Why should a Christian study the Old Testament?
In brief, a Christian should study the Old Testament because (1) the Old Testament is part of the totality of Scripture and according to 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 is “given by inspiration of God [God-breathed] and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete [spiritually mature], thoroughly equipped for every good work” (see also Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:20, 21); (2) the Old Testament is primarily about Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27) and one cannot fully know Christ without studying all that the Spirit has written about Him; (3) the Old Testament is quoted profusely throughout the New Testament, thereby validating its legitimacy for study; and (4) the Old Testament contains most of the types of which Christians must know in order to understand the antitype lessons provided in the New Testament for their spiritual growth (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11).
For a more comprehensive treatment of this subject, the following material by Scott Crawford and Arlen L. Chitwood bares consideration:
Why Should We Study The Old Testament?
A serious study of the Old Testament is a great blessing! It is important to take truths that are discovered in the Old Testament and show how they relate to the New Testament and our lives. The Old was written to provide light on the New and vice versa. It is critical that we, as growing Christians, have a deeper knowledge of the Old Testament. Jesus said in John 5:46-47 “For had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe My words?” Also notice what He said in Luke 24:25-27 “Then he said to them, ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe 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.” The New Testament actually uses the name “Moses” 80 times and quotes the writings of Moses hundreds of times. The Old Testament prophets are also quoted hundreds of times in the New Testament. Thus, the main reason we are studying the Old Testament is to understand more about our blessed Savior and be conformed to His image.
The Old Testament is the Word of God! It was written by and given to the Israelites (Romans 9:4) but it is written for our admonition and learning. Romans 15:4 says “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” From this verse we see a study of the Old Testament can produce “hope” in us if we patiently allow the Lord to work through the Scriptures in our lives. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Hope comes by studying the Word and allowing the Spirit of God to work through His Word to transform us to the image of Christ (Romans 12:1-2).
The Old Testament provides real life examples of how to live our Christian life! First
Corinthians chapter 10 has been called the doorway into the Old Testament. Notice what Paul says in the first six verses “Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” Paul is relating truths from the books of Exodus and Numbers that tell us we have much to learn from the ancient Israelites. Thus, we have many examples in the Old Testament, positive and negative, that will allow us to develop wisdom in our walk with Christ.
The Old Testament reveals all the various facets of the person and work of Christ! For
example, the tabernacle in the wilderness described in chapters 25-40 of the book of Exodus foreshadows Christ. The brass altar points to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God for the sin of the world. The brass laver (wash basin) points to separation from the world and daily cleansing we need as believers. The table of showbread represents fellowship with Christ, the bread of life. The golden candlestick depicts walking in the light as He is in the light. The altar of incense symbolizes a life of communion through prayer. Entrance into the holy of holies represents a spirit-filled life that is in close fellowship with the Lord. Perfect peace and rest for the believer are found at the blood-sprinkled mercy seat under the wings of the cherubim in the holy of holies. Even the materials, measurements, and colors that describe the tabernacle point to the person and work of Christ. Gold represents deity, silver symbolizes redemption, and brass denotes judgment. The color blue illustrates the heavenly nature of Christ while scarlet represents His judgment and purple portrays Christ’s royalty. The pictures or types in the Old Testament are many times very vivid and help us see and understand our Savior much more clearly!
The Old Testament was written to foreshadow Jesus! Hebrews 10:1 says “For the law
having a shadow of good things to come . . . .” We must remember the Old Testament was written to show us Jesus. Jesus is the Person of the Bible! He is the focal point of the “good things to come”. In Genesis, Jesus is Creator, seed of the woman, and a lamb provided; Exodus-Jesus is the Lamb of God, the Passover, the Rock; Leviticus — Jesus is the High Priest typified; Numbers — Jesus is the Star out of Jacob; Deuteronomy — Jesus is the Prophet like unto Moses . . . Ruth — Jesus is the Kinsman Redeemer . . . Psalms — Jesus is the Shepard; Proverbs — Jesus is Wisdom . . . Isaiah — Jesus is the Suffering Servant and Glorified Savior; Jeremiah — Jesus is the LORD our Righteousness . . . . And on it goes in the Old Testament. God has abundantly shown us His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, throughout all of His Word!
The Old Testament was actually written for the Church! According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 “Now all these things happened to them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [age] are come. Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Have you thought about the significance of this statement? Paul says the Old Testament was written for our admonition or warning! God so cares about our success in the Christian walk that he has given us numerous examples or types from which to glean. He preserved His Word for us so we can stand in an evil day and not fall out of fellowship with Him. The church is so special to God that He has blessed us with the entirety of His revealed will for man, the Old and New Testaments! Israel did not have this privilege! The church is the most privileged generation of men and women to ever live on planet earth! However, where much is given much is required.
God does not want us to be ignorant of His Word but full of wisdom and knowledge!
Notice Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers Ephesians 1:15-19“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and love to all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.”
