The following Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and commentary for this week are more in line with what has become usual; for the following will most likely be familiar observations. The concept behind this Sabbath’s selection is baptism.
For the Sabbath of January 10, 2015
[Continued from January 3rd]
The person conducting the Sabbath service should open services with two or three hymns, or psalms, followed by an opening prayer acknowledging that two or three (or more) are gathered together in Christ Jesus’ name, and inviting the Lord to be with them.
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." So they said to him, "Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said." (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even He who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. (John 1:19–28)
In the former Worldwide Church of God, the baptized person—baptized in John’s baptism of water for repentance—received “member” status. This is virtually the same for every Anabaptist sect and denomination … since the implosion of Herbert Armstrong’s ministry following his death; since being called to reread prophecy, I baptized a young woman in Pennsylvania, and a pastor of the local Church of the Brethren asked, “Where will she put her letter?”
Did Christ Jesus receive a letter to be put in a synagogue when John raised Him from the Jordan? No, He did not. His circumcision was evidence that He was of Israel; was all of the membership credentialing He needed. Likewise, circumcision of the heart is all of the membership credentialing needed for a son of God to be numbered among Israel, the nation circumcised of heart. So water baptism—the baptism of John—shouldn’t be about Christian membership credentialing; shouldn’t be about making a membership list of who’s in and who’s not, as if a humanly made list determines salvation. Water baptism is about killing the old self that will not die unless crucified with Christ Jesus. And even then, the inner strong man can “live” (though dead the moment he was figuratively crucified) for days on the cross, suffering mightily but clinging onto life out of fear of letting go—clinging onto the person’s past life, not forgiving the inner self for who the person was.
Evidence of a circumcised heart is more difficult to see than evidence of fleshly circumcision. For a great many self-identified Christians diligently try to “live” their expectations of what a Christian ought to be, with some truly doing good deeds, good works as they seek to show outward love for neighbor and brother, but with too many becoming very good actors and actresses in feigning righteousness, outwardly appearing as lambs, their fleece as white as snow, but inwardly being ravenous gray wolves, awaiting the moment when they can move in for the kill. And the kill will come when the weak are most vulnerable; when the genuine son of God should be extending his greatest compassion and assistance to the suffering brother in Christ.
Inevitably, every fellowship beyond where two or three are gathered in the name of Christ Jesus will have attendees who feign righteousness but inwardly are carnally minded, some innocently so, some for their own gain, some for the authority that comes through pastoring others. And in fellowships lead by Nicolaitan pastors, those persons who feigned righteousness were always in danger of suffocation if the pastor stopped suddenly on his way to the podium.
John’s baptism, like that of the Lord’s baptism in the days of Noah, was/is with water for repentance—and therein is a key to understanding the chirality of baptism … the Lord’s baptism at the end of the days of the two witnesses isn’t of a person here and of a person there, but is of the entirety of the world, and the Lord’s baptism is in spirit, filling the person with spirit, liberating the person from indwelling sin and death.
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. (1 Cor 10:1–5 emphasis added)
Consider for a moment the question, why was Israel baptized into Moses? Yes, Moses was to Aaron as the Lord was to Moses … Moses was god to Aaron (Ex 4:16), with Aaron being the spokesman for Moses as the Beloved was the Logos [’o Logos — the Word, or Spokesperson] of the God [ton Theon] (John 1:1).
Did Moses do the actual baptizing of Israel? And does the person who baptizes baptize the proselyte into his own name? Did Jesus baptize His disciples? Were those whom John baptized rebaptized when they began to follow Jesus?
Any number of questions arise when baptism in water is placed into its chiral context, the Flood of Noah’s day representing the world being baptized in water and unto death and thereby forming the left hand [or natural] non-symmetrical mirror image of the Holy Spirit being poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation. In short form, baptism in water forms the chiral image of baptism in spirit. Baptism in water is unto death; baptism in spirit is unto life. Hence as all of humanity was consigned to disobedience so that God could have mercy on all—consigning all to disobedience is consigning all to death—God will have mercy on all by consigning all to life, which isn’t the same as giving all life.
