Understanding Prophecy: Lesson Five

Part 5 - Understanding Prophecy, Part I series
By: Cindy Zeigler | Aug 25, 2008
Today we will cover the next two lessons in our Bible Study on Prophecy -- Lesson s four and five. We will look at the final portion of foundational things (Lesson Four), and then glimpse into the first five chapters of Genesis (Lesson Five). It becomes very obvious that there is good reason for Jesus to teach that we must "begin with Moses"!

Message Notes

Understanding Prophecy, Part I

Lesson Four Lecture

Basic Distinctions

Well this week we continue striving to understand a few more distinctions that will continue to help us to come to a better understanding of things we need to have a grasp concerning Scriptures as a whole. Distinctions in the areas of:

? Heavenly and Earthly realms.

? Gentiles, Jews and Christians

? Time within respect to the ages, and

? Dispensations within the ages

I?d like to begin today reviewing the distinctions between the heavenly and earthly realms of the kingdom. This is something you may understand even without knowing that you understand it.

Hopefully, having done your homework, you have a better grasp of these two realms. So, for the lecture, I would just like to identify that two realms need to be recognized when dealing with the kingdom of this earth, both in the present time, as well as the future time.

Succinctly stated, we know that God is the Supreme Ruler over the whole of creation, the whole of the Universe. And this universe is far beyond what we can imagine! Powerful angelic beings ruling over various provinces of the universe. Glimpses of this can be seen in various part of the Book of Daniel

And though the earth and the heavens which surround this earth is a very minute speck in the overall universe, it is here that God has focused His attention. And the reason can be seen fairly easily:

The angelic rebellion that took place in the heavens in a past age, brought about the need for reconciliation of the heavenly places of rulership (heavenly thrones, dominions, powers, and authorities), and the restoration of the material creation over which this heavenly domain rule.

And while that restoration of the material creation took place nearly 6,000 years ago, with man being created to rule in the stead of angels, there was another ruin that took place, at the hands of the originally created ruler over this earthly domain. Satan brought about the fall of man. And in this fall, there came an additional need for the reconciliation of earthly thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities.

This fact can so easily escape our notice (if we are not careful and do not bring attention to this) that there are two realms of this particular kingdom in God?s Universe. And God is dealing with both realms in the restoration and reconciliation. We need to know that there is an:

? Earthly realm (which is for the most part dealt with in the OT, and a

? Heavenly realm (which for the most part is dealt with in the NT.

We can see how God set it up?that God very distinctly says through the prophet Daniel that:

Daniel 4

26 b ?that the heavens do rule. (KJV)

In Daniel?s day, King Nebuchadnezzar had refused to recognize this fact. And in doing so, God brought about a horrific state upon the king. He became as a wild animal, living outside and having lost his human mind, so to speak, and remained in that condition for 7 periods of time. Once the king recognized the fact that the Most High ruleth, and that rulership takes place from the heavens, he was restored. And he offered praises to the Living God.

This fact is true today ? the heavens do rule! And the fact will be true in the Age to come. It is the heavens that rule. Even as rulership takes place on the earth over the earth, there is an unseen (to our human eyes) hierarchy of rulership that takes place from the heavens over the earth. And a good in depth study of the Book of Daniel would reveal that there is angelic activity that takes place in the heavens that surround our earth. The angelic activity is real and powerful! We need to grasp that.

Even as we have seen that Satan and his fallen angels rule over the earth from the heavens above even now (Eph. 6:12), it is from this domain that rulership will take place over the earth in the Coming Age, the Age of the ages. Jesus will rule from the heavenly City (that city which has foundations whose architect and builder is God)!

Look at this very clearly stated verse in Hebrews:

Hebrews 11

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign [land,] dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;

Why did he do this? Why did Abraham live in tents? This passage reveals that it had something to do with the promises he had received. And that Isaac and Jacob, dwelled also in tents, because of these same promises!

But we do not have to guess why! The very next statement tells us why they lived in tents.

Hebrews 11

10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Imagine a city which God designed and built! That?s what it says, right?

And so we ask the question ? Is this a figure of speech, or is it dealing with something literal?

