We all know that the New Testament treats solely of the Lord while He lived on earth. We also know that the Lord’s Advent is foretold early in Genesis (after the “Fall”) and by the Old Testament Prophets, and, His return was seen in a fantastic vision by the apostle John and recorded in Revelation.
What is less known among theologians, the clergy, biblical students and laypeople alike, is that the Old Testament also treats solely of the Lord (the Son) even though its stories only mention the name “Jehovah” (the Father). What goes here? This odd situation needs doctrinal clarification.
Traditional Christian doctrine supports the idea that the Holy Word refers to God the Son. Furthermore, when the Lord came into the world He made the Word “flesh.” Therefore, the Lord must have made the Old Testament “flesh” because it was the only Word at the time of the Advent.
This was the special message that Jesus shared with His disciples (and not with the multitudes). This presented cognitive problems for the disciples, but they were coaxed into elevating their minds. For instance, when the Lord took several of His disciples up a mountain where they would see Him transfigured and talking with Moses and Elijah, it signified something even more profound. This event represented a new understanding of the disciples towards the Lord and a flash of insight to His intimate relationship with the Old Testament. On the road to Emmaus, the Lord again shared deeper secrets with several disciples concerning how stories of Moses and the Prophets referred exclusively to Himself.
Why secrets? How can biblical characters transcend their biblical descriptions?
Since the Word is God and Infinitely Holy, no finite humans could be worthy of mention, unless they were used to symbolically represent some deeper story concerning the details and divine order of God’s great works and how salvation takes place.
According to scientist/theologian, Emanuel Swedenborg, the literal meaning of the stories in Scripture, including the Old Testament, describe the innermost drama that played itself out as the Lord took on a physical human body and entered into history. Jesus made the Word flesh by making His physical body a perfect conduit for His Divine Heavenly Spirit. This is why Jesus seemed to be in communication with His “Father” as a separate Person, when actually it was His physical reality communicating with His heavenly reality. Jesus and Jehovah were the same Person—just as the human body and its soul make up one person in each of us. The big difference is that the Lord made his physical human completely divine and perfect (and left an empty tomb).
Since He had gained a human body from His terrestrial mother, the Lord had to bring all its worldly attachments, vanities and imperfections into complete submission to His heavenly essence. The Lord overcame the final challenge on the cross, where He endured physical pain, ultimate humility and resisted the human temptation to fight back with a show of force, hatred and desire for domination. Rather, He prevailed by conquering all human inclinations. With each victory, the Lord had made His human more divine, that is, His heavenly spirit descended more and more into His human life and its manifestations.
Swedenborg claimed that the Old Testament story of Abraham and his descendents (Isaac and Jacob) were spiritual allegories of this sacred process by which the Lord’s heavenly essence begot new reasoning powers and noble affections within His evolving biological self. Since the Lord had entered into the human gene pool and was victorious over ALL hereditary evil, we too can be saved from our worldly and negative inclinations if we approach the Lord with sincere humility and ask for His help. We cannot do this alone!
This is just a taste of a great new paradigm shift that is now taking place in theology!