Nathaniel Fajardo

Biblical Numerology: NUMBER SEVEN – Part 44

Israel: Type and Antitype, Literal and Spiritual


“We have yet to learn that the whole Jewish economy is a compacted prophecy of the gospel. It is the gospel in figures. E. G. White, Manuscript 130, Nov. 23, 1897.

As seen through the interlocking strands of prophecy and history, the remnant church of the last days sums up the cumulative and progressive experiences of God’s covenant-keeping people beginning with ancientliteral Israel in Old Testament transitioning without any interruption into spiritual Israel of the New Testament to the close of time.

There is no “eighth church”– only one church that undergoes seven periods or seven stages.

See Revelation chapters 2 and 3. There were many Christian churches in Asia during the first century of the Christian era.  Consistent with the divine numbering system, Omniscience chose seven of these to represent the seven periods, the seven successive stages  of His church during the time remaining: “The New Testament gives church history covering the first century; therefore, the fulfillment of the prophecy is found in the history given.” 6T 422, 423.

The New Testament writers used phraseology referring to national Israel when writing of spiritual, worldwide Israel. Want of space and time limits us to just a few of many examplese that may be given. They are as follows:

Holy nation. OT-  Exo. 19: 5, 6; Zeph. 2: 1.  NT – 1 Pet. 2: 9; Matt. 21: 43. Kingdom of priests: OT – Exo. 19: 5, 6. NT – 1 Pet. 2: 5-9; Rev. 1: 6; 4: 4; 5: 10. A peculiar treasure: OT – Exo. 19: 5, 6.  NT – 1 Pet. 2: 9. God’s people: OT– Hos. 1: 9, 10. NT – Rom. 9: 6-8. A holy people: OT – Deut. 7: 6; NT – 1 Pet. 1: 15, 16. A people of inheritance: OT – Deut. 4: 20; NT- Eph. 1: 18Israel’s Shepherd: OT – Jer. 31: 10. NT – John 10: 11, etc..

Louis F. Were in his book The Certainty of the Third Angel’s Message, pp. 47-49 (1945), quotes pertinent extracts from esteemed Bible commentators:

 “Those who put their trust in Jesus constitute the true Israelites, the new Messianic Israel, who have been obedient to God and to His Messiah. . . . Hence the believers in Jesus are the true people of God, the possessors of all the privileges which had once belonged to Israel after the flesh.” By H. F. Hamilton, D.D., Vol. 1, Preface, p. 7.

 Vol. II, p. 28, chapter ‘The New Israel’:–

 “All that belonged to the Israel of old now belonged to the new; what was true to the pre-Messianic Israel was true to the post-Messianic Israel.’

 ‘We are the community of the Messiah, and therefore the true Israelites. In this one sentence is summed up the whole philosophy of the foundation of the church . . . . But the new Israel not only inherited all the exclusive privileges of the old, it also had received yet greater blessings through the Messiah.’ – Ibid, p. 31.

 In “the Revelation of St. John,’ p. 27. Prof. W. Milligan, D.D.,  has written of the church: ‘She had an interest in Zion and Jerusalem; she saw in Babylon the type of her enemies; she felt herself to be the Israel of God.’

 T.W. Christie, B.A. in his book, ‘The Book of Revelation,’ p. 329, says: ‘All those names, ‘Abraham,’ ‘children of promise,’ with their attendant country, promises, and blessings belonged not to Israel after the flesh, but to the Israel of God..

 Note the following from Ellicott’s Commentary, Notes on Revelation: ‘The Christian Church absorbs the Jewish, inherits her privileges, and adopts with wider and nobler meaning, her phraseology.’ p. 96.

 The historical basis of the Apocalypse [book of Revelation] is the past history of the chosen people; God’s dealings with men always follow the same lines . . . . The Apocalypse shows us the principle working in higher levels and in a wider arena. The Israel of God, the church of Christ, takes the place of national Israel.’ (p. 125).

 Matthew Henry’s Commentary, in notes on Joel 3, says: ‘The saints are the true Israel of God, they are His people, the church is His Jerusalem.’