If a figure, then it must be pointing to something literal. We would not have a figure of speech in Scripture for nothing, without it pointing to something literal! Figures of speech point to something! Take the red dragon, for example. The figure is not literal, i.e., it is not a literal red dragon, but it is revealing something that is literal. And the text states as much

Revelation 12

3 And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth

(Notice the numbers 7, and 10!)

9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

So again, though the red dragon is a figure of speech, it points to something literal. Same is true for the woman that sits on the scarlet beast in Rev. 17; and the locusts prepared for battle in Rev. 9.

And so what about this ?heavenly city??

Jesus told His disciples that He was going away to prepare a place for them. This is a scene that took place on the night of Passover, the night before his death. He very kindly told His disciples:

John 14

1 "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Is it figurative or literal?

And to see that it is literal, we only need to turn to its specific description:

Revelation 21

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.

12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west.

Does this sound figurative or literal?

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And the one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall.

16 And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17 And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements.

Does this sound figurative or literal?

18 And the material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;

20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Is this figurative or literal? And if figurative, what would it be pointing to?

Let?s go back to Hebrews chapter eleven, and see what Abraham and Sarah thought of these things. Did they live in such a way that all of this was figurative, or literal? It seems pretty literal, and as a result, they were commended for their faith concerning these things.

We have read:

Hebrews 11

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.

9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign [land,] dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;

10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised?

12 therefore, also, there was born of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE.

13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Why did they consider themselves strangers and exiles on the earth? The next verse answers the question:

14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own?

? 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one.

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

And remember this passage from last week:

Numbers 23

19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

There are many other places we could go to see the distinctions between heaven and earthly realms of the kingdom, but I will trust that you came to understand a lot of these things through your homework.

Not only in your workbooks, but also in these lectures, we have already seen the distinctions between ages and time, haven?t we?

Now that we have a pretty good grasp on that, let?s look at details concerning the present Age. In this time period, there are distinctions and divisions in this period that also is important to understand. Just as this period is divided into 3 two thousand-years periods,

The first 2,000 years were covered in Genesis 1-11a. (These chapter will be the focus of the final three lessons in this part one of the Prophecy series.)

The second 2,000 year period is covered in Scripture from Genesis 11b through the four Gospels.

The third 2,000 year-period is covered in Scripture from the Book of the Acts through the Epistle of Jude.

The last 1,000 year-period is culminated in the Book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ.

And within these periods of time, we can see God working through specific house-hold servants. Let?s look at a particular Greek word that means just that: household servant.

3622. oikonomia

administration (of a household or estate); --dispensation, stewardship.

From the word oikonomos: a house-distributor (i.e. manager), or overseer, governor, or steward.

Oikonomos, which is from a compound word:

oikos: household

nomos: a legal term, to parcel out

Sometimes this word is translated into the English as the word dispensation.

Sometimes it has been translated manager; sometimes administration. It all depends on what verse you are looking at, and/or what translation you are using.

But for our purposes today, I would like to use the word dispensation for a specific reason. There is something out there called ?dispensationalism?. And often it is not looked upon in a good light today. And anytime men mess with something, it often gets construed to mean something other than the way it is portrayed in Scripture.

At the present time, the word dispensation gets a bad rap! Seemingly, now more than ever before! With people saying that the doctrine of dispensationalism didn?t even come into view until the 1800s, which is not true, as we will see that it is a Scriptural concept.

But we can see that Paul aught it, and if it has been skewed, it has been skewed by man?s in man?s ideologies.

Honestly, I do not know enough about the way the word is used today to speak to its correct and incorrect uses. It doesn?t matter anyway, does it? The only thing that matters is the way Scripture deals with it. And we will strive today to see it in its correct light, not paying attention to the way it is viewed as an ?ism? today. Does that sound good?

So we can see that the word dispensation is translated in the Bible from this Greek work oikonomia.

(Perhaps the reason for the bad rap is that a form of ?dispensational doctrine? was formalized into some sort of man?s ideology in the 1800s, portions of which may or may not be correct according to Scripture. That is the bad thing about ?isms?, isn?t it? Dispensationalism ? Man takes truths from the Bible and turns them into his ideology, adding beliefs to it that may or may not be correct, then passes it off as one of the options upon which to base your own theology! That craziness!

