The Central Person and Focus of Scripture
The distinction and uniqueness of Christianity rests upon one Person and focus as can only be spiritually apprehended throughout all of Scripture. Unfortunately, most of Christendom misses the mark when it comes to these two aspects of the Bible.
The following commentary, taken from The Study of Scripture, by Arlen L. Chitwood of “The Lamp Broadcast, Inc.” in Norman, Oklahoma (www.lampbroadcast.org) will greatly assist the reader in understanding this critical issue. An editor’s note will follow the commentary.
The Central Person of Scripture
Viewing Scripture after the preceding fashion, a complete word picture is presented of the central Person of Scripture — the Lord Jesus Christ. This word picture begins in the opening chapter of Genesis and continues uninterrupted until the Living Word Himself appears on the scene 4,000 years later. In this respect, the Old Testament forms a complete introduction to and revelation of the One who would appear on the earth, intervening in the affairs of man, 4,000 and 6,000 years beyond the creation of man in the opening chapter of Genesis.
This is really the underlying thought behind Christ’s rebuke of the two disciples on the Emmaus road, following His resurrection. They didn’t know the spiritual content of their own Old Testament Scriptures, though they undoubtedly would have been familiar with the letter of the matter, the historical facts. Had they known the spiritual content of the historical facts, they would, in turn, not only have known the exact identity of the person standing in their midst but they would also have known exactly what had occurred, was occurring, and would yet occur.
But “their eyes were restrained [their vision was ‘restrained,’ ‘held back’]” (Luke 24:16). Insofar as these things were concerned, they were spiritually blind. These two disciples hadn’t seen — they couldn’t see — the spiritual content in their own Scriptures; and,
consequently, their own resurrected Messiah was a stranger in their midst, with the events surrounding Calvary and the glory to follow involving things that they didn’t understand at all.
This is the reason Christ referred to the two as not believing “all that the prophets have spoken.” They should have known that Christ would appear a first time to suffer prior to a later appearance to enter into His glory. That which they had witnessed (His sufferings), were witnessing (the results of His resurrection), and that which lay ahead (His glory), were all foretold in minute detail, time after time, by the Old Testament prophets (in the types [e.g., Genesis 22-25; 37-45] and through other means [e.g., Isaiah 52-54; Zechariah 12:10; 13:6; 14:1ff]). And these disciples should have known these things, but they didn’t know them (Luke 24:25, 26).
Thus, in order to instruct these disciples (showing them who He was, what had happened, was happening, and would yet happen), Christ went to the one God-revealed account covering the whole of the matter, an account that had been in the possession of the Jewish people for hundreds of years. He went to the Word given to man through man by the Holy Spirit over a period of about a millennium (approx. 1445 to 400 B.C.), beginning with Moses (i.e., the writings of Moses).
And Christ began exactly where the Spirit had begun 1,500 years before when He began giving the Word through man to man. Christ began at revelation given through Moses. Then He moved on to revelation given through other prophets. And through so doing, Christ “expounded unto them [the two disciples] in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).
Then later that day, when Christ “took bread, and blessed it, and broke” the bread before giving it to these two disciples, “their eyes were opened, and they knew Him” (Luke 24:30, 31). Their eyes were opened because they, at that time, had come to know certain
things that the Old Testament Scriptures taught concerning Israel’s Messiah. And that which allowed the two disciples to put these things together in a correct framework and see them after a correct fashion appears to have been triggered by Christ breaking bread,
blessing it, and giving it to them, exactly as He had done in the presence of the twelve disciples immediately before His crucifixion (Matthew 26:26-29; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Christ is the “bread of life” (John 6:33-35), referred to by the use of “bread” at various times throughout the Old Testament (for example, the manna, or the bread on the table in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle). Christ was the One who, as the Bread, had been broken; and the bread being given to the two disciples following Christ breaking it pointed to the true Bread from heaven having been broken (or, as in the case of the bread being broken and given to the twelve preceding Calvary, about to be broken) on their (and our) behalf.
And the two disciples seeing Christ Himself do this — the One who had just been broken, as the bread had been broken, for them — and having had Christ, immediately prior to this, instruct them from the Old Testament Scriptures (relating, among other things, the sufferings of Christ, which had just occurred), they were then able to put it all together. It was at this point that “their eyes were opened,” and it was at this point that “they knew im.”
They, at this point, knew the Christ of the Old Testament, the One standing in their midst. They, at this point, knew the One spoken of “in all” of the Old Testament Scriptures, beginning with Moses.
(Note the statement concerning “the rulers of this age,” referring centrally to the Jewish religious leaders]” in 1 Corinthians 2:8 who “crucified the Lord of glory” [Acts 2:23, 36; 3:14, 15]. Had they previously gone beyond the letter into the spirit of that which the Old Testament reveals concerning Christ — had they known the things from the Old Testament Scriptures that Christ revealed to the two
disciples on the Emmaus road — Scripture clearly states that “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
It is clearly revealed that the religious leaders in Israel knew Christ’s identity [cf. Matthew 21:38, 39, 45; John 3:2], which accounts for their actions. But they didn’t know Him in the sense spoken of in 1 Corinthians 2:8 [note context of the verse], else, as stated, they would not have crucified Him.)
1) How Much of the Old Testament?
How much of the Old Testament deals with the person and work of Christ? And how much of the Old Testament is typical in nature? The two questions do not cover the same scope. The former is more extensive than the latter and is really all-inclusive. However, the typical nature of Old Testament Scripture is far more extensive than many may realize or are prone to admit.
How though can one know the extent of typical teachings in the Old Testament Scriptures? The answer to that is very simple. Scripture itself reveals the extent.
a) Christ in the Old Testament
Christ, dealing with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, “expounded to them in all the Scriptures [the Old Testament Scriptures] the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). Note that it is not “in the scriptures all . . . .” but “in all the scriptures . . . .” The simple statement is made that “all the scriptures” — all of the Old Testament Scriptures — are about the person and work of Christ. He can be seen on every page and in every part of Scripture on that page.
But, the way Christ is presented in the Old Testament Scriptures is in the spirit rather than in the letter of the manner in which Scripture has been structured. Insofar as Old Testament history is concerned, that would be to say, Christ is really not seen in the strict letter of the historic account per se.
A person can read Old Testament history from one end to the other and never see the person and work of Christ within that history. In this respect, the person would be reading the letter of Scripture, failing to see anything beyond. In order to truly see the Christ of the Old Testament, a person must see beyond the letter to the spirit.
Christ is seen mainly within the inherent types set forth by the historic accounts rather than in the actual historic accounts themselves. All Old Testament history is, after some fashion, about the person and work of Christ; but this same history must be “spiritually discerned,” “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13, 14).
And this can be illustrated after several fashions at the very beginning of Scripture. The first verse in Scripture forms a direct statement concerning the work of the triune Godhead in creation; and, looking beyond the direct statement, this verse is also the beginning point in the overall type encompassed in Genesis 1:1-2:3. Accordingly, Christ is revealed at the very beginning of Scripture, in the opening verse, after this dual fashion.
“In the beginning God created . . . .” The word “God” is a translation of the Hebrew word Elohim, a plural noun which, in complete keeping with related Scripture, would include all three members of the Godhead — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Everything that exists in the material universe came into existence “by [through] Him [the Son]”; and apart from Him “was not anything made that was made [i.e., apart from the Son, not one thing that presently exists was (or could have been) brought into existence].” It was all done through the Son, present with the Father in the beginning (John 1:1-3; cf. Colossians 1:16, 17).
Then in verses two and three of the opening chapter there is a ruin of the creation (from v. 1) and a beginning restoration. And in a type-antitype structure — going beyond the letter to the spirit, as it would pertain to the ruin and beginning restoration of man (a subsequent ruined creation) — the Spirit moving (v. 2) and God speaking (v. 3) are based on death and shed blood, ultimately and finally on death and shed blood through the finished work of the Son on Calvary, 4,000 years beyond the historic-typical account.
In this respect, the typical reference is to the manner in which God restores ruined man, based today on the Son’s finished work. The Spirit moves, God speaks, and light comes into existence (ref., the author’s book, From Egypt to Canaan, chapters. 7, 8).
Moving on to Genesis chapter two, Christ and His bride can be seen in the person of Adam with his bride. Eve was formed from a part of Adam’s body, as the bride of Christ (the bride of “the second Man,” “the last Adam” [1 Corinthians 15:45-47]) will be formed from a part of His body. And as Eve was presented back to the first man, the first Adam, to complete Adam and to reign as consort queen with him, so will it be with the second Man, the last Adam. The bride will be removed from His body and be presented back to
Christ to not only complete Christ but to reign as consort queen with Him.
Then in chapter three, Adam partook of sin to effect Eve’s redemption, as Christ became sin to effect our redemption. The first man, the first Adam, found his bride in a fallen state and followed the only avenue open to bring about her redemption.
And the second Man, the last Adam, did exactly the same thing. He found His bride in a fallen state and procured her redemption through the only means available, through an act that had been predetermined in the eternal council chambers of God before the ages even began (Hebrews 1:2, 3; Revelation 13:8; cf. Romans 5:12-14).
Then chapter four provides additional details to that previously revealed in chapter three. In this chapter Cain slew Abel, pointing to Israel, 4,000 years later, slaying Christ. One brother slew the other brother in both type and antitype. The blood of Abel cried out “from the ground” (Genesis 4:10), but the blood of Christ speaks “better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24).
And on and on one could go with Old Testament history after this fashion. Exactly what portions of the Old Testament Christ called to the attention of the two disciples on the Emmaus road is unrevealed. He may have called their attention to Joseph, who first suffered prior to his exaltation over all Egypt (a type of the world); or He may have called their attention to the story of Moses who suffered rejection by his brethren prior to their acceptance of him.
Note that Stephen, in Acts chapter seven, singled out both of these types as he revealed Christ’s identity from the Old Testament Scriptures. Suffice it to say that Christ, in Luke chapter twenty-four, could have referenced any account in Old Testament history and, through this account, revealed things concerning Himself to these two disciples.
We can only know that He did reference different historic accounts in the Old Testament (and possibly Old Testament prophecies and/or statements in the Psalms or Proverbs [cf. v. 44]), beginning with Moses; and, from these accounts, He revealed things concerning
Himself to these disciples, especially as these things pertained to His past sufferings and His future glory (v. 26). And, as a result, in the subsequent breaking of bread, “their eyes were opened” (v. 31).
b) Types in the Old Testament
Though all of the Old Testament is, after some fashion, about Christ, not all of the Old Testament is typical in its structure. Types have to do with history, not prophecy, Proverbs, or many of the Psalms.
The statement, “Now all these things happened to them for examples [types] . . . .” (1 Corinthians 10:11; cf. v. 6), refers to recorded events in Old Testament history. And, as previously stated, though the contextual reference is only to a select number of events during Moses’ day, the statement concerning types in connection with Old Testament history could, by no means, be limited only to these contextual references. It must be looked upon as far broader than this.
In fact, drawing from Luke 24:25-27, 44, one can arrive at only one conclusion concerning the extent of typology in connection with Old Testament history. It must be looked upon as all inclusive, for all of the Old Testament Scriptures are revealed to be about the central Person of Scripture, Jesus the Christ.
The story of Joseph (ref., Genesis 37-45), for example, is about the Person and work of Christ, though there is no direct statement in the New Testament specifically naming Joseph as a type of Christ. But, comparing Luke 24:25-27, 44 and 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11, one can be drawn to no other conclusion.
And so it is with numerous other portions of the Old Testament. Though no direct statement may exist in the New Testament specifying that a particular person or event forms a type of Christ, dealing with some facet of His person and work, that becomes meaningless in the light of Scriptures such as Luke 24:25-27, 44 and 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11.
In the light of these verses it becomes clear that any Old Testament historic account, of necessity, has to do, after some fashion, with the person and work of Christ (past, present, or future); and this has been accomplished centrally through the inherent typical nature of Old Testament history, established by a Sovereign God, in perfect keeping with that which is stated in 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11.
Then, beyond that, to climax the matter, this all becomes self-evident when one begins to study Old Testament history after this fashion. The whole of Old Testament history, so to speak, begins to come to life and open up as one views the Scriptures after the fashion in which they were written.
(Aside from the preceding, any segment of Old Testament history has to do with one part of a complete whole — one part of the complete Word, forming the complete Old Testament canon. And this complete Word [the complete Old Testament] was made flesh in the person of the Son.
There is the written Word, and there is the living Word; and the two cannot possibly be separated from one another, for the latter is simply a full manifestation of the former, in flesh, which would include the subsequent New Testament revelation as well.
In this respect, approaching the matter from another perspective, the question could be both asked and answered: “What part of the Old Testament is not about Christ?” And the answer: “No part, simply because the Old Testament [not part, but all] was made flesh in the person of the Son.”
That stated about or inherent in One [the written Word (John 17:14)] can be stated about and would be inherent in the Other [the Living Word (John 1:1, 14)]. For example, if perfection is seen in One [in Christ], then perfection must exist in the Other as well [the Scriptures]. And the reasoning behind that would emanate from the fact that the living Word is simply a manifestation, in flesh, of the written Word.)
2) Structure of the New Testament
But is typology limited to Old Testament history? What about the New Testament? Is it also highly typical in nature?
The passage already under consideration in Luke 24:13ff would perhaps address the issue about as well as any other part of the New Testament. There is nothing stated about this section forming a type, but it does. And the fact that it does is so evident that a person with any spiritual perception at all can’t fail to see it.
Events in Luke chapter twenty-four occur on the third day, dating from Christ’s crucifixion (v. 21), and have to do with the eyes of blinded Jews being opened through Christ personally appearing in their presence and revealing Himself to them. This
section of Scripture can only refer to one facet of the person and work of Christ. It can only refer to that future day when Christ appears in Israel’s presence — with Israel, as the two disciples in Luke chapter twenty-four, blinded (Romans 11:25) — and reveals Himself to the nation (Romans 11:26; 2 Corinthians 3:14-16).
And events of that future day will parallel events in Luke 24:13ff with respect to time as well. These events will occur after two days, on the third day. That is to say, they will occur after two thousand years, in the third one-thousand-year period (cf. Hosea
5:15-6:2; 2 Peter 3:8).
The nation will not know Christ in that future day, exactly as the two disciples on the Emmaus Road didn’t know Him; and He will reveal Himself to Israel exactly as He revealed Himself to these two disciples.
Christ, in that future day, will call the nation’s attention to their own Old Testament Scriptures — Scriptures that relate the entire story, from one end to the other — and He will reveal Himself to the nation from these Scriptures, exactly as He revealed Himself to the two disciples on the Emmaus Road in the historic account.
And exactly the same thing will occur in that future day which occurred in the type. Christ will appear in the antitype of Melchizedek, with bread and wine (Genesis 14:18-20; cf. Matthew 26:26-29), to bless Abraham and his descendants. And as there was a breaking of bread in the type, there will undoubtedly be a breaking of bread in the antitype.
Then Israel will recognize her Messiah, spoken of throughout the very Old Testament Scriptures that will have been in the possession of the Jewish people for almost two and one-half millennia, with parts of these Scriptures having been in their possession for almost three and one-half millennia. At that time — at the full end of Daniel’s Seventy Week prophecy — Israel’s blindness will be lifted, and a nation will be brought forth in a day (Isaiah 66:8; Romans 11:26).
Another facet of the matter can be seen in Paul’s conversion in Acts 9:1ff. And, interestingly enough, Paul stated in 1 Timothy 1:15, 16 that his salvation experience was “a pattern [Greek: hupotuposis, referring to ‘an original pattern,’ ‘a prototype’] to [of] them which should hereafter believe on Him [on Jesus Christ] to life everlasting.” That is to say, the manner in which Paul was saved forms an original type of the manner in which others will be saved at a later time, forming the antitype.
Paul was saved through Christ personally appearing and revealing Himself to him, which is not the manner people have been saved throughout the present dispensation following Paul’s conversion. But this is the manner in which Israel will be saved at a future time, when Christ reappears to the nation. And it is this future event to which Paul’s salvation experience, in a God-ordained type, relates.
Paul was saved as a type of the future salvation of Israel. He, at this time, understood the letter of the Word but not the spirit of the Word. There was a veil over his eyes, which was “done away in Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:14). And so will it be with Israel in the antitype yet future.
There is a reading of the letter of the Old Testament in the synagogues today, as in Paul’s day, which leaves the “veil . . . unlifted.” Paul, typifying Israel in this respect, was blinded for two days (the veil was over his eyes for two days), with the blindness (the veil) being removed on the third day (Acts 9:8; cf. Genesis 42:17, 18; Esther 4:16-5:1; Matthew 27:63; Luke 24:7, 21, 46).
The Jewish people must see beyond the letter to the spirit. They must see the One concerning whom Moses and the prophets wrote. They must see their Messiah in their own Old Testament Scriptures, something that will occur when Christ returns and reveals Himself to them after this fashion.
And so it is with New Testament history. The New Testament has been structured after the same fashion as Old Testament history. It was given through Jewish prophets by the same One who gave the Old Testament Scriptures through Jewish prophets; and it has an evident inherent typical nature, established by the same sovereign God who first structured the Old Testament after this fashion.
The Central Focus of Scripture
As all Scripture revolves around a central Person, all Scripture also revolves around a central focus, which has to do with the central Person. Scripture concerns itself with time, and, in the main, this time has to do with the 7,000 years portended by the seven days opening Scripture. And, within this time, there is the thought of creation for a purpose, redemption for a purpose, and God’s work throughout the 6,000 years covering the present age (Man’s Day) for a purpose.
The purpose surrounding man’s creation has to do with the seventh day, a seventh 1,000-year period; and so does redemption; and so does God’s work throughout the six days, the 6,000 years of Man’s Day. The whole of Scripture moves toward that coming seventh day, a pattern established in the skeletal outline set forth at the very beginning.
Thus, the central focus of Scripture looks to that seventh day when the central Person of Scripture will be revealed in all His glory to bring about that for which man was created in the beginning and for which he has been redeemed. The Son is to exercise dominion over one province in His Father’s kingdom — for a revealed purpose (1 Corinthians 15:24-28) — and man is to have a part in this dominion.
In this respect, biblical history, within its established historic-typical framework, becomes largely prophetic within its scope of fulfillment. Biblical history, in this respect, revolves around the central Person and the central focus of Scripture.
And the central Person and the central focus of Scripture are so inseparably related that at times they are spoken of either in synonymous terms or both are understood to be in view though only one is mentioned.
Examples of both facets of the matter can be seen in Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45 and Hebrews 12:1, 2:
1) Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45
The Stone, “cut out of the mountain without hands,” in one respect refers to Christ and in another respect to the kingdom of Christ.
The Father will give the Son “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom” (Daniel 7:13, 14). He will be the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” in the kingdom. He, as the King, as the Stone, will be the One who personally smites the image at its feet (Revelation 19:11-21).
