Why are there four Gospels? There would be so much less confusion — and theological spade work — if there were just the one. The most obvious answer is that each one was written for a different audience, as described here. The least obvious answer is that God was not only writing the commandments in human flesh, He was also “measuring out” the architecture of the Tabernacle in humanity.
For seizing the devoted plunder of Jericho, Achan was stoned to death and burned with fire, along with his children, livestock, and all his possessions. This judgment appears to contradict Deuteronomy 24:16, which forbids the punishment of children for the sins of their fathers.
It seems that the solution is architectural. Here’s an excerpt from the forthcoming Sweet Counsel:
And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. (Revelation 6:5)
The book of Revelation is a mystery, yet like all good mysteries it is a book made entirely of clues. It is a glimpse through the torn veil of the Temple, that is, the flesh of Jesus, into the heavenlies. The cloud into which He was taken up is opened to John’s eyes that he might see the horses and chariots of God (2 Kings 6:17). But John is a prophet who knows the Bible, and like John we will only understand the symbols if we know the Bible. The conversation at God’s table is for those who know their Master’s mind, who hear His voice as children and thus quit themselves like men. To them, this is indeed a Revelation. To those outside His commission, it remains an enigma, terrible lightning and thunder and the sound of trumpets (Exodus 19:19; 20:18).
“Modern commentators seem to overlook the promise of children in Genesis 1, and how these unmentioned ‘innocents,’ yet in Adam’s loins, are silent but crucial characters in Genesis 3.”
When Paul refers to Abraham as the father of all who believe, the one through whom all nations would be blessed (Romans 4:9-22), we must be prepared to interpret his inspired words through the lens of the House of God, the ever-present architecture of Eden.
The Name of the Father
God’s household in heaven was a tent of servants—the angels—but there was only one Son, through whom came all Creation. This means that the first verses of John’s Gospel, which describe the pre-incarnate Word, can tell us a great deal about God’s intentions for Adam, the incarnate image of God. All that Jesus was in heaven, Adam was to be on earth:
Bauhaus and the Bible
“What is in the nature of these materials?”
The Bauhaus, founded in Germany in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius, had a profound influence in every area of design, from graphics and typography to clothing, furniture and architecture. It is not so much a style as a method, its philosophy based on the idea that if something is well-designed it will be beautiful of its own accord. The means to this end involved the founding of an art school where every student was also a tradesman, and every tradesman was also an artist. The Bauhaus manifesto expresses Gropius’ desire to unite the trades and the arts that their works might possess the grace of an inseparable marriage of function (design) and form (beauty).
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6).
A Picture for Doug Wilson’s 1000 Words
Doug Wilson writes:
We honestly have very little idea what Jesus Christ looked like. We worship Him as the visible image of the invisible Father, and yet we do not know what that visible image looks like. What kind of visible image is that? We know what the paintings of Him look like, and they generally all have something in common with one another, but the fact remains that if you ever passed Jesus Christ on a crowded city street, you would have no idea that you had done so.
Nevertheless, we all still think of Him as a recognizable figure. But He is only “recognizable” because of the various forms of shorthand shifts we have come up with that prevent us from recognizing Him properly. And so what do I mean by “properly?”
I mean the way God intended for us to recognize Him—in and through the proclamation of the gospel. We are supposed to see the face of Jesus Christ in and through the declaration of what Scripture describes as good news—gospel truth. This is where we are supposed to find the only authorized portrait of Jesus.
This is a profound truth, and Doug illustrates it with a long list of other profound truths (in over 5000 words). For me, however, he has failed to tie it all together. What is the significance of the face of Jesus Christ? Could the reason we have no description of his looks be the fact that He has more than one face?
Who are the dogs and pigs whom Jesus warns His hearers against in Matthew 7?
[This post has been refined and included in Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes.]
Part II – The Black Sabbath
“For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night,
in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.” (Exodus 40:8)
Continued from The Household of Faith – 1
“You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.” (Exodus 35:3)
Israel took the man who was collecting kindling on the Sabbath and nipped his sin in the bud. His intentions were plain, so they wanted to know what should be done with him. It sounds brutal, but Exodus and Leviticus give us a plethora of strange laws for Israelites. At least, they seem strange until we understand that not only was Sinai replicated in the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle was to be replicated in every Israelite tent, and indeed in every Israelite. Every household was a tent of God, a cloud, and every Israelite a burning star in the sky. The tribes were, after all, arranged around the tent in military “constellations.” This new Black Sabbath was to reconnect every tent with its source, the tent of God.
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19)
Every one of God’s houses throughout Bible history has a “former days” and a “latter days.” Each goes through a process of death and resurrection, a “purification by fire.” Following the Bible Matrix, the central “slaying” of every row has a Day 4 symbol, something related to “the governing lights,” the all-seeing eyes of heaven.