Chapters One, Four, and Eight
. . . not in words that man’s wisdom teaches but that the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:13b)
One part of the Word (at any point in the Old
or New Testaments) is compared with another part of the Word (at any
point in the Old or New Testaments) under the leadership of the
Revelation surrounding the shedding of blood
for the remission of sins begins in
three, immediately following man’s fall; and the entire
Old Testament sacrificial system that followed pointed toward the
One — of whom the prophets spoke (cf.
Isaiah 53:12; Zechariah 12:10; 13:6) —
who would one day come and take away “the
sin of the world” through the sacrifice of Himself (John
All Scripture is Theopneustos
2 Timothy 3:16 in the KJV reads,
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine [teaching], for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
The words, “given
by inspiration of God,” are a translation of the one
Greek word, theopneustos, meaning “God-breathed.” This is a
compound word comprised of Theos (“God”) and pneuma
(“breath” in this particular usage [this is also the word used for
“Spirit” in the New Testament — the Holy Spirit, man’s spirit, and
the use of spirit in general; also “wind” in
For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. . . .
Now, the question: Why is the Word of God “living,”
“powerful,” and “sharper
than any two-edged sword”? The answer: Because of its
origin. The Word is “theopneustos”; the Word is
37, in its entirety, outlines events of a yet future
day. It has to do with that time when Messiah returns and life
[spiritual] is restored to “the
whole house of Israel
[both those alive at that time (possessing natural life) and
resurrected Old Testament saints]” [Exodus
13:19; cf. Ezekiel
(Note also Luke 8:55; James 2:26; Revelation 13:15. The word pneuma appears in each verse, referring to “life”; and the word should be understood as “breath” in these passages.)
For prophecy [referring to written revelation (v. 20)] never came by the will of man, but holy [set apart] men of God spoke as they were moved [borne along] by the Holy Spirit.
(2 Peter 1:21)
The Word is “God-breathed,”
and thus “living,”
because of the Spirit’s inseparable connection with the Word.
He is the One who gave the Word to man through man, and He is
the One presently in the world to guide man “into
all truth” through the use of this Word (John
That’s why pastor-teachers have been exhorted
to “Preach the Word,”
and that’s why Christians have been exhorted to “study” this same
Word (2 Timothy 2:15;
4:2). A person’s ability to function in the
spiritual realm is inseparably connected with that person’s
knowledge of and ability to use the Word of God.
“Faith is . . . By (through) Faith . . . without Faith”
Now faith is the substance of things
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
. . .
(Hebrews 11:1, 3, 6)
Now believing God to the saving of
the soul [10:39]
is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen.
is the translation of the Greek word hupostasis. This is a
compound word, comprised of hupo (“under”) and stasis
(“to stand”). The word, in its literal sense, means, “to stand
under.” In this respect, it is used in the sense of “a foundation,”
that which stands under and supports the structure above.
“By (through) Faith”
God has appointed His Son “Heir
of all things,” and it was through the work of His Son
within the framework of the ages that God, in the beginning, “made the worlds [‘made the
ages’]” (Hebrews 1:2).
Then after dealing with Christians through two major warnings relative to that future day when “the Heir of all things” will bring “many sons to glory” to realize “so great salvation” (chapters 2-4), the writer refers to Christ being made a Priest “after the order of Melchizedek” (5:6ff); a quotation from Psalm 110 (v. 4), a Messianic Psalm:
You are a Priest forever
[lit., ‘with respect to the age’ (one age)] after the order of
And Christ being a Priest after this order is specifically stated to be something reserved for a time encompassed by one of the ages within the framework of all the ages referred to in Hebrews 1:2; 11:3.
Thus, within this framework, Hebrews 11:3 should not only be understood in the light of Hebrews 1:2 but also in the light of Hebrews 5:6ff. The “age” referred to in Hebrews 5:6 can, contextually, only be the Messianic Era, the age in which the Son will be manifested as “Heir of all things,” that future time when He will bring “many sons to glory” with Him (1:2; 2:10).
This is what the book is about; and this must
be recognized as one moves throughout the book, else he will find
himself lost in a sea of misinterpretation.
. . . so that the things that God has brought to pass within the framework of His orderly arrangement of the ages, which an individual sees and understands through faith, are separate and distinct from the disorder one sees all about him during one of these ages.
The word ginomai (“to become,” “happen,” “take place” referring to something with a definite beginning and possible ending) appears in a perfect tense in the Greek text in the latter part of this verse (translated, with a negative, “were not made” [KJV]). The perfect tense refers to action completed in the past and existing during present time in a finished state. Ginomai in this verse refers to God’s past action in arranging the ages in an orderly fashion — action completed at that time and presently existing in a finished state.
Thus, in this sense, there is a present aspect
to the matter of God’s orderly arrangement of the ages. But the
verse states specifically that though there is a present aspect, the
present disorderly condition all about us, which one can see and
experience, is separate and distinct from the orderly condition that
God has decreed (past) will shortly exist (future).