The safe thing is just to stick to what the Bible says, and you will be safe. So let?s work through one of the places in Scripture that deals with this word oikonomia (translated ?dispensation? in the KJV; and ?stewardship? and/or ?administration? in the NASB) and see what understanding we can come to. We will read through the whole text, then come back to parts of it and see what we can learn from it:

Ephesains 3

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-- 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship (dispensation) of God's grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.

4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.

8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration (dispensation) of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;

10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal (Lit., the age-lasting [singular ?aion?]) purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord?

First, let?s understand the distinctions between the idea of age or ages, and dispensation or dispensations. An age has to do with time; a dispensation has nothing to do with time, but rather with the management of a household, or stewardship with respect to management. And in that respect, a dispensation fits into time. One or more dispensations can fit into an age. Let?s see how this works on the board?

We have one or more ages between ?the beginning? and the ?restoration of the earth?. Within this period, we know that Lucifer was the created being to manage the earth. And in a sense perhaps we could see this as a dispensation, though I don?t know of a place in Scripture where it is referred to as that!

Ezekiel 28

12 "Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 "You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering?

? 14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until unrighteousness was found in you.

Perhaps in this respect, we might see this as a dispensation, though it is a rulership that takes place from the heavenlies over the earth. And in the heavens, it is ongoing, even through today, with a view to this dispensation (and that is what it is called in Scripture) will be brought to an end in the heavens and a new ?dispensation? brought forward, the one having to do with the coming age, when Jesus and His bride will rule from the heavenlies in Satan?s stead.

But let?s see things from the perspective of God?s created purpose for man ? man was created, God had created him to rule, initially from the earth, but in comparing Scripture with Scripture, it is easy to see that eventually man was to rule from the heavenlies, as well).

One place where we could see that is the understanding that God had given King David who, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, prophesied future things in his Psalms. Here is one such place:

Psalm 8

3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 4 What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?

5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;

The works of His hands is described as being the moon and the stars?but also the earth would still be in view. David continues in Psalm 8:

You have put all things under his feet, 7 All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

But remember that last week in Hebrews chapter two, we read that we do not yet see man ruling over the earth yet! (Heb. 2:8b.)

And though this has not come to pass, there is a sense that God uses human house-hold managers in the affairs of men, though Satan remains as the God-placed ruler over the earth, until a future time.

In that respect, we might see that there was a dispensation in the first 2,000 years, wherein God would manage His household through various individuals, rather than a group of individuals, which we see later.

Then with the call of Abraham, along with his progeny, we have another 2,000 year-period wherein we see God using the Jews as His household managers. So in that sense we could see this period as the Dispensation of the Jews.

Then at Pentecost after the crucifixion of Christ, we see new household servants coming into view ? the Dispensation of the Church

We must pause for a moment here and mention something about this! Within the scope of God?s history of mankind, we must see the distinctions between people groups, if you will.

Here in this first period of the history of mankind, we can know that while there were no distinctions among mankind per se (they were not even divided into nations until several generations after the Flood), we can know that there were saved and unsaved individuals during this period. (This is the period of time that we are going to go into details in the final three weeks of this study [Part I of the series on prophecy]).

And we can know that God certainly did work through certain individuals, who in a real sense were His household servants. We can think of Abel, Enoch and Noah, as three individuals who were singled out in Hebrews chapter eleven, representing this first 2,000 years of mankind?s history. And in that sense, we will refer to this as the first dispensation in mankind?s history.

Then, once God called Abraham, and gave him the promises, and Isaac, the son of promise, then Jacob, and his twelve sons, who became the TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL, we can see another dispensation come into view ? Another group of household servants ? the dispensation of the Jews.

And to keep things in proper order, we must see Jews and distinct and separate from all other people groups, i.e., the Gentiles. The nation of Israel was not to be counted among the Gentile nations. We cannot only see that this is true of the nations (governments) of the earth, but it is also true in the governments in the heavens. All angels which reside over the nations of the earth are found in Satan?s domain. All but one ? Israel! The prophet Daniel explicitly says that the angel Michael is Israel?s prince.

So in the study of prophecy, one distinction which must always be in place is the distinction between Israel and the nations ? past, present, and future.

Then, in understanding more about distinctions of people groups and dispensations ? when the Church comes into view, we see another separated and distinct group of people and another separate and distinct dispensation (God dealing through another group of household servants) and within the Church there is neither Jew nor Gentile. This is the present dispensation (Dispensation of the Church)

So these three dispensations, with these distinct people groups must continue to be seen as separate and distinct, when dealing with Scripture, even prophecy.

