Pneumatic Exegesis #1

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Summary (Please Read First)

The purpose of this post is to demonstrate what spiritual or pneumatic exegesis is like. I will concede that it is not reading the scriptures in a textual and exegetical sense, but it is reading them in a spiritual sense based on the criteria of Christ and good judgement. It’s “exegetical” in the sense that it has a fixed criteria; it’s spiritual in the sense that it requires an inspired mind from the Christian. This kind of reading is known among the Church Fathers like St. Paul, Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Irenaeus of Lyons, Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, and Origen. This post is intended to reveal the mystical insufficiency of Judaism, and the perfection of Christ. He is the One who conjoins Judaism and Hellenism in marriage, while bestowing His image to us. Behold the imagery and spiritual reading of the Old Testament.

Christ Was Hidden Till His Coming

Judaism partly contributed to the formation of Christianity, but they are not the full explanation or foundation for it. Greek philosophy became a tool and instrument as well in administering Christian philosophy. Judaism and the Greeks did not possess full and pure revelation of God as our father John asserts, “No one has seen God, but…He came to make Him known” (John 1:18). Let me demonstrate that the Jews did not know God as we do now. The prophet Samuel at his youngest state was called by God thrice, yet no discernment or recognition of His voice until Eli corrected his perception, in hopes of him now understanding the Word coming from God. In allegorical fashion, the young seer represents the state of humanity when it did not fully fathom the Word as He is now understood by the Christians. Eli represents the prophets and philosophers acting as mediators to the one true God, yet being insufficient in their guidance; for they too failed to conceive God at His best representation. Thus the words of John echo, that we should know that no one rightly knew God until the coming of Christ. Samuel after his conversation with Eli, engaged the Word and he was made alive by the same Word.

The Man of God’s Unjust Death

The greatest injustice of the death of this man of God, who listened to an old prophet. Indeed, he said to him, “I cannot return with you or eat bread or drink water with you in this place. For I have been told by the word of the LORD: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came’ ” (1st Kings 13:16, 17). But the old prophet insists by saying, “I too am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, so that he may eat bread and drink water’ ” (verse 18). But then the old prophet prophesied his death for eating bread and drinking water as an act of disobedience. Why does the god of the Jews murder a man not only deceived by another, but also spare a deceiver’s life? Perhaps, the old prophet doesn’t recognize divine oracles with steadfast accuracy as is evident with the man of God. These men like little Samuel did not know God without flaw or bias. In regard for him, he died over something completely trivial and not significant. The punishment of this deity is absurd, because Paul outright states, “For God has shut up all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all” (Romans 11:32). God understands the frustrations and weaknesses, and even the ignorance of all mankind, and He seeks the welfare of all, so then, He cannot give a command of such trivial worth and expect perfect compliance from fallen creatures. This deity and story depicted by the religious Jews is worthless unless one turns to the true meaning of it.

Rebuking the Somatic Expository

Before I offer a pneumatic expository of this story, I rebuke the somatic defense of such in this story. Someone will twist the Cross as an instrument of why God no longer acts in like manner to the deity expressed in the Jewish writings. They will claim that God received His payment as a means to forgive all of humanity, but such an argument is foolish! God does not change in character, nor does He act in like manner to what the Jews depicted in their stories. The Cross was an instrument for our persuasion to faith in God, not as a payment to the Father, because as it is written, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses” (2nd Corinthians 5:19). Christ came to save us from sin, so He inspired us towards the Father, and purged our sinful priorities from our minds. Does not the apostolic scriptures utter, “He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14)? It was not for the forgiveness of sins, instead the Greek best translates as “deliverance from sins”.

