Acts 9:1-5 XLP

Here is an excerpt from my devotional journey through the book of Acts that looks at Paul’s conversion, if we can call it that. Everything in the XLP (Crucified Life Paraphrase) is designed to explore the themes of the crucified life from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 and all parts in between. Related content and explanations can be found on the next page and other posts below:

Meanwhile, as Philip is being blown to wherever the Spirit goes, Saul was still in a state of bellowing out murderous threats to the learners of the Lord Jesus. Saul had gone to the high priest and requested personal letters from him detailing his desire to stamp out this Jewish uprising. These orders gave Saul the authority to seize whoever he found engaged in The Way at the synagogues. He would need these in Damascus, in order to put people into chains and bring them back to Jerusalem for judgment.

Damascus was a long journey, 14 days on foot. This gave Saul plenty of time to meditate on the Scriptures. As was the custom, the heavenly visions were primary portions of these scrolls many meditated on. It just so happened that on this last day before arriving at Damascus, Saul had chosen to meditate upon Ezekiel’s opening vision. Having every word memorized, as he did with every one of these visions and most of the Bible in general, Saul carefully set his heart to explore the imagery, line by line.

Ezekiel’s vision was a classic crescendo to the earlier visions of God from His mountain top location. Heaven and earth overlap at these high places. These overlapping locations in the Scriptures afforded the wise disciple the opportunity to approach God and perhaps even hear The Voice.

It was not uncommon to meditate on Jacob’s journey and the God of Bethel calling to him from the ziggurat stairs. This was often followed up with Mount Sinai’s appearings of God such has His feet seen on sapphire pavement. Moreover, the later songs reflected on God’s heavenly throne and dwelling place throughout the psalms. The prophets also had this body of writings before them to further elaborate upon regarding the YHVH’s Day. Saul had saved such an example, Ezekiel’s vision filled with Mount Sinai imagery, for last.

After all, Ezekiel was the prophet that made it clear that Eden was a garden mountain. This realization which came after Genesis had been translated into Greek had many, including Saul, wondering about the correct way of understanding the part in Genesis where God walks in the cool breeze of the day. Everyone knew that this was not a literal translation; rather it literally said that God walks in the Spirit of the Day. The big debate in some circles had been how God’s Breath can be like a wind spiriting all through this mountaintop garden? In other words, what does it mean for God’s Breath to blow through any tree, even the forbidden tree? How can all trees be alike to Him?

Saul’s earlier meditations had brought him to contemplate the burning bush on Mount Sinai. Its flames burned, but the bush did not. It had him recalling lines from Isaiah that said, “A bruised reed He will not break off… steady faith flows into justice.”  The Seneh bush of Exodus was a little testimony to that, so it was hard not to go there. God is glorious regardless of the thorns. No bush – or tree – changes how God reveals Himself. In fact, even with the weakest of things – or in case of the bush, the most flammable of things – He still can be Himself without destroying the vessel.

It was commonly thought that the Seneh bush was a little thorn tree such as an Acacia. Trees, mountains, God speaking, and even altars were all related traceable themes in the Scriptures. Saul set that debate aside as his heart turned to ruminate over the lines of Ezekiel’s opening vision. Yet, since his little revelation of God’s glory displayed in weak and potentially flammable things, he could not get the last look of Stephen’s face out of his mind, “receive my breath…do not hold this sin against them.” Since maintaining God’s honor by having him killed by the community, Saul had seen the same look on the other Jewish rebels he had squelched. “…a smoldering candle wick, He will not squelch…”

“God’s honor had to be maintained! I can only meditate on the honor God shall bestow me when I see Him face to face. The rebels who maintain Jesus is the Jewish Messiah must be snuffed out for our religion to survive and remain pure in the hardworking hands of the elders. How is it that Jesus can be the sacrifice that ends all sacrifices? It is absurd,” Saul mused as Isaiah’s voice unexpectedly echoed in the back of his mind, “Behold My Servant… I have put My Breath upon Him… I give You as a Covenant for the people…”

Saul was conflicted deep down. Cracks of Another Truth seemed to find gaps in his determined heart. It was not normal to forgive those who ended your life. Stephen, and those who followed, did not fit the standard infidel scheme of dying with pride and obvious stiff-necked resistance. Rather, it seemed that they loved to give their lives away for love of them… Saul could not go there in his contemplations. They made no sense. It did not fit the normal good and bad narrative.

With boiling zeal, Saul began to concoct the imagery to Ezekiel’s stormy vision that opened that scroll. The great cloud crackled in the amber-colored fire and lightning as he felt its north blast of heavenly breath shudder his heart. And from within the cloud something like four very alive things, creature crackling with the life of that same energized heavenly blaze, made themselves known as a man.

They came out in four directions with a human appearance that further came out in four directions with four faces. Every Jew recognized this four-faced presentation as speaking to how God came to tabernacle in the midst of Israel. In the wilderness it was said, “You shall set the tribes of Israel facing off at each face of The Tent.” God had married Israel at Mount Sinai, then they exchanged vows under the bowed down heavens. Now, just as Eve was made to be the helpmeet and complement to Adam, all the tribes were to keep that same complementary form relative to each of the four facades of The Tent where God dwelled. Three tribes faced off each Tent façade to show their bridal faithfulness.

Our Jewish sages further noted how the marriage produced offspring by the four-directional flow of the seed promised to Jacob at Bethel. Saul had camped for two days on that vision when the first night went awry with pictures of the Roman cross. It was unsettling for him to see the cross as an altar relative to this flow. It was even more upsetting to see it as the way of the bride’s increase. Saul kept begging God to purify and cleanse his heart like David’s. No matter how hard he tried, meditating on God’s Word, it kept revealing cross-shaped pictures that pointed to seeing Jesus in the faces of these rebels promoting an incorrect practice. At the end of that second day, he had to force this mantra on to his heart and then move on, “The House of God, Bethel, flows by all the fruitfulness of Eden and the Promised Land when people keep facing God’s Tent head on. Face His glory… maintain His glory… die for His glory.”

Each of these cracking alive ones also had wings, because they belonged to heaven’s sky-realm. And they had these straight peg legs like calves that were nearly molten bronze. The sages had also spoken of this nearly molten bronze when Solomon inaugurated that first temple. So many sacrifices happened that day that there was no count. The sacrifice was valuable beyond count! And the bronze of the Great Altar was so hot that day of inauguration that is seemed to be nearing a molten state of new purity!

The four wings moved by the heavenly breath of the sky only in four directions. They matched the shape of Jacob’s seed flow at Bethel. They matched the encamped shape around The Tent in the wilderness. Beneath those wings, Saul pondered human hands. Just as the faithful Jew maintained four tassels at the corner of his robe, our lives are to keep the four-cornered shape walking in God’s ways. The four-corned shape are the four corners of The Tent, The Bronze Altar, and where ever we go into the four-corners of the land. What we do with our hands must be an outflow of that four-directional justice flowing out from God’s Dwelling Place. “Therein,” Saul reminded himself, “the wise disciple meditates.” As Saul went north, God’s honor shall be upheld by him in Damascus! He would make the rebels see this truth. When all people move in unison with the Written Torah from God’s hand to human hands; everything runs smoothly, no wings touch… “rebels beware!”