To think that the Church is the ?new Israel?, will totally mess up correct understanding of future things. God will yet establish Israel again as His wife, and will yet rule over the nations through Israel. And this must be kept in sight, because the promises and the callings of God are without a change of mind?for God is not like man that He can change His mind, not like the son of man that He could lie.

So it is here (in the present dispensation) that our understanding of dispensations comes into view. And this is where we can begin to come into a more complete understanding of the way ?dispensations? could be viewed.

Let?s go back through the passage in Ephesians and look at the various facets to this idea of ?dispensation? in this passage:

Ephesains 3

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-- 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship (dispensation) of God's grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.

??by revelation?the mystery??

A mystery had been made known to Paul?What is a mystery?

A mystery is something that has been laid out in the OT, in the way of types, or metaphors or pictures, and fully revealed (by divine revelation) in the NT. Nothing is in the NT, without first being laid out in the OT.

A mystery which has something to do with the present dispensation. What is the mystery?

Let?s compare Scripture with Scriptue?a little from here and a little from there?

Romans 16

25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, [leading] to obedience of faith;

I Corinthians 2

7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden [wisdom,] which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 [the wisdom] which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory?

That is why this information had been held in mystery?because if it had been understood (prior to the crucifixion), the rulers of this age would not have crucified the Lord of glory! Isn?t that what it says!

So now that the Lord of glory has been crucified, then the mystery can be made manifest. And this is the mystery, which he had already written to the church at Ephesus in brief. We can see it in chapter one:

Ephesians 1

9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He [God] purposed in Him [Christ] 10 with a view to an administration [dispensation] suitable to the fulness of the times,

i.e. the age of the ages!

[that is,] the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.

Remember those things God created in the heavens and on the earth? those invisible thrones, dominions, powers and authorities (heavenly); and the visible, thrones dominions powers and authorities (earthly). These things will have been summed up in Christ in that coming day, which is the Age of the ages. This is one facet of the mystery? the summing up of these things in a future dispensation (or administration).

But only one facet of the mystery? Yes, the other facet of the mystery has to do with us?Gentiles by birth. Here it is in the remaining verses of the passage in Ephesians chapter three that we have already read:

Ephesians 3

4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

6 [to be specific,] that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.

There it is! The mystery which had been hidden from before the ages began. Paul even wrote about it to the Church at Corinth. We have already touched on this passage:

I Corinthians 2

4 And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

5 that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.?

Remember that statement that was our very first verse that began this entire series?

I Corinthians 2:

6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery,

the hidden [wisdom,] which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 [the wisdom] which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;


10 For to us God revealed [them] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

This hidden wisdom, this mystery, which had been hidden and predestined before the ages, God has now made manifest by his Spirit in this time period, right here (the present dispensation).

And look what Paul says of this to the Ephesians:

Ephesians 3

8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration (dispensation) of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;

And look what Paul says of this, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

11 [This was] in accordance with the eternal (Lit., the age-lasting [singular ?aion?]) purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord?

Paul deals with this same thing in his letter to the Church at Collosae:

Colossians 1

25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship [dispensation] from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,

26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you [Lit. preached among you? Gentiles], the hope of glory.

And so in summary ? as we begin to broach the subject at hand next week as we jump with both feet into Genesis, the writings of Moses, we will remember that prophecy will deal with:

? Heavenly and Earthly realms.

? Gentiles, Jews and Christians

? Time and ages, and

? Dispensations within the ages

And with those distinctions in place, next week we will begin where we are supposed to begin?in Moses!

See you then!

Understanding Prophecy, Part I

Lesson Five Lecture

The Chronology Laid Out

For the past five weeks we have been learning how to study prophecy. We have come to understand the differences and distinctions between the ages and time. We have seen how God began the ages with respect to the earth and the heavens that surround the earth. There was a beginning point to these things, which is where Moses began.

We have also seen clearly that the originally created rulers over this province in God?s creation was Lucifer and his host of angels, and that at some point in the age, or ages past, he and a third of his angels rebelled against God. This rebellion brought about a desecration of his sanctuaries, with a future eventual cessation of his rule.

We also have seen that when time began, as we know it, God restored the earth and the heavens that surround the earth and created man to rule in Satan?s stead. But man needed to be tested to prove his worthiness to rule.

Yes, we have not talked about that in this study much, have we. Today we will see that man was tested, in order to prove his worthiness to rule, and that test required obedience to God?s spoken commands.

Today we will also learn why man is not yet ruling. It is due to his disobedience. But God had a plan forged from eternity past, and will yet place man in rulership over the earth in Satan?s stead. And again, that is what prophecy is all about.

If an individual does not see that this is what prophecy is all about, then he will not be in a position to understand much about prophecy. The pieces fit together as a whole, and each piece must be studied together with the whole in order for that piece to be understood correctly, being understood in proper context.

It has been stated before, and bears repeating. Nothing in Scripture exists in a vacuum. Will you think about what that means for a moment?

OK. After laying down the foundation in the first thirty-four verses in His Word, God then begins to fill in innumerable details throughout subsequent Scriptures by the use of types and antitypes. Let?s talk about what types are, and how they are presented in Scripture.

Types are historical events, institutions, individuals, and chronologies, which points to antitypes, all of which literally provide prophecy!

Here is one way that Satan has had success in the Church today, in that the idea of types and antitypes gets a bad rap. And frankly, the structured use of types and antitypes is God?s method of checks and balances, which He has omnisciently given to His people in order that their understanding of Scripture is correct.

The Greek word is tupos (# 5179): a stamp or a blow.

This is a noun, and it comes from the same root that the verb ?

tupto (5180), which means to thump specifically by repeated blows,

Tupos can then be seen as a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning) an example, with the idea behind it of repeatedly being shown.

It really is like a type-writer. (Explain)

Here is how types work in Scripture:

God inspired very specific details to be written down of historical personages, and events to teach specific things. Specific details for specific things. And not just details from one person or event, but often times, from many persons and events to fill in numerous details.

Let?s think of this definition when we look at how Paul used the Greek word tupos twice as he wrote to the Church at Corinth. In speaking to them about the Children of Israel and their failure at Kadesh Barnea, he says:

I Corinthians 10

1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

5 Nevertheless,

with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

6 Now these things happened as examples (Grk, tupos) for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved.

Then he gives several examples (repeated blows) of what they did that serve as types for us.

7 And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY."

8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.

9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.

10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

Each of these types serves as warnings to us, so that in their antitype we would not do the same things they do.

Now, I have learned that the word ?antitype? often throws people. They seem to think of the word as something negative, in the same way that we might think of Christ and Antichrist.

Antitype is not used in that way. It simply means that which is opposite of; that which it reflects, somewhat like the typewriter or a reflection in a mirror. And the activities of the Children of Israel are not the only types given in Scripture.

Types are used to teach us many things about Jesus (that is how the whole OT is about Jesus. Innumerable types have been laid down to teach us about the person and work of Jesus, both His past, His present, and His future work. As far as personages go, we could see

? Abel is type of Christ in his life being short on the earth and his death brought about at the hands of his brother; as is

? Seth, who was named as the replacement of Abel, and who lived long upon the earth, a type of Christ in His second coming; and

? Isaac, the son who was offered by his father on Mt. Moriah, and

? Jacob?s dealings with his brother, Esau, coming to the Father as a 1st born, and

? Joseph, in so very many ways, and

? Moses in the redemption out of slavery, and

? Joshua leading Israel into the Promised Land and in the dividing of the inheritance among the 12 tribes, and

? Boaz as our Kinsman Redeemer, in redeeming the land and taking a bride in the prodcess, and

? King David, and

? King Solomon?the list goes on and on!

We can also see that institutions serve as types of Christ! The Passover; the paschal lambs, the atonement animal, and scape goat, the priesthood, etc., etc..

Also items in the OT serve as types for Jesus ? the tabernacle, the blood on the mercy seat, Manna from heaven, the well of water, the rock in the wilderness, both, the one stricken, and the one that was to be spoken to, but was stricken again.. We could go on and on.

Then there are some types that would teach us about Satan and his disqualification to rule. We could view Saul and his disqualification.

We could learn about the man of flesh vs, the man of the spirit:

? Ishamael vs. Isaac;

? Esau vs. Jacob;

? Amalek, vs. Israel.

We could learn about the nation of Israel, through studying the actions of Cain in the field, and the 10 sons of Jacob against their brother Joseph, the story of the Exodus, the story of Esther

We could study the Church, and the choices made by studying the details of the woman?s sin in the Garden of Eden, by viewing Rebekah, and both Orpah and Ruth. In studying these things, we can learn what it is going to take to be the wife of Christ.

I could go on and on and on. This is the way God gave His Word. This is the way we must study it, if we are going to know God and His ways! Then we will come to understand what Paul meant when he told Timothy that:

II Timothy 3

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Scriptures reveal how to live in light of prophecy, so that we will profited at the JSOC!

And we will come to understand that God really does give knowledge and understanding to the one who is weaned from the milk and begins to partake in the meat of the Word! As Isaiah asked and answered his own question:

Isaiah 28

9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

Then he tells how it will be given and understood:

10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little;

See the focus here! Don?t miss it! Rest and refreshing?the same thing that Peter told the men of Israel in his messages to them the day of Pentecost and days subsequent to that, that the times of rest and refreshing would come if they would but repent from crucifying their Messiah. But they would not!

And that?s the way God intended us to put it together. Regardless of the way man may say it should be studied, this is the way GOD says it should be studied. Then it becomes self-correcting!

Salvation is straightened out. Prophecy is laid out correctly. The works of Jesus (past present and future) are seen in its correct light. And as mistakes in understanding are made by individuals who are studying, (and everyone makes mistakes which is why as we study our faith should not rest on the wisdom of man, but on the word of God), these mistakes are eventually corrected because things are being studied the way God has given them.

And this is a life long process?and one that should not be taken lightly!

Remember ? Jesus was the Word (O.T. Scriptures) made flesh (John 1:14); and the testimony of Jesus (the complete Word) is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10b). The fulfillments of the types are seen in the antitypes, with both providing parallel details, reflecting one upon the other.

Hence, the types are very instructive to us in filling in the details of the revelation of prophecy that God had designed for us to grasp. When details in the form of these types are laid upon the foundational timeline, much can be discerned in the way of prophecy.

We have seen how the first 34 verses are laid out. This in itself is THE foundational type God gives us. And that it is given first, is indicative of the fact that this should be understood first and things built upon it.

So we have the foundation upon which to build ? six days and a 7th day of Rest.

As a person works his way through the Scriptures from beginning to end, he would be able to see God continually dropping back into the foundation adding subsequent information, filling it in with an infinite and inexhaustible amount of details, which God uses to build upon the foundation, until at the end, the complete revelation would not only have been given, but all will have been fulfilled, having been built upon a 6-day, 7th day foundational timeline! Amazing!

And all things that are to happen would have been told by God because of what the Prophet Amos writes:

Amos 3

7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.

According to this verse, will there be anything that will yet happen that we do not have a record of God speaking about it to or through His prophets?

And of course, it all begins with the writings of Moses, the prophet of God who wrote the first 5 books of the Bible. Genesis is the book of beginnings. Everything we can learn from Scripture has its beginning in Genesis.

Now, your choice is whether to believe what it says here, or not! It?s your choice.

And the remainder of Scripture ? everything beyond Gen. 2:3 ? fills in details, until the complete picture is made! All the way through to the end of Revelation 22, wherein we read:

Revelation 22

16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star." 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say,

"Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book;

19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.

Come, Lord Jesus.

So now we have the remainder of Scripture to learn what we can learn, from Genesis 2:4 forward.

And now we can begin in the remainder to Genesis chapter two (having laid out this foundation) to see how and with what God continues, as He gives us more details for understanding.

We will see that immediately God drops back into the 6th day and gives us details on the way He did things in that day with respect to the man and the woman. We do not get the details of how the woman was brought forth until the foundation is laid down. NOW God drops back.

And this is the way He does it!

We will begin by reviewing the importance given to the seventh day. Gen. 2:1-3 where we see the focus placed on the importance of the rest:

Genesis 2

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Then God drops back into the timeline and fills in details, and in doing so, He also gives us prophecy. Watch how this comes together:

Genesis 2

4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. 5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth; and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Added detail to what He had previously mentioned by way of introduction. ?Let Us create man??

