I was wondering if there is a specific quote for the understanding of ‘before the cross literal, after the cross spiritual’?

Brother SW,

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 1 Corinthians 15:44–46.

When Christ arrives (the second Adam) it changes to spiritual. I also try and point out that it is not a direct break at the cross. There were still Old Testament prophecies that were to be fulfilled literally, such as the destruction of Jerusalem. I also like to use Luke 21:5–6.

And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

I then go to 1 Peter 2:5–6.

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Here we find Jesus pointing to the literal stones of the temple, and then Peter identifying the new Christians as living stones in the temple. From there I go to Paul in Galatians.

For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. Galatians 4:22–26.

Paul here teaches that the new covenant with the Christian Church has been prefigured in type by the covenant with ancient Israel, and that literal Jerusalem for ancient Israel was prefiguring spiritual Jerusalem for spiritual Israel (the Christian Church). I then add the offspring of Abraham.

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:7–9.

In the time period of the cross literal Jerusalem is set aside for spiritual Jerusalem, the old covenant with literal Israel is replaced with the new covenant with spiritual Israel and the literal sons of Abraham are replaced with the spiritual sons of Abraham. This time period is marked when the second Adam, who is spiritual, arrives into history. Jeff.

Published by

Comment on this FAQ