“But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:16)
The narrative of the Bible is fairly linear until we get to the kings. But once we hit the prophets the Scriptures turn into a box of puzzle pieces. The literature of the kings used Mosaic symbols to a certain degree but the prophets took all the concrete things we learned from the priests and kings and used them to make amazing promises that never quite materialized. Or did they?
Part 1 here.
Bible commentators will tell you that Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians contains great riches. Unfortunately, without any reference to its Mosaic literary structure, it comes across as a jumble of jewels in a treasure chest. However, analysis of the structure allows us to appreciate the fine networks and chains of thought in the literary architecture — and also the clever allusions contrasting old Israel with the New. It also demonstrates Jesus’ fulfillment of the Mosaic Law.
“When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.” (Acts 28:3)
One interesting facet of biblical symbols is their identification by “use” and “motion.” Objects that have no link in the natural order of things can be tied together through their use in a similar purpose in the work of the house of God. This is not entirely strange. Diverse things which have no relationship in the natural order are brought together by man for use in “housework.” For the Author of the Bible, nature is “plastic.” This factor is one reason why the Bible is strange to modern ears and minds.
“No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.” (Mark 3:27 27)
A lot of commentary on the Revelation seems oblivious to the allusions to the Pentateuch (although there are many that do take it into account and are enlightening at the most obvious points). Even the “binding” of Satan in Revelation has an Old Testament background.
Remy Wilkins recently proposed a thesis about serpents and dragons in the Bible. Is there a difference? Are the words interchangeable? And even if they aren’t, how are these animals–and the spiritual truths they were created to represent–related?
Remy writes: Continue reading
or A Dream Within the Dream
One of the hyperpreterist/full preterist  gents made a keen observation after reading my article Covenant is the Key: Moses vs. Hyperpreterism. My argument was that since the Revelation follows the Covenant structure laid down in the Torah (and echoed throughout the Bible), we should expect the final section of the book to concern the future, otherwise known as Continuity or Succession.
The counterargument was that this section did concern the future when John wrote the book, but that we are living beyond that future now, and there is no final event or consummation. The only consummation was AD70.
This is a really good argument, but it does two things. Firstly, it makes nonsense of their own argument that Revelation 20 is another viewpoint of the events surrounding the end of Judaism in AD70. Also, it fails to take into account the structure and contents of Revelation 20 itself.
or Mike follows the tracks of the Apostle Peter’s stanza panzer
Few passages have caused as much discussion as the one concerning “the spirits in prison” in 1 Peter 3. It’s also one of the few texts where I found that not a single one of the explanations offered was satisfactory. Well, I’ve run the matrix over it, and I reckon I’ve solved it.
Someone made the comment that the “Bible Matrix” is something mystical. While it is certainly typological, it is not mystical. And it is only typological because it is the process of maturity God has built into everything under heaven. Trees and men grow up and bear fruit. That’s typology.
Doug Wilson writes:
“The Levitical administration brought strong curses for disobedience (Heb. 2:2-3); the New Covenant administration brings much greater curses (Heb. 10:29; Heb. 12:25). Christians commonly assume that the really terrifying curses for disobedience were given in the Old Testament, and that under the New Testament all is grace. But this is precisely the opposite of the New Testament’s teaching on the subject” (To a Thousand Generations, pp. 28-29).
This is certainly a side of the New Covenant that Christians are never taught. The first time I ever heard of it was in David Chilton’s Revelation commentary The Days of Vengeance in 1989. But along with baptism (just had to throw that in), a rediscovery of the Old Covenant hammer makes everything in the New Covenant look like a nail. The Revelation is, after all, a book about the end of the Old Covenant.
There is great advantage in tracking the shape of God’s work in history through the Old Testament. This is because God is consistent. Everything He does has the same shape, even though He does it in new and surprising (and sometimes devastating) ways.
One of the big handles in Scripture is the five-fold Covenant pattern, described by Ray Sutton in his book, “That You May Prosper: Dominion by Covenant.” Continue reading