The New Season
God Paints Pictures
Studio Session 123
In this next installment of our discussion of the new season, I want to focus on types and shadows because God paints pictures of what He's doing. It is His way of making sure that we understand when a season changes.
Now to understand types and shadows one must understand what was spoken in the first installment, which is that the reality is the eternal; time and space are the temporal and the shadowy because we are born in time and space and that's the extent of our experience personally and culturally and collectively. We tend to begin with the idea that time and space are the realities. But inasmuch as we are not native to the realm of the eternal, it does not come to us instinctively nor by the common reference; the eternal comes to us by the revelation of God, God is eternal. And everything that God has and everything that God does and everything that God is, that is known in time, is a different reality than time itself. For example, time moves either in a line or in a circle depending on your particular perspective and perhaps the circle is so big that it looks at times as if it's a line. We move in terms of yesterday, today, and tomorrow; or past, present, and future. So our way of making decisions, logically, is to study the past and learn it's lessons, observe the patterns that repeat themselves in the past. And then as we are in the present, we look for and look to see if we recognize the patterns of the present as a reflection of the way things have been.
So if our assumption is “what has been will be again”, when we observe recurring patterns in the present from our observations on the past, we then move to infer the future by way of extrapolating past overlaid by present; inferentially leaping towards conclusions of the future. It is the term 'precedent' commonly used in the law and in the legal field that then becomes the basis of our decision making. We look at what has happened, and happened repetitively, and we infer a cyclical nature to processes operating in a linear way; that is, operating in terms of past, present, and future and then we make our judgments. We say, “If these things have happened repetitively, if there have been these observed cycles of history and time and if we're seeing these things come around again, then the future will be taking where we are now in this cycle and looking at how the cycle completes itself when it repeats itself in the future.” God knows that man thinks that way because God made man. So God puts into time these cyclical pictures.
The difference perhaps between pure observation and revelation, is pure observation does not necessarily see how when the patterns repeat themselves, how they become more complete, they become fuller and more complete. Meaning, that there is an increasing mass associated with the recurring of the thing in time so that eventually all of the pieces begin to present a picture in time. But then...and this is the difference between mere observation, scientific method, and both revelation and understanding of what has been revealed. This is the difference, first I will use a biblical example and then I'll use a human example with no overt biblical reference to compare the two.
Biblically, a lamb was slain when Abel atoned for his sins, and that lamb was acceptable. Now looking at this story in the Bible against the flat background of history and with nothing else as a precedent, nothing else having preceded it to interpret it; what do we have? We basically have a man whose sacrifice was accepted, whose brothers sacrifice was rejected and for the life of us we can't tell why, if that's the only part of the story. You move the event further and in the situation of Abraham and Isaac, the boy is not sacrificed but he's offered and the ram is caught by the horns in the thicket and the ram (the 'lamb' if you like) is offered, substitutional sacrifice is offered. Then we come to the time of Israel in Egypt and the visitation of the plagues upon Egypt, but the excusing of Israel by the blood of the lamb, setting up for us then a paradigm of understanding. And that is, that they were meant to eat the lamb, annually. The Jews were meant to eat the lamb annually, in an annual celebration, to keep a picture before them of something that is to come. Not just a thing by itself, not just eating the lamb but by the time you get to the passover lamb in Egypt, you already have the precedent of Abraham and the precedent even before that, of Abel. Now the question is: what picture is God painting? John the baptist tells us, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” And when he tells us that, he's pointing to a man, that man is Jesus Christ.
When the fullness of the thing reveals itself, or when more of the picture is revealed; then the types and the shadows serve preparatory functions in getting us up to where we can anticipate that God is going to do something. When God does that thing that represents the picture that He has been giving to us, then everything changes and that is when you have a new season; the new season comes when the types and the shadows give way to the substantive reality. Now I'll contrast that with just human examples. The Mayan civilization was known for it's development (among other things) of the Mayan calendar. And the calendar of the Mayans was much a way to predict future events as anything else, because the Mayans observed that the events of human history tended to repeat themselves and become increasingly more complex and more involved. Unlike modern societies the Mayans had a kind of continuity that would be nearly impossible to imagine in our present society. They're continuity was maintained by an order of priests and kings; the kings provided all of what the priests needed to maintain their focus of observing the heavens. And the priests were largely a class of people who replenished itself from the offspring's of priests.