But Daniel 2:44, 45, interpreting verses thirty-four and thirty-five, also refers to the kingdom of Christ itself breaking in pieces and consuming all the kingdoms comprising the one world kingdom of that day (cf. Revelation 11:15). The Stone, after smiting the image, will become “a great mountain” and fill the whole earth.
In this respect, the King of the kingdom is not to be thought of apart from His kingdom. All the various facets of His person and work, set forth in detail throughout Old Testament Scripture, have an end in view; and that end is the day when He will rule and reign over the earth.
Christ’s finished work at Calvary and His present work as High Priest — foretold in the Old Testament — have the same end in view. The Savior, who is presently exercising the office of High Priest, was born King (Matthew 2:2).
And the coming King and His Kingdom, in the overall scope of the matter, become inseparable; and this is the reason they can be spoken of in synonymous terms as in Daniel chapter two.
2) Hebrews 12:1, 2
Hebrews 12:1, 2, in the light of other Scripture, presents the same picture. In this section of Scripture a person is told to look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”
The thought from the Greek text is literally to look “from [from the things in the surrounding world system, the present kingdom under Satan] unto Jesus . . . .” But yet other Scriptures exhort us to look from this present world system “to the mountain [signifying the coming kingdom of Christ (Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 2:35)]” (cf. Genesis 13:10-12; 19:1, 17).
Are we to look unto Jesus? Or are we to look unto the Mountain? The correct biblical answer would center on the thought that a person, within a proper biblical perspective, cannot look to one apart from looking to the other. That would be to say, in a proper biblical perspective, we cannot really look “from unto Jesus” apart from seeing Him in connection with His coming kingdom; and, conversely, we cannot really fix our eyes on “the mountain,” the kingdom, apart from seeing the King of the kingdom.
When Hebrews 12:2 states, “Looking to Jesus . . . .,” the thought would have to include, as well, the same thing contained in the remainder of the verse. Christ,
. . . for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame [considering it a thing of little import in comparison to the joy set before Him], and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrew 12:2)
The “joy that was set before Him” had to do with that day when He would rule and reign (cf. Matthew 25:21, 23). Christ had His eyes fixed on that day as He endured present sufferings; and we are to fix our eyes on the One who left us an example, after this same
fashion, as we endure present sufferings.
Christ, at the time of His sufferings on Calvary, had His eyes fixed on the coming kingdom, the day of His exaltation and glory. And that is exactly the place — the same place — we should have our eyes fixed as we look “from to Jesus” during present sufferings.
He left us an example that we “should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). His eyes were fixed on that which lay ahead.
And, as has been demonstrated, in the true biblical sense of the command, there can be no such thing as a Christian fixing his eyes on Jesus apart from seeing both the King and His Kingdom.
As has been seen in the above commentary, although Christianity is unique and distinct from religion (in all its various forms), religion being man’s efforts to apprehend God whereas Christianity is God apprehending man solely through a union/relationship with a Person, most Christians fail to see the primary message that John the Baptist, then Jesus Christ, then the apostles proclaimed throughout the known world.
This message focused upon the initial purpose for which man was created, which of necessity involved God’s redemptive plan for all mankind. And although most of evangelical Christendom sees only this message and redemptive plan as eternal in scope, the truth is that it is primarily millennial in scope. For certain, God’s redemption plan for man involves the eternal salvation of his spirit, but that is only the beginning. The message and plan goes beyond this beginning, to the salvation of his soul, which is millennial in scope and which involves ancillary facets of doctrine, e.g., the absolute requirement for holy living, the certain and coming judgment of Christians, the application of the “second death,” etc.
Jesus Christ referred to this message and plan as “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” and “word of the kingdom,” as he laid out several parables regarding them in Matthew, chapter thirteen (Matthew 13:11; 19).
The reader is strongly encouraged to investigate further commentary regarding these subjects, as can be obtained through various articles and books that are posted verbatim on www.bibleone.net.
 The Study of Scripture by Arlen L. Chitwood, The Lamp Broadcast, Inc., pages 126-138