Typological exegesis is a biblical reading strategy based on the informing metaphor that the history of circumcised Israel forms the shadow of the history of spiritual Israel. As presently understood, every event recorded in the Old Testament is the shadow of an event in the spiritual realm that has or will effect spiritual Israel. These selected physical phenomena have spiritual parallels that are linked together in exactly the same manner as a two-dimensional, non-living shadow is produced by a three-dimensional, air-breathing person. In addition, it appears that the events of Jesus' physical ministry (at least as recorded by Matthew) are also the shadow of events that will occur to endtime disciples.
Typological exegesis stands diametrically opposed to historical exegesis. The reading strategy finds that the Christian Church went into mental or spiritual captivity just as the ancient nation of Israel went into physical captivity, that historical exegesis is the means by which this spiritual captivity is continued. In addition, typology as a reading strategy finds that spiritual Israel will be liberated from mental captivity on a second Passover night just as physical Israel was liberated from Egyptian slavery on the first Passover. Therefore, physical and spiritual firstborns not under the Passover blood of the Lamb of God will be slain on a particular night, at a particular hour. This slaying of firstborns will be the event that initiates seven years of tribulation, commonly called the Tribulation. Spiritual Israel will at that time be as physical Israel was, including being equal or nearly so in number to those individuals that constitute spiritual Egypt/Babylon.
Therefore, typological exegesis as a reading strategy recognizes all individuals baptized in the name of Jesus Christ as spiritually circumcised descendants of Abraham. But many of these born-from-above individuals are not presently living in covenant with God the Father. They were spiritually born as children of promise, but they adopted Hagar as their mother in that they will not or would not leave Egypt, or sin. They voluntarily made themselves the spiritually circumcised descendants of Ishmael, born of an Egyptian and married to an Egyptian. They are the firstborn spiritually circumcised son of the patriarch Abraham, but the promise of entering God's rest goes through Sarah, and through Jacob [Israel], not through Ishmael and Esau. Thus, only the spiritually circumcised descendants of Abraham that leave spiritual Egypt/Babylon and journey through the mental lands of where Ishmael dwells (i.e., the Sinai Peninsula) and around the mental lands of Edom (i.e., Mt Seir where the descendants of Esau dwelt) and actually enter Judea are the spiritual Israelites that will enter God's rest.
The journey from Egypt [sin] to Judea [God's rest] is the walk of a Christian. The old man or self that is crucified with Christ Jesus is analogous to the nation liberated from Egyptian bondage. The physically liberated nation that was physically circumcised dwelt in booths or tabernacles [tents] analogous to the old self, having been consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32), dwelling in a tabernacle of flesh. This liberated nation did not enter God's rest because of unbelief (Heb 3:19; Ps 95:10-11; Num 14:11) that became disobedience when the nation tried to enter on the following day (Heb 4:6; Num 14:40-41). The uncircumcised children of the nation that left Egypt, born in the booths or tabernacles of their parents, crossed the Jordan and entered God's rest. These physically uncircumcised children are analogous to the new man or self, born of Spirit, that dwells in the same tabernacle of flesh the crucified old man inhabited. And once across the Jordan, these children of the nation that left Egypt were circumcised. They lived as Judeans, not as Gentiles. Disciples are to live as Judeans, not as spiritual Gentiles.
Typological exegesis allows spiritual understanding through visual and spatial constructs, through the visible geography of a region revealing the invisible realm of the conscious and subconscious mind. The geographical boundaries of pre-Flood Eden form the visible referent for the boundaries of humanity's invisible mental topography. The flood of Noah's day now represents the baptism of the earth into death. Two additional baptisms remain (Matt 3:11), one of Spirit (Joel 2:28) and one of fire (Rev 21:1), thereby making the story of individual salvation also the story of the completed history of the earth. As if in a hall of mirrors, the history of the circumcised nation of Israel becomes the story or shadow of individual salvation, of the Church, and of humanity. Every human being faces death, and resurrection to judgment, with fire following resurrection and spiritual birth. This fire will either be glorification or the flames of the lake of fire. The wages of sin is death, which entered the world through the disobedience of the first Adam. God, then, consigned all human beings to disobedience so that He could have mercy on all, this mercy being birth-from-above with the law of God written on hearts and minds. The old self that did not believe God must die just as the world before the Flood died, just as the nation that left Egypt died in the Wilderness of Sin. A new self born of Spirit in the same tabernacle of flesh, or in the same geographical region that the old self inhabited, with the laws of God close-by and not too difficult to keep (Deu 30:11) will enter God's rest, if this new self doesn't stop along the way to marry an Egyptian, or an Amorite, or any number of other foreign wives. Only the born-again disciple who mentally journeys to Judea enters into God's rest.
Judea is a small land within the geographical area represented by pre-Flood Eden, but it is the land analogous to the garden that God planted in Eden, with the Tree of Life in the center of the garden (with the temple at Jerusalem analogous to this Tree). Biblical prophecies are about all nations within the boundaries of Eden, but not about China and Chile, for these nations exist beyond the geography representing the mental topography of humanity. Their existence gives a hint at how much greater the mental capabilities of glorified sons of God will be over the present capabilities of mortal humankind.
The road to Judea represents that narrow path to Life that few will find, for the great cities of Eden were not in the hill country of Judea.
Jesus of Nazareth is the last Adam; the Church is the last Eve; and the Tribulation is the hard labor pains of the last Eve giving birth to three spiritual sons, a Cain, an Abel, and a Seth. When the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:26-30), the last Eve as the Body of Christ, or the Body of the Son of Man will also be revealed. The cloak of righteousness (Rev 12:1; Gal 3:27) that has covered the Church's lawlessness will be removed. Grace ends with the liberation of spiritual Israel from bondage to sin. There will no longer be any need to wear Christ's righteousness as a garment, for every spiritually circumcised disciple will be empowered by the Holy Spirit. The imaginations of the heart and mind will then become visibly discernable through the actions of the disciple. The disciple who mentally practiced walking upright before God under the cloak of Grace will be able to walk upright before God. The disciple who did not love truth enough to practice walking uprightly will not then walk uprightly, but will return to sin. And what God told Cain about being accepted if he does well (Gen 4:7) will doubly apply to the last Eve's firstborn son when the Tribulation begins. The disciple who seeks to save his or her physical life will lose both physical and spiritual life, for God will deliver the holy ones into the hand of the man of perdition for a time, times, and a half a time [three and a half years] (Dan 7:25).
A spiritual Cain, the firstborn son of the last Eve, will kill his righteous younger brother. In typology, the present configuration of the greater Christian Church, divided into a northern house (Arian Christianity) and a southern house (Trinitarian Christianity) as the nation of Israel was divided in northern and southern kingdoms, will be liberated from sin as the firstborn son of God (Exod 4:22) was liberated from Egyptian bondage. And this firstborn son will not enter mental Judea because of unbelief that becomes disobedience when it tries to enter God's rest on the following day. It will rebel against God (2 Thess 2:3) just as the nation that left Egypt rebelled against God. It will believe the ten witnesses that are the miry clay portion of the toes of the image Nebuchadnezzar saw. It will not believe the two witnesses who would lead this firstborn son of God to Judea if this son would follow them. This spiritual Cain will not overcome the sin that lurks at his door, but succumbs to sin through attempting to enter God's rest on the following day: Sunday rather than the Sabbath. This spiritual Cain will follow the cross rather than Christ, and will be marked by the cross. The mark of the beast, chi xi stigma, is the tattoo of Xx (Christ's cross), not 666.
When the firstborn son of God rebels against God, the last Eve will give birth to a second son, who will keep the commandments of God. This has already occurred on a small scale as a portion of greater Christianity keeps the Sabbath, and does not attempt to enter God's rest on the following day. Once the Tribulation begins, this will occur on a grander scale as Judaism refuses to give up the Sabbath when the man of perdition attempts to change times and the law. And from predominately Judaism will come righteous Abel, who will be slain by his older brother. The broken-off natural branches will be grafted onto the Root of Righteousness when the wild branches are rejected because of their disobedience, their lawlessness.
Again, the disciple who seeks to save his or her physical life will lose both salvation and life, whereas the disciple willing to lose his or her physical life will be glorified. Cain when marked journeyed towards Babylon. Spiritual Cain will not leave Babylon when it falls, but will perish because of the mark it has taken upon itself. And righteous Abel will physically die, but will receive everlasting life when his judgment is revealed. Thus, halfway through the seven years of tribulation, with her first two sons dead (one spiritually dead, one physically dead) the last Eve bears a third son, a spiritual Seth who only has to endure to the end to be saved (Matt 24:13). And the birth announcement of this spiritual Seth is the good news that must be proclaimed to the world as a witness to all nations before the end comes (v. 14).
God will turn His hand against two-thirds of humanity (Zech 13:7-8) as He ransoms three spiritual sons from sin. He slew the firstborn of Egypt as a ransom for circumcised Israel (Isa 43:3-4); He will slay a third of humanity when He ransoms his firstborn spiritual son, Cain, from sin. He will then turn a fourth of humanity over to Death, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse, thereby leaving only half of pre-Tribulation humanity alive when He again slays a third of humanity [the 6th trumpet plague] as He ransoms a spiritual Seth from sin. And this last third of pre-Tribulation humanity will say that God is their Father, and He will say that they are His sons (Zech 13:9). God will accept them through their endurance, through them not taking the mark of the beast, the mark of death. They have to do nothing more than endure in faith once the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh, once the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ (Rev 11:15), once Satan is cast from heaven (Rev 12:9-10) so that this old dragon can no longer deceive the world as the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). Therefore, all of Israel who endures to the end will be saved, but enduring will not be easy. The Church will not be raptured prior to Christ's return as the all-powerful Messiah.
Typological exegesis as a reading strategy is also opposed to the precept-upon-precept exegesis of Herbert Armstrong, and his theological descendants. While similarities in practices will exist between disciples who apply precept-upon-precept exegesis and typological exegesis, such as disciples applying both will keep the high Sabbaths as well as the weekly Sabbath, the differences are profound and are of sufficient magnitude that fellowship between disciples of both strategies is strained. Prophetic understandings stand in opposition, but perhaps the primary stumbling block for fellowship is the understandings of being born again.
Precept-upon-precept exegesis understands being "born again" as being glorified. It teaches that a disciple is merely begotten by God when baptized. The disciple has to then qualify for eternal life. If the disciple produces no fruit, the disciple will be as a stillborn infant. Thus, precept-upon-precept exegesis has rightfully been labeled a theology of works by the greater Christian Church.
In order for spiritual Israel to cast a shadow into the physical realm, spiritual Israel must have life in that realm or dimension where spiritual beings exist. Without life in the heavenly realm that is analogous to human beings having life in the physical realm, the spiritually circumcised descendants of Abraham could not cast a spiritually lifeless shadow. Thus, typological exegesis shows that from the moment of being placed in the eternal covenant, the born-from-above disciple has life in the spiritual realm. The disciple is a child of God, not a fetus. And if anyone hinders this spiritual child from coming to the Father, it would be better if the person hadn't been born. And to teach these children to be juvenile delinquents by being lawless is to sin against the Holy Spirit. The theology of the Holiness Gospel that says all a person has to do is just believe causes actual harm to disciples, for baptism brings judgment upon disciples. If a disciple hasn't been "discipled" (i.e., taught the criteria by which he or she will be judged), then the disciple's teachers, regardless of the mighty works these teachers have done in the name of Jesus, will be rejected by Christ.
When a person is drawn from the world by the Father (John 6:44, 65), the person receives the Holy Spirit, albeit only a small portion. The analogy the Apostle John uses is that of light: a pinprick of a flame is nonetheless light. A candle flame has little comparison to the sun other than both are light, both repel darkness. And where light is, there can be no darkness. Light and darkness are absolutes that mutually exclude the other. Therefore, the person who has been born-from-above has actual life in the spiritual realm and will cast either a large or a small shadow in a similar manner to how an infant or a teenager casts a physical shadow, this spiritual shadow being cast across the mental topography of human beings.
