Israel — What Does the Future Hold?
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Types and Antitypes
Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?”
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:25-27)
Jesus, revealing Himself to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus following His resurrection, used one means alone. He simply called their attention to the Word of God, the Old Testament Scriptures, opening these Scriptures to their understanding.
Jesus began with Moses and progressed to the other Prophets, revealing “to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). And later that day, when He broke bread in their presence — because of His having previously revealed Himself through the Scriptures — “their eyes were opened” (vv. 28-31).
The clear statement is made that all of the Old Testament Scriptures are about the person and work of Christ. The Old Testament Scriptures form one continuous revelation concerning that which God, not man, has to say about the matter; and God has provided this revelation of His Son by and through structuring His Word after a particular fashion.
The Old Testament Scriptures not only provide an account of true history, but, by and through this history, these Scriptures also provide an account of all the various facets of the person and work of God’s Son — past, present, and future. And the latter has been accomplished by God structuring Old Testament history after such a fashion that this history is highly typical in nature.
The Old Testament Scriptures form the beginning point. This is where God set the matter forth first. And, accordingly, any correct study surrounding anything that God has revealed about His Son — which would include everything in Scripture (Colossians 1:15-19), for He is the Word made Flesh (John 1:1, 2, 14) — must begin where God began with the matter. Such a study must begin in the Old Testament with Moses.
And, not only must such a study begin with Moses, but these Old Testament Scriptures must be viewed after a certain fashion. They must be viewed after the fashion in which they were written. They must be viewed after the fashion in which God structured Old Testament history, after a typical fashion. Only by so doing can man come into a correct understanding of that which God has revealed.
Place and Importance of Types
Typology is the great unexplored mine in the Old Testament. Studying the types will open the door to an inexhaustible wealth of information that God has provided, information necessary to properly understand God’s revelation to man. On the other hand, it goes without saying that ignoring the types, as so many have done, will produce the opposite result and leave this door closed.
Note Paul’s statement concerning this matter in his first epistle to the Christians in Corinth:
Now all these things happened to them as examples [Gk., tupoi, 'types'], and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
(1 Corinthians 10:11).
First Corinthians 10:11 draws from a context (vv. 1-10) that refers to the history of Israel, extending from events immediately following the death of the firstborn in Egypt to the overthrow of an entire accountable generation in the wilderness, save Caleb and Joshua (Exodus. 12-Deuteronomy 34). However, the thought of events occurring as types in 1 Corinthians 10:11 must, of necessity, encompass a much larger scope than this one segment in the history of Israel, which it does. Christ’s statements in Luke 24:25-27, 44; John 5:45-47, along with the evident structure of Old Testament history, leave no room to question the fact that all of Old Testament history must be viewed as highly typical.
Old Testament typology begins, not with the death of the firstborn in Exodus chapter twelve, but with the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth in the first verse of Genesis chapter one. Biblical typology begins at the point where biblical history begins. God, in the beginning, created the heavens and the earth. And at a later point in time, the creation, because of an act of Satan, was reduced to a ruin. Then, at a still later point in time, God set about to restore this ruined creation over a six-day period. And He created man on the sixth day, following the completion of the restoration of the ruined material creation. God then rested on the seventh day (Genesis 1:1-2:3).
This entire account in the opening verses of Genesis is replete with significance and meaning. The account has not only been arranged in a typical fashion but, within this typical fashion, it has been set in a septenary structure as well. The entire 7,000-year history of man can be seen in these verses through the manner in which God structured His Word at the very outset.
Beginning with the creation of the heavens and the earth, the whole of that which God revealed throughout all subsequent Scripture can be seen in four parts:
1) Creation (1:1)
2) Ruin (1:2a)
3) Restoration (1:2b-25)
4) Rest (2:1-3)
(This typical account, with its septenary structure [Genesis 1:1-2:3], actually forms the foundation upon which the whole of subsequent Scripture rests. And all subsequent Scripture, seen in its true light in this respect, merely forms a commentary on that which is revealed at the beginning, in Genesis 1:1-2:3 [ref. the author’s book, The Study of Scripture, Chapters 1-4].)