Each face of the crackling alive ones appealed to the tribal encampment around the Tent. Saul had gone round and round many times with his competition about whether the faces related to creation or Jacob’s prophetic blessing of each son, or even the tribal flags of the encampment. So many polarized to one or the other, but Paul kept maintaining all – that even a serpent biting the heel, as in Dan’s case, speaks to that Promised Seed of a woman, “I wait for Your Yeshua…” Disassociating himself from the fact that God’s salvation is spoken as the name of Jesus in Greek and Yeshua or Yehoshuah, or even Hoshea in Hebrew, Saul pressed on with his musings.  He would say, “For the seed of the woman to crush the serpent’s head, it must come down from heaven like an eagle!”

The crackling alive ones moved only by heaven’s breath. There was no deviation from the four directional flow of Jacob’s promised fruitfulness. Like four walls of crackling light there was a deep inner glow as from live coals burning within. The only light allowed inside the place where no natural light happens in the Holy of Holies comes from the Bronze Altar. The only type of light allowed into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur comes from under the place of the Going Up Offering. Coals under the Going Up Offering were the hottest of the hottest, because this was needed to fully translate the flesh of the sacrifice into the smoke that reaches up into the heavens. The flesh offered on the Bronze Altar made a full translation into a form that rose to God’s true Home in the heavens. Thus, only its light qualified for passage beyond The Veil. As Saul ruminated in this light, the more aglow these coals appeared, the more active was the crackling display of life coming from these creatures.

Then Saul started meditating on the wheel in the land. That is what wheels do, they rut the ground. Yet, the sages have long noted this circle in the ground as what Elijah dug around his altar on Mount Carmel. Israel had lost their faith and followed other gods like Moses prophesied. Elijah’s circular trench was specifically designed for a volume of seed. The sages recognized that the living water poured over the exposed insides of the sacrifice on the altar was God’s recipe for renewing Israel’s living faith. Every seed needs water to suddenly sprout to life from a dead state. And the solution depicted was a solution of water mixed with the blood of the sacrifice. Israel had left their four-directional shape far behind, and this was God’s way of corralling them back into shape. For just as Elijah had carefully laid the wood on the altar, it would not be a surprise to learn that he tried to emulate Israel’s encampment shape to act as run ways for the water to restore the promised seed in the empty trench.

As the wheels of Ezekiel’s vision turned in his mind, even as rings bisecting rings to reinforce the four-directional flow of the sprouting seed of Jacob, his mind kept fluttering back to the same portion of Isaiah, “I will lead the blind in a way they do not know.” For the sages have long said that God’s way is like a seed cycle. Isaiah declares that God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours, because they follow this seed path. The Greeks talk about their Logos, but the sages chuckle to themselves that they borrowed it from God. For out of God’s mouth goes His word like a seed that will complete its cycle and not remain void.

Part of Saul’s meditative regiment had already included a seed cycle image: the life of Moses from Mount Sinai to Mount Sinai. Moses started at the burning bush and then brought back all Israel to the same place. This call unto Presence was the sign God told him about. For everyone knew that Moses started as one sent from Mount Sinai. He left as a lone, seed-like figure going down to the Nile Delta to his death. For any exile returning to Egypt meant certain death. Seed’s need to die.

However, instead of Moses’ death God provided a firstling of the flock as he had for Isaac. The substitute provided the first death everyone could enter into before the second death came. And everyone knew that by the blood of the Passover sacrifice, the fruitfulness of the Eden-blessing spouted up and out of Egypt with Moses at the head leading the people. They left as one Son, even one Firstborn back to Mount Sinai. Thus, the wheel of Ezekiel turned a full circle in Saul’s heart.

There were many such circles going back to the beginning verses of the Bible. The wise disciple can see them in Jacob’s declaration of how he left his father alone with just a staff to face another father: the father of lies, Laban. In that decrease of one, God gave the four-directional promise of the Eden fruitfulness to him at Bethel. “Your seed bursts out this way!” Jacob did indeed return from Laban with increase. He plundered Laban as Israel would later plunder Egypt. Moreover, the plunder both involved lamb blood, since Rachel means ewe. Such touchpoints were parts of the meditative journey.

The further one went back to the beginning, the smaller the seed cycles were. Yet, each cycle had aspects within building up to the Mosaic seed cycle at Passover. God created seed-bearing trees. These seed-bearing trees are our food. Meditate therein like a tree planted by living water. “Each cycle grows in your heart to show God’s ways,” said Gamaliel. “But do not neglect the seed-cycle of Joseph, because you can see how God does His math of increase. Joseph tells you how YH adds – how He brings the Eden increase.”

Saul had pondered that cycle for months after hearing Gamaliel share this secret with him. He savored the moment of bringing it into this vision of Ezekiel, because of the bisecting wheels. Joseph’s cycle bisected Moses’ cycle at Passover. Joseph made Israel’s offspring, his seed, promise to take his bones with them when The Deliverer came to make exodus from Egypt. And with that promise secure, Joseph was buried in the ground like a seed – a mummy wrapped and swaddled tightly, then placed in a shell called a sarcophagus. When Israel came out, YHVH-increase came out: one’s death meant freedom from captivity for all.

“There is something there to how God’s Word does not remain void,” Gamaliel said. “The father sent Joseph to check up on his brothers’ welfare, and Joseph is permanently buried in the exact same spot where his brothers are faring well in Shechem. Following the cycles of Joseph in a pit and then up, in a dungeon and then seated at the righthand, I tell you my star pupil, that the Eden blessing in seed-like form rests within seeing Joseph in the proper light. This is why we talk about Messiah ben-Joseph. Oy, the Messiah may even come to us as a son of Joseph. Do not get carried away with the zealot’s idea of the conquering son of David, for even David gained his power in a similar fashion as Joseph did – not by taking what was rightfully his through use of force.”

Just as the wheels of Ezekiel saw all over like those of the watchers, Saul desired to behold the true way of the seed’s blessing in Israel. “Stay true to form, Israel. Keep to the ruts of correct doctrine and pure practice. Yes, that is the Pharisee’s orthodox creed, we are purists who stay away from sin!” The spiritual breath of the wheels and the cracking alive ones only make paths in the shape of Israel’s seed and wilderness encampment. This is the faithful marriage bond. And Saul was determined to remain faithful despite all the pleas of mercy he often imagined coming from the rebels.

Seeing the wheels this way pleased Saul’s religious heart. When the crackling alive ones moved, the wheels moved in tandem. For everything was interconnected at a higher order way that was not so visible from the human’s point of view on the ground. Saul had to go up to see the perspective of the wheels from heaven’s point of view. Saul desired to see the higher order of view that changed everything when looking down from the sky. This is when he moved forward into his mediations of the gem-like appearance of God’s expansive platform at heaven’s sky-dome. Whether the heavens were really a sky dome as the surround nations always maintained or not, there were subtle Bible hints that it was not, such as “the land hangs upon nothing” and the description of the land like a circle. It was true, the heavenly fixtures generally took on a circular shape. And Ezekiel’s view of the wheels seemed to corroborate this as depictive of God’s way. Yet, what could be seen from above looking back down? What view might these bisecting rings present?

The stormy roar of the wings belonging to the crackling alive ones prepared the wise disciple to hear The Voice of the Almighty amidst a might roar of a great army. (And may He be most blessed!) And in the stillness and silent calm the sages said you could hear The Voice, just like how Elijah re-learned in at mount Sinai too. When the roar of the wings ceased, that was the time for God’s Voice to be heard!

Saul was now in full hearing mode waiting for That Voice! In the silence, his heart dared contemplate the view of the bisecting wheels from above. There was that dread cross again! He tried to close its Voice off with visions of Israel, the True Bride keeping the same shaped around the Tent, but a Voice kept emerging! “The cross gives her the seed of increase.” He blocked it out again to stay faithful to the Throne of Heaven. His heart eyes rose to look upon the Throne situated on the deep blue hard light of the sky dome. And Saul saw the shape of a man seated upon the throne. This human was most glorious.