The person consigned to disobedience is not free to keep the Commandments, but is free to love neighbor and brother, the work of the Commandments. But to extend genuine love to neighbor and brother, the person—still without being free to keep the Law—must openly rebel against the Adversary, who though disguised as an angel of light is the antithesis of love … a farmer in Iowa, in Illinois who contributes to the feeding and industry of subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa shows outward love for brother farmers while not having the ability [the freedom] to keep the Commandments, notably the Sabbath Commandment. Yes, theoretically, the Lutheran farmer in Iowa could keep the Sabbath. There is no physical impediment stopping him or her from keeping the Sabbath. But there is a mental impediment: the farmer’s consignment to disobedience. Hence the farmer and his or her neighbors will work together to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide shelter for the homeless, thereby coming under Paul’s gospel (see Rom 2:14–16) and making themselves into “sheep” according to Matthew 25:32. But neither the farmer nor his Lutheran or Mennonite neighbors will have ever kept the Sabbaths of the Lord. The farmer is not today born of spirit, and is not today included in the harvest of firstfruits but most likely will be justified in the great White Throne Judgment by the good works—outward love shown to neighbor and brother—done while remaining consigned to disobedience. And as a farmer, this person more than an urban dweller, should be able to understand the difference between the early barley harvest and the main crop wheat harvest, with the early barley harvest representing the harvest of the firstfruits of humanity to occur at the beginning of the Thousand Years while the main crop wheat harvest represents the harvest of humanity to occur after the Thousand Years.
In Adam, God planted the seed from which He will harvest sons of God, some representing the early barley harvest, some representing the main crop wheat harvest, some representing the oil and the wine, the crushed and processed fruits grown in the Promised Land that this earth represents … the oil, processed olives, should never look at the wheat in a belittling or demeaning way, calling the wheat Churchianity as was done within the former Worldwide Church of God. How many starving Africans did the oil feed or clothe, if the “oil” is really olive oil and not still toxic cottonseed oil? How many did the wine feed or clothe, if the “wine” is really wine not vinegar? For without love for neighbor and brother, the fruit of the Promised Land cannot be processed into sweet oil and wine. Thus, the fruit will be compelled to show love, even if this means dying as sacrificed lambs, another subject for another Sabbath Reading.
It still seems odd that Paul said, All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea when only Moses entered the cloud, and none of Israel even got their feet wet when crossing the Sea of Reeds.
By being under the cloud—not by entering the cloud—all of Israel was baptized in the cloud, suggesting that the cloud, having a visible bottom, in actuality extended all the way to the ground, with the cloud concealing the spiritual Rock that was Christ, according to Paul. This now will have Christ exercising authority over the area under the cloud, but not over the area beyond the cloud.
All of Israel was “baptized” in water, but not by getting wet as in John’s baptism. Rather Israel was baptized in water by passing through the Sea of Reeds on dry land. And as if repeating this motif for emphasis, all of the children of Israel [as opposed to their parents baptized in crossing the Sea of Reeds] were “baptized” in water, not by getting wet, but by crossing the flooding Jordan River on dry land. So now, how essential is it that a Christian convert gets wet when being baptized? And baptism is submersion or immersion (being completely engulfed) in water, in spirit, or in fire.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Jews appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon, were thrown into the King of Babylon’s overheated furnace: they were immersed in fire. Yet the fire never touched them:
And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king." He answered and said, "But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods." Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. (Dan 3:23–27 emphasis added)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego form a type of circumcised of heart Israel passing through the non-oxidizing fire that separates the dimensions, the creation from heaven. And as Israel, trapped between the Sea of Reeds and Pharaoh’s advancing army, was doomed for destruction if the Lord did not intervene, circumcised of heart Israel will pass through the fire that will divide for them as the Sea of Reeds parted for Israel.
