May 6, 2006 ©Homer
Commentary — From the Margins
Moving From Physical to Spiritual
Although I’ve been told that reading my writing is like reading a math textbook, I would hope what I write is more interesting. However, I understand that typological exegesis as a unified reading strategy is, for most disciples, an alien strategy for extracting meaning from Scripture. It is certainly a strategy that stands opposed to historical exegesis, and to line-upon-line concepts. Therefore, I offer a few principles that will, hopefully, expedite understanding the movement from physical to spiritual, from darkness to light:
- Stone becomes flesh: what was stone in the lifeless darkness prior to the coming of the man Jesus of Nazareth becomes flesh in the spiritual light that is the “light” of men…two stone tablets become two tablets of flesh; the stone temple becomes the fleshy body of disciples; and powdered stone [dust] made into the body of the first Adam becomes the fleshy body of the last Adam. Death sentences were carried out by stoning, showing that the fractured Law kills.
- Physical breath forms the hard shadow of divine Breath: the breath of Elohim [singular in usage] that imparted physical life to the first Adam becomes the divine Breath of God [Pneuma ’Agion], or Holy Spirit, which imparts spiritual life to the Son of Man, both to the uncovered Head and to the cloaked Body. As physical birth imparts life in the physical universe, spiritual birth imparts life in the heavenly realm. All disciples born anew have actual life in the heavenly realm prior to glorification, but this life is confined in a tent of flesh that cannot cross dimensions; thus, what is mortal (which is the body) must put on immortality.
- Circumcised Israel forms the hard shadow of the entire Church:
a. Israel’s physical bondage to Pharaoh forms the hard shadow of the Church’s spiritual bondage to sin and death that continues to dwell in the flesh of disciples (Rom 7:25).
b. Israel’s long night of watching and waiting for the tenth plague and liberation from Pharaoh forms the hard shadow of the Church’s history from Calvary, when Jesus was sacrificed as the Passover Lamb of God, to the beginning of the seven endtime years of tribulation.
c. The passing of the death angel throughout Egypt at the midnight hour forms the hard shadow of the spiritual empowerment and liberation from sin and death of the Church.
d. Except for Joshua and Caleb, no adult male Israelite entered God’s rest; because of unbelief, all rebelled in the wilderness of Paran. And this rebellion forms the hard shadow of the endtime great falling away of disciples when the man of perdition is revealed (2 Thess 2:3).
e. The uncircumcised children of the nation that left Egypt form the hard shadow of the third part of humanity (Zech 13:9), born of Spirit when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh (Joel 2:28). This third part of humanity only has to endure to the end to be saved, but enduring means not taking the tattoo of the cross to buy and sell.
- The exodus of Israel from Egypt forms the hard shadow of individual spiritual birth and maturation: as the Israelite liberated from bondage to Pharaoh died in the wilderness, the old man or creature, crucified with Christ, must die because of unbelief, and the new creature, a son of God, born from above into the same tent of flesh will enter God’s rest.
- Physical Babylon forms the hard shadow of spiritual Babylon, a city [polis] analogous to the Jerusalem above: the captivity of natural Israel in Babylon forms the equally hard shadow of the Church sent into mental captivity in spiritual Babylon, with the return of the natural remnant to Jerusalem to rebuild the house of God forming the shadow of a spiritual remnant leaving spiritual Babylon as Anabaptists. When this spiritual remnant crossed the river Jordan is discernable by when this remnant returned to observing the 7th-day Sabbath, thereby again entering into God’s rest.
- The geography of Eden forms the visible representation of humanity’s conscious mental typography:
a. All biblical prophecies are about nations within the confines of pre-Flood Eden, and these nations form visible representations of invisible mental landscapes. (Rome is outside these boundaries, and as such, is not named in prophecy.)
b. Egypt to the south represents sin or disobedience, to which all of humanity has been consigned (Rom 11:32); thus, the king of the South represents sin.
c. Assyria to the north represents death, one of the king of the South’s princes (Dan 11:5)…Sin and Death have reigned together over the flesh of humanity since Adam was driven from the garden of God before he could eat of the Tree of Life.
d. The journey of every Israelite is from sin, through the wildernesses, and across the Jordan to Judah, where the Israelite will live as a son of God, holy as God is holy. But if an Israelite in Judah profanes the Sabbaths of God, and doesn’t walk in His ways, then God sends the Israelite into Babylonian captivity…the geographical journeys of natural Israel make visible the otherwise invisible mental journeys of spiritual Israel.
e. The endtime recovery of Israel from Assyria (Jer 16:14-15) is the recovery of the holy nation from Death.
f. The visible hard shadow of the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw lies from the king himself to Antiochus Epiphanes IV, when physical sons of light liberated present day Jerusalem.
g. All biblical prophecies are ultimately about two humanoid hierarchies, Babylon and the Son of Man. The first presently reigns over humanity’s mental typography. The latter will reign after its Body is revealed, and after the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ.
- The second covenant mediated by Moses and made at Moab with the physically uncircumcised children of the nation that left Egypt (Deu 29:1) forms the hard shadow of the second covenant mediated by Christ Jesus and made with physically uncircumcised disciples following Calvary: the Sinai covenant forms the hard shadow of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, but the terms of the second covenant have Israelites taking upon themselves their judgments (Deu 30:15-20). Today, judgment is on the household of God; is on disciples. That wasn’t the case during Jesus’ earthly ministry.
Hebraic poetic structure foregrounds the movement from physical to spiritual, from hand to heart, for darkness to light; for from darkness comes light. It isn’t that light follows darkness. But as from physical lifelessness comes physical life, observable in the union of sperm and egg, each without life, so from spiritual lifelessness comes spiritual life, observable, though, only by the shadow cast beginning with the first Adam.
Taking meaning from Scripture through typological exegesis is simple, but it won’t seem so until a disciple understands spiritual birth as actual birth in the heavenly realm, a supra-dimensional timeless realm that co-exists with the four physical dimensions as third-dimensional “height” does with a two-dimensional plane. The size and shape of a cylinder sitting on a two-dimensional tabletop cannot be ascertained by any point on that tabletop, but a light above and to the side of the cylinder will cause the cylinder’s shadow to fall across that tabletop—and the alternating of light and darkness allows a point on the table to see darkly the size and shape of the cylinder. And so it is for human beings with eyes and ears only able to discern those things that are physical: by the shadows cast onto the conscious minds of human beings, a person can see darkly the things of the heavenly realm, made visible by Christ Jesus, the light of men.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."