And then those human eyes focused on him!

And Saul immediately fell to the ground as He heard The Voice speak directly to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you hunt Me down to persecute Me to carry Me off in chains back to the Jerusalem?”

Saul replied in Greek, “Who are you, Kyrie?”  Saul wanted to keep “Lord” rather ambiguous, dare He say YHVH when asking of The One seated above the heavens Who He is.

Then The One replied, “I AM Yeshua – YHVH saves!”

“It is Me, Jesus,” He added in Greek.

“When you persecuted Stephen, you persecuted Me. When you put those of My body in prison. I AM with them when you are putting your YHVH into earthly chains. These are My Bride in faithful orientation, full of My Seed, not loving their lives to death.”

In a flash, the entire Testimony of The Torah, The Prophets, and The Writings became a singular vision of Messiah in cruciform reality living in people making exodus from spiritual Egypt. Saul had been one of the oppressive taskmasters. But now, it was as if the cobra crown giving him his authority had been blown off his head and he could clearly see One New Man exiting Passover’s bloody doorway. Just as Israel, My Son, My Firstborn was a many-membered nation born on that day, so was Jesus and His body born three days after his mentors had forced the Romans to hang Him on a cross.

Now everything was making sense as the vision from Ezekiel looked down onto Israel’s cruciform encampment. The whiling wheels, as bisecting rings, formed the same shape: the cross! He had seen the Higher Order view. Jesus was the life of the encampment. He was Messiah ben-Joseph within the midst, one dead, for crackling aliveness manifesting in all bodies of the body!

He was so blind! He had indeed been fighting His Own God! He really knew nothing as he thought he might never move again!

Seeing Jesus in Numbers 5

Seeing Jesus in Numbers 5, and this section of Numbers, and the Hebrew Bible in general, begins with simply accepting what Paul said about his “one things.” Then we let the Holy Spirit show us the trajectory of Jesus heart by Jesus’s Spirit. What is often beclouded by accumulated human knowledge of the Bible, (a problem we all have), becomes clear when we learn the spirit of the Author. It does not happen by simply changing your mind, but quality time with the text in contemplative dialogue with God Who keeps going His Way through it.

If you have become a student of how www.BibleProject.com  explains scroll technology, then you are already positioned in a good place to see how the Hebrew Bible, the TaNaK, the O.T., “hyperlinks” words and ideas back to the earliest chapters of Genesis. Numbers 5’s test for adultery hyperlinks back to how God made Eve as Adam’s complement – a helper suitable for him. In my books and earlier posts, I have described how the cross depicts the making of the faithful bride. They key stuff of her composition and its directional flow EXPOSE our hearts to Who Jesus is, especially “What Kind He is being” in any situation.

Those of us who have become followers of Jesus are being formed as this bride. The complementary reality of the corporate bride is tied directly to her compositional reality. Philippians 2:5-11 highlights this seed-cycle trajectory operating in the heart of Jesus, which is supposed to be fundamentally operating in Jesus’s followers in and among each other. Paul calls it knowing and seeing the meaning of Christ and Him crucified in an ongoing way in and among people (1 Corinthians 2:2). The bride’s reality is composed of Jesus’ falling into the ground as The Dying Seed, and being buried in a place of death, out from which comes the arising potential of multiplying life fruitfulness. Every seed sprouting up is a testimony in some sense of Eden’s blessing, but only the Messiah’s roundtrip has The Reality of it.

In Numbers 5:17, we learn that the key ingredients of the wife’s faithfulness test involve special dust and special water. Or allow me to rephrase this in accord with the complementary bride: her faithfulness is a matter of being the same composition as the dust from within the Holy Place. In this post, we will only look at the dust. The word dust coupled with its source from within is a hyperlink back to how Adam was made, then how the complementary bride was made. Take a view of this verse in https://biblehub.com/interlinear/numbers/5-17.htm and click on the number, 6083, above the word for dust. You will see https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6083.htm that the first occurrence describes God’s making of Adam. The next three uses emphasize this compositional essence of Adam and his kind, humanity.

The Tabernacle / Tent is a picture of Eden’s garden enclosure. Both Tent and Eden are places with three spheres. The Tent has its outside court that has visible functions in natural light. Then it has two chambers within that operate by a different kind of light that is entirely self-giving. One chamber is active day-to-day, and the other chamber is accessed one-time every year. Likewise, Eden is a place that has a garden enclosure for Adam and Eve’s daily activity. The one-time reality is in the middle where the tree of life is.

In Genesis 2:15, God placed Adam in the garden enclosure within Eden. That is where Adam foreshadowed John 12:24 by falling into the ground as a dying seed. Since Adam is dust, he is the ground (Adamah in Genesis 2:9). So, think of the opening made in Adam’s side as the hole for the seed to arise into multiplying life. Grasp the potential of it as God extracts the bridal forming stuff from within Adam, who was made to cease.

This is why dust from the tent is needed as a key ingredient for any man’s wife undergoing a faithfulness test. It is not about male-dominated society; rather it is Ephesians 5:32 on nitro overdrive. The formation of Eve and the bride faithfulness test of Numbers 5 are referring to Messiah and His bride called out of spiritual slavery. The entire context of “through the wilderness” in Numbers is that exodus away from all that Egypt represented spiritually. God brought Israel out unto Himself at Mount Sinai where they exchanged vows under the huppah when He bowed the heavens. In Numbers 5, they are still there at Mount Sinai. They are in bridal formation mode until Numbers 10.

The chapters of Numbers prior to 5 depict the cruciform nature of the bride’s formation by using Adam and Eve terminology. Let us focus on the Hebrew word min·ne·ḡeḏ in Numbers 2:2 https://biblehub.com/interlinear/numbers/2-2.htm . Click on 5048 https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5048.htm and you will see that the first occurrence is suitable helper / helpmeet from Genesis 2:18 and 20. In the same way, Eve is complementary to Adam, so also are the tents of Israel in relationship to each façade of The Tent. They do not camp in a circle with total disregard to the four-sided Tent, for that would be blasphemy. No, the four-sided imagery is all over the Hebrew Scriptures in various forms, because integral to it is this four-directional reality of remaining faithful to God. The seed even bursts out this way in Genesis 28:14. Therefore, Israel’s tents could only encamp in the form of a cross! Any other formation is a display unfaithfulness to The Seed’s spreading (parats).

The circle encampment did happen, but it was with the priesthood in Numbers 3, they were “joined to” like a sacrifice bound to the horns of the Bronze Altar from Psalm 118. The tents of the Levites circled around as an inner ring. Eliezer watched over everything in Numbers 4:16, which we are also supposed to spiritually discern.  It is a picture of God’s Holy Spirit superintending the corporate bride’s operating reality within. Faithfulness is in accord with the footsteps and activity of the priests within the Tent unto the people. Their priestly faithfulness became a real forming reality of life within the people.

We are barely scratching the surface of the narrative coordination connecting parts of the Hebrew Bible. Once you learn the basic Bible patterns that expose the trajectory of God’s heart, then the wise heart hears The Voice of Wisdom being faithful. I am not saying this is the only way to hear God’s Voice, but it is certainly a main way, if not the main way that has been neglected: a point I discuss in the books Life Portals and Spiritual Knowledge.