So you had a cultural fixation if you like, or fixed points culturally, that permitted the same class of people to maintain continuity; the sons were the priests, the sons of the kings were the kings and so on (sons or close relative). These classed societies produced a kind of continuity that is barely possible today and can only be maintained by technological records being kept and people studying these records. But living the reality of these things was as much an assignment of class and the purpose of class in these ancient societies and the Mayan society being the example at hand.
So the Mayans were able to observe - from one generation to another, to keep records from one generation to another - they were able to observe cycles in nature and to conclude that these cycles in nature allowed for the predicting of future events based upon past events and Mayan prophecies have become the vogue in many circles today. But of course that was conjecture based upon observation and not (NOT I repeat) the revelation of the mind of the LORD through the Holy Spirit, this would be where that process would fall down. This process would be limited to what might be known purely by observation, whereas what I'm speaking about is much greater than this and should not be favorably compared, in my estimation, to anything that is remotely connected to the work of the Holy Spirit. But I use the human example to show you something of the cycles of nature which we may infer even if we don't believe in God, even if a person does not believe in God. But for those of us who do clearly believe in a Living God and the work of the Holy Spirit, we see a far more complex picture than merely the careful observation of the cycles of nature; what we see is what the mind of the LORD reveals about the eternal picture being assembled in time by very specific alignment of pieces. I'll give you another example of how we are able to interpret not only the stories of the Bible but human existence in light of what these pieces are that are put into their proper places in time.
There's the reference in genesis of how God created woman out of man; He put Adam into a deep sleep, He removed a rib from his side, He made eve, brought her to the man and Adam said, “This is now flesh of my flesh and bones of my bones, she shall be called woman because she's taken out of the man.” Now if that's all we know then the story is poetic and that's about as much as we could say for it, it's beautiful poetry, it's kind of the elegance of God in just creating things so wonderful and so elegant but it really holds no mystery to us. And yet Paul, quoting the book of Genesis chapter 2, ends the book of Ephesians chapter 5 with this statement in exact recasting of Genesis, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.” Then he says, “This is a profound mystery, but I'm speaking about Christ and the church.” So what he's telling us is that the reason that God created woman in the manner in which He did, was to reveal a mystery. When He did it, He was working from the full picture, the completely assembled picture of all things in the eternal but He was putting things into time in a way for us to understand.
Now what is it that we may understand? Well when you understand that there were two times in the Scriptures that speak of a mans side being opened, then all of a sudden why God created woman in the manner in which He did becomes obvious. Whose side was opened in the second reference? The answer you know very well: the side of the LORD Jesus Christ. When His side was opened, Scriptures say, “A new and living way was opened through the veil, that is to say His flesh.” He's telling us that the first installment of this message, the 'shadow picture' of it, is God showed that is was possible, under the divine hand of God, it was possible to take a woman out of the side of a man. Meaning that in the natural God showed us, “This is what I do. I can take a rib out of a man and make a woman. Now I'm not just doing that to create mythology and to create debates as to whether or not this actually happened.” God says, “Once you assume God omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient; once you assume that, then what is it exactly that He doesn't know how to do and what is it that He cannot do?”
But the point is, by doing that, He introduces us to the concept that it is possible on different levels for a woman to come from inside of a man, meaning that this is not the natural order of creation; normally it's the woman who gives birth to the man. But for God to take the woman out of the man is to tell us He's flashing neon lights, He's illuminating the point; He's going to do something more than what is required for the natural by this doing. You see? But then He reverses it and has from then on every man born in the earth is born out of a woman, that's the natural order. But for a woman to be taken out of a man, that's supernatural; so God is lighting up the picture. You see, He cuts across the grain and does the thing that is not natural, in the natural. Why? To highlight for us this has significance beyond the natural, this is 'ultra natural', this is above natural, but it is meant to operate in the natural.
