December 2004
Article 52 (continued)



      36 "You shall make a curtain for the door of the tabernacle, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver," Ex 26:36.
      The "door" to the tabernacle has already been discussed, but we will here briefly emphasize some of the major correlations. 1) Christ died for the sins of all mankind (1Jn 2:1-2), with full benefits for the covenant people only; 2) the sacrifice represented both Christ (Heb 10:5-10) and the offerer, which could be an individual (Lev 4 & 5), all Israel (Lev 16), or the church as the body of Christ (1Co 10:16-18); 3) the efficacy of the sacrifice depended and still depends on the faith response of each individual; 4) the eating of the sacrifice meant partaking of the altar – becoming one body with Christ, (1Co 10:16-18; Heb 13:10); 5) washing the hands and feet each time before ministering at the altar and before ministering in the tabernacle; 6) the initial whole body washing at the door of the tabernacle (obviously at the laver) equates being baptized into the divine resurrection body of Christ, (Rom 6:3-6; 1Co 12:12-13; Gal 3:27); 7) the whole body washing of baptism put the faithful believer metaphorically into the divine resurrection body of Christ; and 8) true church members are thereby counted as being crucified, dead, buried, and raised together with Christ out of the grave into the new and divinely "born again" body of Christ, 1Co 15:1-2,44-58; 2Co 5:1-5,16-21; Eph 2:10-18.
      The sacrifice, the bronze altar, the laver, the ordination of the Levitical priests, and the door of the tabernacle are associated together in this major way. In the metaphor, the sacrifice represents Christ, but the church is also the body of Christ,
      12 "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
      13 "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free - and have all been made to drink into one Spirit,"
1Co 12:12-13.
      27 "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually." 1Co 12:27.
      Everything about the tabernacle from the court fence to the ark of the covenant, including all the priests, their garments, and the sacrifices, speak of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the firstborn sonship as "one," in a unique divine oneness,
      21 "That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
      22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
      23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me,"
Jn 17:21-23.
      The Holy Spirit uses the church to baptize believers into the church, which is metaphorically the body of Christ, 1Co 12:12-27; Gal 3:27; Rom 6:3-6. Thus, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are using a true local church to baptize believers into Their divine oneness with Them, Jn17:21-23; Gen 1:26; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; 5:30-32.
      The tabernacle represented God's dwelling place in the midst of His firstborn covenant or last will and testament people. The tabernacle lasted until it was replaced by the temple, built by Solomon according to God's instructions to David before David died, 1Kings 2 thru 8. That temple was destroyed, later rebuilt a couple of times, and lasted until AD70.
      However, Christ established the church to be God's holy dwelling place through this current age. The church is called the house of God (1Ti 3:15), the temple of God (1Co 3:16), the body of Christ, (1Co 12:27), the Lord's sheep who hear His voice and follow Him (Jn 10); etc. During the Millennium God's dwelling place, on the one hand, will be in His firstborn sons as His temple, Rev 3:12. On the other hand, Israel will be grafted back into the covenant position, on a testing and proving basis, with the overcomers qualifying, through God's last will and testament, to become pillars in the temple of God, Rom 9:4. On the new earth God's dwelling place will be in the New Jerusalem; however, the Father Himself, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the faithful firstborn sons will all be eternal pillars in the temple, Rev 21:22; 3:12.
      The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit will dwell in all of the firstborn sons; reciprocally, all the firstborn sons will dwell in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore each of the firstborn sons will eternally share the fullness of God's divine attributes, according to the degree of the faithfulness of each one in this current earthly life, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:13,22-24; 4:30-32; Col 2:9-10; 3:9-10; 1Co 15:44-50; 2Pe 1:4; Jn 10:30-36; 14:9-11; 17:21-23; et al.
      As Christ grew up in the flesh as a human, He always did the will of the Father which was always the will of the Holy Spirit, Ps 22:9-10; Isa 49:1-2; 50:4-5; Lk 2:40,49.52; Mt 4:1; Jn 5:30-31. Please read these passages over and over again. All the thoughts, the emotions, and the ever abiding will of Christ were according to the will of the Holy Spirit and the will of the Father. His life was filled with myriads of emotions and decisions every day, but He had obviously memorized the Scriptures completely, and they governed every emotion He had and every decision He made.
      With emphasis we recognize that these were His emotions and His decisions. But they were all precisely the emotions and choices of the Holy Spirit and of the Father, Jn 4:34; 5:30; 6:38. Broadly speaking, this is precisely the zenith and fullness of life which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are constantly striving to work out in us. Here is the inheritance of the last will and testament, for which inheritance we are constantly striving to qualify, 1Co 9:23-27; 2Ti 4:8; Heb 9:16-17; Ja 1:12; 1Pe 5:4. "Many are called, but few are chosen," Mt 22:14.


