Commentary — From the Margins
Typology & Typological Exegesis
First and second century constructs whose time has
returned, typology and typological exegesis assert that all of Holy Writ forms
one tightly woven narrative that allows friends of Christ Jesus to “see” into
the heavenly realm, a timeless dimension that matter cannot enter because of
its apparent solidity. The six day creation account with its inherent problem of seed and fruit bearing trees being created on the
third day before the sun and moon appear on the fourth day becomes the abstract
for a spiritual creation account, the plan by which an unchanging dimension
accommodates spiritual maturation. In a copy and shadow of this plan, barley
and wheat sown on Judean hillsides, watered by the early and latter rains, and
harvested in the spring and in the fall of the year represent the twin harvests
The natural precedes the
spiritual and the visible reveals the invisible, thereby making “what is” a
dark glass through which disciples can peer into the timeless heavenly realm.
The structure of a day has light coming from darkness (Gen 1:3), and the
structure of salvation has life coming from death (John ). Light and life become synonymous linguistic icons,
just as death and dark are synonymous. Thus, in Hebraic poetics the dual
presentation of a concept first discloses what is natural (or of darkness),
then what is spiritual (or of light). The movement between parallel
presentations of a concept is from outside to inside, from hand to heart, from
society to individual, from visible to invisible. The movement makes the first
a type or shadow of the second. Therefore, by testimony and by structure, Holy
Writ reveals meaning through typology. Geographical landscapes are the visible
but lifeless copies of mental landscapes. Hence, all of human thought is
represented by the original boundaries of
All of biblical prophecy is
about nations that occupied portions of
Except for typological exegesis, no reading strategy adequately accounts for the inclusion and exclusion of nations and peoples and events in Holy Writ. Historical exegesis is a tradition-based strategy that actually ignores the text and texture of Scripture. Precept-upon-precept exegesis denies that disciples have life in the heavenly realm while still dwelling in fleshly tabernacles, denies that spiritual maturation occurs following birth-from-above or being born of Spirit in a body of flesh in which sin and death also dwells. Precept-upon-precept exegesis denies that disciples are, today, actual children of God the Father, with life in the spiritual realm that came invisibly into a tabernacle of flesh through receipt of the Holy Spirit, the divine Breath of God [Pneuma ’Agion].
Again, in typology physically
circumcised Israelites as the firstborn son of YHWH (Exod 4:22) and as the holy nation of YHWH (Exod 19:5-6) form the shadow of the spiritually circumcised,
firstborn son of God, a holy nation that wasn’t before a people (1 Pet
2:9). The history of the physically
circumcised nation in
One night, one
twisting away from the light—disciples as lamps, as diminutive lights could not
be seen if day had come at any time between
As the Lord liberated
The Apostle Paul, tutored by
Christ Jesus, taught using typology. First century converts used typological
exegesis to extract meaning from Scripture. These converts were then, as
disciples are today, the
The reign of Solomon forms a copy and shadow of the Millennium. Canticles, or the Song of Solomon is a three-part drama that, by being a staged play, indicates a different reality within a Book of shadows. The Holy Spirit will, during the Millennium, have been poured out upon all flesh, thereby changing even the natures of the great predators. This outpouring of the Breath of God will change human nature, which isn’t, foremost, the production of biology but is received from God, as evidenced by King Nebuchadnezzar being given the mind of a beast for seven years. Thus, in the texture of Scripture, the great rebellion against God that will occur during the Tribulation is first foreshadowed by the rebellion of the circumcised nation in the wilderness of Paran (Num chptrs 13-14), then again foreshadowed by the rebellion of the circumcised nation during the Samuel’s days, then foreshadowed by the Church’s rebellion in the period leading up to the Council at Nicea. Therefore, since the great falling away occurs after the Church is liberated from sin and death at the beginning of seven endtime years of tribulation (this falling away actually being a second rebellion by the Church), the combined reigns of Saul and David form the shadow of the holy nation of God during the first and second halves of the Tribulation. The mighty men who were with David foreshadow mighty disciples, undefeatable in spiritual battles, during the latter portion of the Tribulation. And as Israel under Joshua routed the Canaanites and other peoples then occupying Judea, the third part of humanity (Zech 13:7-9) under the remnant that keep the commandments and have the spirit of prophecy (Rev 12:17, coupled with Rev 19:10) will marry the Christ. They will be saved through enduring to the end (Matt 24:13). They will spiritually defeat the antiChrist when he is given the mind of a man and cast to earth (Rev 12:9-10).