But there is much to occur before Israel will pass through fire: there are lives to be lived between the theologically chiral bookends, the world baptized in water and unto death and the world baptized in fire and even the base elements of this world returning to being spirit. And the life to be lived is both individually lived and collectively lived—and in the collective, the life lived can be written as a thought-couplet, the natural or physical Adam bringing forth seed that was baptized in water in the days of Noah, then was grown out and a human cultivar selected, Abraham, and bred for two generations [Isaac and Jacob] before being released for field trials. And from the field trials came Moses, Israel, and the children of Israel, baptized in the cloud and in the water, neither of which physically touched either Israel or the children of Israel; for escape from death was now spiritual not physical.
The Passover in the days of Moses serves as the transition from the physical portion of natural life lived as a thought-couplet to the spiritual portion of natural life lived as a thought-couplet.
Now, place atop the natural life thought-couplet a spiritual life couplet that begins with the second Adam, Christ Jesus, with the spiritual cultivars [plural] selected being the first disciples and the Apostle Paul, these cultivars then released for field trials without being baptized into death — the baptism of Paul in Acts is found in a Second Sophist novel that can be shown to be historically false, and not a text to be trusted.
The field trials for the second Adam didn’t see the seed baptized in water and unto death as the seed of the first Adam was so baptized, but after two generations actually saw the death of the Body of Christ by the Father not drawing human persons from this world and delivering them to Christ.
The seed of the second Adam was never the fleshly bodies of human persons, but was always the living inner selves that dwelt in fleshly bodies. Therefore the seed of the second Adam could be resurrected by the Father simply drawing a future person from this world and delivering the person to Christ Jesus, with the inner self of the person to be resurrected to spiritual life through the indwelling of Christ.
The death of the Body of Christ is comparable to the period when natural Israel was a slave nation in Egypt—and as the Passover in the days of Moses liberated Israel from slavery [again, analogous to the death of the inner self from the loss of freewill; i.e., returned to being consigned to disobedience], the Second Passover in the days of the two witnesses will see the liberation of greater Christendom from indwelling sin and death, with all of greater Christendom being baptized in spirit.
In the natural couplet, the spiritual portion begins with the Passover and with Israel being baptized in the cloud and in the sea by passing under the one and passing through the other—and this Israel was rejected because of its unbelief. It was the children of this Israel that entered the Promised Land.
In the spiritual couplet, the spiritual portion begins with the Second Passover liberation of Israel when all of greater Christendom is baptized in spirit and into life as natural Israel was baptized in the cloud and in the sea. This is the baptism of Christ from henceforth.
But as the natural nation of Israel was rejected when the twelves spies returned from the Promised Land, ten bringing an evil report, only two (Joshua and Caleb) bringing a positive report, greater Christendom will be rejected (except for those Christians who represent Joshua [in Greek, ’Iseou — Jesus] and Caleb) for its unbelief of God that caused this people to return to sin, thereby committing blasphemy against the spirit. And this nation is replaced by the third part of humanity (from Zech 13:9), none of whom are today Christians, as Israel in the wilderness was replaced by the children of Israel.
In reality, Christians who are the first to be filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God will be rejected because, even after having the Law written on their hearts and placed within them, they will not strive to keep the Law but will return to their present ways of worship … the Lutheran will not cease to be a Lutheran; the Methodist will not cease to be a Methodist; the Catholic will not cease to be a Catholic; even the Mennonite will not cease to be a Mennonite.
The first shall be the last if they are even in the kingdom.
The processed fruit of the Promised Land (the oil and the wine), however, will not be part of the Body of Christ and as such is to greater Christendom as Moses was to Israel and to the children of Israel.
The spiritual portion of the spiritual couplet is the story told between the Second Passover liberation of Israel and the Second Advent; the story of seven endtime years of tribulation.