      37 "And you shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, and you shall cast five sockets of bronze for them," Ex 26:37.
      "Five" is said to be the number of grace. Others have said that five is the number of Christ. Certainly Christ is the door Jn 10:1-7; 14:6. Also, every good and perfect gift comes down from God (Ja 1:17), Who is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1Jo 1:5). Again, Christ is the light of the world (Jo 9:5; 8:2), because the Father and Christ are "one," Jn 17:21-23. Thus, the church, in the metaphor, as the body of Christ, is therefore the light of the world, Mt 5:14.
      "Pillars," as in the tabernacle, are used as support for the weight of whatever is above it. Two-by-fours (studs) in the wall of a house support the ceiling and roof structure, as well as the other materials attached to the walls. A pillar is normally used as a larger support column as seen below.
      29 "And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left.
      30 "Then Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!' And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life,"
Jdg 16:29-30.
      9 "And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised," Gal 2:9.
      The word "pillars" is used here concerning strong leaders of the Jerusalem church. All the apostles were "pillars" in the faith: a pillar is one who is an example of worthy and steadfast support and encouragement in the faith to others.
      15 "But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth," 1Ti 3:15.
      Christ established a local church to serve as God's dwelling place on earth during this age. No one outside a true local church has the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, and therefore cannot, in any capacity, serve as a pillar in the Lord's church. The Holy Spirit with His indwelling ministry was given only to those in a true local church. See editor's book entitled, "Christ In You."
      The local church – there is no other church, visible or invisible, but we often say "local" church for clarity and emphasis. The church has the keys (authorities) of the kingdom and can deliver unfaithful members to Satan: put them out of the body of Christ, and out of the covenant, or last will and testament standing (1Co 5; Mt 16:18-17; 18:17-18; 2Th 3:6). That same church can forgive them and bring them back into the body of Christ, when they repent, 2Co 2:5-6. That same church, though it is the pillar and support of the truth, can forfeit its holy state as the pillar and ground of the truth, and become a false church, Heb 3:6; Rev 2:5; 3:3,16. The church, as a local body, still exists in the world today, but is now in a worldly and lukewarm condition, unable to recognize the perilous condition it is in, Rev 3:14-22.
      12 "He who is overcoming, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name," Rev 3:12.
      The Bible has much to say about false churches and false Christians. Many will say, "Lord, Lord," but Christ will say, "I never knew you," Mt 7:13-27. Indeed, many in true churches are also lukewarm. They are increased with godly appearance, but are in violation of the strait and narrow way, Rev 3:13-18. Many are pillars in the house of God in their own eyes, and are unaware of who they are in God's eyes, Heb 4:13; 2Co 3:12.
      "He shall go no more out," Rev 3:12. In this life we are to serve the Lord with fear and trembling, knowing the terror of the Lord, Phi 2:12; 2Co 5:10-11. We must serve the Lord being constantly aware of the terror of the coming judgment of the Lord (2Co 5:10-11), if we fail to make our calling and election sure, 2Pe 1:4-10. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:23-39), but walking after the flesh will do it (Rom 8:13), not bearing the proper fruit will do it (Jn 15:1-6), failing to make our calling and election sure will do it, 2Pe 1:3-10. May God humble us and give us a true spirit of repentance, and a pure and searching heart, ever proving our understanding the truth.


