First and Second

Bible patterns, like First and Second, exist in the Scriptures to show us Jesus. They are important on two levels. First, they actually show our intellect that there is a grand design to the Scriptures, specifically the TaNaK / Old Testament (OT), that leads to Jesus. Second, they are for learning how Jesus leads a person’s heart by The Spirit of His heart.

As to the first level, these Bible patterns I call “Jesus Pictures” are the prime evidence for me that the Hebrew God is real, Who He says He is, and only really known in the face of Jesus. Moreover, this is most gloriously realized when Jesus gave Himself on the Roman cross. Apologetics, the defensive of the faith, has been a lifetime endeavor for me since college in the 1980s when I had to chose what I believed. I was a Bible Answer Man junkie back in those days. But at the end of 2011, I had a vision of the cross that changed everything, and I realized that most people simply miss the greatest reality in their Bibles: Jesus Pictures.

When that time of clarity began, it became more real to me than anything else. In other words. I define reality according to what is most real to me. Thus, when God blended the picture of how He made Eve with a vision of the spear hole in Jesus’ side on the cross, involving me somehow, I started to know firsthand what it means to be formed as a complement to God’s Son, the Last Adam: flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone. In fact, I would be so bold to say that I have direct knowledge of Who Jesus is and “What Kind” of Person He is. This is reinforced especially now after years of His forming of this personal and relational knowledge through what Jesus Pictures in the TaNaK / OT really exist for. They are not merely for the intellect, but are designed to catch us up into the trajectory of His Being. This is best realized by mystically contemplating the flow of blood and water out the “doorway” in His side where a spear pierced His heart.

The First and Second template addresses this basic level of knowing God. The intellect can identify and learn these pairs, but since the devil has done a crack job of hiding their life-giving reality from the Church, our default intellect is skeptical, even agnostic. First ones always think they know something about God. Moreover, they tend to take the positions of leadership. Furthermore, when encountering a second one, their way is baffling to a first one, even seen as subversive. As a result, whether overtly or unconsciously, a first one naturally persecutes or marginalizes a second one. Cain, Ishmael, Esau, and King Saul all did this to their second one of the pair.

Thus, the great value in spending time with the Holy Spirit on Bible stories is that if you allow Him, He will gladly start exposing you as a first one, so that in seeing Who Jesus is being in TaNaK / OT stories, exposure to His Second Man[i] Reality is transformative. We are all born as first ones; we remain so even after becoming what passes these days for a modern Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, or other type of Jesus follower.

Where do you start? Choose the obvious pairs in the TaNaK / OT. Start with the low-hanging fruit of the OT There are many First and Second pairs in the Scriptures, and much that comes from learning the basics, including a resurrected-risen version of the second, which some people think of as a third.[ii] Once we understand the obvious stories as the root system, then the Holy Spirit will branch off from there. The five basic pairs are listed below in order of first one followed by who the second one is:

  1. Cain and Abel[iii]
  2. Ishmael and Isaac[iv]
  3. Esau and Jacob[v]
  4. First generation and Second Generation out of Egypt[vi]
  5. King Saul and King David[vii]

Master these five above by seeing Jesus in the second one by the Holy Spirit and then you can move on to the next level in the pairs, some of which crop up in the New Testament (NT). These are (and I am sure that I am missing some):

  • Abram-Sarai and AbraHam-SaraH (Both had an H added to their names)[viii]
  • Hagar and Sarah[ix]
  • Leah and Rachel[x]
  • The un-named, first kinsman redeemer and Boaz[xi]
  • Peninnah and Hannah[xii]
  • King Saul and Jonathan (1 Samuel 14-15)[xiii]
  • The two callings of Jonah[xiv]
  • Shebna and Eliakim (Isaiah 22)[xv]
  • Vashti and Esther[xvi]
  • The first leg of any roundtrip story and its second leg including Isaiah 55:10-11[xvii]
  • Martha and Mary at the end of Luke 10[xviii]
  • The Pharisees representing the first covenant and Jesus representing Jeremiah’s new covenant[xix]
  • Anything the NT says about the flesh vs. the spirit.[xx]

From there they start to be more sublime in varying degrees, literally woven into the warp and woof of the TaNaK / OT such as Noah on both sides of The Flood and the two attempts to bring The Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.[xxi] Moreover, what you will discover is a new appreciation for why the book we call Hebrews was written, because upon closer examination after time spent with the Holy Spirit, the overall content and goal of this letter will be obvious. You won’t fall for the typical mistranslation of Hebrews 9:28 with the extra added word “time.” Scholars only add that out of their ignorance of these Bible patterns that fed the New Testament authors with Jesus’ crucified life. In fact, you will walk away from reading the book, especially Hebrews 10:7-9 with a new understanding that the writer of Hebrews had been literally spelling out the pattern, even being overtly explicit here, and the best educated Christian minds of us were blind to it all along! That is when that first one second one starts to hit home more deeply about the personal nature of human blindness.