Divine intervention occurred for ancient Israel and for the children of Israel forty years later. Divine intervention will occur when circumcised of heart Israel is baptized in spirit and in fire—
However, in the short period when natural Israel, trapped between Pharaoh and his army and the Sea of Reeds, was without the ability to save itself, there was great despair:
The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to [YHWH]. They said to Moses, "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." And Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of [YHWH], which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. [YHWH] will fight for you, and you have only to be silent."
[YHWH] said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am [YHWH], when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen." (Ex 14:9–18 emphasis added)
[As an aside, without vowels inserted in the Tetragrammaton YHWH, the Tetragrmmaton cannot be uttered, cannot be pronounced, which is as it should be for the Tetragrammaton <YHWH> is not a naming noun but an always unpronounced linguistic determinative, used in early inscription so that uttered words should not be privileged over inscribed words. It is only via the ignorance of uninspired Imperial Hebrew scribes that the Tetragrammaton began to be used as a grammatically singular naming noun.]
Note what the Lord told Moses, as a father might say to his son, Why do you cry to me? Take care of the problem yourself. You have the staff. Divide the sea so that the people can escape. I’ll take care of Pharaoh. You don’t have to worry about him and his troops.
Did Moses bring Israel out from Egypt? Too many Christians do not understand why—in the gold calf rebellion—the Lord told Moses, “‘Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves’” (Ex 32:7).
Well, yes, Moses did have the staff that he raised up, causing the sea to part, but raising up the staff would have been a meaningless act if the Lord hadn’t done the actually parting of the sea, a juxtaposition that is of importance to Christians; for Christ expects Christians to be about doing things that are right and good, even impossible things, and not asking Christ about whether the Christian should or shouldn’t dip the Christian’s toes in the water … Why do you, Christian, cry out to me. You have the power to go forward. Lift up your heart and stretch out your hand. Do what it is that you’re going to do. I have your back.
Moses knew that Pharaoh and his army were doomed, that the Lord intended to do with Pharaoh what He would do with the Adversary … the Lord had to harden Pharaoh's heart so that Pharaoh could serve as a shadow and type of the spiritual King of Babylon, the Adversary, who will not release his serfs; for he is not concerned about the welfare of either Christians or Unbelievers. Pharaoh would have released Israel rather than see his people destroyed, but this is not the case with the Adversary.
Whether Moses knew how Pharaoh and his army would be destroyed isn’t known or knowable.
What can be known in retrospect is that Pharaoh had to be destroyed in water for the Adversary will be and already has been destroyed by fire coming out from his belly (see Ezek 28:18–19) … as a chiral image of the Adversary—as circumcised in the flesh Israel is the chiral image of circumcised of heart Israel—Pharaoh was to the Adversary as the baptism of the world in Noah’s day is to the baptism of the world in fire after the Thousand Years [the coming of the new heavens and new earth]. Pharaoh’s army had to be baptized in water unto death as the armies of the man of perdition [a human person possessed by the Adversary] are “baptized” in stone when the split Mount of Olives closes upon them as they pursue escaping Israel. Compare the following passages.
The enemy said, 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.' You [the Lord] blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them.
You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. (Ex 15:9–13 emphasis added)
The Lord blew and the seas divided—the Lord didn’t stretch out His right hand to part the sea; Moses stretched his hand. So verse 12 (You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them) doesn’t pertain to the parting of the Sea of Reeds, but pertains to another occasion of the enemy pursuing and being swallowed:
And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. (Rev 12:13–16 emphasis added)
Behold, a day is coming for [YHWH], when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then [YHWH] will go out and fight against those nations as when He fights on a day of battle. On that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. (Zech 14:1–15)
As you [Nebuchadnezzar] saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure. (Dan 2:43–45 emphasis added)
Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. [His] end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. (Dan 9:24–27 emphasis added)
Each of these prophetic passages have elsewhere been discussed in greater detail, but they are here used for the juxtaposition of Pharaoh’s baptism by water forming the chiral image of the Adversary’s baptism into destruction by land and by heavenly fire; for the destruction of the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision doesn’t come from a stone figuratively cast from heaven (as iconically represented by a 1905 Seventh Day Adventist painting) but by the coming-together of the severed Mount of Olives “swallowing” his earthly armies.
