Jesus in the Theatre of God


All the events of the Bible take place within a cosmic theatrical “stage,” one based on the structure of heaven. Like the Globe Theatre in Shakespeare’s era, an understanding of the symbolic significance of the physical elements in the literal, historical creation account in Genesis gives us incredible insights into the structure of many prophetic Bible passages and the order of many historical events. When we get to the Revelation, familiarity with this theatrical “set” is crucial to understanding its fulfilment in history.

The three-level structure of God’s heavenly court is pictured in the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is then also the top level of a larger three-level structure: Temple-Israel-Nations, or Garden-Land-World. So we have a three-level heaven, a three-level world, and a three-level “house” mediating between them, a house filled with bread and wine, flesh and blood. [1]

This explains the “soundwaves” pattern found in a great deal of the Bible, particularly the prophets. The Lord speaks His word as liturgy from the Most Holy Place, it is pre-enacted by the prophet in a new “Holy Place” (often from outside the sinning city in some terrifying judgments as object lessons), and then the same judgments are spoken into the “Outer Court,” the Gentile nations. In these three domains, from the top down, we have Word, Sacrament (the prophet as a kind of new “acting” High Priestly mediator), and Government. [2]

Jesus was arrested in a Garden. He was led before the Council and condemned by His own brothers (Land). He was then brought before Pilate, the Roman governor (World). In all cases, He was pretty much silent as a lamb.

Paul’s final journey follows the same pattern but with one crucial difference. He brought a sermon from the Temple steps to the Jews (Garden). Unlike Christ, he defended himself before the council (Land). Finally, he gave testimony before the Roman governor, Felix (World). The difference relates to the process that takes the Tabernacle from silence to song, the bloody silence of the tent of Moses (Jew-only heady-only Circumcision) to the victory song of the tent of David which included Gentile worshippers (Jew-Gentile whole-body baptism). [3] Paul’s journey through Garden, Land and World was after the resurrection of Christ.

Paul’s testimony made Felix tremble. ”He reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come.” Or Word, Sacrament and Government. Paul was building the Tabernacle of David. [4]

[1] See A New Heavens and a New Earth.
[2] See How to Read the Prophets.
[3] See The Sacrifice of Praise. This also supports my position on credo-baptism. Infants can’t testify. Paedobaptism ruins the picture. An appeal to verses like Psalm 8:2 is as relevant to baptism, and circumcision for that matter, as trees clapping their hands. Baptism (Atonement/Laver) comes after the Spirit of Pentecost/Lampstand in every case. It is a robe of office. On baptism’s prefiguring in the four-cornered Israelite robe, see Healing in His… Tassels?
[4] The reference to the Tabernacle of David in Amos was fulfilled in the Restoration era. See Resurrected to Witness.

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