Offering the Pneumatic Expository

Now, these spiritual types are evident: the man of God prefigures those who desire to serve God, and the old prophet represents those who appear as authority figures since the man of God held no respectable title as did the old figure. Youth signifies the less experienced and more naive while old signifies the more experienced and less naive. You will find those who wish to serve God passionately even in their youthful age, but you will discover that there are elders, who appear as mature and noble to the common person, yet inwardly are selfish, beguiled by their own thoughts, and impulsive. Elders of this kind do not serve the youthful and passionate well, but have the potential to destroy their zealous followers or youthful companions. By deceit, they lead the zealous astray. By oppression, they harden the youth against them. By charm, they incite their followers to become like them. Indeed, such a thing repeats itself in the life of the Pharisees and even in the Church. Because of the false prophecy of this elder whom the young man trusts, he was crushed by the might of shame and condemnation coming from Satan. “As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying in the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it” (verse 24). The lion prefigures the evil one as it is stated, “Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1st Peter 5:8).

Instruction: [Youth, expect your elders to make mistakes; elders, do not lord over the flock but lead them by example lest you cause the little ones to stumble from the faith and to be devoured by a lion].

But then, we find a profound truth that’s also found in Christ. “He went and found the body lying in the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had not eaten the body or mauled the donkey” (verse 28). The donkey is a type of Christ as related to in Matthew 21:5, who is contending over the body of those who have fallen while they’re maintaining hope in the resurrection. As Micheal disputed with Satan over the body of Moses, that it should not decay, nor be lost forever by a Ruler of sin, so Christ disputes over the bodies of those who were tragically killed and deceived by the utterance of impious elders (Jude 1:9). After the resurrection of all, those who killed and deceived these little ones will lament before those they were entrusted to. They will say, “Oh, my brother!” to express their repentance before the little ones (verse 30). Whoever does not protect the sheep and whoever leads them astray, these will be consigned to an indefinite fire of judgment.

The Battle of Spiritual Authority

Nehemiah, though not a prophet, was deceived by the opinion of such a person. Nehemiah gave heed to bias and so did the prophet along with him. Nehemiah symbolizes the beast, and the prophet prefigures the false prophet in the Revelation of John. As he desired to build a wall for Jerusalem, the prophet Noadiah, following the voice of the divine Logos, sought to oppose his deeds. Noadiah and the rest of the prophets sought after the vision of Zechariah, who states in his vision, “Run, speak to this young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. For I,’ says the LORD, ‘will be to her a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory in the midst of her” (Zechariah 2:4, 5). But Nehemiah refuses such a vision, and follows his will as did the prophet with him. The Jewish prophets did not always harmonize with one another, because the divine Logos was not yet known in a special manner. Judaism in all her prophets did not fully represent the one true God, but Christ did so, and now we carry this same mantle. With this mantle from Christ, we must protect the revelation of Christ from destructive notions about God. A spiritual veil covers the religious Jews, and those who follow the somatic insight of the Old Testament. “And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts” (2nd Corinthians 3:15).

Ezekiel Is A Type of Christ

As the Church, let us read the Jewish writings with pneumatic eyes lest the somatic interpretation lead us astray from Christ and into bondage. “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (verse 16, 17). Liberty from what? This same veil prefigures blindness to the divine Logos, because the pneumatic mind understands the mysteries of God through contemplation and communion with God. The words of John echo these words: No one has seen God. But the Spirit of Christ makes Him known to us through the mediums of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17). “Or who can know Your mind, unless you give Wisdom and send Your Holy Spirit from above? (Wisdom 9:17). In Christ, we have a greater exemplar and one greater than Moses. Christianity is not bound to Judaism, nor is it rigidly imprisoned by the Greeks, instead it harmonizes the two systems through one Mediator. Ezekiel is a type of Christ who holds both the sticks consisting of the Jews and the Greeks, and God tells Him, “Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand” (Ezekiel 37:17). Therefore, we have a pneumatic and figurative prophecy that was fulfilled by the hand of Christ Himself.

Note: I know this is not an actual predictive prophecy from the book of Ezekiel, but if we read it in a spiritual sense, you can see how it speaks “prophetically” about Jesus.

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George M. Garcia

George M. Garcia

A writer interested in theology and the supernatural. A Christian with divine experiences and a vast understanding of Scripture.