So, yes, the Lord told Moses, Why do you cry to me? You, Moses, tell the people to go forward. This is your show. You have the staff. You divide the sea so that the people can walk on dry land. You baptized all of these people this day by having them pass through the waters as Noah passed from one world [era] to the next world. You, Moses, will bring these people out from Egypt.
However, when the Lord dumped Israel’s rebellion onto Moses, Moses gave Israel back to the Lord:
But Moses implored [YHWH] his God and said, "O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, 'With evil intent did He bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.'" (Ex 32:11–13)
Pause for a moment: you as a Christian, what is your response when figuratively placed between a rock and a hard spot? Do you cry out to the Lord, Save me, save me, save me, and keep crying as if you are a baby. Or do you marshal whatever resources you have and do something?
If Moses had not stretched out his hand and held the staff up and pointed toward the opposite shore of the Sea of Reeds, would Israel have escaped Pharaoh and his army? Would Israel have been baptized in the cloud and in the sea? Or would the Lord have said that He would make a mighty nation from Moses?
It was because Moses, with a little prompting, stretched out his hand and lifted the staff that today, three and a half millennia later, we still talk about Moses …
Yes, Moses stretched out his staff, and the waters parted. Moses parted the waters, but he couldn’t have parted the waters if the Lord were not backing him. He could have done nothing without the Lord. So Moses attributed what was done to the Lord. However, the Lord expected Moses to act, to behave as if he, Moses, was doing everything. The Lord didn’t expect Moses to behave as a child, asking, What do I do next? The Lord expected Moses to solve the problem of Pharaoh and his army, not with weapons but with escape. He, the Lord, would back Moses, making sure what Moses did would happen; for it was His intent that the people of Israel would be baptized without getting wet, in a baptism analogous to being baptized in spirit (as represented by the cloud).
Baptism is about entering “death” without dying.
Noah and those with him were enveloped in water [rain] without dying, thanks to the Ark that Noah built after the plans given him by the Lord … if Noah hadn’t been diligent to build the Ark, he would have been one who also drowned; if Moses hadn’t stretched out his staff towards the waters of the Sea, Israel would have been slaughtered. Noah escaped certain calamity; Moses and the people of Israel escaped certain calamity because they acted when action was needed.
For Moses and the people of Israel, the Passover brought about the conditions within Pharaoh’s house that caused Pharaoh to let Israel go; that resulted in Israel being baptized in the cloud above them and in the sea that didn’t touch them.
Again, Israel was never in the cloud, only under the cloud. Moses entered the cloud, but Israel did not. Nor was Israel wetted by water. And Israel being baptized in the cloud and in the sea forms the shadow and copy of, first, all of greater Christendom being baptized in spirit following the Second Passover liberation of Israel, then 1260 days later, all of humanity [all flesh, again from Joel 2:28] being baptized in spirit when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man.
Baptism in water is about the death of the lawless inner self, as baptism in water in the days of Noah was about the death of air-breathing creatures, with Noah and those within the Ark serving as representatives of the non-physical glorified Christ and the angels to the seven named Churches [the eight humans: Noah, his sons, and the four wives]; representatives of the seven named Churches [the seven pair of clean animals]; and representatives of the single entity from every other Christian denomination, sect, or assembly [the single pair of every other species], each of these representatives having about the entity a different spirit as Caleb had a different spirit in him (Num 14:24), with Caleb being of Esau and apparently self-adopted into Israel, a proselyte from Israel’s brother.
