24:9; Mark 11:10; 13:13; 16:17; Luke 10:17; 19:38; 21:12, 17; John 2:23.

"It is apparent from this that the Father is hallowed in the Son, and by angels and people through the Son, and that this is the meaning of 'hallowed be Your name,' as is further evident in John 17:19, 21-23, 26.

(References: Matthew 24:9-10)


[10] "Third, that 'Your kingdom come' means let the Lord reign - this we confirmed by the following:

The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God is preached... (Luke 16:16)

Jesus..., preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (said,) "The time is fulfilled; the kingdom of God is at hand...." (Mark 1:14-15, cf. Matthew 3:2)

"Jesus Himself preached the gospel of the kingdom, and said that the kingdom of God was at hand (Matthew 4:17, 23; 9:35). He commanded the disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God (Mark 16:15, Luke 8:1; 9:60). He spoke similarly to the seventy He sent out (Luke 10:9, 11). And so on elsewhere, as in Matthew 11:5; 16:27-28.

"The kingdom of God whose gospel they were to proclaim was the Lord's kingdom, and thus the Father's kingdom. The reality of this is apparent from the following:

The Father... has given all things into (the Son's) hand. (John 3:35)

(The Father gave the Son) authority over all flesh... (John 17:2)

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father. (Matthew 11:27)

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18)

And further from the following:

...Jehovah of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth He is called. (Isaiah 54:5)

I watched..., and behold, One like the Son of Man..., and to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all peoples (and) nations... will worship Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not perish. (Daniel 7:13-14)

(When) the seventh angel sounded..., there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Revelation 11:15, cf. 12:10)

(This kingdom of the Lord is the subject of the book of Revelation from beginning to end, and all those who will belong to the Lord's New Church, namely, the New Jerusalem, will come into it.)

(References: Luke 1:19, 2:10-11, 4:43, 7:22, Luke 17:20-21, 21:30-31, 22:18; Mark 8:35, 9:1, 9:47, 10:29-30)


[11] "Fourth, 'Your will be done, as in heaven, so upon the earth' - this we confirmed by the following:

(Jesus said,) "This is the will of My Father..., that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life. (John 6:40)

...God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:15-16)

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)

"And so on elsewhere. To believe in the Son is to turn to Him and have confidence that He saves, because He is the Savior of the world.

"Furthermore, it is known in the church that the Lord Jesus Christ reigns in heaven. He Himself also says that His kingdom exists there. Accordingly, when the Lord reigns likewise in the church, then the will of His Father is done, as in heaven, so upon the earth.

[12] "To this we will finally add the following," the angels said. "It is said throughout the whole Christian world that people who belong to the church constitute the body of Christ and are in His body. How then can a person in the church go to God the Father except through Him in whose body he is. Otherwise he must have to leave the body and go.

[13] "When the people from Armageddon heard these and many other things from the Word, they tried now and then to interrupt us and to cite the kinds of things the Lord addressed to His Father in a state of exinanition. 12 But their tongues then stuck to roofs of their mouths, since they were not permitted to contradict the Word.

"Eventually, however, the reins on their tongues were loosened and they cried out, 'You have spoken against the doctrine of our church, namely that we should turn to God the Father directly and believe in Him. Thus you have made yourselves guilty of violating our faith. Leave this place, therefore, and if you don't, we will throw you out.'

"Then, their passions fired up, they proceeded from threats to the attempt. But by a power then given us we struck them blind, so that not seeing us, they broke out into a level stretch of land, which was a desert. And of those that the boys saw from the window, some became as statues and idols, before whom the rest knelt, and they are the ones who appeared to you as apes on horses."

Footnotes:

1. A legendary race of giants mentioned in the Old Testament. Goliath may have been one of their descendants.

2. Cf. 2 Corinthians 11:14.

3John 10:30; 17:11, 21.

4John 10:38; 14:20; 17:21.

5John 14:9.

6John 14:6.

7John 3:16, 18.

8John 3:16, 18; 6:40.

9John 3:36.

10Matthew 28:18.

11Luke 9:2, 60.

12. A term employed in 17th, 18th, and 19th century theology to mean the action or process of emptying out the self, used especially of the Christ, with reference to Philippians 2:7, 8

(References: John 3:35-36, John 14:6-7; Luke 11:2; Matthew 6:9-13)

  
/ 962  
  

Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation.


Translate: