The idea of this page is to inform those who, for whatever reason, have never really studied God's Word - the Bible. Reading the Bible is commendable but it is very different from studying the Bible.
My favourite areas of Bible study are prophecy and typology, it is these subjects that this page will seek to explore. I don't intend to go deeply into any subject; what I hope is that I will say sufficient to get you interested enough to do your own studying of God's Word.
I think most people would know what is meant by the word 'prophecy' but just in case: prophecy for the most part but not always so is the foretelling of future events which God has already decreed will happen. The Old Testament is packed full of prophecies of this type - mainly regarding the Lord Jesus Christ. Approximately 300 prophecies regarding Jesus have already come to pass exactly as prophesied, there remains about 700 to be fulfilled. I believe these will be fulfilled literally just as the first 300 were. Furthermore, I don't think it will be too long before they begin to happen since the signs Jesus told us to watch for are now all around us.
Typology may not be so well known. Typology is the study of biblical 'types'. What is a biblical type? A type is a model, it is something which actually happened (or exists) but has a spiritual meaning which goes far beyond the event or thing itself, some people are also used by God as types. Perhaps the best way to explain what I mean would be to give an example, so let's take a very, very simple example of typology.
In our sky God placed the sun, the moon and the stars. When the sun is with us we can see it, but when the sun leaves we no longer see it and darkness falls. However, we see the sun's reflection (the moon and stars shining are merely the light of the sun reflecting from them, to earth) therefore we know the sun is still around and we know that, no matter how dark the night, the sun will return. The moon, being much nearer to us than other heavenly bodies, reflects the most sunlight. Then there are the stars: note that some shine brighter than others, their degree of brightness depends upon several factors - their size, their distance from the earth and the amount of 'space dust' (for want of a better term), between us and them.
Typologically the sun represents Jesus, the Son, ("the sun of righteousness", Mal. 4:2)
The moon, referred to as the 'lesser light' (Gen.1:16), typifies the church on earth*, it shows the light of Christ on earth during His absence.
The individual stars represent individual believers who comprise the church* (Phil. 2:15), they too show the light of Christ on earth during His absence.
Just as the stars shine with differing degrees of light so too Christians also 'shine' with greater or lesser degrees of brightness for their Lord, (some dedicate their entire life to His cause while others do little, or nothing for Him.)
Biblical typology gives us an insight to the fantastic way God has constructed His Word. The late Albert Einstein, one of the world's greatest minds, said that the whole universe was one huge cryptogram set by God, as one delves deeply into His Word it becomes easy to believe that.
The Mormon people are taught that there are mistakes in the Bible and that large parts are missing from it, the reason for that teaching is this: for Mormonism to be true the Bible has got to be wrong because the Bible opposes everything the Mormon Church teaches, therefore the Mormon leadership attempt to "trash" the Bible (whilst at the same time claiming to believe it) in their effort to protect the shiny edifice that is Mormonism.
The Bible is structured in such a way as to make it impossible for it to be deliberatly corrupted without that corruption sticking out like a sore thumb - two good examples of deliberate corruption are "The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures" (the Jehovah's Witnesses translation) and Joseph Smith's so called "Inspired Version" (inspired! Yes, but by whom?) As regards the odd minor translating fault: because the doctrine which God wishes to convey to us is so 'interwoven' throughout the entire Bible any small mistake made by translators becomes insignificant.
1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
Genesis 22 begins with God setting a test for Abraham (the King James Version uses the word 'tempt', that means 'test'). God told Abraham to take his son..... his only son whom he loved, and to sacrifice him at a place God would show him. When God decrees that something should be done that thing is as good as done from that moment, therefore, Isaac was, from that decree, as good as dead.
As a proof text for that statement: We read of Christ (the Lamb) being "slain from the foundation of the world." (Revelation 13:8) It was thousands of years after the foundation of the world that Christ died for us, so what does that verse mean? It means that God the Father and God the Son had covenanted before the world existed that one day the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, would take upon Himself flesh and come to this world and die to save it. Therefore the Bible can properly speak of Christ being crucfied from the foundation of the world because the decision was made back then and nothing could alter that decision. The same principle applies to Isaac.
The next morning they left; Abraham, Isaac and two of Abraham's servants ("young men".)
On the third day they saw the place and everything which happened thereafter was on that third day, Abraham told his young men to wait where they were and keep the donkey with them while Abraham and Isaac (who would have been about 30 years old at this time) went on alone - Isaac carrying the wood for the fire.
Why not have the donkey carry the timber? Because in the 'type' or 'model', Isaac was bearing upon His back the timber upon which He would die. Just as Christ would do so many years later.
Isaac was curious (v. 7) and asked his father where was the lamb for the burnt offering. Note Abraham's answer: "My son, God will provide HIMSELF a lamb..." this is not the same as saying "God will provide for Himself a lamb." Abraham was speaking prophetically of that day when another Father would offer in sacrifice His Only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the biblical text we get no indication of Isaac rebelling against Abraham placing him on the alter and preparing to kill him. Typologically this shows the willingness of Jesus to obey the Father.
