Behold, I Make All Things New

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When the Lord came on earth, He gave people a new understanding of how to live spiritually. These teachings became the books in the New Testament known as the Gospels and Revelation. The Lord also promised to come again as the Spirit of Truth to explain things that people were not yet ready to understand. It is the faith of the New Church that the Lord has come again, in the form of a new revelation, the Heavenly Doctrines—also called the Writings for the New Church. This revelation explains the inner, spiritual meaning of the Old and New Testament and provides new teachings about the Lord, loving our neighbor, and the way to heaven. The words “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5) are a prophecy of the new revelation that came to the world through the Heavenly Doctrines.

Ideas for discussion

  1. Divine revelation is what the Lord has chosen to reveal to us. In the New Church, we consider the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Heavenly Doctrines to be the Word of God.
  2. In the Heavenly Doctrines, the Lord revealed many new teachings which people were not ready for when He first came into the world. The Lord gave us the Heavenly Doctrines through Emanuel Swedenborg.
  3. The letter of the Word is what we first understand when reading the Old and New Testaments with its stories, psalms of praise, prophecies, and descriptions of the Lord’s life on earth. Hidden within the Old and New Testament are layers of spiritual meaning—a deeper, internal meaning sometimes called the “spiritual sense.”
  4. When people discover the teachings of the New Church, they find that many of their questions about the nature of God, life after death, the purpose of life, etc., are answered. This is partly because the revelation given to the New Church provides rational truths that people can understand.
  5. The Lord wants us to seek His guidance in His Word because this is how He speaks to us and answers our questions. If we look to the Lord with a desire to learn from Him, He will help us see how the truths we learn are relevant to our lives. These truths can also help us see the Lord and invite His presence with us.
  6. People are encouraged to seek answers to their questions and confirm truths by means of the Lord’s Word.

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Final thoughts

As we think about the Lord giving us the Heavenly Doctrines to help us more fully understand the Old and New Testaments and learn more about the Lord, these words might help us look to Him in the Word:

“Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34).

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