In closing, I will express these patterns again wholistically. Apart, the key design patterns for knowing YHVH’s heart are the roundtrip, first and second, above and below, and the doorway – especially the trajectory of the doorway, which is “one-way into death” followed by “one-way out with life.” You discover the directional flow of “The Trajectory of Philippians 2:5-11” through roundtrip journeys. Why roundtrips, because it goes back to the seed-cycle and Genesis 1:29’s designed food for us. Once you simply accept it, the other patterns become self-explanatory: first leg transitions into second leg through a vertical division. Likewise, above transitions to below by a horizontal division. Both form a nexus or crux suspended between heaven and earth as the focal point. (Think sniper crosshairs.) All that combines into the reality of the doorway. The cross is a doorway back into God’s Presence just as the vertical and horizontal parts of Passover’s doorway foreshadow the opening to free captives.

The words I am typing are spirit and life found within the Bible stories of the Hebrew Bible / TaNaK. Everything is designed out from YHVH-saves. Everything of it is designed through YHVH-delivers. Everything regarding it expresses YHVH-rescues. Just because our academic brains do not see it now, does not mean it is not already there waiting for our heart eyes to be illuminated (Ephesians 1:17).

The Spirit of The Day

Have you ever noticed in the creation week account that the seventh day has no evening or morning associated with it? It seems to go on as an endless day. Whether it really did or not is not the point. The point is Christ in all things, especially the Hebrew Bible. Romans 11:36 says that all things are out from Christ, through Christ, and unto Christ just before Paul appeals to Christians to present themselves a living sacrifice…one body in Christ.

Jesus tells us in John 5:39-40 and Luke 24:26-27 that the Hebrew Bible is really about Him and how to come to Jesus for life. Strangely, we do not believe Him! For hundreds of years, we have pigeon-holed the seeing of Christ in the Scriptures to an elective. It is tragic if Jesus is right – that you can find Him for His life on His terms in those stories in the Hebrew Bible.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8 ESV

Let us look at this verse using Biblehub’s interlinear. I have added some translation footnotes so you can follow along at https://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/3-8.htm . Here is my translation of it.

‘And they heard (and responded to)’1 the ‘sound and voice’2 ‘of YHVH Elohim ‘steadily proceeding’3 ‘in the garden’4 ‘in the Ruach’5 ‘of the Day’6 ‘and hid themselves’ – man ‘and his wife’ – ‘from the face / surface’7 ‘of YHVH Elohim ‘in the midst of’8 tree(s)9 ‘of the garden’.

1) shama = hearing and responding appropriately with heeding or obedience

2) qol = a sound or voice or both – in context of God it is akin to “hearing His Voice”

3) halak = to proceed along, like how Noah’s ark floated, or the Flood waters steadily went down, or Sarai continuing steadily on as childless.

4) gan = a garden enclosure. Fun fact: search out the traditional Chinese character for garden, yuan. https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/chinese-characters-and-genesis/ The pictograph means what Genesis 2 says.

5) ruach = spirit, breath, wind = the animating force-life of things. Think of how wind blows through trees in a garden, or how breath shows that one is alive. This is the idea behind ruach and why both Hebrew and Greek conflate wind, breath, and spirit into all the same thing.

6) yom = day in all its wide variety of English understanding. The Hebrew and English idea for day is very similar in its broad application.

7) paneh = face or surface, which can apply to one’s presence such as “before one’s face” or surface.

8) tavek = in the middle or midst of, inside, within, or among

9) aets = tree or any stalky wood things or constructed wood thing from scaffolding, a wood club or even a grape vine. If it has bark, or is wood from that, then it is aets, “wood things.” (British: “A wood”)

We live in a great era of Bible study. No generation has had the same kind of access to such a wide variety of free resources right at our finger tips. Word studies are relatively simple. There are hundreds of English translations of the Bible. I have access to quite a few through studybible.info, Biblehub.com, biblegateway.com, esword.net, biblesupport.com, and so on… There is even the Greek LXX translation, which means 70, and is commonly referred to as the Septuagint. The Septuagint translation is usually quite helpful, because Second Temple Period Jews made the translation in the 200s BC. When it came to translating the Hebrew into Greek, they specifically chose the Greek word δειλινόν, deilinon, for Genesis 3:8. It means “at dusk.” However, as you can see, the Hebrew word is ruach.

Clearly, the LXX interpreted, rather than translated in this specific verse. Yet, why no one translates Ruach as Spirit is mystifying. My guess is that the LXX set the pattern and everyone just fell into line like in the old DOS video game “Lemmings” march on and going off a cliff. Nevertheless, God breathes life into clay and makes a living soul. The Eden-garden is a mountaintop location as we learn in Ezekiel 28. It is a place of overlap between heaven and earth where we should expect God’s Spirit to dwell and overlap with the man and the woman.

The man and wife could eat of the fruit of trees in the garden. But there was one tree that they could not eat of, a certain tree that God can just breeze right through like all the others, and does breeze right through in the Spirit of His Day. This might have been part of the temptation. Adam and Eve had tried the fruit all around. When they heard God moving about in the garden, His Spirit like a rushing wind form heaven, the forbidden tree was no different to Him than any other tree. Eating from all the trees would make them like God… except for one critical missing piece of information withheld from them.

We know the story; in the day that they eat, they die. Oh, it was not physical life termination; the death was far worse! Death is a disconnect from the Creator’s Living Estate of having Everything to give to his finite creatures. You see, we are finite creatures like they all are from the most powerful spirit beings to the tiniest living thing in a microscope. All are finite. Scale is irrelevant for anything finite compared to The Infinite. True living expresses the continuity from Creator through those created.

As such, there is a certain type of knowledge that spells death for finite beings created with freewill. It is like a tarpit out from which there is no escape. It is exactly how Genesis says it: good and bad, which internalized is a self-focused reality relative to a finite being. It is quite literally the opposite of the One Who Owns all of Life’s Estate and willingly gives all He has with no holdback, no defense, and no Plan B. People are created in His Image and Likeness to flow by the same trajectory of being as their Creator. Finite beings spiral into the death cycle when they become caught up in the good vs. bad, fair vs. unfair battles for domination that source from that forbidden tree. It is currently the human default to be like a god enforcing one’s delusion of good for all. Finite beings cannot possibly know everything, everywhere, at all times. But the God of the Bible can.

The cross depicted God as a man breezing through a tree in the Spirit of His Day. God took all this venomous poison from the mouth of the serpent, its lies, and made it all immobile in Him on the cross. “In this manner God loved the world…” says John 3:16. In what manner, in John 3:14’s manner of the bronze serpent on a pole from Numbers 21:4-9. Jesus did so much more than forgive us for our sins. He bore them and petrified their poisonous actions in Himself. They tried to make Jesus react or respond like any default human, but He kept pouring out love, care, and forgiveness. As they killed him, He kept giving life. In death, He even poured out the contents of His heart.

Learn the Spirit of His Day. It never changes. He reigns this way in Revelation 5:6 and reigned that way from the foundation of the world. If we “learn” Him as a Person, “what Kind He is,” then He can carry us through the tree that is impossible for us to escape otherwise. As James 1:21 says, receive the implanted Logos-Word with meekness, Him dynamically being able to rescue your souls. Only the Holy Spirit can Way-guide you into the True Spirit of His Day.

Seeing Jesus as in a mirror

Abraham, your father, rejoiced in that he would see My Day! He even saw it and was very thankful to have that grace favored upon him. John 8:56 XLP

Jesus says that Abraham saw His Day and was thankful for the favor and grace of that, which is what the Greek literally means here. Abraham was favored by grace; hence he was very thankful with observable joy. None of the typical translations really capture what was obvious in Greek, because readable translations only need to be good enough. Too literal can make them unreadable.