      37 "And you shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, and you shall cast five sockets of bronze for them," Ex 26:37.
      The acacia wood represented the humanity of Christ and all the last will and testament people who qualify to receive the full range of God's divine attributes, Jn 17:21-23; Rev 3:12. The acacia wood was here overlaid with gold, which obviously represents God's divine nature. This is the first we see of the gold as we approach the tabernacle from the outside, but gold is the predominate metal in the rest of the tabernacle structure and all its furnishings.
      21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him," 2Co 5:21.
      God made Christ what we are, that He may further make us what He and Christ and the Holy Spirit are and have always been. God created angels without number, countless stars in the heavens, and myriads of living things on the earth and in the sea. But above and beyond all else, He said, "Let Us make man in our image and in our likeness," Gen 1;26.
      God began this monumental masterpiece in the creation of Adam and Eve, and has now produced the firstfruits of the divine new birth in the resurrection of Christ, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33. The Son of God vicariously became a human in a sinless virgin birth, lived a perfect human life, was made sin for us, and in His resurrection created a "new man" fully in the divine image and likeness of God, Col 2:9; 3:10; Eph 4:22-23; 1Co 15:44-50; Jn 17;21-23; Ps 17:15. The resurrection of Christ was a new birth, creating a new divine man, which is now our "living hope:"
      3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
      4 "To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
      5 "Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
      6 "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
      7 "That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
      8 "Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,"
1Pe 1:3-8.


      38 "And its five pillars with their hooks. And he overlaid their capitals and their rings with gold, but their five sockets were bronze," Ex 36:38.
      Each pillar represented Christ and the covenant people as "one," serving as the door into Christ, into the house or temple of God, and therefore into the divine state of being of Christ's divinely born again human body. Each member of the church serves as "a pillar in the temple of my God," Rev 3:12, and each pillar had a chapiter (as a crown), which was overlaid with gold, as the pillar was, except its base or socket. Those who overcome will each receive 1) an incorruptible crown (1Co 9:23-29), 2) a crown of righteousness (2Ti 4:8), 3) a crown of life (Ja 1:12), 4) a crown of glory (1Pe 5:4), and 5) a crown of rejoicing, 1Th 2:19.
      These crowns represent all the divine attributes: the fullness of God, or the full range of God's divine attributes, Eph 1:22-23; 3;19; 4:22-24; 5:31-32; Col 2:9-10; 2Pe 1:4; 1Co 15:44-50; Jn 17:21-23; et al. Each overcomer will receive of all of God's fullness, but will receive according to the extent of each one's faithfulness, by grace through faith, Mt 24:37-51; 25; Lk 19:11-27; 1Co 3:14-15; 2Co 5:10-11; et al. The unfaithful saved will not qualify for the last will and testament inheritance, 1Co 3:15; 2Ti 2:19-21; Heb 12:8. That inheritance is promised only to those who qualify through the testament training in a true local church, Heb 3; 4; & 12. The other sons will be of the servant nations during the Millennium and on the new earth, Rev 21:23-26; Gal 4:21-31; Heb 12:8.


      37 "And you shall make for the curtain five pillars of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, and you shall cast five sockets of bronze for them," Ex 26:37.
      38 "And its five pillars with their hooks. And he overlaid their capitals and their rings with gold, but their five sockets were bronze," Ex 36:38.
      There were numerous hooks, rings, bands, etc., of the fence posts, and throughout the tabernacle pillars, curtains and coverings. These speak of the ligaments, fibers, and other joint parts, for instance, which connect the major parts of the human body together. These aid to produce the numerous functions of the whole body for the final reciprocating products of understanding, love, mercy, justice, patience, goodness, peace, gentleness, strength, stability, etc.
      15 "But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ.
      16 "From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love,"
Eph 4:15-16; 1Co 12.


      38 "And its five pillars with their hooks. And he overlaid their capitals and their rings with gold, but their five sockets were bronze," Ex 36:38.
      All the sockets of the court fence were of bronze, but all the sockets of the tabernacle pillars and wall boards were of silver, except the sockets of these five entrance pillars, which served as the tabernacle door. Of all the tabernacle sockets these were of bronze. This was a striking difference which catches out attention immediately, but was not arbitrary on God's part. This difference in the type of metal in the sockets bears a progressive and distinctive testimony. These five pillars, overlaid with gold, were resting on sockets of bronze, which bronze sockets bear witness of severe proving and testing in the fires of God's last will and testament discipline. The other sockets of the tabernacle structure were of silver which speaks of redemption on a progressive basis, as follows:
      Both the tabernacle and later the temple represented God's house, His living temple. Since Christ, as the Lamb of God, has been sacrificed, has died, been buried, and born again out of the grave into a divine human body, a great change has taken place, but the symbolism still continues. The human body of Christ is now glorified (deified), and our bodies, as members of Christ, are credited as being His divine born again body, Rom 6; 2Co 3:7-12; Gal 2:20; 3:24. However, our bodies have not really been crucified, dead, buried, and raised into a glorified state: God is speaking of things which be not as though they were, Rom 4:17. The second curtain represented the human body of Christ; however, when His body was born again out of the grave, that curtain was divinely ripped apart.
      As members of the deified body of Christ, our bodies (in a metaphor) are "counted" as being deified also. That is great, and is a part of God's purpose, but we are still in sinful flesh bodies and cannot enter into the presence of God in this sinful state. Our bodies must also be truly born again into the divine image and likeness of God, before we can literally and freely enjoy that divine privilege. Our hands and feet still have to be washed before we symbolically enter into God's divine presence.
      The tabernacle and temple of the Old Testament have passed away, and we are symbolically divine members of the deified body of Christ; however, we are still in mere flesh bodies. We can get no higher off the ground than we can jump, climb, or ride in an elevator, airplane, or in a man made rocket.
      The Levitical priests continued washing their hands and feet before entering into the tabernacle. We still must confess our sins and symbolically enter through the person of the Holy Spirit into the presence of God, Eph 2:18. We will go more into detail into this when we come to the second curtain or veil which divides the two holy places. Currently we are under the severe last will and testament disciplinary training endeavoring to qualify for the firstborn sonship inheritance, Heb 2; 3; 4; 11; 12; et al.
      9 "For My name's sake I will defer My anger, and for My praise I will restrain it from you, so that I do not cut you off.
      10 "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
      11 "For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another.
      12 "Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last,"
Isa 48:9-12; Rom 9:4.
      Severe disciplinary training is a learning process because our sinful nature is inherently and stubbornly bent toward selfish interests and sinful desires, Rom 7:5-25. Covenant discipline is necessary for purifying us from self will, and tempering us into the similitude of God's divine image and likeness. However, it will take the "new birth" to rid us of the sin nature, and transform our body and spirit into God's divine nature and life. This will be done by the Holy Spirit when Christ returns, 1Co 15:44-58; 1Th 4:13-18.
      The bronze in the court fence, the burnt altar, the laver, and in the sockets of the door into the tabernacle address the fiery trials of covenant training. The covenant training will not give us the new birth, but it is God's way of training and qualifying us to His satisfaction for the resurrection new birth, 1Co 15. We must die daily while living, 1Co 15:30-31. We must daily bear about in our bodies the dying of Christ: the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, 2Co 3:6-12; 1Co 15:1-31.
      Above the bronze sockets, we are introduced to the gold: the human acacia wood was overlaid with the divine gold. The acacia wood speaks of the human nature of Christ, and the gold addresses His divine nature, inexpressibly more glorious than the human nature. Now, the whole man (body and spirit) will be born again in the resurrection into a new man: a new kind of man, indeed a divine man:
      44 "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
      45 "And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
      46 "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
      47 "The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.
      48 "As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
      49 "And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
      50 "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption,"
1Co 15:44-50.
      The life source of the flesh body is in the blood, but the life source of the born again body is in God's divine nature. The specific "inheritance" of the last will and testaments is in the shedding of the blood, the death of the sinful flesh body, and the resurrection new birth into a divine (human and divine) body that is still "flesh and bone," (Lk 24:39): flesh and bone, but divine.