So for a woman to be taken out of the man, that's not natural but it happened within the natural. When you see these things, these are for signs, these are to tell us things, these are foreshadowing, prefiguring things. Now once you have this understanding and you look back in the Scriptures, you will see all kinds of things that are not natural. Things like the resurrection of the dead, that's not natural, it's not natural for the dead to live. So when something dies and is raised up again, then the existence of that is meant to teach us a hidden secret of God. Now the hidden secrets of God should not sound so mysterious, although they are mysteries. It shouldn't sound so mysterious in the sense that God wants to reveal the mystery; the mystery is the children's bread. When Jesus breaks loaves and fish and feeds a multitude, that's not natural. But that's taking what people eat, what people are familiar with, what is very very normal for life, and turning it in a light that reflects divine glory; this is the way of God. These are things that the Body needs to understand.
Now all these twists, these sharp turns upon the natural that are meant to catch our attention by the unusual nature of it; taking the natural, turning it so that it is not natural anymore but happens in the natural, these are the signposts of God, these are where the mysteries are hidden. Now when God paints us that picture, that picture is like a shadow. Now until the reality that that picture foreshadows comes, we really don't know what the reality is but when it comes it explains the shadow. So in my earlier example, when the lamb is offered we have the killing of a lamb bringing life; the killing of the innocent if you like, the killing of the mild, the meek, the humble, bringing life. Normally we think if you kill a tyrant, then it infuses a society with the life that was taken through repression. But here where you kill someone who doesn't harm anyone and it brings life, that seems like a mystery. Until Christ arises who is the meek and the lowly, who perfectly submits Himself to God and gives light to all mankind and life because of the power of His own indestructible life.
So, similarly, when we see Adam put into a deep sleep and Eve being the product of a rib taken out of him and God turning this event into a supernatural event. If that's all we know, then it's poetic, it's certainly a flashing neon sign so to speak, but we don't know much more than that. But when the Second Adam comes and dies on the cross and the soldier (the name of this soldier being by legend Longenious) comes and pierces the side of Jesus, it is akin to God piercing the side of Adam. Now if the woman could be taken out of Adam, then what does that tell us about the Last Adam? That is the woman may be inserted into the wound. That's the point. But this isn't about human females being stuffed into a wound the size of the head of a spear, the Latin word for it was 'lonkea',which meant something about the size of a mans hand. The point is that you couldn't force an adult female through an opening of that sort into the side of an adult male. It was by definition meant to teach us not the natural but the supernatural; the thing that is true from the realm of the eternal and that is that the Bride of Christ is brought to the presence of the Father through the agency of the person of Jesus Christ, by Her association with Him in a marital estate. You see, where the two become one flesh and this becomes the mystery spoken of in Ephesians 5, “Behold I show you a mystery, but I'm speaking about Christ and the church.”
Now one of the other massive symbols and types is obviously the temple or the tabernacle....first the tabernacle and then the more complete rendering of it as the temple in Jerusalem. And Hebrews makes this point for us beyond any doubt. Hebrews 8 says, “Every high priest is appointed to office both by gifts and sacrifices and then he goes on to speak of another priest appearing and he says, “If he were on earth he would not be a priest for there are already men who offer gifts prescribed by the law, these serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and a shadow of what is in heaven.” This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” The ministry Jesus received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is Mediator is superior to the old one and founded on better promises.
Now we'll have to continue this message in the next broadcast but I've done enough to introduce you to the idea that God speaks to us in pictures. Pictures are not the reality, no more than a photograph of a loved one captures anything but the limited dimensions of a photograph; a two dimensional model of a person. And when you see the real person, you realize how limited a presentation a picture is. By definition, a picture is limited to the dimensions of time and space because that's where the picture is shown. But an eternal reality comes with broader dimensions, more complete in both presence and power, in both authority, power and presence to impact the earth in a way that the picture was never meant to impact the earth.
Now I'll pick up here and I want to talk about how religion functions versus how the truth functions. Because religion, you see, continues to exalt the picture while the truth is to recognize when the reality of which the picture is a shadowy presentation has come, so that we migrate from one season to another.
I'm Sam Soleyn, join me for the continuing discussion of a new season in God.