When did Abraham see Jesus in His Day? Genesis 22 is the answer. God tells Abraham to take Isaac to the future site of where the temple will be in Jerusalem and sacrifice him there. Now, if you have read any of the Jesus Pictures in Spiritual Knowledge, or 24:27, and so on, you already know that this episode in the Scriptures addresses the question of how God intends to bless the nations. How does the promised seed life in Isaac go out to bless the nations? The answer is that a father must sacrifice his only son, who quietly and willingly lays down his life in obedience to his father. Isaac even carries his own wood up the hill.

Moreover, the Jesus Pictures have noted that the ram caught in the thicket is essentially wearing a crown of thorns. The ram is in his full power and glory of strength. The ram’s horns are caught in a thicket, an entanglement of brush, which alludes back to the ground producing thorns and thistles in Genesis 3. God provided the substitute. God literally “saw to it,” which is what “provided” means in Hebrew. Thus, God provides Himself a lamb, which is so stated in Genesis 22 and can mean exactly what you are thinking: God provides Himself in the person of Jesus as the Lamb of God.

Genesis 22:3 says that on the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place afar off. In the story, it is literal. According to how we read the text (pro-graphe) by Galatians 3 and 4, it means that Abraham is seeing the future reality of God’s plan. The Spirit of Christ is within the prophets as Peter reminds us. Thus, all the Hebrew Scriptures are pointing to Jesus as rule number 1. No need to guess.

Yet this obvious reality is very beclouded today among Christians. It is as if we have been the objects of a sneak attack designed to allow anything except the seeing of Jesus “as He is” in the Hebrew Scriptures. Most of us understand that Genesis 22 points to Jesus in sort of a type and shadow reality, but I do not think we see how the Hebrew Scriptures came into existence out from Jesus showing Himself in some eternally true fashion through the very people who are designed to image and bear His likeness.

Capturing a glimpse of His eternal glory is inwardly transformative. This is Paul’s point at the end of 2 Corinthians 3. Yet, he is aware that the enemy fights to derail this seeing of Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures. Thus, chapter 4 mentions how the “god of this world” blinds folks. Blinds us to what? The devil blinds people to the true nature of The Treasure within this jar of clay. It is carrying the nekrosis-death of Jesus in our body, which is His life manifested through the thorny flesh of people. Only Jesus knows how to be powerful through the thorns of the curse.

I think 2 Corinthians 3:18 came out from seeing Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures through many stories, but especially Genesis 22. Not only did Abraham see afar off in the sense of space and time, but he did see Jesus “as in a mirror.” I encourage you to read Genesis 22:10-13 in multiple translations. For a father to be in a state of mind to sacrifice the divine-given son of his old age, he must have overridden every self-preservation instinct possible. It is clear in earlier stories that we know how much he loved his sons, but obedience to God was more important.

So, in those few seconds that transpired between Genesis 22:10-13, Abraham’s hand was frozen before him, outstretched with the knife ready to execute his beloved son. Psychologically, you just do not instantly shift gears from overriding every self-preservation instinct in your mind. It takes a few moments to come out of the strange trance.

And so, we read in Genesis 22:13 that Abraham looked up and saw what?  Now this is where the unbelief of good people translating the Bible comes into play. Most popular translations ignore one of the Hebrew words in the text. The word is “behind.” To them, it clearly makes no sense how Abraham looked up and then saw the substitute ram behind him. Nor, are they thinking about Jesus as the reality of the Hebrew Bible stories. Nor are they connecting this knife suspended between heaven and earth with the sword of the angle suspended between heaven earth at the same place in 1 Chronicles 21:16, “And David looked up and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, and in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem.” The language is even similar, which is evidence of narrative design. Yet, so many do not see.

The Hebrew Scriptures function in this manner of making links and connections through repeated phrases and pictures. (Thank you BibleProject.com for making this better known.) For if we would simply just believe Peter or Jesus in Luke 24:26-27, we would be in a better situation. Seeing Jesus “as He is” always is the best scenario for life in dead places.

Not only would we link the stayed knife of Genesis 22 to the sword of 1 Chronicles 21:16, we would also start paying attention to any other story that elevates things between heaven and earth. Ezekiel 28 reminds us that Eden was a mountain place, which in the ancient mind are places overlapping heaven and earth. Noah’s ark was buoyantly suspended between heaven and earth covered in a ransom price (pitch). God torah-ed / showed Moses a tree at the bitter waters of Marah, a tree that changed bitter waters into sweet waters. Moses was the deliverer at a full rest in Exodus 17 with two men to either side set up on a hill; as long as he remained there at rest with hands of faith, Joshua-Jesus had the victory. Absalom was suspended between heaven and earth where he was pierced three times. Daniel was suspended between heaven and earth in that window when they finally caught him where they wanted him in order to kill him. Haman was suspended between heaven and earth on that tree, which is sadly paraphrased away as gallows. In fact, the tool of execution meant for Mordecai, actually ended up killing Haman.

That such realities of seeing Jesus in His victory – at rest on a tool of execution suspended between heaven and earth – are not widely seen or proclaimed today is to our shame. We might have 1 Corinthians 1:25 memorized, but the average Christians today does not personally know the reality of God’s weakness being the undoing of human strength. We are more interested in getting along with the world and resisting when it does not suit our patriotic pride, which was the downfall of Israel and Judah.

Abraham saw Jesus “as He is” simply by looking up and beholding as in a mirror the reflection off the knife in his outstretched hand. Yes, Abraham saw the ram caught in the thicket behind him reflected on the tool of execution suspended between heaven and earth. Abraham saw Jesus’s Day of reigning gloriously and rejoiced in such thankfulness that God had indeed given him back his son as if he were raised from the dead!

The ram was in its full glory of strength, and so was Jesus on the cross. Jesus was reigning in such magnificent glory that even the heavens dimmed in comparison. It is up to the average Christian to ferret out what was His glory. We can only do that by simply spending time with God and talking to Him about it. If our hearts truly turn to see Him, then the Spirit of God has amazing wonders to show you.

The Book of Job starring who?

Where is one’s stability if it is not union with the Creator of the universe? Our world with its nations are like waves in a sea that rise up and splash down over each other. So it is also with the succeeding generations; they rise up and splash down over each other. Youth always seems to know better, but it is always the same old salt water with the occasional bit of flotsam. Stability is the ground where the Creator and created overlap in a maintained union.

The Apostle Paul spoke of this stable union like a body; we are members of that body. However, that still does not quite express the living nature of the union. For that we have to look for Paul’s “one things.” He expresses these in several places, most notably in 1 Corinthians 2:2. For I determined to see the meaning of nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified in an ongoing way. The type of knowing is seeing the meaning of something, and that something is in a verb tense we do not have in English, but do express like when we say, “It happened, so deal with it!” The crucified reality is something ongoing that squelches the wave tossing of the nations and the shifting preferences of people who know better.

It is no mystery that I think God has had all this already figured out in the Bible. Our world is perfectly explainable as the result of ingesting the fruit from the tree of knowing both good and bad-evil relative to individuals. Taking of that tree on our own brings death. The Creator had planned to share this knowledge in time, but only seen through His way of being through it.

The Book of Job is about navigating the tree of knowing good and bad. The discourse between Job and his three friends is essentially, “you did something bad, no I am good.” It goes on this way for most of the book eventually hitting an impasse; nothing is solved. Both sides are still blind to their own plight. Finally, by an unlikely source, the situation begins to unravel until Job is confronted with the reality that he must give up his own goodness, which is known by default from that delusional tree. Thus, Job despises himself when he captures God’s perspective in some small measure. So, the book ends when Job ceases to maintain his part in the knowing of good as opposed to evil relative to himself. This revelation takes the form of seeing the Creator’s perspective of how He expresses Himself in creation.