No Sabbatarian Christian today knows the composition of the single unit of every entity of greater Christendom that represents the single pair of every species that boarded the Ark with Noah, his sons and their wives, and the seven pair of clean animals. All that can be known is that this single unit of every entity will come from 8th-day Christianity, and will have separated itself from its brothers in that these units have a different spirit, a different mindset, with Noah’s Ark serving as a representation of the inner self of the human person, and the living creatures in the Ark as the spirit of Christ, the spirits to the seven Churches (cf. Rev 1:20; 5:6), and the spirits of the persons composing the seven Churches and the spirits of the single units from every other Christian entity.
A convoluted sentence: Noah and the seven with him form the left hand chiral image of the glorified Christ Jesus and the seven angels to the seven churches. With Noah and the seven with him were seven pairs of clean animals that form the left hand chiral image of the seven named churches of Revelation chapters two and three. And in the image of the glorified Christ seen in Revelation 5:6 — the slain lamb with seven horns and seven eyes — the eyes are the seven spirits to the seven Churches, and the seven horns are the seven named Churches, with the Body of the slain Lamb being the single units of every Christian entity.
When importance moves from the flesh and from circumcised-in-the-flesh Israel to the soul [psuche] of the person who is circumcised of heart, the inner self of the person is as Jonah was in the whale [great fish], or when seen in greater detail, as the Ark was that took Noah from one world [age] into the next world. The Ark got wet on its outside, but inside those who rode out the Flood were dry … before a person argues that the Flood of Noah’s day wasn’t really a worldwide event, that the Flood was a local phenomenon, for the purposes of prophecy, it doesn’t matter whether the Flood even occurred: the story exists, and with the existence of the story, the reality that is represented by the story is sure to come to pass. Thus, the indwelling of Christ in every disciple genuinely born of spirit [the spirit of Christ <pneuma Christou> in the spirit of the person <to pneuma tou ’anthropou>] places the soul of the person in the position of Noah’s Ark when it comes to the world being baptized in spirit and into life. The soul “rides” through the turbulent waters of the tribulation [Affliction, Kingdom, and Endurance] and emerges on the other side, which in this case will be heaven for those who have taken judgment upon themselves, or the Millennium for those who have not.
The importance of the preceding is too easily overlooked: when all of humanity has been consigned to disobedience through Adam having eaten forbidden fruit and being driven from the Garden, all of humanity still lived long physical lives but did not live forever. However, the inner self of Adam died the day he ate forbidden fruit, the promise made to him by the Lord (Gen 2:16–17). And the seed of Adam became many, with Noah being the only one who was a preacher of righteousness, thereby figuratively making Noah the personification of the Lord in the late antediluvian world. But Noah was a man of flesh and blood, not a creation of spirit. So for Noah to represent a non-physical son of God that would cross from this physical creation into heaven, Noah needed a vessel able to transport him from one world [age] into the next world. The Ark was this vessel. Hence, the Ark came to represent the soul of the person drawn by the Father from this world and called, justified, and glorified by Christ Jesus—the Ark is the vessel that collectively transports the firstfruits of the harvest of humanity from the creation into heaven. As such, the story of the Flood is the story of John’s baptism. And inside of John’s baptism is the Lord [represented by Noah] having fulfilled all righteousness in having escaped death, not the death of the fleshly body but the death of the inner self that came with Adam eating forbidden fruit and came via Mary, mother of Jesus, a mother who could not transmit “life” (as in a living soul) to her firstborn son.
The man Jesus needed the “life” He had left behind when He entered His creation as His unique Son. And He received this life when the spirit of the Father [pneuma Theou] descended upon and entered into [eis] Jesus (Mark 1:10) when John raised Jesus from the water … the Ark had landed. The boatman wasn’t paid but was himself drowned. And because the Ark had settled on dry land, all sons of God could escape death and enter heaven; for a son of God isn’t the outer self but the living spirit of the person in the soul of the person.
Enough remains to be said for another Reading addressing baptism …
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."