May 2 2009

Blood and Soil

Peter Leithart writes:

Reflections on a class discussion earlier today about place, our connection to the ground, and gnosticism.

  1. Blood and soil are “powers” that can and have dominated human life, and caused lots of human misery.
  2. Jesus overcomes those powers.  We are identified by water and feast, not by blood or color or place.
  3. YET (here’s where my thought is undeveloped): Jesus doesn’t just overcome and send the powers packing.  He pacifies and reconciles powers; He turns them to the purposes of His kingdom (Col 1-2).

The dilemma: How to express the reconciliation of blood and soil without falling back into the old creation, and without going fascist? How to express Jesus’ pacification of “blood” without letting it usurp the place of the water, and how to express Jesus’ pacification of “soil” without letting it usurp the place of the feast?

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Apr 15 2009

Weapons of War – 5

Voluntary Submission

The sign of the Covenant has progressed from the removal of Adam’s sin (Passover) to Eve’s removal from sin (Atonement).

Circumcision was only for males, because Israel’s history concerned the coming of the Adam. Baptism, however, is for both males and females, imaging the resurrection for war of a corporate Eve—the body (Trumpets).

Circumcision brought near those who could not stand on their own (Isaac). Baptism brings near the mature (Esther), who present themselves before God’s ministers as plunder from the nations, submitting to church government to be enrobed, washed, and seated in the royal priesthood.

Obeying the gospel identified us with Greater Adam (circumcision – death), a circumcision “made without hands” (Colossians 2:11).

Submitting to baptism, however, identifies us with Greater Eve and her government over us—the Saturnine sword of the Covenant (resurrection).

Circumcision and Passover looked forward to Christ’s death. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are Covenant memorials, but also look forward to the final Conquest cleansing and resurrection.

A New Covenant believer’s baptism is a knighthood, or “Nazirite-hood.” One mature enough to publicly testify to his faith bows before his Captain and is symbolically beheaded by the sword of Conquest, smashed by the rod of iron—the church. We must be dominated before we can dominate. He rises and stands on the Laver (“Arise a knight!”) – the Jordan, picturing the crystal sea before the Throne. After access to the “marriage feast” he rides into battle as an authorised emissary. Only he who has submitted to the sword is enabled to carry it. As an image it certainly communicates the gravity of the responsibility.

As far as the world is concerned, the Christian has hoisted the Jolly Roger. As far as Christ is concerned, he has nailed the colours of Eve to the mast and deliberately, publicly, joined the brotherhood.

Infant baptism dims the glory of this New Covenant sacrament of corporate maturity.

Israelite males presented themselves before God at Passover/Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Booths. (Exodus 23:14-17) picturing the death, resurrection and marriage of the “bridegroom.” Trumpets summoned the people to prepare for Atonement, making ready the “bride.”

Sabbath - God’s Word initiates the pattern in Adam

000Passover - Adam is summoned and dies (Israel’s circumcision – Red Sea)

000000Firstfruits - Adam is resurrected

000000000Pentecost - Eve is tested in the wilderness

000000Trumpets - Eve is summoned and dies

000Atonement - Eve is resurrected (Christian baptism – Jordan)

Booths - Marriage feast of the Lamb

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Apr 10 2009

Nehemiah Child Abuser

Why did Nehemiah pull out the children’s hair? Was this just going too far? Recognising Bible patterns is a big help in interpretation.

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Apr 10 2009

Spat out at Jesus’ table

pigheaded“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)

In the book of Revelation, many sentences contain multiple Old Testament allusions knotted together. Sometimes these are more obvious (the Judaisers as Babylonian locusts from Joel with long hair added to make them ‘bad Nazirites’, for example), but sometimes they only become apparent from their position within the structure of the passage in question.

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Apr 10 2009

Totus Diabolus

davidfieldDavid Field1 says the Totus Christus, the Whole Christ, is “one and many in federal union = in covenantal oneness.” It is Jesus as head and the church as His body.

Whenever God does something in redemptive history, the Devil produces a counterfeit. Something I have just noticed about the Revelation is another aspect to this ‘evil twin’ pattern. It is a counterfeit Totus Christus.

