GET ACQUAINTED - Relate the story of your conversion or tell about your family/church background.


What insights did you bring to share?


Types, representations, images, shadows, forshadowings, parallels, patterns, figures, signs, and symbols depict, picture, outline, prefigure, point to, or render some semblance or clue to the reality (ie., antitype).  They are not themselves the reality and there are more representations than those specifically identified as such in the N.T.  They serve to condition our thinking and instill certain concepts so we will recognize the truth when it is revealed.  [see apdx.B]  Thus the Old Testament is the historical foreshadowing of the future reality.  It builds a conceptual framework that provides the categories for comprehending the ways of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For examples of the New Testament (Gospel) interpretation of the Old Testament, look at the following passages and list the promises given to Abram.

Gen.12:2-3, 7-8; 17:4-8




How are the promises expanded or clarified in the N.T.?  Rom.4:13








The historical narrative of the Bible is not merely a succession of events from which we draw moral lessons or a convenient cache out of which we extract principles or illustrations of the Christian life.  Biblical history gives us a frame of reference to understand God’s purposes and spiritual nature of reality.  The whole Bible presents itself as the unfolding process of God's dealings with man and of His self-disclosure to man.  Revelation is progressive.  The history of redemption is incomplete without the New Testament, because the New Testament clarifies the typology and transforms the Old Testament imagery by the Gospel.  For example, deliverance effected by a judge, king, or other means is a redemptive event (prefigures redemption).  The Old Testament progression of revelation toward fulfillment in the New means that the whole Bible is properly understood only in light of the Christ of the Gospel.

Example of Typology of a Redemptive Event
in Contrast to Subjective (Allegorical) Interpretation:

Read Joshua 2:1-21; 6:22-25

One well-worn line of interpretation focuses on the redness of Rahab's cord (2:18) as a type of the blood of Christ.  The focus and only connection are merely the redness of each.  But the conquest of Jericho is part of the saving acts of God for Israel, and of his judgment on the godless Canaanites.  That Rahab found safety from this judgment and was saved through hiding the spies (by faith, Heb.11:31) and obeying the instruction to display a sign of identification, has many real parallels to the Passover in Egypt.  In that sense the tying of an easily-seen colored cord to the window had saving significance for Rahab, and the fact that she became incorporated in the people of God (Josh.6:25) means her story depicts salvation.  So it is not the redness which establishes the connection, but the redemptive significance of the event.  This passage, along with other passages, also demonstrates the purpose of God for the gentiles as promised to Abram in Genesis 12:3.  Jethro of Midian and his daughter whom Moses married, Rahab the Canaanite, and Ruth the Moabitess are examples of gentile converts.

Identify 2 redemptive events from the Old Testament other than Rahab and the exodus.  Notice that each is accompanied by judgment.




·                    A Theophany is the manifestation of God to people in some visible form such as a pillar of fire or cloud (Ex.13).  A Christophany is a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ in a human form.  Christophanies reveal significant truths about God and his purpose for his people.  The most common appearances are identified as "the Angel of the Lord."  The word translated "angel" literally means "messenger".  This angel possesses divine attributes, performs divine works, and is even referred to as "God," while at the same time is distinct from God.  Christophanies helped prepare the way for the incarnation by creating a mindset that anticipated the visible manifestation of God in the messianic work of prophet, priest and king.

Read Gen.16:7-13; Gen.18; Gen.21:14-20.  What things do you see that only God can be and do (characterize divine perfections and works)?


·                    List some other designations or titles of Christ in the O.T.






·                    List some of the N.T. designations of Christ pointing back to the O.T.



Since the fall of Man and his consequent separation from God, mankind has needed a mediator between himself and God.  A mediator stands between 2 parties who are at odds as an intermediary to resolve the conflict, bring reconciliation, and peace.  In Old Testament times there were three classes of public service that filled this need - prophets, priests, and kings.  They were consecrated [definition?] to their offices by an anointing oil (1Ki.19:16b; Ex.28:41; 1 Ki.1:34).  Since all human instruments come short and fail, God planned from the beginning to provide the perfect prophet, priest, and king.  This expectation among the Jews was the basis for the idea of a coming Messiah.  The words "Messiah" (Hebrew) and "Christ" (Greek) mean anointed one.

Look up the following verses and write your observations.

A.   Prophet - The Old Testament prophets were called to be channels of revelation. They spoke to men in behalf of God.  The preeminent prophet was Moses, who mediated the covenant between God and His people, the Israelites.









B.   Priest - Priests were the mediators between God and men.  After the construction of the tabernacle they spoke to God on behalf of men through sacrifices, offerings, and intercessory prayer.

1 Tim.2:4-5







Heb. 6:20-7:3


Heb. 7:24-25


C.   King - The role of the king was to act in the name of God, ruling righteously for the welfare of the people.  He was both protector and judge.  In many ways King David's life typified that of his greater Son, Jesus Christ.