(The same Greek verb was also used by Christ when He identified Himself to the “band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees” in John 18:5-8. The identifying words, “I am He,” should literally read, “I Am”— a clear declaration of His deity, identifying Himself with the God of the Old Testament.)
Building on the Foundation
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)
Scripture begins with the creation of all that exists (Genesis 1:1), the ruin of one part of that creation (1:2a), the restoration of that one part (1:2b-25), the creation of man to rule the restored domain (1:26-31), and then God resting (2:1-3).
These opening verses of Genesis provide not only one complete section of Scripture but also the foundational structure upon which the whole of all subsequent Scripture is built and must be understood. There is a creation, a ruin of a part of that creation, a restoration of the ruined portion occurring over six days of time, and then God resting on a seventh day.
And to illustrate how these verses establish the foundation for the whole of Scripture, note events surrounding man’s creation, his ruin, the time that God takes to restore man, and that which will occur following man’s restoration.
It has all been set forth at the very beginning.
God took six days to restore the ruined material creation (ruined because of the sin of the incumbent ruler, Satan [Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:14-19]); and God, in accord with the pattern that He Himself established at the very beginning, is presently taking six days to restore two subsequent ruined creations — man and the material creation once again (both ruined because of the sin of the one created to take the scepter, ruined because of man’s sin [Genesis 3:1-7, 17, 18; Romans 8:20]). And then, in accord with the pattern established at the beginning, there will be a seventh day that will be a day of rest (Genesis 2:1-3; Hebrews 4:4, 9).
Each day in the former restoration and rest was twenty-four hours in length, but each day in the latter restoration and rest is one thousand years in length (Genesis 1:14-19; Matthew 17:1-5; 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:5-8). Just as God restored the ruined creation at the very beginning in six days comprised of twenty-four hours each, He is going to restore the two subsequent ruined creations in six days comprised of one thousand years each. Then, just as God rested for one twenty-four-hour day at the completion of his restoration work in Genesis, He is going to rest for a one-thousand-year day at the completion of His subsequent restoration work.
Accordingly, the whole of the latter restoration and rest is set forth in foundational form at the very beginning. The six days of work and one day of rest foreshadow six thousand years of work and a thousand years of rest. And this covers the whole of God’s revelation to man (save for several brief instances of events either preceding or following the 7,000 years, given so man can place events occurring during the 7,000 years within their proper perspective).
Thus it is easy to see and understand how all Scripture following Genesis 1:1-2:3 must relate to this opening section of Scripture, which forms the foundation. The whole of Scripture, as this opening section, covers events relating to restoration and rest during six and seven days (six and seven thousand years). The latter is patterned after the former; and to properly understand the latter, one must have a proper understanding of the former.
A solid foundation must first be laid (Genesis 1:1-2:3) before a stable superstructure can be built (Genesis 2:4ff). And note that any stable structure must always rest on its foundation.
God didn’t place Genesis 1:1-2:3 at the very beginning of His revelation to man and structure the material in these verses after a certain fashion for man to ignore; nor would God expect man to begin his study of Scripture elsewhere. Rather, the opposite is true. God structured His revelation to man after a particular fashion for a reason, and man is to begin where God began.
The “Why” of Error
God tells man in the opening two chapters of His revelation what the whole of His plans and purposes is all about, with the remainder of Scripture simply clothing (adding all the various details to, etc.) that set forth in skeletal form at the beginning. And if material comprising the foundation is ignored or improperly understood, one can never properly relate material comprising the superstructure to its correct place of origin. All error in biblical doctrine can ultimately be traced back to either this point or the point of ignoring or improperly understanding subsequent preliminary foundational material built immediately and directly on the foundation itself.
That would be to say again, there must be a solid, stable foundation for a solid, stable superstructure to exist. And, again, the structure must rest on the foundation.
In the main, within Christian circles over the years, this has not been done; and tragic consequences have resulted. Not only is there a multiplicity of doctrinal thought in numerous areas (some of it being quite dangerous) but there is a general lack of knowledge in the same areas.
Examples from several areas of biblical doctrine should be sufficient to illustrate the point:
The word, “soteriology,” comes from the Greek word, soteria, which means “salvation.” The word is used in theology to refer to doctrinal teachings surrounding salvation.
The Bible is a book of redemption; and basic, unchangeable teachings surrounding redemption are set forth in Scripture, at the very beginning, revealing a purpose in view.
In the first chapter of Genesis God sets forth the unchangeable manner in which He, in His infinite knowledge and wisdom, restores a ruined creation. There is a restorative work that follows a specific pattern, and the matter is accomplished entirely through divine intervention. And within this unchangeable pattern set forth at the very beginning, God reveals how any subsequent ruined creation would, of necessity, have to be restored. It would have to be restored after a certain order, entirely through divine intervention, over a six-day (six-thousand-year) period.