      18 "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
      19 "For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,"
Col 1:18-19.
      9 "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
      10 "And you are complete
(filled with all the same fulness) in Him (as His body), Who is the Head of all principality and power," Col 2:9-10.
      The church is the body of Christ (in the metaphor), and is therefore reckoned or credited as being filled up with the same divine fulness, 2Pe 1:4. That is, the faithful firstborn sons will inherit the full range of divine attributes, but only to the degree of their faithfulness, Mt 25:14-30; Lk 19:11-26; 2Co 5:10-11; Rev 22:12.
      These verses do not apply to the unfaithful saved (1Co 3:15), but to the steadfast overcomer in the last will and testament relationship (a true local church in this age), 1Co 15:1-2; 2Ti 2:19-21; Gal 4:21 Thru 5:5; et al. God created the nations soon after the flood in Noah's day, and has been saving people out of the nations ever since. The covenant with Adam and his descendants lasted until the time of Moses Lev 20. Then the Law Covenant was given, which, for the most part, cut the Gentiles off from covenant standing, with Jethro and Balaam being among the last ones mentioned.
      It is obvious that God created the nations with an eternal purpose in mind. The nations will be on the earth during the Millennium, Rev 2:26-27; 20:7-9. They will also be on the new earth after the Millennium (Rev 21:23-26; 22:2), and evidently through the many ages of ages yet to come.       9 "Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments," Deu 7:9; 1Ch 16:15; Ps 1-5:8.
      21 "To Him is the glory in the church even in Christ Jesus, into all the generations of the age of the ages. Amen," Eph 3:21.       This indicates that there will continue to be generations with children being born in at least many of the ages to come. At the beginning of the Millennium, the "curse" on all creation will be removed (Rom 8:19-22), while Satan (and probably his angels) will be cast into hell for a thousand years, Rev 20. It will be a utopian age, except the nations will still be sinners and children will be born with the sinful nature during that period, Isa 65:17-25. This passage indicates that some will die physically as now during the Millennium. Others who do not repent will be accursed from God, but will continue to live without dying, perhaps till the end of the Millennium.


      37 "And you shall make for the curtain five pillars of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, and you shall cast five sockets of bronze for them," Ex 26:37.
      The five sockets were of bronze, but above the sockets on the five pillars and throughout the remainder of the tabernacle, gold and silver were the only metals used. The silver speaks of redemption, and the gold testifies of the divine nature. This may at first appear to indicate from the metal standpoint that full redemption would take place once inside the tabernacle. But the priests had to continue going out of the tabernacle and washing their hands and feet each time before they ministered at the burnt altar and before reentering the tabernacle.
      The ministry and required activities of the priests inside and outside the tabernacle, including the various feasts and other symbolic ordinances, revealed to the searching and alert mind that the building structure of the tabernacle and the ministry of the priests prophesied of future workings of the Lord. The writings of Moses provided a great storehouse of information from God about the past, present, and future of Israel and the world. God has always had faithful people, with prophets and others who had fairly good understanding about God and His revelations of the future.