Paul taught that Jesus was the last Adam. The first Adam was created as a physical corpse prior to receiving the breath of life (Gen 2:7); the last Adam lived as a man, the son of a carpenter, a prophet from birth, prior to receiving the Breath [Pneuma ’Agion] of the Father (Matt 3:16-17). And herein is the comparison between physical and spiritual: prior to receiving life imparted by the Breath of God, an air-breathing human being is as spiritually lifeless as a non-breathing corpse is physically lifeless. The person’s skin coloring changes some when a living person becomes a corpse, but the person still appears as the person (the person doesn’t instantly decompose), and a similar slight change in coloring would have marked the first Adam’s change in appearance when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into Adam’s nostrils (Gen 2:7). The first Adam as a lifeless corpse appeared a moment before receiving the breath of life as he appeared the moment after. The defining quality of the physical creation is change. The absence of life and the presence of life (or vice versa) cannot simultaneously prevail within an entity at the same moment. Thus, change requires one moment to become the next moment—the moment when the absence of life prevails must change to become the moment when life prevails. The first Adam, before he began to breathe, appeared as he did the moment after he began breathing. Likewise, an air-breathing person a moment before receiving the Breath of God [Pneuma ’Agion] and spiritual life appears the same as the moment after this person has been born anew. And as the presence of physical life is detectable through a change in coloring; the presence of spiritual life is detectable through a change in behavior. Appearance in the physical realm becomes action in the spiritual realm. And this analogy must never be forgotten: as a livestock breeder selects one animal from another based by appearance, with one being accepted and one rejected, the Lord also accepts one son of promise and rejects another, with behavior being the basis for acceptance or rejection. Many are called, but few are chosen (Matt ). Again, Jesus said not to be surprised when some are resurrected to life and some to condemnation. It isn’t God’s will that any fail, but the reality of salvation is that some love this world more than they love God. They demonstrate their love for this world through their disobedience to God, through their transgression of the laws of God.
The first Adam was created
outside of the
From a wound in Jesus’ side
while on the cross at
The Christian Church today is
the last Eve, who has given birth to a son before experiencing the hard labor
pains of childbirth. And the Church, once liberated from bondage to sin and
death, will rebel against God and will slay its righteous brother, disciples
who keep the commandments of God, all ten commandments, not nine or eight or
six or three. This firstborn son of the last Eve will, with rebellion, come
under a great delusion from which repentance is impossible; this firstborn son
will be spiritually dead even though he still lives physically. And the second
born son of promise was spiritually dead, slain by the law, before being made
spiritually alive through obedience to the law. This second son will then be
slain physically before receiving an incorruptible body. So with the firstborn
son spiritually dead and the second-born son physically dead, the endtime harvest
of God will be a third-born son of promise, a spiritual Seth who is also
analogous to the patriarch Jacob, the physically third born son of promise.
