Cosmic Language

or Ethnic Cleansing as Mercy

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“In representative terms, the people of God are no longer the Land but the heavenly Sea. The Church herself is the oncoming storm.”

In The Days of Vengeance [PDF], David Chilton did a great job of introducing many of us to the fact of Jesus’ use of “cosmic language” in Matthew 24 to describe the end of the Old Covenant. Not only is the idea of an actual, physical star falling to earth impossible (can you imagine the sun “falling to earth”?) but Jesus is quoting from a prophecy against Babylon. His audience would have realized this as a scathing attack against the Herods and their “government controlled” Temple worship. So, the language is clearly poetic, but why would the prophets—and Jesus and His apostles—deliberately cause so much confusion by using cosmic language to describe non-cosmic events? The answer is found in the mercy of God.

From Adam to Abraham, perhaps even until Moses, the world was the world. Until Moses, the priesthood was Noahic, i.e. Creational. The priesthood consisted of all nations. All nations sinned at Babel, and the only reason there was not another flood was the call of Abram. The “three-decker” architecture that was defiled before the flood was on its way to another “third strike” but God intervened.

Under Moses, God built a “penal substitute” for the world. The Tabernacle became representative of the Creation. The house of Israel (both people and Tabernacle) were a model of the cosmos. The Tabernacle furniture aligns with the order of Genesis 1. Cosmic language was used to describe it. The tribes of Israel themselves follow the divisions of the major constellations, arranged around the Tabernacle as governing lights. [1] As anyone knows who grew up in the 70s and 80s, when you’re making a movie, it’s always cheaper to blow up a model. In God’s mercy, instead of a “Creational” flood, the cleansing was “ethnic,” as it was under Joshua. Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples were destroyed under “floods” of Gentile armies.

CREATIONAL Covenant (World)
Physical Seas (Trancendance)

……….SOCIAL Covenant (Israel – Land)
……….Ethnic Seas (Hierarchy)

………………..INDIVIDUAL Covenant (Christ – Garden)
………………..Blood and Water (Ethics)

……….SOCIAL Covenant (Church – Heavenly Land)
……….Ethnic Seas (Sanctions)

CREATIONAL Covenant (World)
Physical Seas (Succession) [2]

The military invasions were tragic, but they were to be far preferred over another global deluge. [3] Now, please note that the “ethnic” cleansing was never racially-based, but Covenant-based. It was always the execution of Covenant Sanctions. The Canaanites were evangelized by Abraham, who proclaimed the Lord to them, and made sacrifices for them. [4] In other words, THEY WERE WARNED.

Then Jesus took it a step further, and became personally the representative, the “model.” But, being the Creator Himself, Jesus was a very expensive model. The entire world was judged in Him. He uses cosmic language to describe His own death.

“Now is the judgment of this world;
now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”

John 12:31 31

The Veil in the Temple was torn, but the Temple itself was not. Not yet. A new “cosmic house” would have to be built before the Old was judged and torn down. God never leaves His people without a shelter.

What does this mean for the church? Circumcision, and THE circumcision (the hardline unregenerate Jews) were destroyed in an ethnic flood, as predicted by the prophet Daniel.

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.” Daniel 9:26

From Abraham to AD70, the nations were the Sea and Israel was the Land. The divide was social, and the means was circumcision. But after AD70, any cosmic language is again cosmic. The “Land and Sea” are again the actual land and sea. Or are they? If we want the pattern above to be truly chiastic, and for the final restoration to be truly Creational, the current “Sea” must still be representative, still “Social.”

It is the Church which now holds back, restrains, the judgment of the world. The saints in heaven and on earth are a “representative cosmos,” models of kingdom citizens. This also means we are martyrs, in every sense of the word. The death-and-resurrection we pre-enact in baptism and table is a model of New Covenant life. In representative terms, the people of God are no longer the Land but the heavenly Sea. The Church herself is the oncoming storm.

From AD70 till the final judgment, a process of “ethnic cleansing” is being carried out, but the sword is the Word, the “Covenant oath” coming from the mouths of the saints. The goal is not destruction but irrigation. We drink the cup of Sanctions, life and death, and then speak life and death to the nations, and baptize them. The cleansing is not a bloody genocide, nor a conversion by coercion (a jihad), but a washing, a “purge” that wipes out the old enmities and unites us by giving us the one sound mind, the mind of Christ.

For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk 2:14

The gift of tongues reversed the ethnic divisions of Babel. The sign of tongues was a witness to Judah, and it ceased in AD70, but Pentecost did indeed begin a new global esperanto, a language of cosmic hope, one that unites all nations and will eventually lead to the physical restoration of the Creation. It is the gospel of the resurrection of Christ, in whom all the world was plunged into the abyss and raised up to live a new life.

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This subject will be covered in more detail in Bible Matrix III: The House of God.

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[1] Notice that the Levites did not possess any of the Land, but drew sustenance from the other Tribes who represented the Land. As a nation, Israel was the priestly Firstfruits, but within Israel, the Levite tribe was the priestly Firstfruits, the grain and fruit resting on, but elevated just above, the Land. As ministers of God, they regularly slew and offered substitutes, representatives, models of innocence.
[2] See also A New Heavens and a New Earth.
[3] The idea of a “local flood” destroys this purpose of substitution altogether. If Noah’s flood was local, why have “ethnic” floods later on? The flood was a global devastation, and we are still feeling the effects of it. Besides shorter lifespans and extinctions of many species, modern climate science is totally off-balance because it fails to factor in the Great Flood. See The Real Climate Shock.
[4] See Pass-over and Pass-through.

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3 Responses to “Cosmic Language”

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Another thought:
    Notice that although there was water at the Red Sea and the Jordan, the means of judgment was “Creational” for Egypt, but “Social” for Jericho (although God did bring the walls down to let them in!). What made the difference? The building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness as a representative–and mobile!–Creation.

  • Chris W Says:

    Perhaps the Judges/Kings would then be ‘personal’, then a ‘social’ destruction of the temple by Babylon, then a new ‘creation’ in the Restoration era. Just a thought!

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Good thinking! That explains Isaiah’s use of Creation language for the Restoration.