      19 "You shall make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards: two sockets under each of the boards for its two tenons," Ex 26:19.
      There were 20 boards, standing upright on each side of the tabernacle, and eight boards on the west or back end of the tabernacle, totaling 48 boards. Each board had two tenons, with each tenon extending down into a separate and very heavy silver socket. This made 96 sockets altogether, for the twenty boards on each side and eight on the back. These sockets were made of silver, and served as the foundation for the tabernacle. Silver speaks of redemption, Ex 25:11-16; Lev 38:25.


      18 "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
      19 "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
      20 "He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
      21 "Who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
      22 "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
      23 "Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever,"
1Pe 1:18-23.
      Jesus' body was literally "born again" in His resurrection, and He thus became the Firstborn from the dead, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5. Jesus had said, "...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you," Jn 6:53. Just before His death, when He instituted the Lord's Supper, He blessed the bread and said to the disciples, "Take, eat, this is my body," Mt 26:26.
      The Lord's Supper portrays us as eating the flesh and drinking the blood of His human body. Of course, the Lord's Supper is symbolic of doing that, yet we are literally feeding our minds, and are thereby growing and being strengthened in grace, in faith, in knowledge, in experience, etc.
      In doing this, the Lord taught that His church is counted as being His human now deified body. Therefore, the body of each and every member of the church is counted as being members of the crucified, dead, buried, raised, and now deified body of Christ, Rom 12:4-5; 1Co 12:12-27. The church (each and every proper member of the church) is therefore metaphorically counted as having passed through the crucifixion cycle together with Christ, as His human body. Our bodies, therefore, are counted (Rom 4:17) as having been crucified together in His body, died together in His body, buried together in His body, and raised back to life in His body together with Him into a "born again" divine human body, Rom 6:1-23; Col 2:9; thru 3:11; 1Co 15:44-50.


      15 "And for the tabernacle you shall make the boards of acacia wood, standing upright.
      16 "Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the width of each board.
      17 "Two tenons shall be in each board for binding one to another. Thus you shall make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
      18 "And you shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side,"
Exo 26:15-19.
      The boards of acacia wood, overlaid with "gold" testified of the divine nature in the divine human body, into which Christ was born in His resurrection, Ps 2:7; Col 1:18-19; 2:9-10; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5; 1Co 15:44-10. In the metaphor, each member of the Lord's church has been crucified together with Christ in His body, died together with Christ in His body, was buried together with Christ in His body, and raised and born again together with Christ in His resurrection new birth.
      Christ did not have three births, but only two births: the first was His virgin birth, and the second was His "new birth" in His resurrection. Both His water baptism and Spirit baptism were symbolic portrayals of His later death, burial, and new birth resurrection, in which He would truly create the "new man" in a genuine divine birth out of the grave. There was no real birth in His baptism. Neither was there a divine birth in our bodies when we were baptized.
      The water baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist testified that Jesus, as Christ the Messiah, would "fulfill all righteousness" by His death, burial, and divine (new birth) resurrection out of the grave, Mt 3:15. This is the testimony of Isa 53, and throughout both Old and New Testaments. Though Christ was God in a human body, miraculously formed in the womb of the virgin Mary, that human body was not a divine body until it was divinely born into a divine body out of the grave in Christ's resurrection, Col 1:18-19; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-3; Heb 1:5-13; et al.
      However, our bodies were, in the figure of a metaphor, born again when we were baptized with John's baptism, Rom 4:17. John's baptism also testifies of the new birth in the resurrection when Christ returns. That will be a major event in "the fulfillment of all righteousness," (Mt 2:15) following the new birth of Christ's human body in His resurrection, Col 1:18-19.
      After having been made sin on the cross, Christ paid the wages of sin in full on the cross and in His death and burial. The "new birth" is the creation of the "new man," which Christ created in His resurrection, 2Co 5:16-17; Eph 2:10-16. Christ thereby became the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18-19), at which time His sinless human body was born of God into a divine human body, Col 1:18-19; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-39. Demons recognized the Son of God in His human body. Clearly, demons knew Christ before they sinned and became demons, and they recognized that same Son of God, now in a human body, Mt 4:8; Mk 3:11.
      18 "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
      19 "For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,"
Col 1:18-19.
     All the fullness of God's divine nature now dwells in the body of Christ, because He is the firstborn from the dead. The flesh body of Christ before His death was a sinless human body, with the Son of God dwelling in it. It was not a divine body until His resurrection, when the human body was born of God.
      Since the church is and was counted to be His flesh body (Rom 4:17), and the bodies of all in the church are addressed as being the members of His flesh body, then the bodies of all the faithful last will and testament people are now counted as having been crucified, died, buried, and born again out of the dead together with Him, as His born again body. Hence, the bodies of all the faithful covenant people are now counted to be born again members of the born again (divine) body of Christ.
      We should recognize then that neither our spirit nor our body has yet been really born again. Let us understand and remember that our mind is an inseparable part of our spirit, Lk 16:19-31; Rev 6:9-11. Therefore we recognize that our mind (often addressed as our heart) which governs the entirety of both our body and our spirit, is deceitful above all things, desperately wicked beyond our ability to correct, Jer 17:9. Even now, we can do right only by the Holy Spirit who is dwelling in us to work righteousness through both our spirit and our body, Phi 2:13; 1Co 15:10; Heb 4:16.
      9 "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
      10 "And you are (have) that fullness in Him, who is the head of all principality and power,"
Col 2:18-19.
      On the basis of God reckoning us to be crucified, dead, buried, and raised (born again) out of the grave together with Christ, we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as an earnest or guarantee of receiving that new divinely born again body. However, the Holy Spirit is given on the condition that we daily accept the Spirit's disciplinary ministry in us. The Spirit's ministry in us is to transform us out of the sinful image and likeness of Satan into the divine image and likeness of God, 2Co 5:1-11; Act 26:17-18; Col 1:12-13; Rom 8:23-27; Ja 4:4-5. "Let us make man in our image and in our likeness," Gen 1:26.


