Drinking Into One Spirit


“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,
whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free;
and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
1 Cor. 12:13

On the BH forum, Michael Jones observed:

“If you look up the words for “drinking into” lexically (Strong’s), you come up with the idea of plants being irrigated and soaking up water through the roots. Is this somewhat valid? Are we like a bunch of trees around an oasis in the desert?” [1]

I believe that very often, the word choices of the biblical writers are hints to the literary structure — especially when their word choices are a little unexpected or ambiguous. This one isn’t unexpected, but perhaps that’s because we are so familiar with this passage. It really is an odd turn of phrase. Could the Bible Matrix shed any light on it?

The “Covenant key” structure is bolded, and the “Matrix” structure is italicized.

For BY ONE SPIRIT (Creation – Genesis)

…..are we all baptized into one body, (Division – Exodus)

……….whether we be Jews or Gentiles, (Ascension – Leviticus)

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – (Testing – Numbers)

……….whether we be bond or free; (Maturity – Deuteronomy)

…..Sanctions – Oath
…..and have been all made to drink (Conquest – Joshua)

INTO ONE SPIRIT. (Glorification – Judges)

The first water is external (delegation – Exodus) — the saints are in the Laver; the second is internal (vindication) — the Laver is in the saints. God washes us that we may be instrumental in washing others. So, when the Firmament/Veil is installed the nations are divided (Division); when the Firmament/Veil is torn the nations are united (Conquest).

The central correpondence seems to be sacrificial. It was the Old Covenant which set up a wall between Jew and Gentile. Under the New Covenant, the division is between the bondwoman and the free (Genesis 21; Galatians 4). Israel was bound on the Altar under the Law so that the nations could be free from worldwide (Creational) judgment. The Jew-Gentile division is Adamic. It brings us to the centre of history, to Pentecost. The bondwoman-freewoman distinction is Evian. It follows Pentecost. It is not a “genealogical” division but a legislative one. This is reflected in the change from Old Covenant circumcision (national division) to New Covenant baptism (voluntary allegiance).

The gap in the centre is for the Law of Christ in the Spirit, Who united Jew and Gentile, bond and free. The only other place I’ve seen this central (Day 4) line missing is in the second stanza of Genesis 1, Day 2. [2] As Robert Alter observes, one of the powerful tools in the use of established patterns in literature is deliberately leaving out something that was expected. Here, a “literary gap” is left between the divided waters, a space for the governing lights of Pentecost.

We can we make an application of this typology to our daily lives. As the saints fill up the sufferings of Christ, the “Veil of flesh” is continually opened, and the world is united by the Spirit of Christ.

Besides the idea of the “cup of testing” Numbers 5) appearing at “Sanctions,” which is common, applying the seven feasts (Lev. 23) to this structure gives us a clue as to why Paul might have used an “oasis” allusion here.

At Atonement, Israel “tasted death” for every man (Day 6). This turns out to be the “firstfruits” of Booths, where every man drank to God, including the seventy Gentile nations (Genesis 10). So the idea of an oasis of palms (branches/booths) certainly fits – at least to my mind!

According to James Jordan, we see the same imagery of Israel and the Gentiles in Exodus 15:

“Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water [Israel – Laver, Day 6] and seventy palm trees [the Nations, Day 7]; so they camped there by the waters.” (Exodus 15:27)

[1] This is a private forum. Quoted with permission.
[2] See Firmament of Flesh.

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