In Genesis chapter three, the original type of the coming Redeemer is set forth in the act of Adam after Eve had sinned. Adam partook of that which is associated with sin (fruit from the same tree that Eve had partaken of, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) in order to bring about Eve’s redemption; and this was done with a view to both Adam and Eve one day being able to partake of the tree of life together.
The second Man, the last Adam, Christ, “who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21; cf. Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45). And, in complete accord with the types, this, as well, was done with a view to Christ and His bride one day being able to partake of the tree of life together.
Then chapter four of Genesis, providing additional commentary on that which is revealed in chapter three, sets forth the death of Abel at the hands of Cain; and this forms a type of the death of Christ at the hands of Israel.
Chapters five through nine of Genesis set forth the generations of Adam, followed by the Noachian Flood, with a new beginning following the Flood. Two individuals stand out prominently in the latter part of the genealogical record: Enoch, the seventh from Adam; and Noah, the tenth from Adam.
(“Seven” and “ten” are numbers that Scripture uses to show completeness. “Seven” shows the completeness of that which is in view [used as God’s number in this respect], and “ten” shows numerical completeness.)
Enoch, at the end of one complete period of time, was removed from the earth before the Flood. Noah, at the end of another complete period of time, was left on the earth to pass through the Flood.
The “Flood” is a type of the coming Tribulation. “Enoch” typifies the one new man “in Christ” (comprised of all Christians), who will be removed at the end of the present dispensation, at the end of one complete period of time. And “Noah” typifies the nation of Israel, which will be left on the earth to pass safely through the Tribulation, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) — completing the last seven years of the previous dispensation, at the end of another complete period of time, with a new beginning, the Messianic Era, to follow.
Genesis, as well, is the book in which we are first introduced to Melchizedek, a king-priest in Jerusalem (Genesis 14:18-20). And Melchizedek typifies Christ in His coming glory as the great King-Priest in Jerusalem (Psalms 110:1ff; Hebrews 5-7).
It is in Genesis that we find Scripture forming detailed dispensational structures, as previously seen in chapters five through nine. Another such structure — covering events extending from the birth of Christ to the Messianic Kingdom — can be seen in Genesis chapter twenty-one through twenty-five.
And Genesis is the book that contains one of the most complete overall types of Christ to be found in the Old Testament — the life of Joseph, beginning in chapter thirty-seven.
“No one, I suppose, who has ever thought upon it, can doubt that this history [that of Joseph] is typical.”
— Andrew Jukes
Note Jesus’ statement, followed by Luke’s comment, after Jesus had suddenly appeared in the midst of His disciples in His resurrection body:
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
(Luke 24:44, 45)
During His earthly ministry, Jesus often drew from the Old Testament to teach spiritual lessons concerning Himself. He drew from things surrounding the tabernacle, and from various experiences of the Israelites:
“I am the door” (John 10:7, 9)
“I am the bread of life” (John 6:35, 48-51)
“I am the light of the world” (John 9:5)
Jesus told Nicodemus that the serpent that was lifted up in the wilderness foreshadowed that which was about to happen to the Son of Man, who must also be lifted up (John 3:14). In response to the Scribes and Pharisees request for a sign, Jesus declared that the experiences of Jonah foreshadowed things that He would experience (Matthew 12:38-41). Note also His reference to Solomon in this same passage (v. 42).
Referring to conditions that would prevail upon the earth immediately before His return, Jesus called the disciples’ attention to the days of Noah and the days of Lot (Luke 17:26-32). Events during the days of these two men typify events that are presently beginning to occur on earth, events that will come to full fruition immediately preceding Christ’s return.
Then, during the latter part of His ministry Jesus taught by parables. And many things in these parables can be properly understood only in the light of the Old Testament types and symbols.
John the Baptizer referred to the position that Christ occupied in relation to an Old Testament type when he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Furthermore, Paul spoke of this same truth when he declared Christ to be “our Passover” (1 Corinthians 5:7).
The writer of Hebrews derived the major portion of the teachings in his book from Old Testament typology, and this book cannot be properly understood apart from viewing material in the book in a type-antitype framework.
Hebrews chapters three and four are built around the wilderness journey of the Israelites. And the key to a correct interpretation and understanding of the passage in Hebrews that gives so many a problem, Hebrews 6:4-6, is to be found by contextually paralleling that which is stated in the passage with a type-antitype treatment of chapters three and four.
In Hebrews chapters five through seven, Melchizedek is mentioned nine times; and, in the light of that which is revealed about Melchizedek in the Old Testament, the things stated about Melchizedek in these chapters can only be Messianic in their scope of fulfillment (cf. Genesis 14:18, 19; Psalm 110:1-4). In chapters eight through ten, the tabernacle with its Levitical priesthood and sacrificial system is said to be a “pattern” (Gk., tupos, “type” [8:5]).
And in Hebrews chapters eleven and twelve, numerous Old Testament individuals who typify some aspect of the work of the triune Godhead in the history of Israel or in the life of the Christian are set forth.
Extent and Purpose of Types
The extent of types in the Old Testament would have to be classed as inexhaustible. Many times a complete type can be found in a single verse; other times complete types can be found in several verses taken together, or in an entire chapter; and other times complete types can be found in several chapters taken together, or in an entire book viewed as a whole.
No portion of Old Testament history can be placed outside the scope of biblical typology. Events in the Old Testament are true history that are replete with types and meaning.
The Old Testament is written in such a manner that God has interwoven prophetic types into historic events. No proper study of either the Old or New Testaments can ignore types and antitypes. Accordingly, a basic value of any Bible commentary, particularly one dealing with Old Testament history, would have to be that commentary’s treatment of types and antitypes.
The reason for this is very simple: The Old Testament is highly typical. The New Testament is simply the Old Testament revealed. Thus, within the Biblical framework of correctly teaching and understanding the Word of God, types and antitypes MUST occupy a prominent place.
. . . search the Scriptures . . . these are they which testify of Me . . .
For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.
(John 5:39, 46; cf. John 1:45).
The Scriptures to which Jesus referred in verse thirty-nine were the Old Testament Scriptures. Not a single book of the New Testament had been written at this time. Man’s failure to understand the extent and purpose of types in the Old Testament stems from his failure to heed the words of Jesus: “Search the Scriptures [the Old Testament Scriptures]…these are they which testify of Me.”
The word for “search” in the Greek text implies a close examination, a thorough search, and the word is used in this passage in the sense of a hunter stalking game, who directs all his attention to marks that will lead to the quarry. An individual searching the Scriptures in this manner will fix all his attention on the Scriptures, closely examining and thoroughly searching every aspect of this revelation. The folly of those who refuse to dwell deeply in the Word can immediately be seen. Such Christians are not only robbing themselves of great spiritual blessings, but, if occupying teaching positions, they are also robbing others of these same blessings.
When Jesus met the two disciples on the road to Emmaus following His resurrection, He reprimanded them for not believing ALL that the Prophets had written. And, as previously seen, He then began at “Moses and ALL the prophets,” and “expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:25-27).
The specific statement is made in Luke 24:27 that ALL of the Old Testament Scriptures are about Christ. If one has a mind for the things of God, according to this verse, he can turn to any portion of the Old Testament and study about Christ. ALL of the Old Testament Scriptures — beginning with Moses — constitute a complete revelation of Jesus Christ. The record of creation, all subsequent events, and all individuals, together, form the complete Old Testament revelation that God gave to man concerning all the various facets of the person and work of His Son.
The Son was with the Father in the beginning. Apart from Him not one thing that presently exists came into existence. Or, for that matter, neither does it continue to exist (cf. Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16, 17). The entire Old Testament — Genesis through Malachi — is about Him. Then, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . .” (John 1:14a). From that point, the New Testament continues to be a revelation of God’s Son. And the last book in the Bible — the book of Revelation, the Revelation of Jesus Christ — is the capstone of all previous revelation, arranging in final and complete form the summation of all things that were previously revealed, beginning with “Moses and all the Prophets.”