Just at the moment Abraham was about to kill his son God stopped him - again referring to Isaac as "...thine only son..." (v. 12)
Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in thickets, it was used for the sacrifice in Isaac's place [typologically, the substitutery death]. Whereas Isaac had been (as good as) dead since God's decree, now, after three days, he was alive again.
Abraham named the place "Jehovah-jireh" which means The LORD will provide, because God provided a substitution to die (for us).
Then in verse 19 we read that Abraham returned to his young men and went home. By the way, who do you suppose the two young men represent in the type? Remember, they made the journey to the place of death with Isaac.
In this biblical type Abraham represents God the Father and Isaac the Lord Jesus. Let's recap and look at some of the detail.
To begin with, Isaac was not Abraham's only son he was Abraham's second son, the first son, Ishmael, was 13 years older than Isaac so why did God twice refer to Isaac as "thine only son"? The answer is that God had promised Abraham that he would have a son (Genesis 15:4-6) but Abraham's wife, Sarah was barren and told her husband to take [sexually] her handmaid Hagar. Hagar bore Abraham a son, Ishmael.
Later, (Genesis 18:1-15) the LORD visited Abraham and told him that He was going to give Abraham a son by Sarah, this of course was what God had intended all along. Sarah would not believe the LORD because she was now so old and well past childbearing age, quite apart from having been barren all her life.
Eventually God kept His promise, Sarah had a son, Isaac. (Gen. 21:1-3) God had never intended Abraham to have a child by anyone other than his wife. Ishmael was not part of God's plan, he was "born after the flesh" but Isaac was "born of the promise" just as Christ was (Genesis 3:15; Romans 9:7-9)
God intended Abraham to have only one son, and the birth of that son would be a miracle, typologically - like Christ's birth.
Let's move on. Look at verse 19 "So Abraham returned unto his young men..." What's missing? Or rather, who's missing? Isaac of course! The Holy Spirit so directed the writer that Isaac is left on the mountain top when Abraham and his servants go home. Obviously Isaac went home with them, but that is not recorded.
In order to maintain the 'type' the Holy Spirit so directs the writer that Isaac is not mentioned again until later. As we know, in the type Isaac was representing Jesus, and in type we have just had the scene where "Christ" died.
Following His crucification the Lord returned to heaven and has not yet returned.
So Eliezer went into the world [in type, those who are not God's people] and chose a bride, Rebekah, [in type, the church] for Isaac [in type, Christ]
Having chosen and prepared the bride for Isaac the servant returned home.
Now Isaac comes back on the scene, remember, he has not been mentioned since he "died" on top of that mountain but now as he sees the servant approach he goes out and claims his bride.
We read in the Bible that upon His return, His second coming, the Lord is coming to take home His bride - the Church.
I trust this quick look at that biblical type has given you an insight to the wonderful way God has constructed His Word. Having done so, do you think God would allow mere man to destroy the unity of His Word? Not likely! (see the biblical type "The Rock.")
We are going to take a look at a time when Moses did not do what God told him, this resulted in Moses upsetting a type which God was using Moses to construct. God's punishment of Moses was severe, he would be allowed to see, but not allowed to enter, the promised land.
Exodus chapter 17:1 tells us that the congration of the Children of Israel journyed "according to the commandment of the Lord." But the place to which the Lord led them had no water and they were in a desert. God is aware that we need water to live, so why did He bring all those people, estimated at about 2 million plus their animals, to a place without water? Answer: to establish a 'type'!
In verse six God tells Moses to smite the rock and water shall come from it - notice: God did not tell Moses to smite a rock but 'the rock'; God had a specific rock in mind.
Remember, a 'type' is an actual event with a spiritual meaning, so what is the spiritual meaning behind this type? It relates to the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ!
The people were in a situation where death was a certainty, they were in a desert and they had no water. If Christ had not died for us death [spiritual death] was for us a certainty, spiritually we would have been in the same position as those Israelites.
God told Moses to smite 'the rock'; this speaks of Jesus, 'The Rock' being smitten for our sake.
As already stated, it has been estimated that there were about two million people with Moses - plus their animals, yet sufficent water (in type: God's Grace, as shown through the Blood of Christ) flowed from that rock, sufficent to supply all their needs.
Christ's Blood is sufficent for all our needs, we require nothing else for salvation.
However, no matter how much water had flowed from that rock in the desert, if an Israeli decided not to drink that water it would have done him or her no good at all. The fact that the water was available would not in itself save their life - they had to drink it in order to live.
Mormons believe that everyone will eventually be saved to some 'degree of glory' except relitively few 'sons of perdition'. This is not true! In order to benefit from God's provision one must partake of it. Only those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour - drank from His Blood, so to speak, will be saved (and there are not different degrees of glory [i.e. heavens], only one.)
To Sum Up:
1. Christ is the Rock (1 Cor. 10:4; 1 Peter 2:8)
2. The people were utterly unworthy (Ex. 17:2; Eph. 2:1-6)
3. The characterisistics of this life giving gift were:
(a) It was free - (Jn. 4:10; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8)
(b) It was abundant - enough for everyone (Ps. 105:41; Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:20)
(c) It was near (Rom. 10:8)
(d) The people had only to take (Isa. 55:1)
Jim Cowen, Mormon Awareness Ministry,