Thus, to establish correct thinking relative to the fundamentals of salvation, one must begin in Genesis. If all those holding erroneous views had begun in Genesis, chapter one and understood and adhered to that which God set forth at the very beginning concerning how a ruined creation is to be restored, the numerous, erroneous views that man holds concerning salvation wouldn’t exist. They couldn’t exist.
And, going to more specific thoughts concerning salvation, the preceding would equally apply to not only the salvation of the spirit but the salvation of the soul as well. Within the structure of the foundational framework, the salvation of the spirit (the salvation that we presently possess) is realized at the very beginning of the six days, through that which is foreshadowed by events occurring on day one; but the salvation of the soul (a salvation occurring at the end of one’s faith, or as the goal of one’s faith) is an on-going process and is to be realized at the end of the six days, on the seventh day, through that which is foreshadowed by events occurring during days two through six.
In this respect, the unchangeable basics pertaining to salvation in relation to the whole of that which, in reality, is the man himself (both spirit and soul) have been set forth at the very beginning of Scripture, in Genesis 1:1-2:3. And if a person would understand salvation within its correct perspective, avoiding all error, he must begin here. Here — and only here — can a person see the unchangeable foundation, setting forth the unchangeable basics, laid down at the very beginning.
A) Salvation of the Spirit
Hebrews 4:12 reveals a division being effected by the Word of God between man’s “soul and spirit.” And this is a teaching drawn from the very opening verses of Genesis (as seen earlier in this same section in Hebrews chapter four relative to the “rest” set before “the people of God” [vv. 4, 9]). The Spirit of God moves in Genesis 1:2b and God speaks in Genesis 1:3. In relation to man’s salvation, it is at this point (in what would be seen as the foundational type) that a division is made between man’s “soul and spirit” (in what would be called the antitype).
In the type, the Spirit of God moved, God spoke, and light came into existence. Genesis 1:2b, 3 records the initial act of the Triune Godhead in bringing about the restoration of the ruined material creation, an act in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each participated (note that nothing can come into existence apart from the Son [John 1:3]).
In the antitype, within the framework of man’s salvation experience, the matter is identical. There must be an act of the Triune Godhead, for this is how God worked to restore a ruined creation in the Genesis account, establishing an unchangeable pattern for a later work. The Spirit of God moves, God speaks, and light comes into existence. The matter is that plain and simple.
Everything is based on the Son’s finished work at Calvary. The Spirit moving and God speaking are both based on that which occurred almost 2,000 years ago.
When the Son cried out from the Cross, “It is finished,” He meant exactly that [a perfect tense is used in the Greek text, referring to action completed in past time and existing during present time in a finished or completed state — lit., “It has been finished,”] (John 19:30; cf. Luke 23:46); and when the Word of God reveals that we have a salvation of divine origin, based entirely on the Son’s finished work, the Word of God means exactly that as well.
When man sinned in the garden, he died spiritually; and when unregenerate man, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), is made alive today, he is made alive spiritually. The movement of the Spirit (Genesis 1:2b) and God speaking (Genesis 1:3) in order to restore the ruined creation are seen, in relation to ruined man, as simultaneous events. It is the Spirit using the God-breathed Word to effectually perform a supernatural work in unredeemed man. It is at this point — through the inbreathing of God — that life is imparted to the one previously having no life. God breathes into dead man (the Spirit using the God-breathed Word, based on the finished work of the Son, the living Word), and man is “quickened [‘made alive’]” (Ephesians 2:1, 5).
At this point, light shines “out of darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6), a division is made between the light and the darkness (Genesis 1:4), and the darkness has no apprehension or comprehension of that which is light (John 1:5; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14).
It is at this point in man’s salvation that the spirit is separated from the soul. The “spirit” in unsaved man is dead. It is a part of the totally depraved man, with his “body of . . . death,” in which there dwells “no good thing” (Romans 7:18, 24). With the movement of the Spirit, using the God-breathed Word, man's spirit is made alive and, at the same time, separated from his soul.
The “soul” remains within the sphere of darkness, which is why “the natural [Greek: psuchikos, soulical] man” cannot understand “the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14). That which remains in the sphere of darkness can have no apprehension or comprehension of that which has shined out of darkness. There is a God-established division between the spirit and the soul that cannot be crossed over (cf. Luke 16:26).
B) Salvation of the Soul
God, through the preceding process, delivers the spirit from the level into which it fell, resulting from Adam’s sin. And because the spirit has been delivered, there can once again be communion with God, man can now comprehend spiritual things, and there can now be a progressive, continued work by the Spirit of God within man so that man can ultimately be delivered to the place that God has decreed that he occupy at the end of six days, at the end of six thousand years.
Within the framework of the type in Genesis, chapter one, this is the very first thing that is foreshadowed. This had to be set forth first, for man had to first be made alive — he had to first pass “from death to life” — before anything else in the restorative process could occur. Thus, this is foreshadowed at the very beginning of the six days that God, in accordance with the established pattern, would use to bring about man’s complete restoration — “spirit, soul, and body” (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
To briefly illustrate how God’s complete restoration of man is patterned after God’s complete restoration of the material creation in Genesis, chapter one, note two things: 1) that which occurred on each day, and 2) the place where the whole of the restorative process was leading.
Within a type-antitype framework — pertaining to man’s salvation in the antitype — as previously stated, that which occurred in the type on day one pertains to the salvation of man’s spirit, and that which occurred in the type on days two through six pertains to the salvation of man’s soul.
The salvation of the spirit is an instantaneous event where one passes “from death to life,” but not so with the salvation of the soul. It is a progressive event. It is an event that begins at the point one is made alive spiritually, and it will not be realized until the end of the six days of restorative work (the end of six thousand years of restorative work).
(The issues of the judgment seat of Christ at the end of the present dispensation — that will occur at the end of the six days, the end of the 6,000 years — will have to do with issues surrounding the salvation [or loss] of the soul/life. It will be here — not before — that the man will realize [or fail to realize] the salvation of his soul/life.)
Since the salvation of the spirit cannot occur apart from an exact duplication in the antitype of that which occurred in the type during day one of the restoration in Genesis, how could the salvation of the soul, in relation to that which occurred on days two through six, be looked upon after any different fashion? It couldn’t. The latter must follow the pattern to the same degree as the former. There can be no difference in this respect.
And since this is the case, note what occurred on days two through six in the restoration of the ruined material creation in Genesis. Then, to see the overall picture of that which must be done to bring about the salvation of redeemed man’s soul, these same events can be viewed in relation to God’s present restoration of man, a subsequent ruined creation.
Events on days two and three (as events on the first day) have to do with divisions. On the second day God established a division between the waters (vv. 6-8), and on the third day He caused the dry land with its vegetation to appear, separating the dry land from the waters (vv. 9-13).
Then events on days four through six belong together as another unit, depicting things beyond the divisions previously established. On the fourth day God placed lights in the heavens to give light upon the earth (vv. 14-19), on the fifth day He created birds that could soar above the earth and marine life that could move throughout the depths of the sea (vv. 20-23), and on the sixth day He created the land animals, which included great creatures capable of roaming the earth (vv. 24, 25).
And the whole of God’s restorative work relative to the material creation in Genesis foreshadows the whole of God’s restorative work relative to man. After man has “passed from death to life,” wherein the spirit is separated from the soul — wrought entirely through divine intervention — man finds himself in a position and condition where a continued divine work not only can occur but is vitally necessary. And only through this continued divine work can the whole of God’s restorative work, as it pertains to man, be realized.
(As seen in God’s initial restorative work surrounding the material creation, man must be completely passive in relation to the salvation of the spirit [he is dead, rendering him incapable of acting]. But man, as the material creation [“And the earth brought forth . . .”] must then be active. He must be active in relation to the salvation of the soul [he now has life, allowing him to act]. But, as in the restoration of the material creation, the entire salvation process [spirit and soul, and ultimately the body] is a divine work.
It has to be a divine work, for that is the manner in which it is set forth in the opening type. It must be as Jonah stated immediately prior to deliverance: “Salvation [deliverance, restoration] is of the Lord” [Jonah 2:9].)
Events occurring during the first three days in Genesis, chapter one would point to elementary things or the basics in one’s spiritual life and growth. Events occurring during day one would point to a division having to do with the impartation of life. Then events occurring during days two and three would point to divisions, distinctions as one begins to progressively grow within the framework of the new life brought into existence on the first day. One would learn to distinguish between the soulical and spiritual, spiritual and carnal (fleshly), Jew, Gentile, and Christian, the dispensations, etc.
Only when one learns the distinctions, divisions depicted by that which was brought to pass on days two and three is he in a position to move on into the things depicted by that which was brought to pass on days four through six. On these three days, light was restored to the sun and moon (day four, vv. 14-19); sea life and the birds of the air were created (day five, vv. 20-23); and then God created all the living creatures that roam the earth, followed by His creation of man (day six, vv. 24-27).
That depicted by the work of the Triune Godhead during these three days points to things beyond elementary truths in the antitype. After one has passed “from death to life” and has been instructed in the elementary truths (days one through three) — after he has been “born from above” and has grown to a degree in his Christian life — he can then begin to view with understanding deeper spiritual truths of the Word. He can then begin to view with understanding those things in the Word depicted by events on days four through six of Genesis, chapter one.
An individual in this position can then begin to sink deep shafts down into the Word and mine its treasures. He can look into the Word and understand that depicted by the lights in the heavens. He can in the true sense of the Word, “mount up with wings as eagles . . . run, and not be weary . . . walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31), as he scales the heights; or he can scale the depths of the Word as the sea creatures plunge to the depths of the sea; or he can roam through the Word as the land creatures roam the earth.