Finally, I will leave you with some last words on this post about First and Second. This is just one pattern designed to operate with the other key Bible templates: the Doorway, the Roundtrip, and the horizontal line that divides what is above from below and represents the covering. Taken together, these reveal to us the Nature of Jesus’ Own Crucified Life. And what I mean by that is: He is living. Eternal Life is knowing Him (John 17:3). Exposure to Who He is in these stories is transformative when the Holy Spirit, Who is the stories’ Main Author, breathes on them. Jesus is as living now as He was 2,000 years ago. Moreover, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That includes Who He was showing Himself to be through a chosen people in TaNaK / OT Bible stories. Jesus put the first away in a cosmic sense, and the TaNaK / OT is filled with a many classroom dealings where we can learn the reality of our co-death with Christ on that cross as Galatians 2:20 says. After all, this is all the early church ever had.  They were mostly Jewish background believers who only had memory knowledge of the TaNaK / OT they heard read to them on Saturday.

Thus, our time on this earth should be filled with time spend with the Lord where the early church spent time with the Lord revisiting these stories in our hearts and minds throughout our days with each other. Each discovery of Jesus as He is BEING in that record of old is a gem most precious today, and forever! Once you have seen Him, you can not unsee Him, for truly these are the gifts upon which He adorns His bride. Avail yourself of this precious time with Him where He is.

[i] 1 Corinthians 15:45-47

[ii] Seth and King Solomon are two examples.

[iii] The key is in what kind of offering. These two represent the foundation that all other pairs rest on. Moreover, you do not need to believe me, just believe Hebrews 12:24.

[iv] The key is on what happens if we try to help God out with generating the Promised Son reality with our good ideas. Not yet convinced? Read the end of Galatians 4.

[v] The key is in their descriptions as what kind of sons they are. Who else despised their birth right?

[vi] The key is in Joshua-Jesus’ view of how to enter the finished work of what God gives in the form of the Promised Land. Where did the water cease from when they crossed the Jordan? Think of Jesus’ view on the cross.

[vii] The key is in what it really means for David to be flowing by God’s heart. Pay attentions again to their physical descriptions. Moreover, pay attention to how David treats Saul in the cave and later when Shimei was casting rock at him. How did David gain or keep power? Who else had close companions who didn’t understand his view?

[viii] “H,” hay, as a letter in Hebrew has a meaning in and of itself. “H” means beholding in a full-spectrum way, from what is terrifying to what is joyfully wonderous. The old script depicts a stick figure with arms raised.

[ix] The end of Galatians 4 even tells you why Paul called Christians brothers.

[x] How does Jacob see them? The flesh easily cranks out more flesh, because they-we have a seeing problem.

[xi] A key is the names of the dead and their inheritance. There are so many in Ruth! Simply listen to Naomi’s advice to Ruth when she sends her to Boaz’s threshing floor. Take her advice to heart and contemplate that most glorious picture of the cross. It is rich like a treasure trove! Stay there until He speaks.

[xii] The song of the second will tell you all you need to know about what happens when we allow What Kind He is to rule in and through us.

[xiii] A key is seeing that the first one has all the power, can even detect when God is moving, and takes over movements of God, and in the process, he condemns the one living the flesh crucifying reality of Jesus life. By the way, here is a freebie, all staffs and wood poles in the Bible are pictures of the cross and the crucified life reality on display on the cross.

[xiv] The key is the “doorway” trajectory in this story. Jesus spoke about it in terms of three days and nights in Matthew 12.

[xv] The key is pondering the motivations and what people are watching from the rooftops as Assyria destroys Israel.

[xvi] The key is knowing what your Husband the King of kings wants. Who is the real bride? What phrase best in the book characterized her motivation?

[xvii] Line up John 12:24-33 with Isaiah 55:8-11 and consider Moses leaving Mount Sinai and returning to Mount Sinai.

[xviii] The key is realizing that Martha really is trying hard to serve Jesus! What do Martha’s words do to Mary? What is the one needful thing? My recommendation to you is do that one needful thing!

[xix] The key is realizing this is the culmination and all the TaNaK patterns. Hebrews 1:1-2 is real, especially verse 2 because of verse 3. But you would likely not see it unless you read it in Greek at Biblehub’s interlinear. For the text actually says God speaks to us today within Son. That is the context, sphere, and realm now for wherein God speaks. Why? Because of what we can see in verse 3.

[xx] The key is realizing that the NT authors had in mind the very things I am sharing here (2 Corinthians 3:15-18).

[xxi] The default issue with Adam as humanity’s forefather is woven in us from natural conception and birth in the same way. Only He Who from nothing is hidden can be the sword in us (Heb. 4:12-13).

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  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 and click on the number, 6083, above the word for dust. You will see 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 . Click on 5048 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).

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 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.

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.