When the late Dr. M. R. DeHaan, near the close of his ministry, began to study and arrange material for a series of radio messages titled, Portraits of Christ, he was amazed by what he found. In the introduction to a book which was later published from this series, titled, “Portraits of Christ in Genesis,” Dr. DeHaan states:
“At first the publication of a book titled ‘Portraits of Christ’ was intended to be a study of portraits of Christ in the entire Bible. However, as I began to collect material, I realized what a hopeless task I was undertaking, and so I next limited it to portraits of Christ in the Old Testament. Again, I had not gone very far when I realized that this too was a Herculean task which could hardly be done in one volume, or even many volumes. As a result, it was shortened to ‘Portraits of Christ in the Pentateuch,’ the books of Moses. Then, finally, after completing but one chapter, I realized that I could not even begin to discuss thoroughly the portraits of Christ in the first book of the Bible alone, the Book of Genesis.
After many years of Bible study, I was amazed at the volume of material and subject matter in the Book of Genesis alone, which was the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. The last book of the Bible opens with ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ,’ and this may well be taken to be the title of the entire Bible, from the very first verse of Genesis, chapter one, until the close of the Book of Revelation. It is one continuous, progressive revelation concerning the Altogether Lovely One, the Son of God, and the Son of Man.”
Fundamentals of Types
A basic, fundamental rule to remember about types is the rule of “first mention.” The first time a type is recorded in Scripture the pattern is set. Once the pattern is set, no change can ever occur. Later types will add information and cast additional light on the original type, but the original was set perfect at the beginning and remains unchanged throughout Scripture.
Another fundamental rule to remember about types is in the area of “doctrine.” It is often taught that types are given merely for illustrations, and doctrine cannot be taught from types. Suffice it to say, types are far more than mere illustrations, and in the area of doctrine it would be well to ask a question, followed by a statement: “Who said doctrine cannot be taught from types? Certainly not the Scriptures!”
(“Doctrine” and “teaching” are translations of noun and verb forms of the same word in the Greek text — didaskalia and didasko. “Teaching” is “doctrine”; “doctrine” is “teaching.” And if “teaching” cannot be drawn from the types, of what value are the types?
One overall thought though should suffice to quell any ideology that doctrine/teaching cannot be drawn from the types: Who made [designed] the type? And who made [designed] the antitype?
Doctrine/teaching can be drawn from either or from both together. Because of the very nature of the origin of both — by and through God’s sovereign control of all things — there can be absolutely no difference between the two in this respect. Both could only have been designed and put together with the same perfection that exists within the Godhead.
The types form a part of the Word that was made Flesh. To see imperfection in the types is to see imperfection in the Word made Flesh; to see perfection in the Word made Flesh is to see perfection in the types.)
Types and antitypes are exact replicas of one another. The antitype is an exact imprint or duplicate of the type. The tabernacle was formed in exact detail, in every respect, to an existing tabernacle in heaven, “according to the pattern [Gk., tupos]” given to Moses on the mountain (Hebrews 8:5). The “print [Gk., tupos] of the nails” in the hands of Christ were exact imprints of the nails that had been driven into His hands (John 20:25). The truth about biblical doctrine/teaching and types is that since the antitype is an exact imprint or duplicate of the type, doctrine/teaching can be derived from either. No distinction, one from the other, can be made in this respect.
Another fundamental rule to remember is that types, contrary to common belief, “DO NOT break down.” To say that types break down is to say that types are imperfect. God established the types, and He established these types perfectly. Types break down only in the minds of finite man. If a man knew all there wes to know about any particular type, that type could be followed to its nth degree and never break down.
NOTHING happened in a haphazard manner in the Old Testament. EVERYTHING occurred according to a divine plan, established before the creation of the heavens and the earth (Hebrews 1:3; Ephesians 3:11). And events throughout the Old Testament happened as “types” in order that God might have these events and experiences of individuals to draw upon, allowing the Spirit of God to use these events and experiences to instruct Christians in the deep things of God.
“Types are as accurate as mathematics.”