In short, the more a person progresses from immaturity to maturity the more he comes into a position where he becomes unlimited in that which he can mine from the God-breathed Word in his possession. And the whole matter is with a view to man, at the end of six days (at the end of six thousand years), being in a position to realize the purpose for his very existence: “Let them have dominion . . . .” (Genesis 1:26, 28).
And to tie it all together in order to show the connection between maturity in the faith (present) and occupying a position as co-heir with Christ in the kingdom (future) is very simple. The salvation of the soul — allowing Christians to have the dominion for which man was created — will be realized by those who, during the present time, patiently endure, by faith (Hebrews 6:12ff; 10:36ff), the trials and testings of life as they keep their eyes fixed upon the same thing Christ kept His eyes fixed upon as He endured the sufferings of Calvary — the joy “set before him” (Hebrews 12:1, 2; cf. Matthew 25:19-23). And this cannot be successfully accomplished apart from some element of maturity in the faith.
. . . faith comes by [Greek: ek, out of] hearing, and hearing by [Greek: dia, through] the Word of God (Romans 10:17)
“Faith” is simply believing that which God has to say about a matter. Thus, walking by faith is walking in accordance with that which God has said; living by faith is living in accordance with that which God has said, etc.
And it all comes down to this:
To act, “by faith,” in any realm of life, one must know and understand that which God has said relative to the matter at hand. In other words, such a person must be conversant with the Word of God; and the more conversant he is with this Word, the better equipped he will be to act “by faith.”
The pilgrim walk is a walk solely “by faith,” never by sight. There is only one hope for victory, and that is a continuous walk by faith with one's eyes fixed on the goal out ahead.
There will be attacks by Satan time after time after time throughout the Christian life, and the only recourse that Christians possess to assure victory is a knowledge of the Word of God, an ability to use the Word, and an adherence to that which the Word states. Otherwise defeat can only be inevitable, with the Christian being overcome by the enemy rather than overcoming the enemy.
And that’s why the salvation of the soul — having to do with a participation with Christ as co-heir in events occurring on the seventh day — cannot be realized apart from a realization in one’s life of that portended by events on days two through six in the Genesis account. The journey from day one to day seven can be successfully accomplished only by traveling through days two through six.
Days two through six lie between days one and seven in a parallel respect to the Red Sea and the Wilderness lying between Egypt and Canaan. No route exists that carries one directly from the beginning point to the end point without passing through that which lies between. All six of the days must be passed through to reach the seventh day, and the route extending from the death of the Passover Lamb in Egypt through the Red Sea and the Wilderness must be traversed in order to reach the land wherein one’s inheritance lies.
This is the revealed way that God has outlined for man to travel. And as there is only one revealed way of eternal salvation (man made alive spiritually), there is only one revealed way in which redeemed man can traverse the pilgrim path if he would one day realize the salvation of his soul.
One Way! One Way! That’s it! There is no other.
The word, “anthropology,” comes from the Greek word, anthropos, which means “man.” The word is used in theology to refer to doctrinal teachings surrounding man.
The origin and reason for man’s existence are set forth in the first chapter of Genesis (vv. 26-28), and additional details concerning how God created man are set forth in the second chapter (vv. 7, 21-25). Then man’s fall is dealt with in the third chapter, along with God’s promise of a coming Redeemer, followed by an immediate provision of redemption via divine intervention (vv. 1-21). And the remainder of Scripture (3:22ff), covering 6,000 years of time, deals with God’s restoration of the ruined creation, for a revealed purpose.
The purpose for man’s redemption cannot be separated from the purpose for his creation. He was brought into existence to rule and reign. God created man, He put the man to sleep, He removed from the man that part of his being that was used to bring the woman into existence, and He then presented the woman back to the man in order that the man might be complete (Genesis 2:7, 21-25).
And this was done (setting forth great foundational truths surrounding Christ and His bride) in order that the man and the woman might rule the restored domain together — the King, with his consort Queen.
And all these things provide God’s unchangeable foundational revelation surrounding man:
a) Man’s creation (the man and the woman — the woman created in the man and then removed from the man).
b) God’s purpose for bringing man into existence (to ascend the throne and rule the earth [the king with his consort queen]).
c) Satan’s purpose for bringing about man’s fall (to disqualify man [through sin, as he himself had previously been disqualified] and, resultantly, retain his position on the throne.
d) God’s purpose surrounding man’s redemption (to ultimately place man on the throne, in the stead of Satan, allowing man to hold the scepter and realize the purpose for his creation in the beginning).
And any later revelation concerning man cannot be understood in its proper perspective apart from beginning where God began — at the beginning — and understanding the Word in this light, for that is where God has placed the unchangeable foundational material upon which His later revelation rests.
(A principle of biblical government necessitates that an incumbent ruler, though disqualified, continue to hold his position until his God-appointed successor is not only on the scene but ready to ascend the throne. Only at that time will God remove one ruler from the throne [the first] and establish the other [the second] on the throne, in accord with Daniel 4:17, 23-25.