 And so have written the old commentators.”

 “In his ‘Bible Handbook,’ pp. 203, 285-292, Dr. Angus says:– ‘. . .  Fairbarn (Typology of Scripture), maintaining that whole of the previous [Mosaic] economy is affirmed in the New Testament to be typical . . . .

 ‘As the was the future was thus represented in visions, and under a typical dispensation, it can excite no surprise that the whole is often described in figurative, and allegorical or symbolical terms . . . . Besides, as everything earthly supplies images for describing things spiritual, the law is therefore appropriate as it is necessary. The unity and vastness of God’s plans are illustrated by it all.

   ‘Under the gospel, for example, Messiah is to be a king, and hence the prophets represent Him as possessed of all the characteristics of the most distinguished characteristics of the most distinguished of the Jewish theocracy, and more than once apply to Him the title of David . . . Hosea 3: 5; Jer. 30: 9; Acts 13: 34 . . .  In the same way, they speak of His kingdom, either of grace or glory, as the highest perfection of the Jewish economy. It called Jerusalem or Zion.  Isa. 62: 1, 6, 7; 60: 15-20; Gal. 4: 26-28; Heb. 12: 22. See also Isa. 60: 7; 66: 23 . . . .

 “In the same way, the enemies of the kingdom of the Messiah are not only called by the names given to the enemies of ancient theocracy, viz., the nations of the Gentiles, but they often bear the name of some one people,who, at the time, were particularly inimical or powerful. In Isaiah 25 they are called by the name of Moab; in Isa. 63 and Amos 9: 12, by the name of Edom; and in Ezek. 38, by the name of Gog . . . . Nor need this peculiarity of prophetic language excite surprise . . . . It is found pervading the whole ancient dispensation . . .’

 L.F. Were continues: “After giving further examples, the learned Dr. says:—

 ‘All these expressions, however, are in the New Testament applied to the church. . . . Nearly all the characteristic names of Israel are applied to the body of believers. In the first case, the blessings and relations, so far as the people were concerned, are earthly and temporal; in the second spiritual and eternal. . . .The apostles reason throughout their writings on the same principle. We who believe, and are united in Christ, are children of Abraham, and heirs of His promises (Gal. 3: 29; Rom. 4: 11, 16); the Israel of God (Gal. 6: 16); as distinguished from Israel according to the flesh (1 Cor. 11: 18) the true circumcision (Phil. 3: 3), who therefore appropriate ancient promises, Gen. 22: 16, 17, applied to all believers: Heb. 6: 13, 20; Deut. 31: 6; Josh. 1: 5 quoted Heb. 13: 4-5; Hos. 1: 10; 2: 23, quoted Rom. 9: 24-26).

 ‘After the exodus comes the institution of the ritual [ceremonial] law, its sacrifices, priesthood, mercy, seat, tabernacle and temple and worship.  . . . and in the Gospels each expression is applied to our Lord Jesus Christ or to His church. He is priest, and propitiatory, tabernacle (John 1: 14) and temple (John 2: 19); as also, since His ascension, is His church (1 Cor. 3: 16). Her members offer spiritual offerings. They form a royal priesthood, a holy nation . .

 ‘Haggai and Zechariah foretell the rebuilding of a temple, and under that figure speak of the church . . . . In a word, not only the prophets, but all the inspired writers describe the church in terms borrowed from successive stages in the history of the ancient economy . . . .

 ‘From the typical character of ancient dispensations arises another peculiarity of prophecy. It not only speaks their language, but it has often a double application. It applies to one object by anticipation and partially, and to another completely; the earlier object being the representation of the later. . . .

 ‘As the history of the Jews foreshadows the history of the church, so does prophecy the experience of both. . . . Prophecies on the restoration of from Babylon (Jer. 31; Isa. 520, on the setting up of the Tabernacle of David (Amos 9), and on his kingdom (2 Sam. 7), had all to a certain extent, an immediate fulfillment, and are yet appliedin the New Testament to the gospel dispensation. To that dispensation in itself, or in its results, this double application must be confined . . . .

