Paul’s transition to maturity.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13 “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became an adult, I put away childish things” as an analogy of his transfiguration. That we transition into adulthood and spiritual perfection through a series of exchanges. Carnal for spiritual, earthly things for heavenly.
The writer of Hebrews put it like this, “the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 It was symbolic for that present time”. Demonstrating for us how the exchange works.
Hebrews later states to, let us therefore go boldly to the throne room of Grace”. Showing that we have access to what they were denied.
Children play with toys, which are small copies of things adults do. Generally boys play cops and robbers and girls play house. The same is true of the faith.
The old Covenant culture of the law was called “children” over two thousand times in the Bible. Even at the end of the 40 year wilderness wandering they were still called children when some of them were 80+ years old. Why? Because they could not “put away childish things” as having to do with the culture of the Law and Prophets, something that Christ fulfilled and shelved to save only for historical referencing. All the relics have no forward speaking relevance to the New Testament believers. As Hebrews states 1 God, who [a]at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 in these last days speaks to us by His Son”. Case closed. Or as Peter put it “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you” showing that they knew they were going to be seperceded.
The whole 40 years of wandering could have been reduced tremendously if they learned the exchange rate, things on earth for Heavenly things.
Even as Jesus said of the Jews in His day “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions”. Or to the Pharisees He said “you are not entering The Kingdom, nor are you allowing those who are trying to do so”. Ironically they thought they were in the kingdom of Jerusalem on earth, but didn’t realize it was just a silly play thing, and they were actor’s in the play.
Even ad the Lord chuckled with David wanting to build a house for Him. The Lord told David, you want to build a house for Me? See all these things I have made with My hands. And, from all those that went before you, did I ever ask anyone to build a house for Me? The firmament in the heavens cannot contain Me for these are these declare My handiwork.
The Israelites travels teach us that our spiritual pilgrimage is a journey, an invisible one. Which is why we are called sojourners in the faith, showing us that there is a progression and an end. This is why the first New Covenant believers were called the people of “The Way”. Like those from Abraham, they looked for the city whose builder and designer was God, knowing no city on Earth qualified as a place for God to rest. God rested on the 7th day from His creating, to the place He was before He ever created. This place is not created but the original all creation gets its form, showing us what our toys are we need to trade in.
Paul talks more about this exchange in Galatians saying “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and tutors until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, we were in bondage under the elements of the world”. Speaking of the Old Covenant culture from Moses, in to the promised land (meaning the place of promises) through Zion and up to Jerusalem in the time of David.
When David and his men went to take Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5) he was repelled by the lame and blind. But David said “Whoever climbs up, to Jerusalem, by way of the water shaft and defeats the Jebusites (the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul), he shall be chief and captain.” Therefore they say, “The blind and the lame (faithless) shall not come into the house.” This is a parable of those who think that Heavenly Jerusalem needs to take on a form common to the carnal senses but there is a reason Paul called Heavenly Jerusalem his mother.
As it was in David and in the time of Christ, it is again in our day. Believers are looking for something carnally tangible, showing that they are like the lame and blind that David dispised. They are looking for another Jesus, when Paul specifically said “if anyone comes preaching of another Christ, let them be accursed”.
As Paul said of the damned in his day “22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man”. And furthermore anticipate God to appear as a man in a silly man-made city on Earth so that they can shake His hand, showing they are lame and blind, which are not only hated by David, but God Himself. These refuse to progress in the faith.
The progression that was given in the Old Covenant and Paul and even Jacobs ladder is for us to be god-like, not the other way around. There is no glory in God becoming man.
So back to the toys and things that captivate the carnal, but transform the Elect
The things they handled of the preisthood of putting up and taking down the tabernacle, the holies and the Holy of Holies. The installation of the Ark, the placement of the show bread and the barriers between the Most Holy, the Holies for those in service, the tabernacle for the congregation that protected them from without. All it’s sacrifices and services were only toys and replicas of invisble eternal things with God in the Spirit as Moses was instructed on Sinai “make all things just like the things you saw on the Mount” showing that there was an original, mature, fully functional, eternal reality they were mimicking on earth of things that symbolized real ones.
The things they had were toys and copies of the originals. That as they played out these parts on Sabbath and Feast days of things laid out in a liniar fashion on a timeframe for our understanding and growth in a progression, to realize the eternal realities in the Heavens to which we are called to “Today” of things that are all simultaneously true at the same time. These things don’t have to be assembled, put up or waited for a specific time to be true because they already are eternally assembled and opporational, fully functionable and implimentable to the mature in the faith of being “The Kingdom Prepared from before the Foundations of the world, the original that all others have similtudes of.
This is why Paul said “when I became an adult, I put away childish ( old Covenant) things. And “when that which is perfect has come, that which is in part is done away with”. And “cast off the bond woman, being the Jerusalem on earth as the replica of the Heavenly but only in contrasts.
That which is perfect, is perfect in understanding as being “The City whose Builder and Maker is God”. Whose location, design and composition are Spirit and truth, the original all others are patterned after.
Humans external features experience compositions familiar to their senses, but the Elect have another set of senses as touching the invisble. For them it was “seeing with their eyes they see not” but Paul’s prayer was for the eyes of our understanding to be enlightened as being out new features.
This is why Paul went into his discourse if the sons verses slaves. That a slave and a child have the same instructors, being the law and the prophets, but the slaves being harnessed to their outer senses, being in bondage to the elements of the world, never transitioned from them. As Paul said “you have returned to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”
So let us be more diligent to learn from their mistakes and heed the warnings lest we be judged according to our works.
Therefore we must give [a]the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just [b]reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord.
This Salvation however long the journey may be, the objective remains the same.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.