Refer to the account of Saul and David in the books of 1, 2 Samuel, foreshadowing that which has happened, is happening, and will happen relative to Satan and Christ.)
The word, “eschatology,” comes from the Greek word, eschatos, which means “last.” The word is used in theology to refer to doctrinal teachings surrounding future events (last things), i.e., prophecy.
And, if a person would have a proper grasp of that which is being dealt with on the subject of eschatology at points throughout Scripture, his study must begin in the opening chapters of Genesis. The whole of the eschatological framework is set forth within the foundational framework surrounding that which God has revealed about the six and seven days in Genesis 1:1-2:3.
From within that which is taught in the framework, a person can begin to move forward and see any biblical doctrine (doctrine of man, salvation, angels, etc.) within its correct perspective. Apart from beginning after this fashion, such can never be the case.
In eschatology, everything moves toward that coming seventh day; but it begins on the first day. And a person works his way toward that seventh day in Scripture by moving through the previous six, viewing man’s fall and God’s redemptive work throughout the six days (throughout 6,000 years of redemptive work), with a view to the seventh day (the coming 1,000 years of rest).
(Eschatology in relation to man begins on the first day. Scripture though reveals a few things occurring prior to the events of day one, in eternity past, which must be understood if all things in Genesis 1:1-2:3 are to, in turn, be properly understood. These things would include God placing Satan over this earth as its first provincial ruler, Satan seeking to exalt his throne, and the ruined kingdom which resulted [over which Satan continued to rule, which he continues to rule today].
And a person understanding these things is then in a position to begin in Genesis 1:2 [where the kingdom is seen falling into this ruined state] and move forward.)
Starting at the beginning within the foundational structure, following man’s creation and fall, two days pass, 2,000 years pass, and Abraham appears (allowing the nation of Israel to later appear); then two more days pass, 2,000 additional years pass, and Messiah appears (followed by His death, burial, and resurrection, allowing the Church to be brought into existence [a Scriptural truth that has its foundational teachings within God’s action in Genesis 2:21-25 and Adam’s action in Genesis 3:6]). And events surrounding Messiah’s appearance all rest on the foundation established in Genesis chapter one, with a view to realizing that which is foreshadowed by events on the seventh day in chapter two.
And that’s the way it is with soteriology, anthropology, eschatology, or any other biblical doctrine (Ecclesiology [doctrine of the Church], Christology [doctrine of Christ], Pneumatology [doctrine of the Holy Spirit], etc.). The foundational teachings for all biblical doctrine can be found in the opening chapters of Genesis, and particular attention has been called to three (soteriology, anthropology, and eschatology) only to illustrate the point.
The “Result” of Error
There exists in the world today every conceivable difference in biblical interpretation that man can possibly imagine. This ranges all the way from what might be considered minor differences existing among Christians in the various denominational and independent groups to major differences exhibited by the cults. But, viewing these differences as a whole, things often become clouded. A sharp line in doctrinal thought between the cults and the denominational or independent groups (usually considered to be generally sound) is not always so evident.
In fact, the absence of sharp distinctions in various types of unsound doctrinal thought proclaimed by different groups of this nature is far more prevalent than many may realize. The leaven that the woman placed in the three measures of meal in Matthew 13:33, apparently very early in the dispensation, is no respecter of names or any other type divisions among Christian groups; and this leaven, which has been working since possibly the very inception of the Church, is going to continue doing its damaging work until “the whole” has been leavened, i.e., until “the whole” has been corrupted.
One of the best examples of the outworking of the leaven within the mainstream of Christendom today would be the widely accepted Lordship Salvation teaching, a teaching that has infiltrated practically all denominational and independent groups. And a high percentage of those holding to this line of thought today are to be found in the so-called fundamental circles. The teaching itself though undermines the whole of God’s restorative work throughout Man’s Day, for it not only corrupts the gospel of the grace of God (negatively reflecting on the foundation set through events of day one in Genesis chapter one) but it obscures the gospel of the glory of Christ (negatively reflecting on the foundation set through events of days two through six in Genesis chapter one).
Then another example would be the lack of (and, really, “aversion to” in many instances) teachings dealing with the salvation of the soul within the same so-called fundamental circles (again, negatively reflecting on the foundation set through events of days two through six in Genesis chapter one). This is the message that Satan hates, and he will do everything within his power to prevent its proclamation or understanding (cf. Matthew 13:3-7, 18-22; 2 Corinthians 3:3-6).
(“So-called fundamental circles” because the name fundamentalism portends a return to the fundamentals of the faith, which, in turn, portends a return to the foundational truths in Genesis. Such a return would be true fundamentalism, in which the manifested errors among many using this name today would not — they could not — exist.)