Until circumcised Israelites were baptized by the Spirit on that day of Pentecost following Calvary, the Holy Spirit had to be transferred directly to circumcised Israelites. The glorified Jesus "breathed" on His disciples (John 20:22), and said, Receive the Holy Spirit [Pneuma Agion]. But not so afterwards (Acts 2:38). Laying-on of hands wasn't necessary, for circumcised Israel had now been baptized by the Breath of God. But Gentiles who would become uncircumcised Israelites still required the direct transfer of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17). Gentiles who would becomes uncircumcised Israelites weren't baptized with the Spirit until Cornelius and his household received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44–46). Thus, following Cornelius' baptism by the Holy Spirit, direct transfer of the Holy Spirit to Gentiles through the laying-on of hands was no longer required. And following the baptism by the Holy Spirit of the twelve at Ephesus who had been baptized by John the Baptist for the remission of sin (Acts 19:1-7), the endtime natural branches who have been broken off until the fullness of the Gentiles come to Christ can receive the Holy Spirit without its direct transfer. So the laying-on of hands following baptism is an unnecessary ritual. Baptism is unto judgment through the death of the old self, with the birth of the new self already having occurred in the same tabernacle of flesh. Both adult Israelites and their children left Egypt. Additional children were born in the Wilderness of Sin, but disciples in this present age are spiritually born in sin and must leave Egypt as spiritual children living within the tabernacles of their mature parents (i.e., their old selves). If they linger in Egypt until their maturity, they will die in the Wilderness; they will not enter God's rest.
After Jesus baptizes by Spirit, any person within that baptized category can indirectly receive the Holy Spirit. Direct transfer is no longer necessary. Water baptism, then, follows receiving the Holy Spirit. A person with the Holy Spirit has eternal life, so the person's "old man" is put to death in a watery grave. Once baptized the person is a child, an heir of God. And as long as the person remains in covenant, the person will be glorified (glorification is reaching the child's majority). The person won't become a baby God when glorified, but will become like Christ. The person isn't now qualifying for eternal life. The person has everlasting life. But the person can lose it by walking away from the covenant by which Christ bears the person's sins, the covenant that has the laws of God written on disciples' heats and minds. Once this person comes under judgment, even one sin credited to the person will send him or her into the lake of fire. Therefore, it is important that the person remains in the covenant by which Christ bears all of the person's sins. If a person wanders away before being liberated from sin through full empowerment by the Holy Spirit, the person needs to run back as fast as his or her knees will bend. After liberation, a great delusion will be sent over the person (2 Thess 2:11-12) so that this wandering person cannot or will not repent.
Fellowship between disciples who practice typological exegesis and those who practice precept-upon-precept exegesis usually becomes so strained that it would seem as if they were worshipping differing deities instead of the same Father and Son. Therefore, in the interest of harmony and unity and worshipping the Father and the Son in reverence without a spirit of contention present, disciples who practice typological exegesis should consider holding services apart from disciples who practice either historical exegesis or precept-upon-precept exegesis. Typology takes meaning from Holy Writ in a visual rather than in an analytical way. It is not dependent upon the nuances of words, but upon the layering of shadows, each revealing the same story. Thus, the sermons and Bible studies that are characteristic of precept-upon-precept teachers seem wearisome to disciples who take meaning from Scripture through typology.
Typological exegesis will always be opposed by Christian leaders and theologians who have never been spiritually minded, as evidenced by their opposition to God and his laws. It will also be opposed by genuine disciples who believe they already possess all truth. But it will be accepted by millions of disciples during the Tribulation. It is the informing metaphor of the endtime Church in Philadelphia. Again, the gospel of the kingdom that must be proclaimed before the end of this age comes is that all who endure to the end will be saved (Matt 10:22 & 24:13–14). The twelve Apostles delivered this message to the lost sheep of the house of Israel when Christ came as a man. The Church in Philadelphia (as born-again men and women) will deliver the same message to the lost sheep of the spiritual house of Israel immediately prior to the end of this age. We of The Philadelphia Church are about this work even now.
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