This third-born son will be as the uncircumcised children born in the
wilderness were. And the second covenant mediated by Moses (Deu chptrs 29-31)
was made with these children of the nation that left
The rejection of YHWH by the circumcised nation in the days of Samuel foreshadows
the rebellion of Church. The circumcised nation’s refusal to enter the promised land when the twelve spies returned foreshadows the
rebellion of the Church. In both instances,
Jesus showed the difference between the physical and spiritual covenants in His Sermon on the Mount, the spiritual reality foreshadowed by the giving of the commandments of God from atop Sinai. Murder, committed with the hand, becomes anger, a production of the heart. Adultery, an act of the body, becomes lust, a thought in the mind. Unsaid is that Sabbath-breaking moves from the work the hand does on the seventh day to what the mind thinks and the heart desires on the seventh day—the day doesn’t change. The commandments do not change. All that changes is where the transgression of the commandments occur.
The laws of God, physically written by the finger of the Lord on stone tablets that were lugged off the mountain by Moses, become spiritually written by the Lord on two tablets of flesh within every disciple…again, the physically circumcised Israelite who lived in a stone house and prayed to God in a stone temple that housed two stone tablets, an earthenware jar of manna, and the budded staff of Aaron in a wood ark of the covenant is a copy and shadow of the spiritually circumcised son of God dwelling in the fleshly tabernacle of the crucified old self. This cannot be overemphasized: a disciple is the new creation born-from-above into the same tent of flesh that the crucified old man occupied. The disciple isn’t the flesh, isn’t the body that is either plumbed internally or externally, that is painted some shade of brown, that was either free born or slave, that is or isn’t descended from the tabernacle in which the patriarch Abraham dwelt. The disciple is a one-of creation, just as the first Adam was. The disciple has no parent but God the Father. The Church as the last Eve nurtures, but doesn’t bring to birth. Thus, every disciple, regardless of the condition or description of the fleshly tent in which the disciple dwells, is a spiritually circumcised son of God.
The history of humanity, the history of physically circumcised Israel, the history of the early Church that is recorded in Acts—all serve as a copy and shadow of born-from-above sons of God in the timeless heavenly realm. Thus, the only valid means of extracting meaning from Scripture is through typological exegesis. There is no other way for flesh and blood disciples to see themselves and their era in a dimension they cannot enter to make observations or measurements.
A point on a two-dimensional plane cannot perceive the height of a cylinder. If the point encounters the sidewall of the cylinder, it might (if it possessed self-awareness) determine that the arc formed a circle. But the limitation of being confined to two-dimensions would preclude the point from even looking up. Likewise, human beings prior to being born-from-above cannot perceive Father and Son; they cannot even look up. They are, of necessity, hostile to the things of God (Rom 8:7), and they will vigorously deny the existence of a dimension they cannot enter, know about, or explain. They will belittle those for whom this dimension is seen darkly through the things that are. And their demeaning of what they cannot perceive reveals that, indeed, they are as points on a two-dimensional plane.
Light comes from darkness and
life from death and righteousness from overcoming disobedience to which all of
humanity has been consigned (Rom ).
With pedantic redundancy, I say again: the structure of Hebraic poetry places
one concept (or idea) in close proximity to the repetition of the concept. The
movement between first presentation of the concept and its second presentation
is from darkness to light, natural to mental, physical to spiritual, hand to
heart—from the laws of God written on the outside of the heart to the desires
of the heart that come from within. The first covenant foreshadowed the second
covenant, and the second covenant mediated by Moses foreshadows this same
covenant mediated by Christ Jesus. The Levitical priesthood is a copy and
shadow of disciples as the royal priesthood of God (1 Pet 2:9). The rebuilding
of the walls of physical
A different spirit was in Caleb
than was in the remainder of the nation. This different spirit needs to be in
every disciple. But the testimony of Scripture is that though many are called,
few will be chosen. Few will live by faith, choosing to obey God when the
greater Church—like the circumcised nation that left
To understand what has occurred and what will occur in this timeless dimension that is heaven, disciples need to practice typological exegesis. They might then see themselves in the course of history. Hopefully, they will be repulsed by their “natural” faces and will turn to God, begging forgiveness for slaying the sheep. Scripture, however, indicates that they will never see themselves as they are.
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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."