So that’s where we are today. Men have gone astray because they have ignored that which God established, after one fashion, at the beginning. There has been a departure from the established foundation and subsequent preliminary foundational truths, which has resulted in the manifested error.
And that’s it! The matter is that simple. If you want to remain correct as you work your way through Scripture, then it is absolutely necessary that you start out in a correct manner at the beginning.
Begin at the beginning, find out how God structured His Word, study it after that fashion, and you will not go wrong.
Types and Antitypes
Then He said to them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe 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)
Now these things were our examples [Now these things happened as types for us], to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted . . . .
Now all these things happened to them for examples [Now all these things happened to them for types’]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [the ages] are come. (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11)
Three things above all else must be adhered to in the study of Scripture.
1) A person must recognize that all Scripture is God-breathed.
2) A person must begin where God began.
3) A person must study Scripture after the fashion in which it was written.
God gave His Word to man through man in a particular manner:
. . . holy men of God spoke as they were moved [borne along] by the Holy Spirit.
(2 Peter 1:21b)
The manner in which God revealed Himself, His plans, and His purposes in His Word (a God-breathed revelation, penned as the Spirit moved men to write) is what makes Scripture different from all other writings. Scripture stands in a category solely by itself,
completely alone; and all other writings stand in a completely separate category (ref. chapter 1 of this book).
Then, in the process of giving to man, through man, the God-breathed Word, at the very outset God set forth a skeletal structure covering the whole panorama of revelation that was to follow, along with foundational building material. And if a person would understand Scripture correctly, he must begin where God began and follow that which God has set forth, after the manner in which He Himself established the matter.
The person must follow the skeletal structure and build upon this structure after the manner in which God Himself began and set matters forth, establishing them in a particular manner at the outset. At any point in the whole of Scripture, any teaching must have a connection with and be in complete agreement with the God-established skeletal structure and subsequent foundational material set forth at the beginning (ref. chapters 2-4 in this book).
Then, beyond that, God structured His revelation to man after a particular fashion, alluded to in Luke 24:25-27, 44 and stated in so many words in 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11. Scripture not only deals with a completely accurate history of certain events surrounding God’s dealings with the earth, angels, and man, but biblical history has been recorded after such a fashion that it is highly typical as well. God has established His primary means of teaching, not through history per se, but through inherent types (seen in past history) pointing to antitypes (seen in later history and/or prophecy).
The manner in which God revealed Himself to man is as stated in 1 Corinthians chapter ten:
Now all these things happened to them for examples [Greek: tupos, for “types”] . . . .
(1 Corinthians 10:11a)
The reference is to events during Moses’ day, drawing from the wilderness journey of the Israelites. But the reference would, of necessity, have to go far beyond simply the specific events listed in verses one through ten, preceding the statement in verse eleven. In the light of other Scripture, as becomes increasingly evident when one views the whole of Scripture, the reference would have to be enlarged to encompass not only all biblical history during Moses’ day but all biblical history beginning with Genesis 1:1.
That would be to say, God has structured His revelation to man after a fashion in which not only true, correct history is presented but this history is presented in such a manner that it is highly typical in nature. God, within His sovereign control of all matters, brought things to pass after such a fashion (within the history of the earth, angels, and man) that He could, at a later time, have these events to draw upon in order to teach His people the deep things surrounding Himself, His plans, and His purposes. And this would be accomplished mainly through types and corresponding antitypes.
Thus, God draws not so much from history per se as He does from the spiritual content set forth in the historic accounts — the great spiritual lessons, taught mainly from types pointing to corresponding antitypes.
Anyone can understand facts within revealed biblical history (saved or unsaved man). This would pertain more to the letter of the matter. But only saved man can go beyond the letter to the spirit of the matter (2 Corinthians 3:6-16). Only the saved can understand the spiritual lessons drawn from history. Only the saved can look within biblical history and see spiritual content (1 Corinthians 2:12-16).
For the unsaved, things beyond the simple, historical facts are completely meaningless. They can’t see these things; nor can they know them. Spiritually, they are dead; and these things are “spiritually discerned.” They can view Scripture only from a “natural [‘soulical’]” standpoint (1 Corinthians 2:14).
But for the saved, the matter is entirely different. They, through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, have been made alive spiritually. The Spirit has breathed life into the one having no life, and they have “passed from death unto life.” And they have this same Spirit — the One who gave the Word to man through man — indwelling them to lead them “into all truth” (John 16:13-15; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19, 20; 1 John 3:24). Accordingly, the saved possess the ability to see beyond the facts of history and view the spiritual lessons inherent therein.
This is what is meant by “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” It is within this facet of Scripture that man can see the things which “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard . . . .” It is within this facet of Scripture that “God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-13).
And it is within this complete, overall thought that one finds the whole of biblical history filled with types and meanings. This is the manner in which God has structured His Word. It has been given to man after this fashion, and if man would properly understand that which God has revealed in His Word, he must study it after the fashion in which it was given.
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.