What captured your attention in this lesson?


Look up the following passages
   Theme: redemption in Christ before creation

2 Tim.1:8-10



1 Pt.1:18-21



Chap.2 of RPCD


God has spoken and dealt with mankind in such a way as to both hide and reveal unseen realities.3

“Why do you speak to them in parables?…Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given…All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world’.” (excerpts from Mt.13)

That God spoke with special clarity to Moses was an exception (Num.12:8) to the way He usually communicated with the prophets (Num.12:6).  The prophets themselves had a difficult time grasping even the most basic things (1 Pt.1:10-11).  What does the New Testament do with Old Testament history, characters, structures, practices, events, and prophecies?  Hebrews 1 begins, “…but in these last days [our day] God sent a messenger not like the others (prophets, v.2), but one who radiates His glory and exactly represents His reality (v.3).  He is the very image [“icon”, an exact picture as opposed to a likeness or a sketch showing similarity] of THE INVISIBLE GOD" (Col.1:15).  The person who sees Jesus, is looking at the Father (Jn.14:7-11).  Hebrews presses several arguments as to the superiority of Christ, His position and accomplishments over other bearers of God's word (angels, Moses, etc.) in order to contrast the many Old Covenant forms, figures, shadows, and representative copies with the actual reality:4 Christ is seated with God in the heavens … ministering in the true sanctuary of the actual tabernacle (Heb.8:1-2); Priests “serve a shadow and copy of the heavenly things” (8:5); Christ has entered into heaven itself - the true, not the copy (9:24); “the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form [icon, picture, image] of these realities” (10:1).  (see No Little People, by Francis Schaeffer, pg.107-122)  The physical structure of the earthly sanctuary and the furnishings, ordinances and services of the first (Old) Covenant (Heb.9:1-7) were temporary and symbolic (v.9) “until the time of reformation” (v.10).  The true way into God’s presence was not made known (v.8) until the New Covenant was established (v.15).  Old Testament sacrifices were a pattern or illustration of what Christ was to do IN FACT (Heb.9:23-24; 10:1).

The Old Testament hid spiritual realities in the shadow form of its language, both in terminology and in mixing them with immediate and distant circumstantial realities.  Those Old Covenant institutions as a whole were meant to establish lines of continuity between the Old Covenant mysteries and New Covenant revelations [unveilings of those mysteries].5  The Bible reveals both the existence and the details of unseen realities in types and images of various sorts.6  In other words, the institutions, commands, laws and practices in the Old Testament were clear and detailed in themselves, but were only shadowy precursors of the realities they represented.  For example, Israel was a significant outline of what it meant to be the people of God, but not the reality.  The tabernacle and temple were significant glimpses of the presence and worship of God, but they weren’t heaven and they weren’t a clear picture of the reality.  The true worship of the Father is a spiritual matter and occurs in the realm of truth (Jn.4:23).  The law, sacrifices, priesthood, deliverance from enemies, conquest of and prosperity in the land, judgments of God, etc., were all sketchy portrayals of realities later to be fully disclosed (Col.2:16-17) [see Apdx.F].  The apostles used “the notices of patriarchal and Israelitish history as a kind of preparatory exhibition of the truths and revelations of the gospel (Rom.IV.4, 17; 1 Cor.X.1-11; Rev.IV.1-6, etc.).”7

Believers under the Old Covenant had a sense of the realities underlying the knowledge they received.  Abraham set his hope on dwelling with God (Heb.11:10), not the land he was wandering around in or a particular city.  He apprehended more in God’s promises than Israel’s borders described in the Old Testament.  In fact, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah all sought such a homeland (Heb.11:13-16).  They understood the ultimate reality to be that God was taking them to be His people forever [see Apdx.J].  This is much clearer now that Christ has come and we have a better covenant based on better promises (Heb.8:6).  The realities to which the old institutions pointed are apparent today.  What does the New Testament say?  We Christians are living stones constructing a holy temple, a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices, a chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation, God’s special possession and members of the household of God (1 Pt.2:5, 9-10; Eph.2:19-22).  Restoration of the nation of Israel to the arid land of Canaan, rebuilding of the stone temple, reappointment of earthly priests and offering of animal sacrifices do not belong under the superior New Covenant.


3. P.148 Fairbairn.

4. One aspect of the concept of the true involves the real, actual, or genuine article as opposed to the type or designated symbol or representative that never lived up to its calling.  Jesus is the true vine, true branch, true bread, true shepherd, true servant, true son, etc…the truth.

5. “…the antecedent history of redemption” was “the prelude of redemption itself.” p.33 Fairbairn

6. See further the first chapter of The Israel of God (yesterday, today, and tomorrow) by O. Palmer Robertson entitled "The Israel of God: Its Land."

7. P.32 Fairbairn