Now we see how God created man, he formed him from the dust of the ground and breathed His breath (Spirit) into the man. And now?more detail?

8 And the LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.

And then dropping back He gives more details:

9 And out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now in verse 8 He has already told us that he had placed the man in the garden. Now He is going to give us more information, starting at that point again.

?15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ?From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.?

So now the man has a command with a promised ramification if he disobeys the command: You may eat freely from any tree, just do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from this tree, you will surely die!

God has already revealed to us that He made them male and female, hasn?t He? We can see that in Gen. 1:27:

Genesis 1

27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Now He drops back into the timeline, and fills in the details:

Genesis 2

18 Then the LORD God said, ?It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.? 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.

We already know that the Lord formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air?now He builds upon this?

The man had to name each of the formed creatures, all the while looking for a helper suitable to him. And then this bit of information ? There was not a helper suitable for him.

And so?

21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 And the man said, ?This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.? 24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

(Explain naked. The Hebrew word here is used elsewhere in Scripture to depict partial nakedness. Made in the image of God, covered with Glory, but apart from garments of splendor and majesty! Garments that awaited the outcome of the test of obedience!)

Here is the picture of God:

Psalm 104

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with splendor and majesty, 2 Covering Thyself with light [glory] as with a cloak?

There is so much here for us in the few details that are given here at the end of Genesis chapter two, much of what we will not be able to touch on today.

Deep sleep, as he slept God opened up his side, took part of his body, closed up the flesh, built a woman, presented her to the man.

The man names the woman: ?This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.?

And we can see that they both were naked (again the partial nakedness) and not ashamed! They were covered with glory as they awaited their being found faithful to receive the outer garments of Splendor and Majesty. Created in God?s Image?

Wow! What to teach here???

But I don?t want to miss this point, which can be made right here. Isn?t it glory that one receives after suffering with Christ, i.e., putting to death the flesh (I Peter)? And isn?t it the wedding garments that one can clothe him/herself, as a result of faithful works one has done (Rev. 19:8)?

Can we do type/antitype here? Yes we can! Because look what we see in the NT:

Romans 5

14 ? Adam, who is a type [Grk. tupos] of Him [Jesus Christ] who was to come.

Remember the word tupos comes from the same root as the verb tupto, which means to strike repeatedly! So it is not in just one way that Adam is type of Christ, but in repeated ways.

So if you want to find out more about Christ and His bride the place you begin in your understanding about it is at the foundational type! You study the foundational type, then you build your understanding from there; you learn what God wants you to know, beginning where He began, and then you allow the remainder of Scripture to fill in the details.

So we can know the reason for Adam to have a wife? it is not good for the man to be alone, (he could not fulfill his created role;

and we can learn how the wife of Adam was formed: (Review the facts)

Just as Eve was originally created in Adam, so we have been created in Christ Jesus

Ephesians 1

4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.

Ephesians 2

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

But something happens in the next chapter that does not take God by surprise. The originally created ruler of this world is allowed to test the man and woman. He (Satan) is very wily and his plan is to trip the woman up, through deception, in order to bring about the demise of the man.

Don?t think for a moment that Satan did not hear:

?From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.?

If Satan could get the one who was taken from the man, the one who is the man?s very flesh and bones to eat from the tree that would bring forth death (the one formed to help the man fulfill his created position because apart from her, he would not be able to do so), then perhaps Satan would win, and be able to continue to rule,

And so he planted himself at the tree of death, so to speak, and waited for the woman to come by. And through deception (you shall surely not die!), she ate. Now separated from her husband, he, too, made the choice to eat the fruit and die. And they both became naked and sought to hide themselves.

This word naked is a different Hebrew word than the naked previously used. This word indicated total nakedness. The covering of Glory left them. Now they could not receive the garments of splendor and majesty, which would be like God!

And what Adam lost in the Garden, Jesus regains in another Garden!

But in the antitype of all of this, we can see Jesus, the One who was to come in the antitype of Adam.

And just as Adam was put to sleep and his side opened up, so was Christ ?put to sleep? on the cross. Death is often depicted in Scripture as sleep. He died and His death as the Passover Lamb, allows one to be redeemed out of the bondage of sin. His death did that!