      16 "Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
      17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new," 2Co 5:16-17.
      Christ is truly the new man in a heavenly, divine, spirit body. We have not yet been born into that state of being. We must recognize that we are in a qualifying stage, where we must, in our minds and in our emotions, be constantly "putting off the old man" (the first Adam, who is dead in sins) and "putting on the new man" (the divinely born again spirit and body), Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:1-10.
      In this life, both our spirit and our body are dead in sins. We are only counted (in the metaphor) as being born again members of the born again Christ. He is the firstborn from the dead, of whom the Father said, "This day I have begotten you," Ps 2:7; Col 1:18-19; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5; et al.
      Jesus was God in a sinless human body. He lived a perfect human life in that human body, bore the wrath of God against our sins in His human body, died, and was buried. However, the third day (before His human body saw corruption) it was born again into a divine state of being, filled with all the fulness of God's divine nature, Col 1:18-19; 2:9. If we are not constantly putting off the old man and putting on the new man, then we are not abiding in Christ, and will forfeit the firstborn sonship and its birthright, Heb 12:1-17; Gal 4:19 thru 5:5.


      10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
      11 "Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh - who are called uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision made in the flesh by hands –
      12 "That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
      13 "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
      14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
      15 "Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
      16 "And that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity," Eph 2:19-16.
      "Created in Christ" means born again members of the born again body of Christ. This requires the use of a metaphor, (a figure of speech), which is a convenient aid for analysis. We are not actually the body of Christ or members of the body of Christ. Such metaphors greatly help us to understand and enjoy the rich relationship God has provided for His firstborn last will and testament people.
      In that metaphor, we are addressed as being the "born again" members of the "born again" divine body of Christ. But we are not actually members of the body of Christ. A man and woman marry and the two become as "one," in many ways, Eph 5:30-32. For emphasis of being "one" in kind and in all relationships of life, we are addressed as being members of the body of Christ.