This expression of the Creator through what He does was always the way through the blinding morass of the delusional tree, and it still is. But we are so blind to it at such a deep level that even one of the most righteous men in the Bible is utterly blind to the human predicament. It required outside intervention. The same holds true today. However, now we have the intervention of Jesus Christ expressing the Creator’s nature through the torturous execution on the Roman cross.

This nature is very elusive, because our blindness is total from conception. The only existence we can formulate expresses out from what is good as opposed to bad for me. Whether we embrace it or attempt to eschew it during the blip of time we live, everything being about us flows by it.

All of this goes back to what Paul decided to only see the meaning of in and among the local body of Christ. It is very elusive. Our default is seemingly illusive, because our design is elusive. What a mess; God please intervene!

As I say all the time, the answer has always been in the Bible. Most folks just read it by their default. They get all bent out of shape about this injustice or that unfair thing, because they cannot escape their own default of good vs. bad relative to themselves. “How can God be good if this evil thing? That is so unfair! Hey, I know what is just.” So, the fruit of the delusional tree just keeps on expressing itself in such a manner, generation after generation washing over the next, with nation splashing over the next, and so on.

While spending time with my Intervention Counselor, I was expressing my desire to help explain this to people. The Holy Spirit then responded with a question, as He often does, “What happens if you cast someone else into the role of Job?” This is when I immediately realized His point, because I had just then been spending quite a bit of time looking at the life of David, asking that question yet again, “How is David a man after God’s Own heart?”

Even that is bound to drum up a host of various answers until your Intervention Counselor has taken you by the heart to stare in the face of Jesus being tortured to death on that Roman execution rack. It is only there that you can actually see what is un-seeable otherwise. And even then, only the Same Spirit can reveal this when taken to the end of the flesh’s breath.

David was an oddball in the Bible – a lot like Jesus, because both would often do or say things that dumbfounded the closest people to them. I will let you hunt these down, but consider the story of King David and his men hiding from King Saul in the very cave that King Saul decided to use as a toilet. God had made David king instead of Saul. Then Saul tries to save his own position by hunting David. Now here Saul was, exposed. All David needed to do was backstab Saul and the throne given him from God was his. But David would not take by force anything God had given Him. (I hope you can hear that in terms of the forbidden tree in Eden, because they do link.) However, no one serving with David understood. They were all baffled, because David refused to do what they would do.

Here is another from the time of Absalom’s conspiracy to usurp his father’s throne. If David would not use force to take power already given him, then it is clear from this story that he does not try to maintain it that way either. As Absalom seeks to move in by force, David moves out. During the retreat, a relative of Saul, Shimei, starts throwing stones at King David, and calling him a bloody man. The mighty men with David immediately wanted to rush over to Shimei and kill him. But David told them to leave Shimei alone, for perhaps God had brought this stone throwing episode on him. And I believe this is true, to show us the Spirit in the heart of Jesus, the son of David.

So, again, what would happen if David starred in the role of Job? I think it is obvious. Job would have been a very short book as David accepted all the labels of evil, injustice, and implications of wrong-doing upon himself. He would have remained silent and looked guilty. Not a word would have come out of his mouth. Instead, his face would reveal one totally dependent on God, silently calling out to Him in the Spirit of the Psalms.

The only way out of the default whims of this world is by being in union with the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. The rage of Adam ebbs and flows, but the Unshakeable One already passed through all the fury that man could muster. People in their default do not know what they are doing. Of course, they think the opposite, which makes their blindness even more insidious. Yet, David did not dwell with his thoughts on the pressing flood of humans pushing forth their agendas. Instead, David kept looking to the Unshakeable One as his strength, his song, and salvation. When present circumstances threaten to smother you, there is One Who supplies from the endless expanse. This comes not to fix the circumstances per se, but to nurture and reveal the union with the Unshakeable One Who is.

The Great Commission: Make Learners of Him, because out from Him is all the Living Estate

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

“Make disciples” is better understood as “make learners” of Jesus, His Person, not merely about the things He did and said. Too often, people can see this as making converts for a religion, but Jesus never envisioned the next global religion. Rather, He is talking about Himself Personally. Go out into the nations and make learners of Me, “What Kind of Person I am.”

All authority is His. But don’t limit authority to things; rather include Who He is as the Firstborn, Who has been given all the Estate, like all the hills and all the cattle (Psalm 50:10). But are we only talking about things as commodities, territories, or a reality of life out from death?

And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. Colossians 1:18 ESV

The Great Commission is given after Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus presented Himself alive! Out from death, He lives! Jesus’ “all authority” is linked to His Firstborn status as Owner of all (Romans 8:29, Hebrews 12:23, Revelation 1:5). In fact, pondering Revelation 5:6’s image of the slaughtered, yet standing little lamb on heaven’s throne, we can see that this life out from death sits and the very core of His eternal kingdom.

Therefore, the authority of the Firstborn is out of His Being that exits death and its realm. If you study the most widely available resources on this word, exousia, it is not easy to find anyone telling you about the word ousia, which is the same word lacking the prefix ex-. Ousia only occurs twice in Luke 15:12-13. In fact, the context is about receiving an estate out from which one lives from. Or you could say it as a bank of resources out from which one can be in the world.

The prodigal took those resources for being in the world and squandered them. The prodigal received an estate for living and simply wasted it on his own pleasures. Think of the property in Luke 15 in that way, in a living way. And the person who is in charge of handing out this estate for living is the firstborn, who inherited it all as his means for living and providing life to others.

Jesus is the Firstborn out from the dead. Jesus’ living estate is of a quality that lives out from the dead. He always had this Life in Himself going to the cross (John 5:26). The cross event in history just played to His ultimate resource, whereby death was gutted.

…in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20 ESV

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 ESV

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life… John 14:6 ESV

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3 ESV

As Firstborn out from the dead, Jesus has a way of being out from the dead too. There is a way to learn Him at this level of Eternal Life, Himself. We just need to migrate in our minds away from Jesus giving me things, to Who Jesus is. In Luke 10:42, Jesus tells us what the one needful thing is: cease your efforts and ideas of serving Him like Martha, and simply sit like Mary and hear what comes out from His heart.

So how do you do that? How do you hear?

How does the Great Commission end? It says He is always with us. He is with us in a better way now after the Resurrection, because we can be connected as one cosmic body. In fact, it is even better than what Mary had, because she had her physical senses as barriers for mishearing. In the Resurrection, we share the same Spirit. We can actually learn His heart, which willingly took up the cross to the end of the earthly flesh’s ability to move.

It is true that if you seek Him you will find Him, assuming you seek Him with all your heart. In places where the Bible is hard to find, people can encounter Christ in dreams and promptings. However, in places where the Bible is easy to find, the devil’s number one attack point just so happens to be Jesus’ top priority engagement on Resurrection Day. I am talking about what Jesus said on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. Jesus wanted His followers to learn Him from the Hebrew Scriptures.

The Jesus Pictures, Spiritual Knowledge, Life Portals, and 24:27 are books that delve into this on the other page of this website. There is a way of seeing Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures that is alive. He did say He is Life. Knowing Him is eternal life. God has created design patterns for us to learn. The main design patterns are the simplest of shapes that show a flow, a way of being that can flip any narrative on its head. Yet, they are not just templates, but expressions of His Life in a people designed to live by Him. It is why we have Bible stories – to see Him moving through history in a way by which we can presently know Him within. As I’ve said before, the real territory that needs Joshua’s conquest is your heart.