He did more than just redeem us from the bondage of sin. In His death (after He was put into a deep sleep, His side was opened up. And the blood and water which flowed from His side are the cleansing agents that are used to cleanse God?s redeemed people from their sins. And in this cleansing process (His blood on the Mercy seat in heaven, and the cleansing water of the Word), He cleanses those who will avail themselves to these two things through confession and the Word, He cleanses His wife!

Watch this. I want to read to you the last verse in this passage first, because I want you to see where this is going, and I want you to keep in mind while we read this passage, what it is saying.

The last verse is:

Ephesians 5

32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Now let?s see what the mystery is that Paul is speaking about:

Ephesians 5

24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;

26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.

28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

30 because we are members of His body. 31 FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Of course Jesus did not sin! But look at what it says.

II Corinthians 5

21 He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him [Jesus Christ].

He gave Himself up for her. He entered into death, by becoming sin for her, so that He might redeem her for Himself. And not only did He give Himself up for her, he also sanctifies her (sets her apart) and washes her with the water of the word so that God can present to Jesus a Bride in all her glory! (That covering of glory that was the man and woman?s before the fall, which was taken from them in that original sin, now is reestablished because of the work that Jesus does, and because she has availed herself to that cleansing work.) We?ll get to that in a minute.

We, who would form His BODY, the Church, are found in a fallen, separated state. And the only way that redemption can take place is for Christ to eat also from the tree of death, to die upon that tree at Calvary. And all of this is part of the mystery that has been held in mystery from before the ages began?that Jesus the Son of God, who became the Son of Man, must die, becoming sin on our behalf, and dying. But until He died, it remained a mystery.

And thus we read in

I Corinthians 2

7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory?

And now we can see the eternal plan that God had from before the ages began. God would send Jesus, the second Man, the Last Adam, and gain for us what Adam and the woman lost in the Garden. Jesus, as the antitype of Adam would enter into the sin of His wife-to-be, and die. And in his death, His side would be opened up and that would be the part of His Body from which his wife will be taken.

It is through Christ?s death (brought about by His being made sin for us) that His spiritual Body ? the Church ? is formed; and it is through His side being opened up in His death with the blood and water pouring forth, that His Bride will be fashioned. Once an individual becomes part of Christ?s Body through faith in His death, that individual can then avail him/herself of both the cleansing blood on the Mercy Seat through confession of sin, and the washing of the water through abiding in the Word. The very part of Christ Body which was taken out will be used to fashion His Bride (Wife). This is important to understand, because it is our choice, as a part of the Body of Christ, whether to avail ourselves to the cleansing of His blood through confession, and the washing of the water by the Word. It is our own individual choice!

And so now we can go back to the Gen. 3:15 and gain more understanding by what is involved in the heel being bruised.

Genesis 3

15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."

So now we can ask: How will this be fulfilled? How will it play out?

Ongoing history gives us explanation through the use of types!

There is so much more that can be learned about these things as they are laid out in Genesis chapters two and three, but that is all we will deal with this morning. We must move on to Genesis chapter four and see what we can learn in the way of types and antitypes, as the means of the death of the redeemer. Besides His heel being bruised, which happens in death by crucifixion, we can get more details by what happens in the next chapter. Let?s read part of it.

Genesis 4

1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, ?I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.? 2 And again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. 4 And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions.

And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.

8 And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

9 Then the LORD said to Cain, ?Where is Abel your brother?? And he said, ?I do not know. Am I my brother?s keeper??

10 And He said, ?What have you done? The voice of your brother?s blood is crying to Me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother?s blood from your hand.

12 When you cultivate the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you; you shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.?

Genesis four deals with two brothers being in the field together. The older brother slays the younger brother. And spills his blood on the ground. His blood cries up to the Father. And the Father causes the older brother to become a vagrant wanderer upon the earth, albeit with the Fathe
Other messages from this series Audio Video PDF Study Notes
Understanding Prophecy: Introductory Lecture
Part 1 - Understanding Prophecy: Lesson 1
Part 2 - Understanding Prophecy: Lesson 2
Part 3 - Understanding Prophecy: Lesson 3
Part 4 - Understanding Prophecy: Lesson 4
Part 5 - Understanding Prophecy: Lesson Five
Part 6 - Understanding Prophecy: Lesson Six
Part 7 - Understanding Prophecy: Lesson Seven