 ‘It follows from this double sense that, as in the first fulfillment there is a limit to the blessing foretold, so, in the second, there is a fullness of meaning which it seems impossible to exhaust. To David, for example, the promise was partly conditional, partly absolute. As conditional, it cannot be applied to Christ, and as absolute it cannot be applied in its fullest literal meaning to David. 2 Sam. 7: 13-15. The condition both David and God repeat (1 Kings 2: 4; 9: 4), and the promise that David’s [spiritual] seed should occupy the throne forever, had, of course, in a literal sense, but a limited fulfillment. For ever may mean till the end of the kingdom, or till the end of the polity . . . . There was therefore, a literal fulfillment, but clearly less glorious than when applied to the Messiah.

 “Notice the following extracts from the authoritative work, ‘The Progress of Doctrine in the New Testament,’ by T.D. Bernard, M.A., pp. 128-129, 131, 114, 115, 218, 221, 222: —

 ‘The other principle which is contended for and secured is that the Gospel is the heir of the Law that it inherits what the Law has prepared. The Law on its national and ceremonial side, had created a vast and closely woven system of ideas. These were wrought out and exhibited by it in forms according to the flesh—an elect nation, a miraculous history, a special covenant, a worldly [earthly] sanctuary, a perpetual service, an anointed priesthood, a ceremonial sanctity, a scheme of sacrifice and atonement, a purchased possession, a holy city, a throne of David, a destiny of dominion. Were these ideas to be lost, and the language which expressed them to be dropped when the Gospel came?  No! It was the heir of the Law. The Law had prepared these riches, and now bequeathed them to a successor able to unlock and to diffuse them. The Gospel claimed them all, and developed in them a vast value unknown before. It asserted itself as the proper and predestined continuation of the covenant made of God with the fathers, the real and only fulfillment of all which was typified and prophesied, presenting the same ideas which had been before embodied in the narrow but distinct limits of carnal forms, in their spiritual, universal, and eternal character. The body of types according to the flesh died with Christ, and with Christ it arose again a body of antitypes according to the Spirit. Those who were after the flesh could not recognize its identity; those who were after the Spirit felt and proclaimed it.

 ‘. . . .The principle that the same things which were done under the old covenant in the region of the fleshare done under the new covenant in the region of the spirit opens out into the doctrine of the mediatorial work of Christ in the true tabernacle [in heaven]. . . . the sanctification of believers as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, and their destined inheritance in a promised land [the earth made new/heavenly Canaan] and a holy city of their God. The expansion of this doctrine fills and forms all the Epistles [not just Romans or Galatians, etc.!]. . . .

 ‘All is founded upon the old Jewish expectation of a kingdom of God; but it is now explained how that expectation is fulfilled in the person of Jesus. The complete exposition of the Gospel was a result of a combination of the facts and the words of the old dispensation with the facts and the words of the new, a combination effected in the minds of the Apostles under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, who thus brought to light the meaning and the scope of His own earlier inspiration, preserved in the Law and the Prophets. . . . ‘Which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual’ (1 Cor. 2: 13) . . . . the interpretation of these words is best derived from the fact everywhere apparent in the Apostle’s writings, namely, his habit of working all the more recondite [depth, esp. with reference to knowledge beyond ordinary comprehension]and (if I may use the word) scientific parts of the evangelical doctrine by the aid of the Old Testament, the types, images, and sentences which were, we know, in His sight spiritual’ . . . . The appropriation of the Old Testament words to express the New Testament doctrine is a part of this elucidation.’ (End of quote from The Certainty of the Third Angel’s Message by Louis F. Were).

 “The gospel is a system of practical truths destined to work great changes in human character. If it does not work transformation in life, in habits, and practice, it is no truth to those who claim to believe it.  Man must be sanctified through the truth. And said Jesus, ‘Thy word is truth’ (John 17: 17). Unless the truth of God shall lift up man out of his depravity, his intemperate and profligate habits, and make him reflect the image of God, he is lost.”- E.G. White, This Day with God, p. 81.       (Continued next week).