By writing these books and making them available on the web and Amazon, I believe this is fulfilling the Great Commission of helping people be a learner of The Living Jesus, not just a convert to a religion. And when I say living, I mean living out from death. I am writing about His Crucified Life. Learn Him from within. Who He is being, is everything we need out from our current estate (James 1:21).

How to hear the Bible: Two beams, Four ends.

How I approached the Bible radically changed after my vision of the cross in 2011. I had been taught the common approach that is still widely declared in many areas, especially the United States. However, what the Holy Spirit kept showing me of the Crucified Living One from all corners of the Hebrew Scriptures did not fit. As a result, I really felt that leaders of the Christian world had been misinforming me. Beholding Jesus as crucified and ongoing living reality was hyper-literally the center of all!

After publishing The Jesus Pictures, I tried to trace it back. How long has this been a problem? There had to be echoes of the reality of beholding Christ “as He is,” which exposure clearly transforms inwardly. In the end, I discovered that the disconnect was manifesting during the time of the Apostles.

In Paul’s letters to various churches, he battled this tendency to slip away into the human default comfort zone. For instance, the letter to the Galatians addresses this issue of getting circumcised in addition to what Christ had already established at the cross. Likewise, Peter, John, and Jude were all concerned about lying prophets entering into the early church and spoiling the pure faith that Paul expresses as simply being focused solely into the Anointed One, Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3). Whoever wrote the book of Hebrews also sternly warned other Christians not to drift away (Hebrews 2:1).

So, back to my vision of the cross – I know that was REAL. Looking back now over a decade, I didn’t make up the connections, alignments, templates, and trajectories. The opening with its directional flow is there! The trajectory is clearly one-way into death; and one-way out in life. And in between, in the burial, in that place of death, rest, cessation, and so on… something can be seen that flips the script on people’s lives. Even that reversal is evident all over the Hebrew Scriptures.

In my book, Spiritual Knowledge, I talk about this great tendency to disconnect from the Living Crucified One, because it makes no sense to the natural mind. It is easy to get going in the direction you think is right in life, only to find out spiritual reality is going perpendicular to every direction you turn your head. But unless you are staring this paradox of God being the slaughtered, yet risen and standing Christ, I can’t say you are seeing anything substantial at all. This paradox of the crucified life is the main course of the Bible as meditation literature.

Back around the year 400 AD/CE, John Cassian heard about a four-fold way of reading the Hebrew Scriptures. It was not common knowledge during the time the Roman Empire had seemingly become thoroughly Christian. In fact, as I read what Cassian wrote and understood about the four levels, the categories rang true to this new way I had been experiencing of seeing Christ in the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet, at the same time, how Cassian explained it seemed muddled.

Immediately, the Holy Spirit made clear that the four categories are really two related, yet distinct realms: “in Adam” or “in Christ” that overlap through the cross. The transition from one to the other is going with the Jesus’s trajectory of being on the cross. The cross is really a door out of Adam and into the kingdom life of Christ’s own ways. It is not a prayer said as “one and done,” but a continuing crucified life walk.

How one hears the Bible typically remains “in Adam”. Adopting Christianity as your religion does not change this. Getting a doctorate in religion, or being the head of religion doesn’t change this. It is easy to slip back in there – simply look at Peter in Galatians 2. The “first pope” slid back there. Even knowing in your heart of hearts that there is an “in Christ” way of hearing the Hebrew Scriptures doesn’t make you hear “in Christ”.

What I saw in my vision is what a person is supposed to hear in the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, the Holy Spirit has reiterated this countless times, and the books I’ve produced since 2011 are evidence. There are clear patterns of the simplest of design through which we can learn His Crucified Life – the heart giving how He operates as Who He is. It is all right there in the familiar Bible stories, yet hidden in plain sight from religious Christians and Jews filled with learning from other foci.

I know that as I briefly explain the four-fold ends as two distinct beams of “in Christ” or “in Adam”, that it will be received with misunderstanding. But I truly believe that I am obeying the reality of the Great Commission here: “having gone the way, make learners” of Jesus. Toss the word “disciples”; it has too much baggage. Be a learner of Jesus.

Learn His trajectory that is pictured in baptism. He is the Lone, Dying Seed (John 12:24). Learn this Life of Love shared amongst the Father, the Son, and in us by the Holy Spirit (1 John 1:3). Jesus is with us to effect even unto the end of our present times.

Here is a barometer to help you determine whether you will hear what I am saying.

And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. Revelation 5:6

What stands out? What is the picture of eternal governance? What does this “standing, as slaughtered” picture mean to you? Unless, you have heard Revelation 5:6 in such a new way to see it as the pinnacle of understanding that book, or even kingdom living in general, you might as well go back to grazing in your favorite religious field and forget this webpage. Knowing what I am about to write is dangerous to the human tendency to institutionalize what should always be vitally and spontaneously living.

“In Adam” hears the Bible as a historical or mythical story. To “in Adam”, the Bible is a library of literature genres, either explaining quite literally how God made the world in six, literal 24-hour days, or how it is a creation establishing universal functions that is in dialogue with other cultures of the ancient near east. Either way, as one thoughtfully ponders the Scriptures, they learn wise ways for living life on earth. You could say that the story has a moral to it, and by adopting these wisdom virtues, we stay in God’s good graces. Other traditions might say that the Bible is God’s handbook to life on earth. Either way the claim is to become more like, or be the image Christ in the world. This will either manifest through reaching the lost, or providing examples of social justice, or even being accepting of people expressing whatever popular personal identity society stamps on them.

The first two-ended beam hears a story from history with a moral to it. The specific terms are historical and tropological. Tropological simply means “how you turn to face situations”. It really is the moral to the story that you heard. What Jesus said and did in His earthly ministry is an appealing thing to imitate “in Adam”. And what 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 says to controvert that is puzzled over. Why?

Hearing the Hebrew Scriptures as story with a moral requires no spiritual input. The Holy Spirit is optional. Any random atheist off the street could read the Bible and see that there are morals to follow. Why do you think they are primarily atheists? It is certainly not because of lack of archeological evidence or lack of manuscript proof. Christianity has all this in abundance. Rather, it is a heart issue that cannot tolerate the logical outcome: the perceived limiting morals, especially in respect to sexuality.

The “in Christ” side of the equation follows a similar line, but is perpendicular to our natural view, meaning “always just out of sight, wherever we tend to look”. I know it is trite, but one easy way to remember the parallel is: “History as His-story” followed by “being caught up in His Story’s Trajectory”. The Apostle Paul addresses this in 2 Corinthians 3-4. One can read the Bible and only see Moses with a glowing face. But when ones’ heart turns to see the Lord, then the real transforming glory can be seen. Also in Galatians 3, after just declaring how he is dead with Christ on the cross, Paul reminds them of the source for this: the beforehand writings of the Scriptures that portray and depict Christ crucified in a perfect and ongoing way. The Spirit flows that way. Hear the Scriptures that way.

Another way to think about the “in Christ” way of hearing is how the Hebrews writer speaks of having come to a heavenly city and a great assembly. Sadly, the typical translation loses what everyone in the ancient near east understood about all-encompassing plaza (pan-agora) in verses 22 – 23 of chapter 12. Fortunately, you can still imagine it a little if you have ever been to a large plaza or open square of an older city. There are still plenty in Europe. These areas served as the daily marketplace where one would find all their needs met for life in their city. People hung out there, shopped there, got news there, and so on. The Greek term for this is agora.