After the ascension of Christ, Satan was thrown down from heaven to the Land, and took up residence in Herod’s Temple as Jesus predicted (Matthew 12:45). (Notice that Jesus’ ministry as Adam was heaven-garden-heaven, and Satan’s counterfeit usurping was thus garden-heaven-garden.)

Revelation then moves into a description of two warring armies, the saints with lion faces, and the ‘bad Nazirites.’ The Jews and Judaisers as Jezebel, the false church, are finally destroyed; the true church is massacred but ascends to be with Christ “in the air.”

So the church is Christ’s permanent body. Satan’s brief possession of Judah (Land Beast/False Prophet) and Rome (Sea Beast) was the Totus Diabolus in the Land. He will not be able to do such again until he is released for a short season at the end of World history.

I guess this also means that, in response to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and the faithfulness of Christ to His bride, the best Satan could manage was a one night stand.

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Apr 10 2009

Gate Rape – 2

“Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” Revelation 9:13-14

To purify the Land of the sins of the nation or the High Priest, the horns of the Incense Altar were smeared with blood from the sacrifice at the bronze Altar. These four angelic commanders, who were previously held back, were horns looking for blood.*

The fifth trumpet, alluding to Joel 2, had summoned clouds of Babylonian locusts (Judaisers) with hair like women (false Nazirites) from Herod’s false altar to devour the Land. Like those in Joel, these are ‘mighty men,’ the result of the compromise of the sons of God with idolatry (Genesis 6).

Now, the sixth trumpet brought a response from the true Altar of Incense—an unimaginable cloud of true Nazirites. The position of this event in the structure of the passage alludes to Joshua’s conquest of Canaan. But as a ‘Trumpet’, this was only a warning. The sixth bowl would bring the final conquest: Armageddon.

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the sunrise.

Like the Jews returning from Babylon, and Abraham when he first entered Canaan, they crossed the great river Euphrates in their baptism into Christ. Just as Cyrus “parted” the Great River to conquer Babylon, the river of death was parted to allow the true saints to inherit the heavenly country. Old Jerusalem became Jericho – the city devoted to destruction.

This was an army of true Nazirites who had not broken their vow:

These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4)

Instead of storming the open gates and raping the virgins, here an army of “virgins” crossed the Euphrates, stormed into Babylon and purified the daughters of men culture around them.

(*This refers to the Hebrew for corners and commanders being the same word.)

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Apr 10 2009

Esther’s evil twin


Peter Leithart observes that both Esther and Herodias’ daughter are promised up to “half the kingdom.”

There are echoes in the story of the book of Esther, at least in Mark’s version of John’s execution. Matthew tells us that when the daughter of Herodias danced before Herod, he promised with an oath to give whatever she asked. Mark records Herod’s words somewhat differently: He promises not just to give what she asks, but promises to give up to half his kingdom (Mark 6:22-23). This is the same promise that Ahasuerus gives to Esther when she says she has a request for him (5:3, 6).

In both passages, we have a woman, a queen, requesting something from a king. In both stories, we have a king promising half his kingdom. We could even say that both Esther and Herodias are asking for someone’s head. Esther knows that Haman is plotting to kill all the Jews, and she is asking for his life in order to protect the Jews.

But there the similarities end. Esther appeals to the king to save the faithful in Israel, while the daughter of Herodias is instructed instead to ask for the head of a faithful man, albeit a troubler of Herod’s kingdom, a prophet who has made life difficult for Herod because of his faithfulness. Instead of being like the protective Ahasuerus in Esther, Herod is more like Haman, seeking to wipe out the true Israel.

Esther, like Deborah, and Jael, typifies Mary, the warrior bride whose offspring would crush the head of the serpent. A Nazirite growing his hair during a ‘holy war’ vow identified him with submission and purity. John uses Nazirite symbols to describe the bad Nazirites, the Judaising “locusts” troubling the church.

“And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.” Revelation 9:8 (and Joel 1:6)

They were negative-Nazirites, men who had taken vows to destroy the apostles (Acts 21:23). With the charm (and hair) of an army of Absaloms, their holy war was stamping out the Son of David. They were the false warrior bride, Herodias, seeking the head of the true Nazirite, Christ, in revenge for the victory over Goliath at the cross. This Herodias-Jezebel-Babylon of superseded Judaism would wipe out the true Israel at any cost.

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