When John Cassian reported what he discovered about understanding the Bible, the level typically hidden from sight involves shopping at the “other marketplace”. The Greek word for other is allos. In Luke 24, when Jesus explained the Scriptures, He set forth the reality of this “allos agora”.

What is found there, strangely matches that “slain, yet standing” picture we saw from Revelation 5:6. In Luke 24, Jesus uses the words “suffering and glory” to describe these two legs of the trajectory. In reading Philippians 2:5-11, you might recognize the same trajectory that is supposed to be our only regulating mindset. If the word allegory, (allos + agora), has too much baggage for you, switch to “other market”.

As Jesus said in Luke 24, what you see there is centered on His suffering and glory, which is not some random phrase to describe our modern idea of “types and shadows”, but expressive of a dying-living trajectory impregnated into the warp and woof of the Hebrew Scriptures. It is as if some Ancient Sower aforetime has seeded the field of history before we encounter it. So, it is.

Seeds are living, yet must die first. If you are united with the seed, the composition of its matrix sprouts up into a risen reality. This is why there is the fourth level, and why it is called anagocial. The meaning of anagogocial is simply this: “up in a completing sense” coupled with the idea of “being led or brought.” Every time you are exposed to the reality of Christ crucified as the Source for the Hebrew Scriptures, there is the very real possibility of enjoying your present union with the same Christ! This is why we are to set our hearts above where you have been raised with Christ (Colossians 3:1).

This is the reality of the New Covenant described in Jeremiah 31:31-34. You can learn His Torah-Instruction yourself from the heart. It is His anointing that directly teaches (1 John 2:27). There really is no need for me to teach you when you are properly aligned as a branch and plugged into Christ, the Living Sap. It is simple (2 Corinthians 11:3). He is the Source! Hear Him! Go and make learners of Him.

Seeing out from the Bible’s Door

The Door / The Opening / The Bible’s Design for Reversals

It seems fitting that my first post focus on the vision God gave me of Jesus on the cross. It changed everything by revealing everything. The vision was an overlay of multiple things all in the same instance. In one view, it was Jesus dead on the cross with a hole in His side. In another view, it was Adam in a death-like sleep with a hole in his side. Moreover, I was there in the stuff that came out from the hole. God was taking this “place of death stuff” and forming me. As I watched entranced, my initially thought was, “Am I Eve?” And the response I received was not like how the Holy Spirit talks. This was Another Voice that penetrated and flowed through everything, like how a river flows over rocks. He said, “This is My Son”.

Adam going into the death-like sleep happened before there was sin; Jesus, Who knew no sin, lowered Himself even to death on a cross. Both had an opening in their side. Up out from that hole, each receives their Divinely formed complement. I am composed therein somehow, where the full-giving of Jesus unto death is my very crucified living reality. What He is at the heart of the place of His full giving unto death, I live out from as a composition.

Since that vision, my understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures has been radically reoriented around this crucified life reality. I have come to see this crucified life constitution in the warp and woof of the Bible’s literary styles through reoccurring patterns. Romans 11:36 says that all things are from Him and through Him and to Him. This includes the Hebrew Scriptures that were recorded, written down, and composed by people who had the Spirit of Messiah within (1 Peter 1:11).

That is why the amazing Biblical stories happened. Like my vision, some people in history became conformable to the Messiah’s Spirit of Life. Then by Him being Who He is in that situation through people, the world’s default was overridden. The Bible stories exist as a testimony of this Spirit of Jesus. They specifically focus on that trajectory I saw of suffering and glories (Luke 24:26-27 and 1 Peter 1:11 again). The suffering aspect is a trajectory of self-lowering through situations. The glories aspect is the trajectory of Jesus’ overcoming crucified life sprouting up through people in situations: Bible stories then and now.

You might think I am talking about types and shadows. No, but also yes in a certain way. The current understanding of types and shadows limits them to merely predicting something in the New Testament era. Others would further limit this to only those things we can understand from the New Testament, while at the same time admitting that they have a very incomplete understanding of how the New Testament authors interpreted the Hebrew Scriptures. In other words, present scholarship admits the generally accepted modern method of interpretation is not the same as the original method that composed the same Scriptures.

To me, that popular view taught in many places proceeds out from a disconnect, perhaps even as a lack of faith. Nevertheless, what my vision revealed was, and is, the original inspiration that focuses on beholding and contemplating a place of death, rest, cessation, and the like in the Hebrew Scriptures. Then out from that situation beheld the narrative flips unto life, release, healing and newness. These are reversals that happen at an opening, at a door, at a gate, often a low place, and usually include the two-part trajectory Jesus described as “suffering” and “glory”. The Holy Spirit worded it this way for me: “One-way into death; one-way out with life”.

That is the doorway, and why all those various openings are in the Hebrew Bible. This explains even the strange stories as pictures of the cross, where the Presence of God is “taken over” or abused by people, but in that very destruction, neglect, and trampling, God shows Who He is by expressing What Kind He is in the situation. Beholding this reality inverts situations and reforms us out from death into the crucified living reality of this One Son. Capturing the seed-cycle trajectories into your heart, contemplating the entering in and sprouting up of those stories, puts us face to face with the beauty of the One Who inspired a thousand Biblical accounts! This makes the Holy Spirit the Guide in a very practical way.

I call these TaNaK Jesus Pictures. They reveal an anointing of condensed crushed living essence, just like what we see as the needed fuel for the day-to-day operations for the temple-tent in the midst of a people. Seed-bearing things were crushed and condensed to produce the oil that gives itself up to burning, so that others can see by the light. The same is true for the bread and wine of the table and for the incense of the golden altar. Even the evening and morning sacrifice of the lamb being entirely translated into a heavenly smoke covering over the people also shows us how God sees us through that covering. Correspondingly, that is why Balaam could only bless Israel from that heavenly point of view.

The story of Balaam is in Numbers 23-24. Take the time to understand the shape of Israel’s encampment in Numbers 2 as it branched off from each façade of the tent. Three times from three different mountain vantage points Balaam tires to curse Israel. Each time Balaam looks down on these various condensed crucified life expressions, a reversal happens; and what was meant for bad ends up being good. You can write off what you see like modern scholarship tends to do in a state of disbelief. Or you can join Paul in his “one things”, and thereby simply accept that Paul literally and narrowly lived and taught out from this “one way” of seeing the Hebrew Scriptures as I just described. What do I mean?

In the Greek, 1 Corinthians 2:2 literally says that the only thing Paul has decided to “see the meaning of” in and among the Corinthians is Jesus Christ as already crucified in an ongoing way. Likewise in Galatians 6:14, the only boast Paul has is this cross reality of Jesus Christ that has made him unflinching to the world and the world unenticing to him in the same ongoing crucified way. Furthermore, it is the same “one thing” he does in Philippians 3:10-16 in being made conformable to Jesus’ death. You can see Paul clearly restate the suffering and glory trajectories that go away from and come unto, because he had just written of them in Philippians 2:5-11 as the basis for the church’s regulating mindset.

As I have seen, I merely write, inviting you to look over my shoulder to the Source in the hope that the Way of the One I saw, becomes the crucified living way whirling in you too. The TaNaK Jesus Pictures and Patterns are real, a living nourishment hidden in the body of the Hebrew Scriptures since their original formulation and subsequent composition. The core template of the Biblical life design – circle, horizontal line, vertical line – form a plug-in spot for us, like a branch grafting port into a trunk, so that the crucified living reality in Him becomes the crucified living reality in us. Thus, the Original Design Intent of Genesis 1:26, vessels of His Image and Likeness, enter back into their fulfillment.